Internet marketing, also referred to as i-marketing, web-marketing, online-marketing, or e-Marketing, is the marketing of products or services over the Internet.
The Internet has brought media to a global audience. The interactive nature of Internet marketing in terms of providing instant response and eliciting responses, is a unique quality of the medium. Internet marketing is sometimes considered to have a broader scope because it not only refers to the Internet, e-mail, and wireless media, but it includes management of digital customer data and electronic customer relationship management (ECRM) systems.
Internet marketing ties together creative and technical aspects of the Internet, including: design, development, advertising, and sales.
Internet marketing also refers to the placement of media along different stages of the customer engagement cycle through search engine marketing (SEM), search engine optimization (SEO), banner ads on specific websites, e-mail marketing, and Web 2.0 strategies. In 2008 The New York Times, working with comScore, published an initial estimate to quantify the user data collected by large Internet-based companies. Counting four types of interactions with company websites in addition to the hits from advertisements served from advertising networks, the authors found the potential for collecting data upward of 2,500 times on average per user per month.
Internet marketing is associated with several business models:
e-commerce – this is where goods are sold directly to consumers (B2C) or businesses (B2B)
Publishing – this is the sale of advertising.
lead-based websites – this is an organization that generates value by acquiring sales leads from its website.
affiliate marketing – this is process in which a product or service developed by one person is sold by other active seller for a share of profits. The owner of the product normally provide some marketing material (sales letter, affiliate link, tracking facility).
local internet marketing – this is the process of a locally based company traditionally selling belly to belly and utilizing the Internet to find and nurture relationships, later to take those relationships offline.
blackhat marketing – this is a form of internet marketing which employs deceptive, less than truthful methods to drive web traffic to a website or affiliate marketing offer. This method sometimes includes spam, cloaking within search engine result pages, or routing users to pages they didn’t initially request.
There are many other business models based on the specific needs of each person or the business that launches an Internet marketing campaign.
Internet marketing is relatively inexpensive when compared to the ratio of cost against the reach of the target audience. Companies can reach a wide audience for a small fraction of traditional advertising budgets. The nature of the medium allows consumers to research and purchase products and services at their own convenience. Therefore, businesses have the advantage of appealing to consumers in a medium that can bring results quickly. The strategy and overall effectiveness of marketing campaigns depend on business goals and cost-volume-profit (CVP) analysis.
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