Online marketing or internet marketing is defined, simply, as marketing activities conducted over the internet or the Web. More and more the internet is being used as a promotion and sales channel for everyday regular businesses. Businesses that engage in an online marketing strategy can potentially see large gains with little money outlay.
Some examples of online marketing include: blogs, email newsletters, online trading, online services, search engine optimization as well as social media sites such a facebook and twitter.
The medium of the internet allows for significant advantages over traditional marketing.
- Instant feedback to marketing activities
- Easy to access a wide audience using viral marketing
- Ability to personalize a marketing message to a particular user
- Easy to track a wide variety of metrics
- Great for building awareness of unknown brands through brand positioning
However there are also significant limitations that should be kept in mind.
- Intangibility of offers (i.e. customers can't touch or try out a product as you can in a store)
- There is one metric that is hard to measure: Impact
- Often business are unable to find people with the right skills to execute online marketing plan
Online marketing is still a new discipline and as a result many businesses still use more traditional marketing channels without realizing the potential of the internet. Younger members of organizations may be able to appreciate it but then still have difficulty in creating a convincing business case that senior members will understand and appreciate.
There is also the misconception that online marketing is only for those who are engaging in e-commerce. The truth is that it can provide value for almost any business. Whether it is just driving traffic to your corporate website, increasing brand awareness, or running tangent to an offline campaign, online marketing shouldn't be underestimated. For example, a property rental business can operate fully off-line but can still take advantage by putting its rental offerings up on a trading site.
Steve Latham, Why marketers are not invested online (Blog Article)
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