Whilst it is fair to say that Internet marketing has certainly had an effect on offline trading figures, the comparisons are not directly proportionate for the simple reason that the Internet has opened up huge new markets which were not feasible before this ‘information superhighway’ was born. The interactive nature of Internet marketing, and the low costs involved in distributing information and media to a global audience, makes a very attractive platform for any business model, regardless of size. Latest figures from credit card companies report a 15 billion dollar turnover from Internet sales in the last year, and rising rapidly. So it is not surprising that budgets for Internet marketing are taking a bigger slice of the advertising cake and the numbers of individuals earning their living directly from Internet marketing are ballooning off the scale.
Internet marketing draws together all the creative and technical aspects of the Internet, which include design, development, advertising and sales, and the techniques used in Internet marketing include search engine marketing, email marketing, affiliate marketing, online advertising and more recently, social media marketing methods as employed in blog marketing, and viral marketing.
Internet marketing is the process of building, growing and promoting a business individual or organization through any online activity including websites, blog sites, article marketing, press releases, online market research, email marketing, and online advertising. In order to fully comprehend the huge benefits offered by the Internet marketing process, it is difficult not to draw comparisons with offline marketing methods, but it has to be remembered that one is not a replacement for the other. Internet marketing and offline marketing will both have an important part to play in the future of any business, assuming it is not purely Internet based. Let us now look at the benefits that Internet marketing has to offer..
Since the Internet can be regarded as a ‘free for all’ activity center where information is shared freely with all interested parties, the cost involved in the overall Internet marketing strategy is relatively low. Apart from the obvious expenditure incurred in operating a web site, a large proportion of the budgets set aside for Internet marketing will typically be swallowed up by services and resources offering expertise in the various marketing techniques that fall under the Internet marketing umbrella. For example, Search Engine Optimization plays an important role in the positioning of a web site in search engine rankings and the larger organizations will often employ the services of a search engine optimization company to carry out this duty. Equally there are Internet Advertising Agencies available to handle all aspects of online advertising. Smaller companies or sole traders may carry out their own search engine optimization and advertising campaigns and would need only a few hundred dollars budget for marketing software tools. Either way, the overall cost of Internet marketing is much lower than the cost of a similar offline campaign.
All activities that fall under the Internet marketing banner can easily be organized from a laptop computer. Most communications are made using online contact forms, email or instant messenger, and payments for items such as web site hosting, internet marketing software tools and resource fees can all be paid online using a credit card. Web site design and management is also another area of Internet marketing easily managed from a laptop computer. The versatility of the ‘laptop’ means that these duties can be carried out from any location and therefore those involved in the Internet marketing fraternity can easily work from a simple home office, or even when away from home. Commuting is totally unnecessary.
Unlike offline commerce, the use of Internet marketing techniques now make it possible for an individual or sole trader to compete with the larger organizations in his online business. It’s true that a larger company whose name was on everyone’s lips would have a head start in the marketing of their web site, and a larger presence in the search engine pages, beyond that the doors are opened and it’s quite common to see a smaller commercial outfit riding higher than their much larger competition in search engine results. Yes the online advertising budgets would be much bigger for the national companies, but there are many Internet marketing techniques and resources available to the solo marketers that would help them to stay in touch. There are literally hundreds of new Internet millionaires developed on a daily basis.
There are also many niche areas with good benefits derived from Internet marketing, but generally the process is attractive all round as a method of promoting any business, recreational or personal projects across the Internet. Internet Marketing is where the future lies for businesses large and small. The Internet has arrived and no-one can deny it!