Some marketers argue that internet marketing is just an accessory to traditional approaches. While other marketers argue internet marketing should replace your traditional strategies. Whichever way your organization chooses to go should be based on (a) where your customers are getting their information; (b) what your organization is trying to achieve; and (c) what resources you are willing to dedicate to the cause.
When you are used to competing in a small pond – the internet opens you up to the ocean of competition and larger scaled businesses. Keep in mind that if you go viral – will you be able to handle the demand like say Amazon or Expedia and will your company be able to control the rapid growth? Bottom line, be careful what you ask for and only ask for what you can control.
The traditional marketing concepts we have learned have not changed, but Internet marketing is more than that; it is a culmination of your top tier marketing and organizational strategies such as brand stratagem, inbound stratagem and mobile marketing determinations and more. Internet marketing still relies on your traditional marketing recipe consisting of the marketing mix, the brand’s identity, the brand’s value creation, but adds in additional layers like web marketing, content marketing, and social media marketing.
So why should your company care? Traditional consumer buyer behavior models provide that the reaction to marketing stimuli of the earlier forms of marketing methods have become less noticed. Due to this, we need to consider more current consumer buyer behavior models such as the Web Motivation Inventory. This model states there are four primary consumer motivations that cut across all cultures: information acquisition, socialization, entertainment, and shopping.
So with this information at hand – you need to determine where your customers are obtaining their information. The days of the consumer coming to you is becoming less and less, and companies need to go to the consumer. Also, consider the online environment has opened up the consumer’s ability to provide feedback, often instant. This immediate feedback requires companies to have a greater accountability for their brand promise and what they claim their product/service features are capable of doing/providing. But don’t be alarmed at the rate of advancement – there is still time to get information on what messaging strategies your company should invest time, money, and other resources to. The first step is to become aware of the types of internet marketing available to you and what is viable for your company. Here are four digital marketing areas with strategies to explore:
- Paid and organic searches
Social Media Marketing:
- Network and Community Building
- Brand Building
- Positioning Tactics
- Blogs/Articles/White Papers
- Social Media
- SMS and MMs
At the end of the day the right question becomes not whether to deploy internet marketing, but what areas to choose and how to use it in a way to get your company on the virtual consumer radar. So if the goal is to make a return on your investment and to grow your business, internet marketing might be a viable choice for you.
Dr. Lee Ann Walker is the Academic Program Manager for the Marketing MBA Program in the Malcolm Baldrige School of Business at Post University. Walker holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of North Florida, a Master of Business Administration in Marketing from American InterContinental University and a Doctorate of Business Administration from Walden University. Walker has targeted, professional experience in marketing, advertising, graphic design, corporate branding, social media branding, and customer service in both for-profit and nonprofit organizations.