Two decades ago, Internet entered the majority of houses and offices around the world. It opened a huge number of new opportunities for everybody and became the easiest and fastest way to obtain any sort of information. That is why the importance of Internet marketing and promotion of the goods or services is obvious, and nowadays such a new development of promotion as online marketing is becoming more and more popular and effective, especially for small and developing business.
Principles of marketing and selling online do not differ from traditional approaches; a company must present and offer particular product or service to its potential customers. The strategy of online marketing may have different directions: to create own web-site and establish distribution of the goods at it, or to place banners with the ads or ad wares embedded into free software, or to use indirect marketing, placing some commentaries or articles, stimulating the interest to the goods, etc.
The effectiveness of online marketing is likely to depend on the very goods or services, which a company promotes. To make a decision about the necessity, prospects and probable efficiency of online marketing, management of the company must study its advantages and disadvantages very precisely.
The main positive feature of online marketing is its opportunity to reach a huge target audience: it helps to inform tremendous amount of people around the globe about the goods or services and enhance the market of potential customers. Modern Internet technologies in marketing and banking system allow customers to find and buy goods without leaving the homes, and it advantages online promotion a lot. Besides, creating own web-site and supporting it with necessary services is relatively easy and low cost, especially if to compare this with paying for creating of TV visuals, or participation in prestigious exhibitions.
At the same time strategy of online marketing can be characterized with relatively narrow opportunities in presenting and demonstrating some types of goods, if to compare with, for example, store display or exhibition. That is why unrealistic expectations of customers may become a problem. Second, a previous negative experience with Internet may become an obstacle for many potential customers to find the goods and to trust in the suppliers. Many people, being afraid to be cheated or fall in a fraud, may not respond on online advertising, though they are really interested.
It is always important for marketing specialists to monitor the effectiveness of their strategies. There are some ways of doing this in online marketing, like using of special tracking tools and log-file analyzers, which can provide with information about how the customers find out the site, where the customers are from, and how many times they visit the site. Such data, which frequently is very bulky, must be processed dynamically. It can be also effective to use information of special statistics site or pop-up surveys to learn the opinion of people, but many Internet users neglect and ignore participating in them, especially if many questions are asked.
Lately, the abundance of various Internet ads and banners becomes more and more annoying for many people, because a lot of online marketing information is received against the will of Internet users, like spam, pop-up windows, or bothering banners. That is why it is very important for successful Internet marketing strategy to make sure that the information about goods or services to be promoted is delivered as close as possible to the potential market on a domestic or global basis.
Undoubtedly, online marketing instruments will improve, develop and will grow more effective. Of course, it will not replace, but support and complement traditional marketing activities. And it would be the best way for a market player to combine both marketing approaches to make business more profitable and successful.