Marketing has been one of the most significant gainers from the Internet revolution. Internet has been applied by marketers both as a medium as well as a product. Marketing has deployed it for communication of information, distribution of some of its products and for receiving payments from the customers. Internet based marketing plays a vital role in the exchange process.
Internet marketing term became popular when computers started getting used in marketing extensively. Earlier, computers were used more for storing, processing and reporting of various marketing related information. But, with the entry of Internet the online data handling possibilities have virtually exploded the use of computer. This application has multiplied the use of computers faster among communities.
Internet marketing profitably reinforces the concepts of marketing with the power of internet. It strengthens the existing delivery of marketing outputs and also opens newer avenues of marketing which were not possible to achieve before the arrival of internet. A marketer today can keep track of millions of customers simultaneously, segment them online, offer customized products to individual customers, fix different prices, provide varying contents and styles of information and deliver the products through appropriate modes of distribution to each of these customers.
The details of such transactions and the characteristics of each of these customers can be stored for their dynamic utilization in future marketing opportunities with the customers. Estee Lauder’s anti ageing product ‘Advanced Night Repair Concentrate’ is able to make inroads in the customers mind. Internet will function as the medium for promoting the product.
Advertising and Sales Promotions: Like products and prices, customization of advertising and promotion are very much possible in internet marketing. Besides customization, the customer is contacted when he is giving, full attention to the computer screen. In fact, when a customer views any site he has done so after deliberate and conscious effort and choice. This increases his commitment to the message that he is viewing on the internet. Advertising generates a hierarchy of impacts like creation of awareness, interest, desire and action on the consumer.
Different media are found to be better suited for certain kinds of impacts out of this hierarchy. Internet has been found to be amenable to finer tuning for most of these impacts. As a result, it is possible to better transport the customer from one level of impact to the next higher one and do so more quickly. The combination of this factor with the feature of individualization makes the output very powerful one. Besides this, the measurement of each of these impacts are also possible more easily and online.
The promotions on internet can also be customized in a similar way.
The internet marketing model suggests that commerce follows content and community. Since the internet phenomenon has occurred like an explosion there had been quite a rush to build up communities in the competitive environment. In this rush, many of the marketers tried to buy prospective customers into their communities net by offering a variety of incentives. This has caused internet marketing effort to be seen as overloaded with freebies in the form of consumer promotions.
Personal Selling: The advantage of mass personal selling is made possible through internet for both customers and the marketers. Anti aging is a consumer product so Estee Lauders can get the maximum benefit by penetrating in this stream. The customers can identify the optimum provider for his unique sets of needs. Customer can also arrange for updating himself in the precise area of his interest although from the most extensive sources of information possible.
The marketer can also store the historical data of individual persons and their behavior. These data can be then processed with the help of data mining and marketing decision tools. These data are utilized to provide solutions to the customers needs on an online and individual basis. The product can be configured exacting to the individual customer’s needs at the price and with a payment mechanism most convenient to him.
The information and the persuasive appeals can also be tailor made for the individual customer. He can be reminded or provided with additional services as per his specific requests and all these information can be utilized in the design of next round of offering to him. This kind of individual personal service when offered on continuous basis becomes service to the customer of significant commercial value.
Publicity: Internet marketing has the capability of viewing existing customers through a wide variety of angles and compares the efficacy of each of these views. Various data mining tools available today are employed to do this job. They mainly utilize the processes of sorting, clustering and association seeking among the consumer characteristics. The history of the customer behavior in terms of past transactions and internet viewing generate rich data for this purpose of publicity automatically. Such data are often supplemented with the offline data collected through alternative sources.
The customer segments created with such methodologies can have the advantage of being more dynamic because they can be created through online databases, more insightful because of the use of more powerful clustering and association seeking techniques and customers themselves selecting into a segment of mass market.
On the other hand, the customers become empowered to scan much larger canvas of market and bargain for their purchasing power with a larger base of marketers. The customers can also create a large pool of knowledge by online sharing knowledge of their experience based knowledge among their peer customers. The interactivities gained by both marketers and customers have .the potential of unleashing very high levels of energy in the marketplace restricted only by the creative limits of the market players.
Public Relation: The advantage of mass customization is made possible through Internet for both customers and the marketers. The customers can identify the optimum provider for his unique sets of needs. Customer can also arrange for updating himself in the precise area of his interest although from the most extensive sources of information possible.
The marketer can also store the historical data of customers and their behavior. These data can be then processed with the help of data mining and marketing decision tools. These data are utilized to provide solutions to the customers needs on an online and individual basis. The product can be configured exacting to the individual customer’s needs at the price and with a payment mechanism most convenient to him.
The information and the persuasive appeals can also be tailor made for the individual customer. He can be reminded or provided with additional services as per his specific requests and all these information can be utilized in the design of next round of offering to him. This kind of customization when offered on continuous basis becomes service to the customer of significant commercial value.
Placement Of Product: Internet marketing is seen as attacking on the length of the distribution chain particularly the information flow related ones, much more efficiently and instantaneously. As a result it is often possible to reorganize the distribution chain at the cost of its length. The span of control can also increase considerably as many of the control related processes can be transferred to the computer. The saving in costs due to these effects is often considered as the most important contributions of internet marketing.
The increased availability of distribution related information also causes information overload to the consumers. A new category of channel members, called infomediaries, have also emerged. These infomediaries primarily consolidate the relevant information about the availability of the products and pass them on to the consumers after suitably repackaging them. Besides pure infomediaries, the existing distributors do also rebundle their services after integrating the online and offline elements of their services.
Internet also enables online distribution of digitized products. This helps in extending pinpointed reach to a large number of customers, eliminating the lead time between ordering and delivery, reducing the inventory requirements and smooth organization of transaction related data processing.
In the era of globalization, with marked technological strides has revolutionized the exchange process of buying and selling of products on the Internet. Internet marketing is a worldwide phenomenon. Internet marketing has made inroads as the emerging mode of buying and selling of products to specific target groups with fast changing needs, preferences and life styles. Estee Lauders has the huge potential of promoting the anti aging product through internet.
- Philip Kotler (2002) Marketing Management , Prentice Hall New York
- Charles F.,(2002) Internet Marketing, Wiley Publication
- Flippo Edwin B., (2001) Marketing Channels, McGraw-Hill.
- J Taylor Sims, J. Robert Foster, Arch G. Woodside.(1998) Marketing Channels: Systems and Strategies Harper and Row: New York