How does internet marketing communication differ from traditional marketing communication? Internet marketing differs significantly from conventional marketing communications because of the digital medium used for communications. The internet and other digital media such as digital television and mobile phones enable new forms of interaction and new models for information exchange. A useful summary of the difference between theses new media and traditional media has been developed by McDonalds and Wilson they describe the 6 I’s of the e-marketing mix. The 6 I’s are useful since they highlight factors that apply to practical aspects of the internet marketing such as personalization direct response and marketing research but also strategic issues of industry restructuring and integrated channels communications. (Imran RT, 2010) * Interactivity (from push to pull) * Intelligence (market research) * Individualization (mass customization & personalization) * Integration (inbound & outbound communications) * Industry restructuring (intermediation, disintermediation) * Independence of location (global ubiquity) Interactive marketing promotes a two way communication as compared to traditional marketing, which is usually ruled by one way communication. The difference between interactive marketing and traditional marketing are Push and pull marketing strategy. Traditional marketing strategies were based on a “push” methodology where managers were literally pushing the products onto the customers. (www. ctsocialmediaconsultant. com). Difference between internet marketing, particularly the Internet, is predominantly a ‘pull’ technology, the customer having initiated the visit to the web site. This may lead to subsequent push activities, such as sending e-mails to people who have registered their interest on the site, but the initial communication is a pull event. (www2. accaglobal. com) Interactivity is a significant feature of the new media, allowing a long-term dialogue to develop between the customer and the supplier. In the context of the web site, this is likely to be through e-mails, providing the customer with information and special offers for their areas of specific interest. To initiate this dialogue the web site must capture information such as e-mail address, name, age, gender and areas of interest. Example of AEC company site only collects such information for people who wish to view downloadable study material. This is too restrictive and it will probably exclude all the potential CPD customers. AEC needs to consider ways of making it easier and worthwhile for visitors to the site to register their details. There is no evidence of AEC contemplating the potential use of interactive digital TV or mobile phones to establish long-term dialogues with their customers. www2. accaglobal. com) Intelligence has also been a key feature of the internet marketing, allowing the relatively cheap collection of marketing research data about customers’ requirements. This is routinely available from web logs and these logs need to be viewed and analyzed using appropriate software. This type of analysis is rarely available in the traditional marketing. For example, AEC does not know how often their training course catalogue is accessed and which pages are looked at. It only knows which training courses are eventually bought. With the internet marketing the company is able to see which services and products are accessed and also to measure how many of these are turned into actual sales. This conversion rate may be an important source of information. For example, why are certain web pages often visited but few sales result is it a problem with the web page? Is it a problem with the product? An understanding of visit patterns allows the organization to focus on particular products and services. This analysis should already be available to AEC but there is no evidence that it uses it or is even aware of it. www2. accaglobal. com) Internet marketing also permits the marketing to be individualized, geared to a particular market segment, company or individual person. In the context of AEC this individualization could be achieved in at least two ways to reflect clear market segmentation. AEC has recently won a contract to supply professional accountancy training to a global accounting company. All students working for this company will now be trained by AEC in one of its worldwide centers. At present this company and its students will be served hrough a generic web site. However, the flexibility of the new media means that a site could be developed specifically for this requirement. The whole site would be geared, and branded, towards the requirements of the global 21 accounting company. Information that is irrelevant to that customer, such as CPD, would not appear on the site. This individualized approach should strengthen the relationship with the customer. Similarly, individuals may have their own access customized as a result of the profile that they have entered. So, for example, if they have already stated that they are currently sitting the professional stage of an examination scheme then only information relevant to that stage will be presented to them when they log in. This is an example of the principle of mass customization that was only available in a limited form in the traditional media. AEC does not exploit this at present, but uses a generic web site that looks and feels the same, whoever the user is. (www2. accaglobal. com) Finally, internet marketing provides independence of location allowing the company to move into geographical areas that would have been unreachable before. The Internet effectively provides a worldwide market that is open 24 hours per day, seven days per week. It is difficult to think of any traditional marketing which would have permitted this global reach so cheaply. Furthermore, the web site might also omit the actual physical location of the company because there is no requirement for information to be physically sent to an address. It should also be impossible for the potential customer to gauge the size of the supplying company. AEC has exploited this to some extent as it serves a world-wide market from no clear geographical centre. However, the absence of on-line course booking means that certain physical contact details have to be provided and these might undermine the global perspective. (www2. accaglobal. com) Online marketing integrates creative and technical aspects of the internet. One can put his presence online with interactivity having proper