Internet Marketing essay

1.1 Introduction

Over time, technological advancements have continued to emerge. This has resulted to simplified business transactions through reduced need to travel to make a purchase, reduced cost in reaching the target population and reduced expenditure on the cost of placing adverts. Marketing goods and services over the internet is one of such advancements. This task aims at attaining a clear understanding of internet marketing. This can be well understood by defining the common terms used.

E-commerce (electronic commerce o) refers to a variety of online business transactions relating to buying and selling of goods and services, the transfer of funds or data, gathering and using demographic data, providing secure business transactions over the Internet. These business transactions occur either business-to-business, business-to-consumer, consumer-to-consumer or consumer-to-business. E-commerce uses electronic communications and digital information processing technology in business transactions so as to create, change and redefine relationships to create value in organizations and individuals.

E-business (electronic business) refers to conducting business processes on the Internet. It uses technology to manage internal process such administration, human resources and financial systems. For instance online training for the staff, communicating to employees through emails. It can also be employed in external processes such as managing customer relationships, sales and marketing, distribution of goods among others. It employs tools such as video conferencing, file transfer, electronic data interchange, personal digital assistants and mobile phones.

Internet marketing also known as online marketing, refers to advertising and marketing using emails and the web to achieve direct sales. It also embraces traditional methods of advertising like radio, television, newspapers and magazine
Digital marketing is advertising using electronic devices such as personal computers, smartphones, cellphones and tablets to consumers and businesses. It uses applies tools such as as websites, e-mail, applications and social networks.

Differences between E-commerce and E-business

E -business and e-commerce have be used interchangeably but the terms are different. E-commerce mainly deals with external processes that involve customers, suppliers and outside partners, that is, sales, marketing, taking of order, delivery, customer service, purchasing of raw materials and supplies. It is concerned with new businesses and gaining new revenue. On the other hand, e-business is much wider and focuses on internal processes. It aims at saving costs and increases efficiency and productivity. It also entails redefining old business model to optimizing customer value.

Difference between digital marketing and online marketing

Digital marketing is a broad concept which uses all available electronic channels to promote a product or service or build a digital brand. Internet banking on the other hand use the web to market and promote products and services to consumers. Though it is a part of digital advertising it is only inclusive of advertising done using the internet.

1.2 Micro and Macro-environment factors

Buying goods online is becoming a common trend over time. For instance, one can purchase a ticket on ticketsasa.com. Most event organizers are opting for cashless system to minimize fraud cases and for security reasons. To purchase a ticket, one is required to log in the website, place an order and make payment using various options such as Visa card. After making the payment one is required to print the ticket and present it at the door on the day of the event.

The micro-environment factors around this environment are customers whose needs must be taken care of. The customer is always the king and if the service offered do not meet his or her needs the business will be operating at a loss. Macro environment factors on the other hand include the external forces that are beyond the control of an organization but can be managed for the benefit of the company. For example, economical factors such as inflation may adversely affect pricing of tickets, technological challenges such as the need to keep upgrading software.

1.3 Elements of Internet Marketing and Internet Marketing mix

The main goal for Internet Marketing is to create traffic to a website, capture leads and convert them to customers. For the company selling tickets online, the elements include designing a user focused website where visitors are converted to paying customers. In addition, having content which motivates a visitor to purchase a product or subscribe for updates. This with prospective clients. The website is simple and has an easy to follow procedure to use ensuring that customers don’t get confused.

Internet marketing mix

To thrive in the internet marketing, a company should ensure that its marketing mix is in place. Ticketsasa has put in place a compelling website that is attractive and pleasing to the eye which prompts a prospect to want to know more as well as embracing social media as a marketing element which has contributed to their success in online sale of tickets.

It also entails the 7P’s in marketing which are discussed herein. They include product, the product in this task has been tailored to meet the needs of customers who do not have time to queue while purchasing the tickets. It saves on time since a customer can print the ticket at a time that is convenient to him or her. The other is on the price of the commodity, the site has developed competitive prices for selling their tickets. As a matter of fact, purchasing the tickets online is normally low compared to buying them at the gate. This gives the company a competitive edge in pricing. Promotion is also an essential component of the mix. It involves creating awareness to those who do not know about it while reminding the existing customers. The company has different promotion strategies ranging from print too electronic media. This serves to increase sales levels and as a result increased revenue.

The place where the product is sold is also key. In this case it is online, this has impacted positively on the level of sales due to the convenience it offers. Similarly, Packaging determines whether a product will be purchased or not. The packaging for this has contributed largely to the success of the tickets sale. The people within and outside a business affect how a business will thrive. Ticketsasa has a way of handling this people with care since they understand how important people are for them to achieve success in the industry.

Task 2

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting how a website or a web page is seen. It comprises of techniques used to increase the number of visitors to a site. SEO helps to ensure that a site can be accessed by a search engine and increases the chances that the site will be accessed by the search engine. They are created to ensure that users get the best experience when they visit a website.

