a world of information seekers, both consumers and businesses can use
the Internet to receive important, relevant data.
can receive important data
The world is full of smarter consumers since the introduction of the
Internet. Consumers go online to research automobiles, trucks,
and sporting vehicles before purchasing. While online purchases
of these durable goods do happen on the Internet, many use the Internet
to research prior to venturing to a brick-and-mortar establishment
where unsuspecting sales clerks are met with customers who expect
them to know as much or more than they were able to find online about
a given Gizmo or Widget.
online services such as those provided by Barpoint.com,
allow the consumer to enter or scan a barcode or UPC code from a product
into a search box and "receive detailed product descriptions, comparative
prices, links to order the product from vendor partners, product reviews,
manufacturer contact information and much more." Where else
in history has information such as this been available at consumers'
can receive important data
Companies can also receive important data they
seek. While consumers want information about products, companies
want to know what consumers are thirsty for. What products do they
seek? What benefits do they want? What are they willing
to pay for that a company can produce? The rest of this lesson
takes a look at Internet and traditional marketing practices for building
marketing, often termed "e-marketing" or "Internet Marketing," is applying
marketing principles on the Internet. What exactly does e-marketing
mean? Is it simply traditional marketing principles applied online?
The answer to that question is "No" and "Yes".
e-Marketing differs from Traditional Marketing
In previous lessons, you read about e-mail marketing, banner ads,
search engine and directory optimization, and site publicity.
Each of these have an Internet emphasis which uniquely separates these
practices from traditional marketing. Prior to the Internet,
companies didn't have the ability to generate direct real-time responses
to surveys, consumer polls, the appeal of advertisements, or knowing
exactly what consumers were looking for in conducting business and
purchasing. Prior to the Internet, receiving feedback from a
consumer survey took months of dispensing questionnaires and gathering
and tallying data. Now companies can collect data as instantly
as site guests offer it and have automated programs set up to evaluate
the data and return the results instantaneously and seamlessly.
To see an example in action, visit Netscape.com.
Netscape includes a daily poll on the home page of their site where
site guests can vote on an issue and see how others in the world are
viewing the same issue. Sometimes the polls ask seemingly just-for-fun
data questions and at other times, the topic is more serious.
But the data is always collected, sorted, and returned to the browser
where site guests know how their views compare with others.
Companies use surveys and polls to collect market segmentation data.
They are generally looking for demographic and psychographic responses.
If a poll asks for a zipcode or a province or state location from
visitors, the marketers are also collecting geographic data.
Never in history has marketing data been collected and evaluated in
marketing, affiliate programs, and media relations are not new to
the Internet; although methods of implementation vary due to the Internet.
And if comparing e-mail marketing with direct mail, one could say
that both are about sending and receiving messages and both include
the word "mail," but there are distinct differences between the two.
For example, real-time knowledge and results are unheard of in traditional
mail surveys. Results from traditional mail surveys are time
consuming and can be costly. On the Internet, companies can
know within 48 hours how a campaign was received and even have direct
feedback from consumers.
the costs of a general survey, one conducted using traditional mail
and one conducted online:
mail survey: The survey is sent out to a gathered
list of potential customers. The lists are sent out geographically,
sometimes based on, and sometimes to gather the psychographic and
demographic data of the particular region. Companies can expect
a fraction of a percent in returned surveys. To receive the
fraction of a percent in returns, the company needs to offer a reward
for completing the survey; generally something free. Many thousands
of surveys are printed and mailed. Then companies wait for responses.
The wait can take months. Then companies need to return the
"free" item as a reward. Companies are willing to pay the money
for the mail outs to save money in the end from unsold product.
Mailing list of addresses
Developing the questionnaire
Printing the questionnaire
Postage for mailing the questionnaire
Cost of time lost in waiting for responses
Returning the "freebie" to the respondents
Gathering, sorting, and analyzing the data
A survey is set up in one location online, the site guests provide
the input, the data collection is real-time. The payment for
the information? Interestingly enough, often the only payment
is satisfying curiosity. Site guests are often willing to
participate in a poll just to see the answer in the end. Consumers
have never had the benefit of knowing what happened to the data
mailed in on a survey until the Internet. Often just knowing
how their responses compare to others is enough of a reward.
Developing the survey
Programming the tallying of the results on the server and routing
the data to a database
Adding the questionnaire/poll to the site
How e-Marketing integrates with Traditional
There are companies on the Internet participating in traditional marketing
practices. As one example, consider sampling. Samples
are a popular marketing effort. Companies offer samples to increase
demand. Samples are sent out through the mail, with the hopes
that consumers will like what they try, which will in turn influence
purchasing decisions. Traditionally, the products that have
been offered as samples are consumables: items such as toothpaste,
mouthwash, shampoo, nuts, raisins, candies, deodorant, anti-perspirant,
after shave, cologne, perfume, and more. Consumables are products
that are used and replaced on a regular basis. Samples are also
available in grocery stores and shopping centers. Demo booths
are set up for representatives to offer tastes to consumers.
The representatives must keep track of how many boxes of cookies or
snack cakes they go through in a given day. The number of boxes
given away is compared to the number sold at the registers for that
day and then the data is analyzed by the distributing company:
is enough of a product being sold to merit buying it for the store?
Did offering the item as a demo increase the number sold?
