E–Marketing


What is Traditional Marketing?

Traditional marketing is a rather broad category that incorporates many forms of advertising and marketing. It’s the most recognizable typse of marketing, encompassing the advertisements that we see and hear every day. Most traditional marketing strategies fall under one of four categories: print, broadcast, direct mail, and telephone.

 

Print marketing is the oldest form of traditional marketing. Loosely defined as advertising in paper form, this strategy has been in use since ancient times, when Egyptians created sales messages and wall posters on papyrus. Today, print marketing usually refers to advertising space in newspapers, magazines, newsletters, and other printed materials intended for distribution.

Traditional Marketing Categories

  • Print: Includes advertisements in newspapers, newsletters, magazines, brochures, and other printed material for distribution
  • Broadcast: Includes radio and television commercials, as well as specialized forms like on-screen movie theater advertising
  • Direct mail: Includes fliers, postcards, brochures, letters, catalogs, and other material that is printed and mailed directly to consumers
  • Telemarketing: Includes requested calling and cold calling of consumers over the phone

Broadcast marketing includes television and radio advertisements. Radio broadcasts have been around since the 1900s, and the first commercial broadcast—a radio program supported by on-air advertisements—aired on November 2, 1920. Television, the next step in entertainment technology, was quicker to adopt advertising, with less than ten years between its inception and the first television commercial in 1941.

Direct mail marketing uses printed material like postcards, brochures, letters, catalogs, and fliers sent through postal mail to attract consumers. One of the earliest and most well-known examples of direct mail is the Sears Catalog, which was first mailed to consumers in 1888.

Finally, telephone marketing, or telemarketing, is the practice of delivering sales messages over the phone to convince consumers to buy a product or service. This form of marketing has become somewhat controversial in the modern age, with many telemarketers using aggressive sales tactics. The U.S. federal government has passed strict laws governing the use of telemarketing to combat some of these techniques.

 

Identifying Web Presence Goals in e-commerce

An organization’s presence “is the public image it conveys to its stakeholders.” (Schneider, pg. 140). Stakeholders include customers, employees, suppliers, stockholders, neighbors, and the public. In e-commerce, it is critical to establish an effective Web presence because it sets the overall image of the company.

 

Before We Begin

Your very first step should be to define the goals of your website. Most businesses should have at least three: to create an online presence, to differentiate your business, and to capture leads.

1. Creating an online presence is the most basic reason for building a website. This means building a site that includes your business information, highlights what makes you special, and gives consumers a way to contact you.

2. Making your business stand out takes a more advanced strategy. Maintaining a blog that portrays your thoughts and insights can help your website stand out and help consumers better understand your business.

3. A good business website can be used to capture potential leads. As the site grows it becomes a community for customers and potential consumers. Connect with potential consumers and find a way to continue marketing to them. Your website can be the elevator pitch and your connection the long sell.

The Website


With our goals in mind, we can begin to explore specific elements of a strong website.

The homepage will generally be the initial point of contact with your consumers. A good homepage will answer the questions “What do you do?” and “Why should I trust you?” Consumers will make a split-second decision on whether they’ll stay to learn more or go to a competitor. Don’t lose them at the start.

An “About” page can further reinforce the trust factor. Explain exactly what your company does, in-depth. I want to know who you are, why you do what you do, and what makes you special. This page should make an impact and impress your consumers.

Finally, create a “Contact” page. This page should clearly explain to your customers how to get in contact with you. Make sure it outlines your address, phone number, email address, and any other way someone can reach you. You might even want to include a Google Map with directions to your store or office.

These three pages create a basic online presence, but not much more. If you want to set your business apart from everyone else, the best way to do that is to create a company blog.

The Blog


blogs imageFor some reason, many business owners shy away from blogs. What they don’t realize is that most business “News” sections are blogs. “Blog” simply defines any continually updated news or content section of a site. In fact, this is technically a post on a blog.

So why is a blog important? For one, it shows that you know what you’re talking about. It helps you identify yourself as an expert or unique. Secondly, a blog is constantly updated. It gives readers a reason to come back to your site. The more contact you have with your consumers, the more likely they are to buy from you.

Also, consumers have become savvier and will search out information. They want more than a simple explanation of what your product does. They want to know how to use your product, examples of interesting things people are doing, and how you can make their life easier.

After you have a site with information and a blog that is ever-growing, you’ll begin to experience a growth in site traffic. It would be a shame to ignore these potential customers. Which leads us to our next step; lead capture.

The Newsletter


It’s here that we begin building leads from your website’s visitors.

The first and most important element is a newsletter form. I use Aweber to handle my own personal newsletter sign ups and delivery. I just write the actual newsletter and format it.

There are a number of other services you can use too such as MailChimp and ConstantContact; it simply depends on what you want. Do your research and choose a program you like. The newsletter cost quickly pays for itself. Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to generate sales.

Getting consumers to sign up for your email list means you no longer have to wait for them to come to you, you can go to them. You can offer your core consumers specials and keep them up to date on new products or changes.

Social Media Accounts


Another option for capturing leads is social media. Microblogs and social networks such as Facebook and Twitter can help you connect with and contact those within your core community. For this strategy to work, your blog should serve as a central hub. The hub sends consumers to your respective social media profiles to build the connection.

Businesses with a Facebook Fan page can include a Fan box on the site to make it an easy process to fan the business page. If you have an active Twitter account, consider adding the “Follow Me on Twitter” button. These two elements can help turn a one-time reader into a connected consumer.

