Internet Marketing is a successful marketing venue that has skyrocketed in popularity since it first appeared about twenty years ago. It is a general term that refers to the promotion of business on the internet by using the available internet technologies. It is also referred to as online marketing, e-marketing and web-marketing.
Marketing via the internet means that the marketer is leveraging the broad appeal of the internet to communicate a company’s message. Its goal is to gain the interest of customers and business prospects as well as to undertake market research.
In its broadest sense internet marketing brings together the technical and non-technical aspects of marketing. These include sales, design, advertising and development. Attracting customers to marketing messages is of key importance. The placement of media such as banner ads, email marketing, Web 2.0 strategies and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) have become common terms that most people are becoming familiar with.
There are a variety of business models that are used for internet marketing. The most frequently used are affiliate marketing, e-commerce, lead-based websites and local marketing on the internet. Local marketing includes the use of tools such as marketing via social media, local directory listing and online sales promotions.
Pay per Click is a marketing approach designed to appeal to the individual browsing on the internet. Individuals browse the internet using keywords via search engine results to find related websites. Ads are placed on these pages with the goal of attracting the individual’s click. The marketer must pay for each click and hopefully the browsing individual will opt in to the opportunity that the ad is conveying.
Marketing via the internet has the advantage of low cost Vis a Vis penetrating the target audience. This has never been done with such broad reaching consequences in the history of marketing.
Statistics too can be tracked and measured quickly and efficiently. Testing the results has been facilitated allowing this process to be repeated several times and resulting in more reliable data. The marketer can now ascertain which messages appeal more to the audience.
One disadvantage of this type of marketing is that the consumer is not able to actually touch, feel or smell the product. This has proven not to deter the consumer from making online purchases since most vendors offer a generous policy for returned items.
Security concerns for information about the customer are important for all parties concerned. It is not possible for the customer to know if information about them is being shared between other companies. If so, they are powerless to prevent this from continuing. Another important security issue is whether or not the customer will be receiving the item they have bought. Much investment has been made by online vendors to build strong, respectable consumer brands to build consumer confidence.
The traditional auction paradigm too has been redefined. Internet auctions have evolved into a multi-billion dollar industry. They have become a source for buyers and sellers to refer to when determining price points for products.
Without a doubt internet marketing has profoundly affected the advertising industry. Time will show us how this advertising phenomenon will continue to change paradigms and the way we do business online.