Online Marketing is marketing on the Internet. It is a type of e-marketing, which in turn is a type of e-commerce. While at first the confusion of experiments, beta versions of websites, search engines and other online devices cause marketers to consider this world of the Internet unknowable and perhaps too unpredictable, there is now a growing body of work to which marketers are now paying attention in order to develop online marketing programs. The most known tools to marketers in the mid 2000s are currently tools grouped into 2 fields: online advertising and search engine optimization. E-marketing tools used to drive visitors to a web site include:
* Pay per click
However, marketing online is simply not offline marketing applied to a new online world. Online marketing has a slightly different character and purpose as indicated in such seminal works as The cluetrain manifesto, Purple cow, Permission marketing, and other texts of smaller nature compiled in blogs and news sites.
Purpose of Online Marketing
When marketing online, the general four step process of marketing is still the guiding idea, in the online world the character of marketing becomes more deeply a conversation between a marketer and a market-of-one a concept that is central to The cluetrain manifesto. In such a role as a communicator, the online marketer is in a position to build awareness of her/his company or business in more personal terms than otherwise, and in so doing enables a more human conversation. Such conversations tend to be more warts and all and should establish confidence of the potential purchaser in the potential vendor.
Smith and Chaffey (2001) claim that Internet technology can be used to focus marketing on the customer, while at the same time linking to other business operations so as to achieve profitability. This can be done by:
* Identifying - the Internet be used for marketing research to find out customers' needs and wants;
* Anticipating - the Internet provides an additional channel by which customers can access information and make purchases - understanding this demand is key to governing resource allocation to e-marketing. For example, low-cost airline easyJet (http://www.easyjet.com) has an online revenue contribution of over 90% since demand for a standardised product online is so high.
* Satisfying - a key success factor in e-marketing is achieving customer satisfaction through the electronic channel, this raises issues such as is the site easy to use, does it perform adequately, what is the standard of associated customer service and how are physical products dispatched?
Detractors of this concept of human-to-human contact through online conversations
suggest that companies are going to be careful about marketing in this
manner and perhaps will never really have honest and open conversations
as the interests of companies and businesses are not the interests of
potential purchasers. The cluetrain manifesto allows for this type of
thinking suggesting that businesses when marketing in this manner need
to be thinking about more than just making money; if a business is thinking
only about making money, it will become apparent in close online conversations
and the market will treat that business in whatever manner it may as markets
can now talk to each other through the same means marketers talk to potential
Online Marketing Activities
Smith and Chaffey (2001) describe five key online marketing activities (the '5Ss') which can be applied by an organisation to immplement various online marketing tactics. For example, for an e-newsletter, the 5Ss are:
Capturing attention of potential customers can be as simple as advertising using some of the new advertising tools the online world provides, such as advertising on search engines, but it can also be about configuring more remarkable methods that tend to spread across many sites and capturing the imagination of many people in the process. There are at least three major configurations of links and tools that have been used to capture attention online: funnel building, buzz marketing and cool tools.
Building a sales funnel requires working with search engine optimization, email newsletter distribution, discussion board entries, advertisements, affiliate activities and more. In fact, any way that additional links can be provided so that a potential customer can begin a conversation with a business, is educated about that business' products/services, or is provided with concepts and propositions that will eventually lead to a sale. A funnel is usually laid down over time and is the result of continuous activity of marketers in online activities.
Buzz marketing tends to be a much quicker process and tends to involve less activity on behalf of marketers and requires attention of people online to spread by word-of-mouth, word-from-keyboards, to be fascinated or intrigued. Purple cow was sold largely through buzz marketing that spread by blogs relatively quickly.
Another tactic of gaining attention online is through the development and release of a cool tool. A cool tool is something that captures the imagination of the online browsing public and it is thought to be so cool that it should be shared with online friends. This could be a video clip, standalone software that is cute such as a cartoon character that lives on a users screen, or some other device that is used often for a specific purpose, such as 3Ms Post-it Notes.
Right in the middle of a new marketing practice is eBay with its datafeed marketing. Essentially a store owner sets up his/her data in eBay and then by way of feeds make this data available to advertising avenues, such as Froogle, Yahoo Product Search and about another twenty of thirty other sites that take datafeeds. All the advertising feed services point the prospective purchaser to the eBay auction. This is perhaps a little like building a sales funnel as described above, however, it uses a specific technology that enables ease of use.
Marketing on the internet requires that one be found using keyword searches or some form of online advertising. In any case the trick to being successful in Online Marketing is being found within the top 30 search results. There are 3 ways that one can be found. 1.) natural search engine ranking (70% of searchers will skip over sponsored results and start with the naturaly ranked sites) 2.) Paid inclusion and 3.) Pay per click. Due to the extreme difficulty of achieving a natural high ranking on a major search engine most companies opt for #'s 2 and 3 for their online marketing. Unfortunately the 3rd option is very costly and only the most well heeled companies can afford to market online via pay per click.
What is true of Online Marketing today is that one must pay to play. Since the dot com bust several years ago search engines have discerned that in order to survive and thrive they must generate significant revenue. At first the hope was that banner advertising would be sufficient to fill the search engine coffers but it soon became evident that searchers did not respond to banners. It then became evident that there were 2 primary ways to create income for search engines and online directories. Thus paid inclusion and pay per click were born!
Recently potential greed realted challenges have emerged. There are companies that create false hits and traffic. Most recently Google has been sued for click fraud.  Whether or not the charges prove to be true, actions like this make people think twice about using pay per click as part of their online marketing package.
Semantic logic will allow searchers to use not just keywords to search, but rather they will search using common language. This is a big departure from the crude Booleen logic which has served the Internet searching communinty for the last decade.
Aktuelle Artikel - Stand: 21.06.2009
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