How significant is Internet marketing to businesses today? The answer as always, is ‘it depends’. The relative importance of the Internet for marketing for an organization still largely depends on the nature of its products and services and the buyer behavior of its target audience. For companies such as EasyJet, the low-cost European airline, the Internet is very significant for marketing its products – the Internet is now a vital part of the customer journey as consumers select the best supplier and make their purchase. EasyJet now achieves over 95% of its ticket sales online and aims to fulfil the majority of its customer service requests via the Internet. Do you want to learn about internet marketing please click here.
The figure shows how it has used the Internet to support its growth into many new markets. When returning to the site on subsequent visits, the relevant home page for that country is automatically displayed. For organizations whose products are not generally appropriate for sale online, such as energy company BP or consumer brands such as Unilever, the Internet is less significant, but is still rapidly growing in importance. We will see that a dramatic change in media consumption over the last 10 years towards digital media means that the Internet is becoming important for all product categories.
Although the Internet is less commonly used for sale of products by such organizations, it is still important in increasing awareness of their products and brand values through online advertising on third-party sites. Once awareness is raised amongst different customer types, content and offers such as those in Figure 1.2 can be used to encourage them to start an online dialogue. The cover theme of this new edition of Internet Marketing alludes to customer journeys as we go about our daily lives. It also suggests the potential the web has for collaboration in communities and the sharing of information and experiences.
This book explains how organizations can develop plans to manage all the different ways in which the Internet can be applied to support the marketing process. We take a customer-centric approach to Internet marketing (although many would regard this as a tautology since the modern-marketing concept places the customer at the heart of all marketing activity).
By ‘customer-centric’ we mean the capability digital media give marketers to better understand and tailor propositions to individual customers, which is one of its greatest appeals and a common theme in each chapter. As customers follow their journeys as they select products and interact with brands, they do not use the Internet in isolation – they consume other media such as print, TV, direct mail and outdoor. These media are still very important for marketers to communicate with customers who still spend the majority of their waking hours in the real world rather than the virtual world.
It follows that an effective approach to using the Internet is as part of a multi-channel marketing strategy. This defines how different marketing channels should integrate and support each other in terms of their proposition development and communications based on their relative merits for the customer and the company. The multi-channel approach is also a common theme throughout this book. In this introductory chapter we review different applications of Internet marketing and consider the impact of the Internet on marketing. We also explain the basic concepts of Internet marketing, placing it in the context of e-commerce and e-business and the technologies involved. Are you looking your Guide to Today’s Online Marketing click here.