INTEGRATED MARKETING STRATEGIES: MARKETING FOR THE INTERNET

After addressing the myths of online marketing, the next step is looking at the various means of marketing for the Internet. According to David Meerman Scott, the Vice-President of Marketing at NewsEdge Corporation and Knight Ridder, which was one of the largest newspaper companies in the world, technology evolves and companies must find innovations to take the lead online. “I see so many companies applying the ‘old rules’ to online marketing. These people spend boatloads of money on advertising campaigns that are one-way interruptions.” His proposal was that the companies that diversify their techniques have the best success. The companies that have “great thought leadership” use content such as online blogs, podcasts, banners, videos, eBooks, and content rich Websites. “These are the people who are successful on the Web” (Scott, 2007, pp. 36-40). The Internet introduced at least two technological innovations in advertising: (a) the ability to relate payments and performance (e.g., pay per click) and (b) an improved ability to target advertising messages to consumers (Bergemann&Bonatti, 2011, p. 435).

One example of a method deemed as thinking outside of the box is online virtual communities such as Second Life. Second Life is a 3-D online world entirely built and owned by its residents. It is not a game but literally a parallel society of reality. There is a marketplace inside this environment built on the monetary system of the Linden, which residents purchase via sites such as PayPal using actual world currencies. Now the online market in Second Life exchanges millions of world currencies each year. Second Life is comparable to a 3-D Webpage and marketplace with actual companies taking advantage of markets such as designer clothing for avatars (characters in Second Life) and computer services such as CNET, which has an online 3-D storefront that resembles their actual San Francisco office. “We (marketers) view virtual worlds as the next stage in the evolution of peer-to-peer media such as blogs, wikis, social networks, and other online forums,” said George Kolb, EVP and leader of the peer media practice at Text100 (Scott, 2007). Greek banking sector

On the flipside of online marketing is online advertising. Online advertising rose 29% in 2004 alone, and the online advertising industry became a business in excess of ten billion dollars. The Internet allows many advertisers to address a targeted audience beyond the reach of traditional media and convey information to a targeted audience (Bergemann&Bonatti, 2011, p. 418). Specifically targeting an audience is unique and unattainable through traditional advertising. In addition, this is an important step for advertisers. Targeting improves the quality of the match between consumers and the advertising message. It also enables smaller businesses to access markets that excluded them previously (Bergemann&Bonatti, 2011). Further, there are many methods available for stable online advertising.

The first and by far most prevalent method is banner advertising. Banner advertising entails embedding an advertisement in the form of an image into a Web page. The intention is to attract traffic to a specific Website by linking to the Website of the advertiser. Banner advertising filters through a central advertising server. The images are usually on Web pages that have interesting content such as a newspaper article or an opinion piece. Banner advertising is one of the leading methods used in the industry. The main reason comes from the ability for a banner advertisement to increase advertisement awareness, brand awareness, purchase retention, and increase site visitation. The increase in these areas is because banner advertisements appear while people are on a Web page. For example, someone reads the newspaper every morning on the Internet and a banner advertisement appears on the Web page. The image is appealing drawing the eye to the advertisement and offering a catchy slogan to gain more attention from the reader. In addition, the banner advertisement conveniently links to the advertiser so that the reader merely clicks on the advertisement to reach the Website. By utilizing this method of online advertising, consumers have a simple fast way to view advertisements and learn about brands. In addition, since the advertisements flow through a central advertising server it is very easy to track the number of visitors and repeat visitors. Further, every time consumers click on the banner advertisement the advertisers pay a small fee to the central advertising server, demonstrating another way of tracking visitors. There are three major results from studying the effects of banner advertisements. First, a return of consumers is always greatest if the advertisement is part of a targeted strategy. Second, returns diminish as banner exposures become repetitious. Simply stated, as a banner appears multiple times the recognition of the advertisement becomes more of a distraction than an actual drawing fore for consumers. Thus, consumers become docile and less aware of an advertisement that does not vary or occurs on numerous occasions. Lastly, the potential for returns is even greater as the ability for multiple targets or larger target areas become available. An example is a company grows financially and is able to allocate more funding to an online advertising presence. Options such as having banners displayed on major search engines, which are worldwide, come available financially. In turn, return possibility greatly increases because a company once limited to local markets expanded to worldwide viewing (Chintagunta, Dube, Goh, &Manchanda, 2006).

The spread of Internet advertisinggrew rapidly not only in the United States but also internationally. Banner advertising is an international phenomenon, and its market is growing quickly worldwide (Moller&Eisend, 2010). Evidence proves that exposure to banner advertising greatly affects online purchasing. First, banner advertising increases purchasing probabilities for consumers. Second, elasticity estimates are the same as they are for conventional methods of advertising. Third, exposure leads to repeat purchasing post exposure to the advertisement. Fourth, campaigns for online banners allow for a broader spectrum of consumers to target, and studies show that well-designed, targeted campaigns that have fewer exposures across various sites yield the most return. Fifth, strategically placed exposures allow for more returns to commercial sites than other means. Finally, exposures are low, in comparison to other methods. Returns for online banner advertising are traditionally higher than the rest (Chintagunta, et al., 2006).

Another method to attract online consumers is a relatively new approach known as “funneling.” Funneling occurs when a company or service provider uses methods such as the major search engines, Google and Yahoo, to draw in new consumers. In order to funnel, companies use a new technique known as “keyword purchasing.” By purchasing keywords from Google and other search engines, companies have the ability to entice consumers by “owning” words associated with their product or service. One example is Coca-Cola. Coca-Cola registered the keyword “coke” to its company so that when someone searches an engine for the word “coke,” the Coca-Cola Company appears as the top result (Bielski, 2008).

Keyword purchasing and association, however, rely heavily upon the presentation of the product or service. For the online world, the Website is the face of the brand. When creating a Web presence, two main questions arise in the design process of a site. What do you want your site to accomplish? Who or what demographic are the constituents of the site? The best advice is assessing the site before its launch. Does the site look as if it launched in 1999? Is it on a platform that is easily accessible and maintained with efficiency? No one wants to visit a site that does not have updates or is difficult to navigate. Therefore, whatever purpose the site serves, above all else it should function as an easily navigated, fully functional and up-to-date face of the brand. The main effort is a searchable site that utilizes its resources to drive consumers to the top of the funnel (Bielski, 2008).