Internet, samples are available through FreeSamples.com
At both sites, guests register to receive samples, provide demographic,
psychographic, and geographic information to the company, and request
items from the available samples. Before the registered participant
can order again, he/she must provide feedback on the products previously
received. With this scenario, the companies know something about
their target audience and then again learn more about what they like
or dislike about particular products. Companies are able to
directly communicate with their target audience and know how they
are responding to the products they try.
traditionally consumables have been the products of choice for sampling.
In early 2000, rumors started that the car industry was considering
attempting the sampling model. In the Fall of 2001, GM started
advertising on television and on one of their web sites, Pontiac.com
for the "Pass it On" marketing program. Users log on to their
web site, complete the online registration form, and tell GM in 75
words or less what they would do if given a Pontiac for a week.
The registrant also selects the Pontiac model he/she would select
if chosen as the winner. In this marketing model, General Motors
is utilizing television to bring site guests to Pontiac.com
for an opportunity to win a week-long sampling opportunity.
At the end of the week, the recipient passes on the keys to the next
marketing is marketing a company away from the Internet. Most
consumers still receive most of their marketing messages away from the
Internet. Both Internet dotcom-only companies and brick-and-mortar
companies with an online presence can advertise away from the Internet.
Advertising for web business needs to include the web site address.
There are four basic rules to follow in implementing offline strategies:
piece of paper that walks out of a brick-and-mortar store with a
customer should have the web site address on it: receipts, wrappers,
shopping bags, and more.
brochures should be available for consumers to pick up, informing
them of the web site where they could alternatively visit and shop
if they can't make it in to the store.
not advertise the web site until it is ready for visitors.
to evaluate your target audience: where they shop, what they read,
and where they go, then market to them where they are. Include
the web site address on the messages. Give them a reason to
visit the site as Mars Corporation did in their Fall 2001 campaign.
In the Fall of 2001, Mars Corp began a marketing plan that incorporated
offline and online methods. Printed on the inside of Mars
candy bars wrappers: M&Ms, SNICKERS, MARS and TWIX, consumers
could find a computer-generated number that they were instructed
to go to the web site and enter in a field to see if they were a
winner. The result could be winning a variety of products,
all totaling $1,000,000.00.
Traditional Marketing Online
E-business practices need to embrace traditional marketing and business-handling
procedures. Corporate strategy should be a unique mixture of both
traditional and online activities. Business marketers need to
be actively engaged in discovering how to use the Internet to reach
corporate goals. Company marketers need to study every online
and offline interaction people have with the company, or they desire
consumers to have with the company, and then implement methods of personalizing
communications with customers.
need to then look closely at their value chain. The value chain is
the set of circumstances or the process of activities through which
a product or service is created and delivered to consumers.
All companies in one form or another have a value chain as a backbone
that connects all interrelated activities between operations, sales
team members, and rendering of services. Each of these have points
of contacts with conduits, suppliers, and customers. By breaking
down the process of a value chain into smaller pieces, company marketers
can understand the cost associated with the value given to the buyers.
Every link in the value chain of a company should utilize the Internet
to increase the efficiency of communications.
point to remember is online and conventional marketing need to be
combined to help a company excel financially and professionally.
Marketers of online companies need to realize and understand the dynamic
nature of the Internet industry. They must develop a genuine
strategy that creates economic value, which can be done through focusing
on the customer and creating a service that people will pay to have.
One traditional marketing practice that has
application to the Internet economy is the SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses,
Opportunities, and Threats) Analysis. SWOTs are conducted to
objectively evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and
threats of an organization in relation to the competition and the
environment. Strengths can be used as an advantage in gaining
competitive edge and as a defense against weaknesses or threats.
Items or events that are potential threats to a company image or financial
progression need to be looked at seriously and a combative plan set
in motion. Companies should never ignore company threats.
By conducting a SWOT analysis, company managers must be willing to
look at the company from all angles to embrace and utilize the strengths
and opportunities, and acknowledge and confront the weaknesses and
a company understands their competition and is willing to honestly
look at their position in the market in relation to the competition,
they are more apt to gain a competitive edge.
Brick and mortar companies with an e-commerce
presence should strive for unity in all levels of management and operations.
The goals of the online store and the brick-and-mortar store need
to mirror each other and need to work together as seamlessly as possible
to develop a certain level of consistency so customers are equally
comfortable doing business in the store or online.
are a natural process for the economy with ups, downs, and some stability
in the middle. Cycles are brought by the economy, generated by consumer
perceptions and resulting market fluctuations. The newer the industry
the more fluctuations, but even proven industries ride the cycles brought
by the economy. The first cycle of new and emerging industries
often begins with optimum sales and consumer demand. Toward
the end of the first cycle, companies begin to be weeded out as the
market sways. The industry we call the Internet is coming out
of the first cycle and headed into the second cycle. The Gartner
Group predicted a "dot-com shakeout" between the years 2000-2003.
So far, their prediction is accurate. They also predicted company
mergers, and by the year 2008 to have an industry standard for establishing
online business. We'll need to wait a few years to see if their
these cycles leads to the conclusion that businesses who have shied
away from the Internet due to the economy or lack of faith in the
Internet economy need to enter the industry now while it is still
new enough and affordable.
1: Gallup International, Inc., the leader in consumer polls,
can be found at www.Gallup.com.
Gallup survey results are featured in CNN and USA Today World Reports.
Visit Gallup.com and locate the
results of a recent consumer poll. Write about the following:
2: Sign up for the Gallup weekly e-Zine to receive data regarding
consumer responses to weekly polls.
topic is the survey centered around?
were the results?