Millions of people come online daily. Gone are the days when only the rich can use internet. Now, it is possible for anyone with few dollars to connect to the internet and seek to make a fortune. Many newbie entrepreneurs want to be an internet marketer. I receive mails from readers who want to know how one can become an internet marketer. The sudden interest in internet marketing should not come as a surprise though.
Statistics shows that Internet marketing as of 2007 is growing faster than other types of media. In this new millennium, online advertising has grown to be worth tens of billions of dollars annually. PricewaterhouseCoopers reported that US$16.9 billion was spent on Internet marketing in the U.S. alone, in the year 2006.
A quick look at the ongoing electoral process in US shows that Internet marketing is playing a major role. The candidates for US 2008 Presidential election are utilizing Internet marketing strategies to reach constituents. You will be amazed at the level of awareness in remote places in the African and Asian countries about the progress being made by the various candidates .
So What is Internet Marketing?
We need to first get rid of some wrong conceptions. A lot of people view internet marketing as disjointed activities. Some ignorantly view internet marketing as having a website where you paste banners and text advertisements.
Others see it as a process of using technology to cajole consumers into purchasing products or services they have no need of. That is not internet marketing. In the short-term it may produce a little income, but in the long-term, that business must crash.
Many newbie internet marketers are wondering why they are not succeeding. The answer is simple, they have no clue what internet marketing is all about. They are like a man trying to appreciate what an elephant looks like while he is blindfolded.
Internet marketing is effective when there is a comprehensive strategy that makes optimal use of an entrepreneurs resources to achieve set goals. The business sales goals must be well represented by its website in function and appearance. The focus must be that of satisfying consumers needs.
You will be better off if you understand what internet marketing is all about and what makes it work. So, lets start by looking at the key terms INTERNET and MARKETING.
What is Internet?
I thought you already know. Well, if you insist on getting a definition from me, it is The huge network of computers connecting millions of users from more than 100 countries across the globe. Allowing them to exchange and share data, news and opinions in real time. Okay, if that wasn’t simple enough, it is what brought you to this website. You can forget about all the technical terms. If you can find your way to www.naijaecash.com, you already know enough of internet for a start.
What is Marketing?
Permit me to share a little background information. When I was undergoing my undergraduate studies, I was taught by my Professors that :
Marketing is the process of persuading potential customers and clients to be interested in your product or service.
I enjoyed those classes because of the psychological tips that were taught. I actually viewed those tips as the magic formula for selling anything to anybody whether they need it or not. My Professors emphasized on the need to work tirelessly on the Four Key components that makes for a successful marketing plan.
- Products and Services – Get a great product or service that is well packaged.
- Promotion – Use the best means to drive home awareness about your product.
- Distribution – Employ the most effective distribution channel you can find.
- Pricing – Beat the competition to it by selling at a lower price.
Well, I accepted those teaching and learned how to reproduce them on paper during examinations. So I was awarded a Bachelor of Science Degree with honors after four years. That makes me an expert you assume. Just hang on. You’ll soon judge me better.
It is just a little over a decade that I sat under those Professors, and behold, almost all those information given to me has become obsolete and irrelevant due to the constant changes in our society. Applying those definitions and theories to any business today will guarantee failure.
No wonder The Chartered Institute of Marketing has updated their definition of marketing as:
The management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitability.
Did you notice the difference? My Professors taught me to think about myself, my product and what I want. There was actually no mention of the consumer except when considering how to manipulate the consumer using some psychological magic formula to cajole him or her into buying what he or she doesn’t really need.
Have you ever purchased a product or service because of the sweet talk of the salesman? How did you feel afterwards when you realized that you have just been tricked into parting with your money for something you don’t really need. I bet you vowed not to visit that store anymore! Well, that salesman was not marketing!
If you are an entrepreneur, and you are still using the old marketing definition as basis for your business, you will soon be out of business. You cannot cajole or trick people to buy what they don’t need anymore. If at all you succeed in getting them to buy once, you can be rest assured it will be the last time they visit. You need to put yourself in the shoe of your potential customer. How will you love to be treated?
My definition of Marketing
Marketing is all about IDENTIFYING, ANTICIPATING and SATISFYING a consumer’s NEED! It is all about the CONSUMER! Not the SELLER or the PRODUCT or SERVICE! The earlier you understand that the better chance you have at succeeding as an entrepreneur.
I love the way Boone and Kurtz defines marketing it is more detailed.
“Marketing is the process of planning and executing the conception, pricing, promotion, and distribution of ideas, goods, services, organizations, and events to create and maintain relationships that will satisfy individual and organizational objectives.” –Contemporary Marketing Wired (1998) by Boone and Kurtz. Dryden Press.
Ok, enough has been said about the definition of marketing. It is time to talk about internet marketing.
What is internet marketing?
Since we have defined internet and marketing it is simply to put the two terms together. So, we shall define internet marketing as:
Internet Marketing is the process of IDENTIFYING, ANTICIPATING and SATISFYING consumer NEEDS using TOOLS and RESOURCES available on INTERNET!
I bet that sounds simple and uncomplicated. We want to identify the need of the consumer and satisfy it. The only addition we need to add is that we must do it in a way that is profitable to us. For those that love details, please note that other terms such as online marketing, web marketing, internet advertisement, online sales, affiliate programs etc are often use to refer to internet marketing. Ok, let’s get back to our focus.
I am convinced that with our definition you can clearly see that internet marketing is not just about selling products or services over the internet. It is more about identifying needs and satisfying them in such a way that we build relationships that last. Yes, we satisfy our customers in such a way that they enjoy coming back again and again and they are so excited to tell others about our products or services.
Internet marketing is quite broad and has several branches such as:
- E-commerce – Electronic Commerce. Goods and services are sold directly to end users electronically.
- Publishing – Sale of advertising to create awareness for products, services, individuals or corporate entities.
- Affiliate marketing – A reward system for encouraging individuals or organization to promote services or products of a business for commission.
Let’s take a quick look at some of the advantages that internet marketing has over the traditional marketing media.
- One-to-one approach – The customer really gets a personalize attention. He is not just treated as a nobody. Remember, if we build the relationship well, we will get free quality publicity in addition to the profit from this one time sale.
- Appeal to specific interests – We identified the need right from the beginning, so there is no tricking or cajoling. The consumer wanted it before we offered it.
Low operational cost – Internet marketing is relatively inexpensive when compared to traditional marketing media. You can start a website with free resources. It is hard to get a free Television or Radio slot for a business.
- Instant Report – Results can be measured easily and in real time. You must have heard terms such as; pay per impression, pay per click, pay per play, or pay per action. Internet marketers can easily determine which messages are generating the desired result.
Okay. I think we have laid a good foundation. In subsequent posts, I will be sharing tips on how to build on what we have learned. If you enjoyed this post, say so in a comment. Don’t forget to subscribe to the RSS feed. That way, you can easily get updates to this article internet marketing, Cheers.