Internet Marketing, How Marketing Is Getting Digital?

Internet Marketing employs technology (Mobile/Desktop) to monitor customers’ online interactions (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, e-commerce websites, blogs, online communities/forums, Google search, etc..) and learns their buying behaviors at individual levels (through Big Data Analytics like Google Analytics platform). This learning and analysis capability has helped companies to transform customer insights into customer delight.

Identity Vs. Image

As a customer, you must be buying products or services regularly. In each transaction, your goal might be Value Maximization and Risk Minimization over your investments. Your perceived value and risks largely depend upon your Need Recognition and Brand Perception (Image).

Companies employ a huge amount of time, money, and effort to build favorable Brand Perception (Identity) in customers’ minds. They also regulate the concurrence between Identity and Image, using brand-building activities. They showcase ads and other communications, in order to maintain Brand loyalty and augment their sales and revenues.

  1. Identity refers to the perception that the company intends to create in consumers’ minds about the Company/Brand /Products/Services.
  2. Image refers to the actual perception created by the consumers in their minds about the Company/Brand/Products /Services.

A superior position in customers’ minds creates strong Brands resulting in value maximization and hence customer loyalty. When there is a difference between Identity and Image then the same is reflected in the company’s performance vis-a-vis competition. The gaps are also evident in various marketing research surveys and customer feedback. Based on the research insights, companies may modify their production, marketing, and other processes to fill the gap and serve the desired utility to the customers. Marketers may also attempt to re-position their Brands appropriately to establish the desired Brand Image.

Traditional Marketing

7 Ps of Marketing are  Product, Price, Place, Promotion, People, Process, and Physical Evidence

Traditionally, Marketers create Value through Marketing Mix (4Ps for Products and 3Ps for Services). These 7Ps are Product, Price, Place, Promotion, People, Process, and Physical Evidence. Marketers also use traditional channels of customer communications like Television, Radio, Print Media, Outdoor Ads, etc…

Companies attempt to transfer the value at each encounter between the customers and their Brands. These encounters may include ads on TV, in magazines, and in newspapers; engagement of customers with the company’s sales manager; telephonic calls with customer support executives; behavior of the product delivery boy, etc. Based on the overall experience customers create images of the Brands in their minds. These images influence their behavior towards these Brands in the future. Hence it is very critical for the companies to monitor and control all these touchpoints and also have an efficient feedback system in place. These learnings will give real customer insights w.r.t. the company’s Brand, products, and services perceptions.

Internet Marketing/ Digital Marketing

Digital marketing components and practices

Customers these days, make internet searches before purchasing products or services. They refer to Social media or e-commerce platforms for reviews, comments, and expert advice in their context. Their online interactions and buying behaviors are getting noticed by manufacturers, service providers, and solution providers like Google. These insights are being used by companies to influence buyers’ subsequent purchases.

Technology in terms of Internet Marketing/Digital Marketing has really transformed the interactions between companies and customers. Digital Marketing platforms and tools like Search Marketing, Email Marketing, Content Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Analytics, etc.. are becoming an integral part of the overall marketing strategy. With the help of these tools, companies have a deep understanding of consumers’ likings, dislikings, loyalties, buying behaviors, even their buying stages, etc. at individual levels. Companies are able to analyze Big data and harness Artificial Intelligence to real-time track their customers. And serve them at the right time with what they need, and enrich their overall buying experiences.

Marketing Mix Redefined

5Is of Internet marketing are Identification, Individualization, Interaction, Integration, and Integrity.

The traditional 7P marketing mix elements indicated above, are redefined in technology terms as 5Is i.e. Identification, Individualization, Interaction, Integration, and Integrity.

The above redefinition of the marketing mix is helping companies to deliver value to customers in the following manner:

  1. Monitoring, recording, and analyzing customers’ online activities, preferences, and buying behaviors (web analytics)
  2. Identifying the customers at the individual level (through online profile/information/permissions etc..)
  3. Communicating with customers in real-time brings effectiveness in need analysis and delivery (chat-bots/posts/videos etc.),
  4. Responding to customer queries/requirements with greater speed and efficiencies(personalized posts/forums/communities etc..)
  5. Collaborating better throughout the value chain to bring the cumulative value to the customer offerings
  6. Maintaining & building relationships with influencers/opinion leaders on social media and other channels
  7. Bringing more transparency in the transactions by providing customer reviews/recommendations etc.

We can say that Internet Marketing/Digital Marketing has enabled companies to follow their customers online on a real-time basis. Serve the customers with the right product/services/information at the right time (SEO, SEM, Social Media, Emails, etc..). Personalized communications and AI-based recommendations have greatly enhanced the value being offered to the customers.

Today, marketers are considering Internet Marketing/Digital Marketing as a vital component of their marketing plan as well as the overall business strategy. With further advancements in the internet and IT, we can expect that Digital Marketing will be able to offer even more value to both the customers and the companies.

1 thought on “Internet Marketing, How Marketing Is Getting Digital?”

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