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The Internet has completely changed the way that customers look for and get what they want. It has also changed where they search for and where they buy goods and services. Consequently, those businesses that wish to remain profitable are changing their marketing methods to respond to this transformation in their customer’s buying habits.
Traditional forms of marketing such as newspaper and television advertising, direct mail and cold calling simply do not integrate well with the powerful medium of the Internet and have become less and less effective as a result.
One of the most beneficial ways that the Internet has changed marketing is the dramatic reduction in cost. With direct mail for instance, someone has to be paid to produce the materials that are sent out. This involves designing, writing, editing and printing costs. It’s an expensive way of connecting with a limited number of potential customers and it’s also difficult to measure effectiveness. In comparison, email marketing can be performed by anyone with rudimentary marketing skills and a computer.
In the past, a company in Southampton could not easily market their products/services to potential customers in Australia without great cost. Yet the Internet has no geographic boundaries and whatever marketing is prepared for Hampshire can easily be tailored for Queensland. Internet marketers can target customers anywhere in the world and anyone with a computer can respond to their advertising/marketing and purchase goods or services with the click of a button.
With the vast increase in popularity of the Internet, the speed of marketing has changed. Customers can immediately respond to advertisements that were posted only seconds ago. These adverts can be changed with equal speed in direct response to feedback and the data they receive.
The Internet is driven by content. The more high quality content you can provide a potential customer with, the greater your credibility and the increased chances that they will spend their money with you. Both brick and mortar and web-based businesses need to address this issue and provide potential clients with the information they need to make the decision to buy from you. Again, the production of content is time consuming but not necessarily a costly activity, allowing companies of different scales to compete with each other on an even playing field.
Through social marketing or word of mouth, buzz is instantly created around products and brands. Again, social marketing is a low-cost/high benefit method of marketing online. Traditional marketing cannot possibly compete with the efficacy of Internet marketing for speed, accuracy of qualified leads and low costs.
Traditional marketing has been badly affected by the change to Internet Marketing. One only has to see how the commercial television stations have incurred massive debts associated with rapidly decreasing advertising revenue.
In the past 12 months, the traditional marketing department has all but died. Any company that wants to succeed in the new Internet-changed marketplace must create an integrated approach, a strategy for marketing that fuses together limited traditional methods with the multi-faceted approaches of Internet marketing.
In the past, Internet marketing has been ignored, labeled a ‘fad’, a phase that will eventually pass. Those businesses that do not want to disappear in the global recession can’t afford to share this outdated viewpoint.
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