A personal computer with Internet connectivity has become a basic necessity of every home and office. The proliferation of worldwide Internet connectivity has resulted in almost global reach from any part of the world. The web technology has further enhanced the power and the scope of applications of the Internet. Almost instantaneous and inexpensive communications around the world are now available. The ensuing globalization, combined with liberalization in world economies, has led to the concept and growth of online business.
Online business makes use of the fast and cheap communications for global access. The web technology further enables implementation of the various mechanisms of business processes. Marketing is the first and a vital step in any business.
Creating awareness of the existence of a manufacturer/company and its products/services is integral to the health of any business. Aim is to make a product or service visible to potential consumers. Any sound marketing strategy has objectives of promoting sales by identifying consumer needs, creating product awareness, and meeting global competition with a competitive edge. Yet, it should result in an acceptable level of profits. Building brand equity and exploiting it to its own advantage is another goal of any marketing strategy. All the marketing activities are highly suitable to be executed through the Internet.
With innumerable Internet subscribers, it is an easy task, which in normal course would have required and sought expensive agency help for market and product awareness through conventional means of postal mailers and advertisements in print, radio, and TV media. e-Mailers are an ideal, effective, and inexpensive tool for marketing activities. They are a convenient means for dissemination of product information. In addition, a number of web sites called portals have emerged.
These provide complete marketing information for a product/service, or for a range of similar products. e-Mailers also have hyper links to take you directly to the relevant portal. Some big businesses have joined together to derive synergy by providing cross-links to each others portals. The portals usually support e-catalogs that enable quick search for the desired product with information of its price and specifications like dimensions, drawings, and its weight etc.
Some portals provide tabular comparisons of the same product from different companies to help in selection. Most portals go beyond the marketing information to clinch and complete online sales transaction by providing a shopping cart, payment facility, delivery (if possible), and after-sales services. Online marketing has its own hassles. The nuisance value of unsolicited e-mailers, often referred to as spam, is well known. Then, there is a genuine threat of fraud in online transactions.
This erodes confidence and trust among both the buyers and the sellers, and inhibits them from switching over to a truly online system. Another malpractice is of the MLM (Multi-Level Marketing) gimmicks. These aim at creating a chain with hidden ulterior motives. For example, if any ad or promotion seems to be too good to be true, there is always a catch. Even if you do not sign up for the promotion and you have just filled up the email form, they have achieved their aim - one more email address to be sold! Generally, any thing that involves a chain is most likely to be an MLM gimmick. Online marketing, an important component of online business process, has become very popular, and is being practiced at a fairly large scale.
Despite its current problems, It has a vast potential to still grow.
David Davis, is the lead developer and project manager of Redfly Marketing Search Engine Optimisation Ireland. For more information visit http://www.redflymarketing.com