Internet marketing, also known as web marketing, online marketing, and e-marketing, refers to the process of marketing products and services via the internet and typically includes marketing conducted via email and wireless media. Frequently, the term “internet marketing” also refers to the management of digital customer data and/or electronic customer relationship management (ECRM) systems. E-marketing combines every aspect of marketing, from design and development to advertising and sales and involves techniques such as search engine marketing (SEM), search engine optimization (SEO), banner ads, and email marketing. This type of marketing makes the marketing effort easier for the marketer and the purchase decision-making or information discovery process less stressful for the consumer.
The practice of e-marketing enables organizations to reach global audiences without using any more resources than those required to reach their local target audiences. For instance, a company located in New York can create one ad for its website, use that same ad on a website for a related organization located in London, England, and extend its reach to individuals located across the world – all with the same resources that it used to appeal to its home audience in New York. Thus, online marketing tends to incur drastically lower costs than its traditional marketing counterparts.
In addition, with online marketing, companies have the ability to target consumers based on their particular interests. For example, a kayaking company can decide to place its advertisements only on websites that sell kayaks or kayaking gear, or that provide weather reports or other information that might appeal to kayakers. Similarly, a company that sells outdoor clothing (i.e., hunting gear, biking gear, running shoes, etc.) has the ability to advertise on sites that appeal to hunters, bikers, runners, etc. This makes the online shopping experience easier and more pleasant for the consumer because he or she is able to more quickly discover the information that pertains to his or her current situation. Faster location of information leads to faster, easier decisions – the easier the decision, the happier the customer. Therefore, with e-marketing, companies can choose to advertise only on those sites that are most likely to attract their own target audiences. As a result, these organizations generate more relevant marketing, better quality leads, happier customers and, thanks to their happier customers, a potentially greater ROI.
Thus, thanks to online marketing, companies are now able to reach larger, more targeted audiences at drastically lower costs than would be incurred by using traditional marketing techniques, generating greater ROIs for those organizations that choose to engage in e-marketing. Furthermore, because of web marketing, consumers now have the ability to gather more information more quickly, making their online experiences more pleasant and enjoyable.