Search engine marketing (SEM) is a form of Internet marketing that involves the advertising and marketing of websites to ensure that they are visible. SEM may use Search Engine Optimization (SEO), where the content of a website is adjusted so as to get high ranking.

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Email marketing is marketing directly to a many people using email. Each email sent to a prospective customer should be considered as email marketing. Advertisements, business requests or donation soliciting are normally emailed. This is usually meant to create trust, loyalty and trust as well awareness of the brand. Email marketing is therefore sending email messages to perfect and enhance the relationship of business with its existing or previous customers, to encourage instill customer loyalty and get repeat business and recruit new customers.

Paid search engine marketing refers to advertising within the sponsored listings of a search engine. It is normally an inexpensive way of connecting advertisements with visitors who seek what a marketer is offering.

Pay per click (PPC) is also referred to as cost per click. It is an internet marketing technique used to direct traffic to websites. An advertiser pays the website owner every time the ad is clicked. It is a way of buying visitors to the site. It may look expensive but the end results are way far very rewarding.

Marketing via online public relations

Lady Gaga success in the entertainment industry can also be attributed to using online public relations. Online public relations help in creating opportunities for valuable public relations. This can be achieved by using tools such as reaching the public through the internet. Newsgroups on the internet allow one to connect directly with people with clearly defined interests. Monitoring these groups and involving them in informal discussions helps in raising the confidence as an expert to fans. Lady Gaga has achieved this by engaging her fans in discussions, informing them of her progress in her career, when she is about to release a new song her fans are always the first to know. In addition, she has managed to have a personal interaction with the through tweets when she is holding concerts. Furthermore, she has managed to offer her videos on you tube at no charge and those willing to purchase the audio can access it through the online music stores. For Online Public Relations the message does not necessarily have to be designed as promotional. It can be designed as a way of showing that the company or an individual is concerned about a specific cause.

There is also the need to understand the target audience instead. This is normally the stakeholder or the client who has influence over a business success. Lady Gaga has established a great relationship with her fans. She is always interacting with them directly which provides a platform to get feedback from them. She can employ concepts such as the use of digital media such as creating websites, video programs, print materials, and web-based applications. Community building should also be embraced since it is becoming a major technique in digital media advertisements. This involves catering for the desire of consumers as individuals, and not just as groups. Lady Gaga has proved a genuine interest and concern in the needs of their dynamic customer base whose needs keep changing over time. Effective communication is the best way to building such a community. The fact that she always keeps in touch with her fans is a big step towards achieving this. She has also established an online fans base to meet the needs of the digitally driven fan base. Social media such as Twitter is becoming a virtual telephone, where customers to lay down their complaints or make enquiries. Image-driven social media such as Instagram and Pinterest have become an interesting way to have visible storytelling. It’s also important to get connected to new trends, which promotes her music further in the industry.

Task 3

Introduction

Online buying of goods and services remains a major development in the industry. The purpose of this study is to establish the market size, market share, trends and customer expectations as well the sales channels used for books purchased online through Amazon.

Market size

Amazon has continued to be the largest online book store. They have built a customer base of 30 million. The speed, efficiency and customer service has helped them have such a market size. They have managed to maintain such a base due to the fact that they are able to negotiate their prices.

Marketing share

Amazon has the largest share of the market since it controls more than half of the books sold online. In addition, it doesn’t have threatening competitor since its competitor is still weak and has struggled to venture the market over years. According to Polly Mosendz (March 2014), Amazon sold about 41 percent of all new books sold. They have also controlled 65 percent of all print and digital copies made. It has the privilege of controlling sales of more than 50% of the books printed online. According to Census Bureau database (2012), the total number of books sold amounted to $ 13404 million during the year. It can be said that this book store rules this area.

Customer expectations

Pricing

Customers expect that the pricing of the books will not change and if they will they need to be informed prior shipping. This is leads to unexpected inflation of final price due to shipping and taxes.

Multichannel ‘Omni consumers’

Consumers expect that both online and in-stores experiences at the same seller to be similar. This is an ‘Omni consumer’. According to Vantiv, e-commerce has brought greater speed and convenience to consumers while Weingart notes that “Consumers are now expecting that same quality experience across the everywhere. Therefore, it is becoming increasingly important for sellers to have effective online capabilities and to offer a good customer experience.

Security

Since consumers don’t have a chance to counter check an item before buying, there is a high probability that fraudulent practices may occur. There is also an increased risk that the customers may make purchases using stolen cards since physical identity may not be verified over the internet.

3.2 Data that could not be obtained through secondary methods

It was not possible to clarify whether the information obtained was free from errors or even true. Information on customer satisfaction on how deliveries are done could not be collected. Similarly, determining demographic information of users such as their age, gender as well as level of education was not possible. This makes it essential to conduct a primary research. Data will be collected using mobile based technology. The sample population will comprise of 30 users who will represent the entire population.

