Online marketing, also referred to as i-marketing, web marketing, Internet marketing, or eMarketing, is the marketing of products or services over the Internet.
The Internet has brought many unique benefits to marketing, one of which being lower costs for the distribution of information and media to a global audience. The interactive nature of Online marketing, both in terms of providing instant response and eliciting responses, is a unique quality of the medium. Internet marketing is sometimes considered to have a broader scope because it not only refers to digital media such as the Internet, e-mail, and wireless media; however, Online marketing also includes management of digital customer data and electronic customer relationship management systems.
Today, Online marketing, is evolving into a broader mix of components a company can use as a means of increasing sales – even if your business is done completely online, partly online, or completely offline. The decision to use Online marketing as part of a company’s overall marketing strategy is strictly up to the company of course.
Online Marketing Objectives
- Communicate a company’s message about itself, its products, or its services online.
- Conduct research as to the nature (demographics, preferences, and needs) of existing and potential customers.
- Sell goods, services, or advertising space over the Internet.
The differences that separate Online marketing from offline marketing are as below:
- Snail mail vs. email – Email marketing is low cost, efficient, instant and effective means of generating customers. Snail mail is slow, generally more expensive and is losing some of its efficacy with the influx of TV and Internet.
- Limited radius of impact vs. unlimited – The target audience is global in the case of web marketing with the Internet shrinking the world. The radius of offline marketing is limited by physical, political and time barriers.
- Web customers are looking for a product or service similar to yours – The beauty of being an online business is that people log on to look for a service or product that you can offer. Whereas, offline businesses have to rely more on push marketing than the pull effect.
- Long, complex process of making a sale vs. instant conversion – A few clicks of a mouse and the product is sold, in the case of web marketing. Offline marketing process is time and manpower heavy, from generating leads to making a sale.
- Fixed office hours vs. 24 hour store – An online business can sell its products 24 hours a day while an offline business will open and shut at particular hours.
- Advertising in print, TV and radio is expensive – While you can easily offer content, audio and video clips on the Internet for a very low cost.
- Pay for time spots vs. unlimited time and space – Ads in offline marketing mediums are for a limited time only and you pay for time slots and space. In an online marketing scenario, you would keep your ads up for a longer time and pay much less.
- Cost per incremental customer – This cost is very low for web marketing based concerns, whereas this cost is appreciable in case of offline marketing efforts.
- Targeted approach vs. blanket approach – The above reason leads offline marketing businesses to target and select carefully, eliminating a lot of potential customers, who may buy in the future if not the present. However, low incremental costs result in online businesses covering a broad spectrum of the market.
- Segmentation –segmentation is simpler. The web marketing effort has the information it needs to customize its pitch at once.
- Customer contact – Access to customer information is automatic in the case of online businesses which simplified and made efficient. Databases and mailing lists are created in an instant. On the contrary, offline marketing efforts for the same require time, employees and money.
So, by doing the business Online, one can grow his/her business and can make it WORLD WIDE WEB and can make his/her competitor to loose the business as Online marketing is one of the easiest and much more effective than Offline marketing.