INTERNET MARKETING IS EXPLODING IN GROWTH AND IMPORTANCE
Internet Marketing is the fastest growing form of marketing today. Recent headlines scream “The Internet ends automatic delivery of white pages”. “Canada-wide delivery of the White Pages – the residential phone listings Canadians have depended on for more than 130 years _ has been halted in larger urban centers, now provided only upon request.” The article goes on to quote that only “one in every two Canadians is continuing to use them (Yellow Pages) to find a business.”
Proof positive that the “old ways” of locating friends, customers and businesses is fast becoming obsolete. Clearly, the Internet is taking over as the premier method of not only staying in touch with present friends and customers but of attracting new ones as well.
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SO WHAT IS INTERNET MARKETING?
People have wants and needs. In the past, they used phone books, newspapers, etc., to search for solutions to fulfilling their needs. Now the majority of searchers use the Internet instead. Why? The Internet provides not one but multiple answers very quickly. By so doing, it opens the door for marketing on the Internet or Internet Marketing.
Internet marketing starts with online searches. If no one searches there is no desire or need to fill. It is only when someone enters a query, a question about a product or service, that an opportunity is created. Then it becomes the first step in identifying and qualifying a potential new customer.
By offering prompt and courteous service, the marketer will try to influence the searcher to become interested in the company’s products and services. Thus the transformation of the seeker to buyer has begun. In this developing event, search engines play a very critical role.
SEARCH ENGINES ARE THE DECIDING FACTOR IN INTERNET MARKETING
Search engines play an important role in determining how the query should be answered. The search results will display a list of potential suppliers to the searcher to use in selecting an answer to their initial question. This makes the list of potential suppliers and their relative ranking on the list of very great importance to the potential suppliers.
Most searchers have a limited amount of time to peruse the list. They will scan only those at or near the top of the list of search results before making their selection. Suppliers further down the list are often ignored and thus lose out. For this reason, a supplier should want to be at the top of the search results list to improve their chances of being selected. So how is this list compiled and by whom?
By using a pre-determined set of criteria, the owners’ of the search engine have established the rankings of potential suppliers. Suppliers submit information to search engines by way of websites, articles, blogs, press releases, and a host of other ways. The search engine uses this information to rank the relative merit of all submissions and the submitters. Thus the search results list is established. The owner of the largest search engine service is Google. Because of its size, Google becomes the major referee in the game of Internet Marketing.
In fact, Google also dominates when it comes to Internet searches. They capture approximately two-thirds of all Internet searches making it the most used platform in Internet Marketing. Incorporated in 1998, Google’s mission is “to organize the world’s information and to make it universally accessible and useful.” Other significant search engines to consider when planning and initiating a marketing campaign are Yahoo and MSN.
INTERNET MARKETING IS DOMINATING THE MARKETING SCENE
Why is Internet Marketing growing in importance? It is because the current generation of younger adults has grown up using a computer. They have grown up on the Internet. They spend a great deal of time on their computers. They are very comfortable with the technology. When seeking information they would rather use their computers than a phone book or a newspaper. Most often they can be found on the internet. So if you want to catch a fish, you should go where the fish are! Right?
There are other reasons why Internet Marketing is the “Now” method being used more and more often. It meshes both the technical and creative aspects of both advertising and sales. It does this in a cost effective manner. It allows for the necessary testing of marketing campaigns at a very attractive price. The measurements it supplies allow corrections to be made quickly as needed.
With Internet Marketing, the message is extremely flexible. Not only can the message be altered quickly, the methods of delivery can take many routes. Some of these are e-mail marketing, article marketing, blogging, video marketing, press releases, banner advertising and forum postings to name some.
To these, add the many faces of social media like Facebook, YouTube, Digg, StumbleUpon, Del.icio.us, LinkedIn, Somoza and Twitter and others, and the message can come in many forms and from many fronts.
Furthermore, Internet Marketing can reach worldwide audiences almost instantly for a relatively low cost. The markets can be targeted to specific interests, age groups, genders, geographic locations, etc., to efficiently appeal to the desired audience.
In addition to striving to create new leads and new business, Internet Marketers should also initiate and maintain campaigns to solidify and sustain gains made in ranking. These actions create an activity to arouse and maintain the searcher’s initial and on-going interest in the client’s website and products. This creates a double win because of search engines like sites with a lot of activity.