The research methodology to be adopted is a survey research to help gain further information. It comprised of an online questionnaire which was tested and the data will be analyzed using bar graphs

3.3 Importance of internet/digital tools

Internet marketing is essential because affects how consumers make buy decisions. Many consumers are using social media and mobile internet in conducting initial product and price research before making the final decision. Internet marketing allows one to build relations with existing and prospective customers. The following are its benefits:-

Convenience

Internet marketing allows opening of business anytime and any day without the fear of opening hours or overtime allowances for staff. It is also convenient for customers since they can search anytime and place their order online at their most convenient time.

Lower Cost

Marketing products on the Internet is cost effective. Costs such as rent, rates and property maintenance are not incurred since one does not need a physical business premise. The need to have stock display in a store is always. This minimizes inventory costs such as holding costs. Stocks can be ordered according to demand.

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Accessibility

Internet Marketing helps overcome geographical barriers. It makes it possible to sell goods in any part of the country and the world without the need to setup local outlets. This is a result widens the target market. However, in order to sell internationally, localization services should be incorporated to ensure that the products are suitable for local markets and are in line with local business regulations.

Customer Relationship Management

The Internet provides an essential opportunity for building relationships with customers and client retention by sending a follow-up email to confirm the transaction and appreciate the customer.

Task 4

Marketing plan

This is a guide to businesses on how businesses should communicate the benefits of their products to the needs of potential customer. It is comprehensive plan which shows an organization's marketing efforts. Therefore the goal of marketing is to build the reputation and brand as well as building the relationship with the people on that existing clients. This will be realized by using social media such as Twitter and Facebook. Similarly Amazon, for example, allows uploading of a digital book for free and for every sale they take 33%. In this case the primary goal is not to make a profit from direct sales of the books but to use it as a tool to encourage readers to visit the website for further information. Furthermore, the objectives of conducting internet marketing is establishing presence, building visibility and generating sales.

Environmental analysis

This is concerned with the macro-environmental and micro-environmental factors. These are external and internal factors affecting performance of a business. They include:-

  • Political Factors. They explain how the government intervenes in the economy through government policy, foreign trade policy, tax laws, environmental law, and trade regulations among others.
  • Economic Factors. These include economic growth, interest rates, exchange rates, disposable income of consumer’s inflation among others.
  • Technological Factors. Technology changes rapidly and influences how marketing is conducted. The book store should keep itself updated to the emerging marketing trends so as to remain relevant in the market.
  • Legal Factors. These factors include health and safety laws, offering equal opportunities, advertising standards, protecting consumer rights and laws, labeling of products and product safety. For this product the major factor is ensuring that the rights of the consumer are protected and following ethical principles in delivery and advertising.
  • Competitor analysis. This analysis provides strategies to identify opportunities and threats. It helps with effective strategy formulation, implementation, monitoring and adjustment. The analysis aims to identify weaknesses and strengths that a company’s competitors may have and then use the information to better efforts within the company.
  • Channel Analysis. The channel to be used in reaching the customers will be direct selling and using middlemen such as retailers. This will ensure that all the target populations needs have been met. 

SWOT Analysis

This entails an analysis of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats surrounding a business or a product. Selling books online has various strengths such as having loyal customers. This book store enjoys customer loyalty who believe in the quality and convenience offered. This loyalty is such a valuable asset to the company since the competitors cannot poach their customers. They also have a large customer base all over the world. They are able to break geographical barriers and have gone global.

Their weaknesses include failing to meet customer expectations. Customers have always complained that their orders are not delivered on time. This is a weakness that should be rectified to avoid losing confidence of the customers. If a customer expects delivery in two days it should be exactly that. They have opportunities such as new markets. Amazon enjoys privileges of being the only major online book seller. They have the opportunity to increase and venture into new markets especially because people are embracing a reading culture. They are however threats emanating from new entrants. There is an increased threat by new firms getting into this area of business such as Barnes & Noble which is always looking for ways to penetrate the American market.

Market segmentation refers to the strategy where large similar markets are grouped into small divisions with the same needs, wants and demand features. This process can be realized by using methods such as segmentation by channel where customers will be segmented by the channel of distribution they use. There are the customers who will be using the direct channel, middlemen as well as a combination of both. This will make coordination much easier. On the other hand, segmentation by geographical location will involve grouping of customers depending on their geographical location globally and nationally. This will ensure that people with similar needed are served appropriately.

Online pay per click advertising

PPC is an online advertising model in which will assist in displaying advertisements for their book when visitors are searching for things over the internet. This is a cost effective way since it only charges when a user clicks on the advertisement. The target population for this are people in employment as well as college students. These mainly are the group that is embracing a reading culture. Email marketing will also be key in achieving the traffic required. Pay-per-click advertising is also known as keyword advertising since involves the use of key words to attract attention of visitors. Due to budgetary constraints, this method will be used on a limited scale and instead employ methods such as Yahoo! Bing network and Google AdWords.

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