The methods of conducting business have really changed as the impact of globalization has causes several flexibilities and easiness in our lifestyles and daily life. Many businesses find it costly to open it in a physical location and expanding through outlets, which often does not target large audience. Therefore, many businesses are starting through internet where they can target customers from all over the world, market their products or services easily and economically, and get payments right away.
Not only this, those businesses that do not operate virtually and have physical locations are finding it more effective and financially beneficial to market their products through internet, and that what is called Internet Marketing. Internet marketing also contains the elements of Direct Marketing, where the promotion of products is done online such as, websites (ResearchStarters, 2008). It does not mean that when businesses are started online they would always save costs and be successful; in fact, many businesses fail due to several factors and one significant of them is poor marketing strategies.
Of course, the consumers would not have any idea that a new business has started that for instance, sells soccer jerseys, through its website. The target market should have to be made aware of that business, the products, new offers/deals, customer value, feedback, etc. Therefore, all this requires the business to use effective marketing tools and strategies where it can convey the message to the audience, impress them, convince them to purchase, and provide feedback.
Businesses can use online marketing strategies such as, designing websites that grab the attention of the customers at first sight, force them to explore, make them realize that they are everything for the company, provide them with ease in shopping online, and let them give a chance to give a feedback. Moreover, businesses can also use the strategy of mass-emailing to the customers or potential customers whether they are individuals or other entities.
Placing ads on popular and most-visited websites is another strategy but is quite expensive. And finally, the use of social networking websites such as, Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace, is lucrative since it is inexpensive and targets wide range of audience. Customer Acquisition and Retention There is absolutely no doubt about the fact that it takes a business much more to spend in acquiring new customers than to retain the old or present customers.
The reason being that the acquisition of new customers require the business to conduct market research, target them in a new way, shape the products or services according to their needs, reposition the brand that might damage it, and shape the marketing strategies accordingly. These all result in occurring more and more costs for the company; whereas, retaining old or present customers is quite prolific since they have already tried the products, have an image for it, know the company and its reputation, and most importantly can result in promoting them through word-of-mouth.
Other marketing strategies for retaining such customers include offering them membership programs, building good relationships with them, increasing the contact with them, asking them for feedback about whether they are satisfied or not, enhancing support for them, and making them realize that they are part of the database and are given importance (Hughes, 2010).
Moreover, retention of customers require the company to reshape and bring innovative features and qualities in their products to make those dormant customers restart buying the products if they have stopped to. There is a rule called 80/20 rule, which means that 80% of the revenue comes from 20% of the loyal customers. Therefore, businesses should not feel bothered if they have to invest more on those customers because they are providing them with more sales.
So, companies can conduct sales promotion activities or other marketing campaigns for rejuvenating them and milking them. Also, when businesses get to know that their certain customers have stopped buying the products, they should conduct surveys where they should ask the customers what were the reason due to which they stopped buying, what flaw they saw in it, what improvements they want, etc (Businessfast4ward, 2010).
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