By Monica Kumar
Several developments in Technology have completely transformed the world and made life easier for people in the transaction of business and work. Notable among these is what is called "internet marketing". In essence, this activity enables buyers and sellers of goods to get their tasks accomplished without the necessity to travel. It may be defined as the marketing of products and services over the internet. Among the benefits, we can mention the low cost of distributing information to a wide audience and advantage in the form of instant response.
Features of Internet marketing
1) It straddles the entire world and people from widely dispersed geographical locations can transact business with each other.
2) Business organizations can reach a large clientele for a fraction of the traditional advertising budget and thus it is less expensive.
3) Thanks, to the nature of the medium, consumers can conduct research while browsing, and purchase products and services according to their own convenience.
There are various fascinating facets associated with internet marketing and one of these form a link between the creative and technical aspects of internet technology. It is natural that design, development, advertising and sales activities come under this category. Again the methods cover a wide spectrum such as search engines, display advertising, email marketing and affiliate marketing.
Many business models that can work in tandem with internet marketing are now available. Prominent among these is e-commerce in which goods are sold directly to the customer or business houses. Secondly, lead based websites where an organization generates value by getting sales leads from their site. Besides there are several other models which depend on the specific needs of individual or businesses launching a campaign for internet marketing.
How does Internet marketing differ from "off Line Marketing"
There are several ways by which internet marketing differs from traditional or what we call off line marketing.
a) Customer browses the internet on their own with the net result that marketing messages reach them personally. The users, for instance locate advertisements for specific products or services with the help of specific key words. This is one to one versus one to many approach.
b) In an online marketing campaign, it is possible to trace measure and test almost all aspects of the campaign. It is possible to identify the messages or offerings which are more appealing to the target audience. Here the advertisers pay per banner impression or per click of the mouse or per action or result that is effective. This feature ensures "measurability".
c) In internet marketing, the users access the products of their choice by activity on their part, whereas traditional off-line marketers target their markets according to age group, sex, geography and general criteria.
d) All initiatives connected with internet marketing require the users to click on the message, go to a website and perform a specific targeted action. Hence the results of advertising campaigns are at once tracked and measured. By contrast, in traditional marketing, it is extremely difficult to measure the actual readership and even actual impact of an advertisement.
There can be no doubt that internet marketing has grown considerably in the last 3-4 years even in the developing countries of Asia. In the US, the UK and Europe, it has almost become a routine, thanks to widespread availability of personal computers, laptops and internet facilities on mobile phones. Today, every
Mobile professional has the need to remain connected with the world, while on the move. He can easily avail the benefits of Internet Marketing from his cell phone. Moreover he can also get in touch with the company through emails. These days there are various options available which allow users to free access to emails form their mobile phones. Like one can easily send an email through free mobile email services by clients like gmail, email@mobile, etc
Thus the trend of internet marketing is most likely to inject a greater sense of accountability on both the advertising agencies and their clients.