Since last three decades E-marketing or online marketing is an issue of concern for the marketers from various parts of globe. Especially after 90s this topic is catching attention of researchers due to its distinctive advantages like cost effectiveness, high level of interaction and response of customers. Not only marketing nut major strategic areas are now dependent upon the use of internet. Though some firms have reservations for this method but this is also a reality that more and more customers are using the internet to research products and services online which they later buy in market.
The online marketing facilitates the decision making on part of consumers by providing information about product features, price and purchase locations. They can even see the product and can compare the attributes, costs and benefits with other brands. Due to all such reasons the integration of online marketing with overall marketing strategy has become imperative for marketing firms.
The Need of Internet and Change in Marketing Paradigm
Use of IT in Marketing has proved to be a major revolution in the traditional system of marketing. Earlier where only one way interaction was possible now has been transformed to multiple interaction and communication channels among all parties. Now all the channel partners and customers can interact easily with each other. Also customers are collaborating among themselves through social networking dedicated groups, blogs and sharing information and feedback about products and services. Suppliers are also interacting and collaborating with customers in and all the interactions can be monitored and tracked by using the internet.
Business Models for E-Marketing
Internet marketing is associated with several business models major models include:
- E-commerce Model. An e-commerce model is the most well known revenue stream where the website sells products or services online.
- Lead-based websites.
- Affiliate marketing.
The Benefits of Internet Marketing
- Global Access: the major advantage Internet is that in very low cost everywhere targeted emails pave the way. There is no need as in traditional marketing to have physical reach to promote the products.
- Lower cost: With the integration of e marketing into traditional marketing than in less time, money and resources than with traditional marketing vehicles like direct mail or print advertising, the objectives can be achieved.
- Highly Interactive and Innovative Method: while designing the promotional strategy the campaigns using graphics, videos, music, quiz, game can be possible only through E-marketing. Along with that through internet it becomes possible for a firm to respond to the customer in less time.
- Appropriate to Build CRM: as the use of e-mailing is highly personalized method this helps in creating a special bond with the prospects and paves the way for effective CRM practices.
- Lack of Personal Communication: the major concern for marketers while using e marketing is that the companies or the businesses get fewer opportunities to communicate with the customer face to face. This leads to lack of feedback about the products thus improvements or alterations in Product features also becomes difficult due to lack of awareness.
- Lack of faith on the part of customer: in the process of e marketing another limitation with E-commerce is that customers remain apprehensive for the quality of actual product sold.
- Security Issues: the concern for Credit Card security is also a serious issue. Customers while doing credit card transaction over the Internet are worried about the credit card security.
- Technical Errors: The next one is a technological limitation that the cost involved with bandwidth and server is too high.
- Trained Human Resources: there is still a lack of trained human resources with extensive database technical knowledge and experience.
Strategic Advantages of Internet in Marketing
Strategic advantages of internet marketing include:
- It cuts the costs resulting into maximization of profitability
- It provides company with a competitive edge
- More intensive and aggressive distribution is possible
- Facilitates supply chain re-engineering
- Intensive promotion is possible
- Improvise the CRM
So we can conclude that the use of Internet can bring enormous advantages for a marketer if used appropriately and timely. In the changing times as the market is full of volatility and presents everyday a new challenge arousing out of cut throat global competition, a single lacking can result into huge customer loss. So it is advisable for firms that even for the traditional products the strategic use of internet in marketing can result into greater productivity and profitability.