attention to their services and products. Online marketing is not just ‘having a website’ or ‘building a website’ or ‘promoting a website’. Online marketing is different from off-line marketing, following characteristics differentiate them: One-to-one versus one-to-many One-to-one versus one-to-many approach, the targeted user is typically browsing the Internet on their own, and the marketing messages reach them personally. This can be very clearly seen in search marketing, where the users find advertisements targeted to specific keywords that the users asked for (www. homeimprovementsmarketing. com). In Traditional marketing, the medium allows for only one way communication. The same marketing content is used for suppliers as well as customers mostly. On the other hand when the medium is internet, the model allows for many to many marketing communications. When internet is used as a medium, the customers and companies can interact with the medium directly as well as the other customers and companies. The customers can further add to the medium and be a part of the marketing. The communication using such a model is not just from sender to receiver but in all possible directions. Traditional push communications are one-to-many, from one company to many customers, often the same message to different segment and often poorly targeted. With digital media one-to-same reaching a niche or micro-segment becomes more practical e-marketers can afford to tailor and target their message to different segment through providing different site content or e-mail for different audiences through mass customization and personalization. Potentially digital media provide a one-to-many communication from company to customer rather than one-to-many communication from company to customer that is traditional in marketing using the mass media, such as newspapers or television. (Chaffey, Johnston page 351) Customers can compare online Internet marketing allows businesses as well as the customers to co create a highly effective network worldwide, and dramatically increase the client trafficking. Compared traditional marketing communication, the Internet marketing makes it easier for buyers to compare two items side-by-side (online-business-journey. com). Before making a purchase, today’s customers can get complete the detailed of product information, the products information are very details stated on the web as compared to the retail store, the salesperson will not remember all the details about the products. It is easy for the customers to have the information on the internet. They do not need to go to the store just for searching for the product details. Inventory is the level of stocks, this is for the customers who just want to view the product, and they will not buy instantly. For the order status which means “active orders” are orders which you paid for, whether still in processing or previously sent out (support. chinavasion. com). This facility cannot be offered in offline marketing because in offline marketing the buyer would have to go to the shop and buy the things physically. Online marketing saves unnecessary transport expenses and saves time too. (www. dwsmg. com) Get the feedback of your target market in a snap Another communication of internet marketing is that you can get the feedback of your target market in a snap. They can comment and ask questions about your post real quick. That way, you can communicate with your customers faster and the sooner that you convince them to purchase the product or service that you are promoting, the better. What is amazing about internet marketing is that it can be very interactive. When you air a commercial, you need to conduct a survey to find out what your audience has to say about it. Online, it is so much simpler because you can skip the survey procedure and still get an honest feedback anyway. Never underestimate the marketing power of word of mouth. Traditionally, it was said to be even more effective than actually launching an advertisement. That is because people would rather hear a recommendation from a friend or someone who has used the product rather than an advertiser. www. techie-buzz. com) Demographics targeting versus behavioral targeting Off-line marketers typically segment their markets according to age group, sex, geography, and other general factors. Online marketers have the luxury of targeting by activity. This is a deeper form of targeting, since the advertiser knows that the target audience is people who do a certain activity instead of just expecting that a certain group of people will like their new product or service (www. homeimprovementsmarketing. com). The internal characteristics of the internet marketing makes it very different from traditional marketing , for an example the information can be transferred easily, it can be addressed directly, constant availability, integration, flexibility, individuality, interactivity, all these factors that are inherent for internet marketing can be used by companies to shape customer relationships When the traditional marketing tools are used the flow of information is not easy and the customer as well as the companies have to follow some proper channels. Consistency, validity and access to information are necessary in marketing which the traditional marketing channel often lacks (Sundas48, 2011) Since exposure, response and overall efficiency of Internet media is easy to track compared to traditional “off-line” media, through the use of web analytics for instance, Internet marketing can offer a greater sense of accountability for advertisers. Marketers and their clients are becoming aware of the need to measure the collaborative effects of marketing References Chaffey, Johnston, 2006. Internet marketing strategy, implementation and pratice 3th edition, Prentice Hall Difference Between Online and Offline Marketing, (2008), Available from: http://www. dwsmg. com/difference-between-online-and-offline-marketing. html [Accessed on 27 June 2011] Is Online Marketing More Effective for Organizations Today (page 22) by Sundas48, (2011) Available from: http://www. scribd. com/doc/54220673/18/Communication [Accessed on 27 June 2011] Professional Level – Essentials Module, Paper P3, (2008) Business Analysis Available from: http://www2. ccaglobal. com/pubs/students/acca/exams/p3/past_papers/p3_2008_jun_a. pdf (page 21) [Accessed on 27 June 2011] How does internet marketing communication differ from traditional marketing communication? 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