What is Online Marketing?
Online Marketing is not an art or a science. It’s both.
The Art & Science of Online Marketing
Some think that having a website or getting good traffic from Search Engines is Online / Digital Marketing, but its much more…
Online Marketing combines:
Research and Design | User Experience (U.X) | Analytics | S.E.O | P.R | Branding | Customer Service | Multimedia – Video – Audio | Social Networks | Content Syndication | Banners | Pay per Click | Mobile and E-marketing | Content Strategy.
The combination of the above forms of media creates an awareness for a brand both Online and Offline.
On the internet ‘Brands’ need to quickly gain trust and credibility without the opportunity to be able to interact with a stakeholder face-to-face. Above all visitors online have a wide range of choice, they are able to quickly move onto the next provider if they feel they are not getting what they are looking for or that the product doesn’t meet their needs.
Online Marketing set out to take advantage of the wide range of places and platforms that people are using or seeking to find information about a product service or brand, as result the growth of online media is out-performing every other type. Therefore the task is to continuality improve and adapt the Marketing Communications mix as information becomes available, which can often be more effective online compared to some forms of traditional marketing which are limited to send and receive.
In recent years the internet has changed quickly the web always being developed as design standards such as interactivity are constantly moving forward to improve and enhance user experiences. The web has also helped to improve communications across verticals opening brands and business to potential World-wide commerce. Given the size of the task to be effective online we need to create a coherent strategy, like we would do in other forms of Marketing and within any other part of the business environment.
The role of search and the impact of online behaviour.
“When consumers hear about a product today, their first reaction is ‘Let me search online for it.’ Rishad Tobaccowala
“Yes, but we already have a website. We’re doing fine.”
A website becomes a place to communicate with your customers people are using technology influence purchasing decisions. Marketing has become a lot more complicated as there are so many more forms of media, touch points and processes, although there are many similarities as a tradition model – gather learn buy.
These days the sale has become more interactive, there are lots of other places people can go and almost everything can be researched in real-time, most people hit the internet even in a b2b context just to gain an insight into the product service or brand. People love to gain an edge by research.
The speed of this research is a lot faster then other forms as people only remember a few things about an advert, now adverts need to be supported through other marketing products. The sales cycle starts at research rather then at the point of sale. Customers need access to the information at the right time at the right place.
There needs to be an emotional connection to the product or service to support the customer to make the buying decision. to better understand this we as marketers seek to find out, ‘Do we know where they are?’ ‘Where they go?’ ‘What information they are looking for?’ we’re constantly seeking ‘Micro-trends’ to better understand how our marketing should or could be more effective online.
‘WOM’ Word-of-Mouth, the oldest form of Market Research!
Online reviews , customers have always spoken to each other, maybe one to one in the past but now sites like ‘Amazon’ and ‘Ebay’ have tapped into other peoples experiences this goes beyond the product they speak about the service received. But when we look at these reviews most of them are good and only a few bad. which isn’t the site(s) censoring the content in general people love to say good things when they’ve had a good experience. Bad reviews aren’t even bad as they show a honest interaction that shows that there are real people involved.
Customers are watching demos on ‘Youtube’ to see what the product does. Price comparison sites are making the competition even harder if people are shopping around for the best price, which most are.
Google is currently driving forward their Plus Social Network in which the ‘plus one button’ is being seen as a vote (alike a link in SEO terms) from Google users, which admittedly is quite limited for now, but the fact remains the same people are able to be interactive and vote with their feet. The change here at this point, is that people are gaining a level of control over the information they receive, compared to traditional broadcast models where we would push out a message to a specific demographic and then expect a 2-4% response rate ( a typical Direct Marketing response rate)
‘ Never let your marketing write cheque’s that your website can’t cash ‘ Avinash Kaushik
Which means are you prepared for the customers, is the site already optimised for the targeted content? What pages do the visitors arrive? and where do they do, we need to better understand the UX goals (User Experience)
If someone called you on the phone, would you answer the phone?
If we just look at the sales as a measure of success that can be a narrow view
The short term sale – buy today!
The long-term sale establish a relationship that enables communications across a range of platforms –
- Social Media
A website provides presences that needs to be optimised for the purpose.
Customers can now go prepared for a Sale through this research, they may already know, what colour, Model, Type and all of the specs that they want- even what price they should pay. Which is great isn’t it? We’ve started to see the shift from Retail over to the internet which is great for convenience but poor for personal selling. So the task of our marketing should be to align our brands at the point of sale or the ZMOT as Google would say;
‘The Zero Moment of Truth’
As we come out of the world wide recession people won’t forget the hardship the world face and modern consumerism will become more savvy to how purchasing decisions are made.