According to Susan Ward (sbinfocanada.about.com), “Internet Marketing is an all-inclusive term for marketing products and/or services online – and like many all-inclusive terms, Internet marketing means different things to different people. Essentially, though, Internet marketing refers to the strategies that are used to market a product or service online, marketing strategies that include search engine optimization and search engine submission, copywriting that encourages site visitors to take action, website design strategies, online promotions, reciprocal linking, and email marketing – and that’s just hitting the highlights.” In a few words, Internet Marketing is the marketing of products or services over the Internet.
If we need to buy something different than bread and milk, what do we do first? Right – searching the Internet! Today, people start their shopping experience by turning their computers on. The whole world became our “local corner store”. On the other hand, businesses also have the opportunity to reach customers effectively and inexpensively via the Internet.
We cannot help saying that although the terms Internet and World Wide Web are often used in everyday speech without any distinction, they are not the same. The Internet is a global data communications system. It is a hardware and software infrastructure that provides connections between computers, whereas the WWW is one of the services communicated through the Internet. It is a collection of documents and other resources, linked by hyperlinks and URLs.
Internet Marketing is not just a fashionable trend! It is a demand of the time which has brought many unique advantages to marketing:
- a special quality of the medium that allows users to research and buy products and services at their own convenience, which can bring sales quickly;
- lower costs for advertising and the distribution of information when compared to the ratio of cost against the reach of the target groups, also companies can reach a wide audience for a small share of traditional advertising budgets;
- interactive nature of Internet marketing that provides instant response and elicits responses;
- benefits of measuring statistics easily, quickly and inexpensively: almost every aspect of an Internet marketing campaign can be traced, measured, and tested.
Internet marketing is growing faster than any other type of media because much more people spend much more time online. In 2008 the New York Times working with comScore published interesting statistic data: the number of searches that American Web users enter each month has nearly doubled since summer of 2006, to 14.6 billion searches in January 2008; five large Web operations – Yahoo, Google, AOL, MySpace and Microsoft – record at least 336 billion transmission events in a month, not counting their ad networks.
However, it would be fair to mention about Internet marketing limitations. As we see it, the major of them are the following:
- Internet marketing requires visitors to use newer technologies, but low-speed Internet connections and huge complicated websites could be a big barrier.
- The inability of shoppers to touch, smell, taste or “try on” goods before making an online purchase can also be limiting for a lot of potential buyers even if vendors have liberal return policies.
- Another significant barrier is security concerns of different nature that important both to companies and consumers that participate in online business, such as: keeping their personal, including financial, information private and safe.
Have fun with Internet marketing!