What is Internet Marketing? In broad terms, Internet Marketing refers to the promotion of commerce or business through the Internet medium. It is how products or services are promoted and sold over the Internet. Internet marketing, also called web marketing, online marketing, and even “i” or “e” -Marketing uses the Internet to deliver all media types to a global and even local market. The relatively low cost to disseminate information to a global audience makes it unique compared to past marketing.
The interactive nature of the Internet has forced the evolution of its marketing strategies to include specialist skills to deal with the instant response and eliciting responses now present with this unique medium. A device must be included in your Internet marketing system to accommodate this instant response.
The term also includes the post-sale relationship between a business and its customers because it encompasses digital customer data management and electronic customer relations. It is widely used in the business world today and is referred to as ECRM – Electronic Customer Relationship Management. This makes the scope larger as it refers to the on-going relationship supported by the Internet, e-mail, and wireless media.
Internet marketing ties together the technical and creative aspects of the Internet, including design, branding, promotion, advertising, and sales. Here are three main objectives to help define Internet Marketing:
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(1) Deliver a company’s message or presence in a marketplace. Branding its culture, mission, and value and educating or detailing its products or service via the computer screen.
(2) Collect data research not limited by demographics, individual preferences, or past requirements of existing customers and (different groups, classes, stereotypes, etc.) as potential new customers.
(3) The actual selling, collection of fees, tracking distribution, and follow-up of goods, services, or advertising space over the Internet.
How one reaches out via the Internet to its prospective client is through different strategies. The more popular Marketing Strategies utilized by Internet Marketers are Social, Content, and Paid marketing approaches. Each has its own attributes as well as limitations or short-comings.
There are several Business Model terms associated with Internet Marketing.
E-COMMERCE (electronic-commerce) refers to business over the Internet. Web sites such as Amazon.com and eBay are all e-commerce sites. The two major forms of e-commerce are Business-to-Consumer (B2C) and Business-to-Business (B2B). So, while the neighborhood baker doesn’t sell his cupcakes on the Internet, he utilizes the Internet’s benefits to search and find the supplier with the best flour price.
LEAD-BASED WEBSITES are organizations or groups of websites that create value by capturing prospective clients or sales leads from the Internet to be utilized by or sold to a third party.
AFFILIATE MARKETING is a process in which a product or service is promoted by many people or entities that receive a percentage of the profits when the product is purchased. The Affiliate did not develop or produce it them. The owner or producer of the product has authority over whom and how their product is sold and customarily provides the “affiliate” with marketing materials; i.e., Website links, capture pages, and banner ads that have encoded tracking – the device used to ensure the affiliate gets credit for the sale.
LOCAL INTERNET MARKETING is the process used by a company with a “local customer base” that traditionally sells by warm market referrals, signage, location visibility, and utilizing the Internet to find and cultivate relationships with potential customers to later interact with offline.
BLACK HAT MARKETING is a form of Internet marketing or search engine optimization (SEO), commonly referring to the practice of using unethical techniques or employing deceptive, abusive, or less than truthful methods to make your search rankings go up to drive more traffic to your website.
The birth and growth of Internet marketing have also marked the “personal worlds” of many individuals. With Internet Marketing offering individuals infinite ways to promote and market themselves, products, services, and opportunities, the world of home-based-business has exploded.
Initially, for the person that desires to capitalize on this medium for their own personal commerce, Internet Marketing can be confusing or even overwhelming for most. Each method seems to have its own language to decipher and obstacles to overcome. A system or platform to manage all of these strategies can be very useful if it includes support training. It’s best only to choose 1 or 2 initial strategies to focus on at one time. The best strategy for one person may not be the best strategy for you. Most important is that you discover the strategy that you like most and are comfortable performing. If you enjoy the process, you will be certain to be better at it. And the better you are at it, the more likely you’ll become consistent with its implementation. You will find that your chosen strategy is much less important than your ability to do it consistently to achieve results.
I agree it can seem overwhelming at times, but actually, the process can be quite simple if you focus on just one strategy at a time. There are unlimited training courses, Internet tools, websites, and programs to help you be more effective and efficient in each category or strategy you choose. Having someone to help guide you through the process, pointing out which tools and programs offer the most help, not only will save your sanity but also can save you hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars in the process.