Modern E-Marketing Strategies
The meteoric growth of the e-marketing, consisting of internets, intranets, and extranets that facilitates interactive communication among businesses, customers, and other publics along the World Wide Web, is producing equally dramatic changes in traditional marketing approaches. Well-designed websites that sell, service, and inform are helping to level the competitive playing field while generating economies and efficiencies in all areas of the strategic marketing planning process, from identifying target markets to energizing product development, promotion, distribution, and pricing strategies to meet the defined needs of these markets.
In 2005, Rohm and Sutton conducted a study, “The coming Era of Brand in the Hand’ Marketing.” This study underscores strategic changes differentiating Internet marketing initiatives in the mid-1990s for the current Internet marketing initiatives. Among prominent early Internet marketers, strategic initiatives emphasized revenue generation, aggressive disintermediation (removing the middlemen), and use of traditional tactics, such as emphasizing price discounts and unique product features.
Among current e-marketers, emphasis is on brand-building, customer-focused technology, building channel partnerships, cost reduction, and integrating online and traditional media. If these initiatives are executed well, it is assumed revenues and profits will follow.
It must be noted, that these changes in strategic approaches over the past decade parallel the growth and development of Relationship Marketing (RM) and Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) approaches. For example, instead of disintermediation initiatives to eliminate wholesalers and retailers from marketing channels, modern Internet marketing strategies recognize that these intermediaries perform important functions (such as providing credit, aggregating supplies, delivering products, and processing returns) that can’t be productively eliminated, and view them as partners with whom to build mutually beneficial relationships.
Brand building over the Internet takes the form of consistent design elements that communicate corporate “personality” at each point of contact with supply chain partners. Customer-focused technology includes functions such as real-time specifications and status reports, secure private websites, and automated order processing and inventory management systems for improving collaboration and communication with customer and supplier partners. Online and offline media are integrated according to the strengths of each. The planned results include lower costs, a larger base of loyal long-term customers, and much higher revenues and profits.