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' fingertips?
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 successful
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 real-time.
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
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 winner.
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
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 threats.
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 accuracy
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
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?
eMarketing Association -All Rights Reserved