 

Achieving Web Presence Goals: Some methods to achieve the desired goals include the following:

  • provide detailed but useful facts/information to establish a sense of the company’s presence
  • provide list of services offered
  • provide search/help features
  • use links to get the visitor to explore points of interest, keep them on site, and encourage return visits
  • provide information that is relevant to the customer’s needs
  • use colorful and interesting images to enhance the appearance of the site; provide the visitor the option to select thumbnails to reduce download time
  • allow the visitor the option to select a Flash or non-Flash version of the site in order to reduce file size and download time
  • provide the customer with a connection-type option for streaming audio/video clips
  • keep the site user-friendly: allow visitors to “experience the site in different ways and at different levels” (Schneider, pg 149)
  • build flexibility into the site’s interface to meet the needs of a wide range of visitors
  • provide information about products and how to use them
  • provide a “two-way contact channel” between visitors and the company
  • provide security for transmission of personal information

 

Meeting the Needs & Expectations of Users

To maximize repeat sales, a web site must meet the continuing needs of its users.

Unfortunately, many corporate web sites appear to be designed to meet the needs of their managers. A web site is not just another sales channel. Websites which don’t produce the expected results are probably not meeting the continuing needs of their users.

Problems include:

  1. sites designed around the bricks and mortar corporate structure (products, services, brands, and distribution channels) instead of around the unique features of the Internet
  2. bandwidth hogging “cool” features and site structures that irritate the very customers the site is attempting to attract
  3. confusing layouts.

A web site also must be kept up to date and interesting to its users, on a continuing basis. It is not enough to just build a web site and review it’s performance every three months. Market conditions change rapidly so a site and it’s market must be continuously monitored and appropriate changes made.

The Internet Marketing Engine can assist you to:

  1. keep abreast of market changes including changes to competitive sites
  2. identify areas where your site does not meet the continuing needs of your users
  3. experience your site as your visitors do
  4. meet the needs of your site visitors and exceed their expectations
  5. identify and implement site improvements with the most favorable cost/benefit ratios
  6. structure and implement a program of continuous site monitoring and improvement

 

E–marketing value chain


 

The function of value chain activities is to add value to product at every stage before it is delivered to the customers. There are two components, which make value chain – primary activities and secondary activities. The primary activities are directly associated with the manufacturing of products like supply management, plant operations, etc. The secondary activities are referred to as support functions such as finance, HR, information technology, etc.

In the era of advanced information and communication technology, many businesses have started operations on the internet as its medium. Through the internet, many commercial activities like buying, selling, auctioning is taking place. This online commercial activity is known as e-commerce. E-commerce value chain has series of activities like electronic fund transfer, internet marketing, distribution channel, supply chain etc.

 

 

E-Strategy

Companies with high information presence were the first to look at e-commerce as an alternate way of conducting business. For example, software companies, much of there is business is done through the internet. Their website provides in-depth product information through e-brochure, video, client opinion, etc. Sales leads are generated online; purchase and fund transfer is done, and also after-sales service is done online.

These high information companies have made substantial investment in human resources and information/communication technology.

 

Maintaining a Website

Owning a website or blog has it’s responsibilities. You can’t just upload it and forget it. Regular website maintenance is a must if you want your site to be successful.

Why is Website Maintenance Important?

With regular website maintenance your site will run smoothly. No disgruntled visitors because something on the site didn’t work or a link you provided is broken.

Regular visitors are looking for what is new, so provide them with new and exciting information, products or features.

Website are subject to being hacked. Using a proper website maintenance program you can try and avoid being hacked by keeping everything up to date.

There are all kinds of things that need to be done when maintaining a website. Whether you decide to do these yourself or hire out the work, it still needs to be done.

Website Updates

Think about it, if you visit a website that is not updated regularly will you continue to visit it? Why should your own website or blog be like that then?

Website Content

Website content can include written text, images, free downloads, anything that is going to draw new visitors in and keep your existing visitors coming back. Here are some ideas:

  • Product UpdatesProduct updates are really important if your site has an ecommerce element to it.
    1. New products added announced.Don’t forget to update your navigation, to add a page for the new product and add it to your site map.

      If you have a design that has a side navigation (called a sidebar in a blog) the updates can be added to it so no matter what page a visitor arrives on, they see the new product announcement.

    2. Discontinuation of a product. Like the announcement of new products, if you are discontinuing a product, including an announcement in the side navigation will make the information available on all your pages.
    3. Upcoming price changes would be another thing to announce. It might even spur some rush purchases too.
  • Company NewsDid you get a mention in the newpaper? Someone did a review of your site or product? This is all what is called social proof and you need to show visitors what others are saying about you.

    Growing so much you need new staff? Announce and introduce your new staff members.

  • GiveawaysHaving a giveaway or a contest periodically is a good way to create some buzz about your site.

Updating old content should be on your website maintenance list also. Information becomes out dated so keep your content up to date to show your visitors you are on top of the subject.

Feature Addition

If at the time you created the website there was something that got left out because of budget constraints, maybe the budget can afford it now?

Take a look at your website/blog every once in a while and see if there is some kind of improvement that can be made. Something that you didn’t think of previously.

Maybe you have some feed back from visitors that needs to be implemented?

  • Fix a usability issue that has been mentioned.
  • Time to add a blog if you have a regular website and do not have one already?
  • Did you join a social networking site or two? Add the appropriate button(s) and links to your social profiles.
  • Add a frequently asked question section to cut down on emails and phone calls aske these regular questions.

 

Metrics Designing Internet Units of Measurements


In software development, a metric (noun) is the measurement of a particular characteristic of a program’s performance or efficiency. Similarly in network routing, a metric is a measure used in calculating the next host to route a packet to. A metric is sometimes used directly and sometimes as an element in an algorithm . In programming, a benchmark includes metrics.