What is electronic marketing?
E-Marketing is still a controversial topic to talk about, since no one managed to unify the various theories around it; However, there is one thing for which there is no doubt: that e-Marketing first appeared in the form of various techniques implemented by pioneering companies that sold their products over the Internet in the early 90’s.
The frenzy around these new marketing techniques created by e-tailers and supported by the Internet quickly gave birth to a new dimension of what we know as Marketing: e-Marketing (Electronic Marketing).
There are many definitions of what e-Marketing is, the simplest and shortest is the Mark Sceats formula: e-Marketing is Marketing that uses the Internet as a means of manifestation. A working definition is the one that comes from a group of CISCO specialists: e-Marketing is the sum of all the activities carried out by a company through the Internet with the purpose of finding, attracting, winning and retaining clients.
The e-Marketing strategy is normally based on and builds on the principles that govern traditional offline marketing: the well-known 4 Ps (Product – Price – Promotion – Positioning) that form the classic marketing mix. Add in the additional 3 Ps (People – Processes – Testing) and you have the entire marketing mix expanded.
So far, there are not many aspects that differentiate e-Marketing from traditional Marketing carried out offline: the extended Marketing mix (4 + 3 P’s) is built around the concept of “transactional” and its elements perform transactional functions defined by the paradigm. exchange. . What gives e-Marketing its uniqueness is a series of specific functions, relational functions, which can be synthesized in the 2P + 2C+ 3S formula: Personalization, Privacy, Customer Service, Community, Site, Security, Sales Promotion.
These 7 functions of e-Marketing are at the base of any e-Marketing strategy and have a moderating character, unlike the classic Marketing mix that only includes situational functions. The e-Marketing moderating functions have the quality of being moderated, they operate on all the situational functions of the mix (the classic 4 Ps) and on each other.
The fundamental concept of personalization as part of the e-Marketing mix lies in the need to recognize and identify a certain client in order to establish relationships (establishing relationships is a fundamental objective of Marketing). It is crucial to be able to identify our customers on an individual level and collect as much information as possible about them, in order to understand our market and to be able to develop customized and personalized products and services.
For example, a cookie strategically placed on a website visitor’s computer can provide us with vital information about the speed of access available: accordingly, if we know that the visitor is using a slow connection (for example, dial-up), we will offer a Low volume. variation of our website, with reduced graphic content and without multimedia or flash applications. This will facilitate our customer’s experience on our website and prevent them from leaving the website due to pages taking too long to load.
Personalization can be applied to any component of the Marketing mix; therefore, it is a moderator function.
Privacy is an element of the mix closely related to the previous one: personalization. When we collect and store information about our customers and prospects (hence when we perform the personalization part of the e-Marketing mix) a crucial issue arises: how this information will be used and by whom. An important task to carry out when implementing an e-Marketing strategy is to create and develop a policy on the procedures for accessing the information collected.
This is a must and a must for any vendor conscious of considering all aspects of privacy, whenever data about individual persons is collected and stored.
Privacy is even more important when setting up your e-Marketing mix, as there are many regulations and legal issues to consider regarding the collection and use of such information.
3. Customer Service
Customer service is one of the necessary and required activities among the support functions needed in transactional situations.
We will connect the appearance of customer service processes to the inclusion of the “time” parameter in transactions. By shifting from a situational to a relational perspective, and e-Marketing is largely based on a relational perspective, the salesperson was somehow forced to consider support and assistance on a non-temporary level, on a permanent basis, throughout over time.
For these reasons, we must consider the Customer Service function (in its broadest and most complete definition) as an essential function within the e-Marketing mix.
As we can easily deduce, the service (or assistance if you wish) can be performed on any element of the classic 4 Ps, hence its moderating nature.
We can all agree that e-Marketing is conditioned by the existence of this impressive network that is the Internet. The mere existence of such a network implies that both individuals and groups will eventually interact. A set of entities that interact for a common purpose is what we call a “community” and we will soon see why it is absolutely important to participate, to be part of a community.
Metcalf’s law (named after Robert Metcalf) states that the value of a network is given by the number of its components, more precisely, the value of a network is equal to the square of the number of components. We can apply this simple law to communities, since they are a network: then we will conclude that the value of a community increases with the number of its members. This is the power of communities; that is why we have to be a part of it.
A company’s clients/customers can be seen as part of a community where they interact (either independent or marketer-influenced), therefore developing a community is a task for any company to undertake, although it is not always seen as such. essential.
Interactions between members of such a community can address any of the other e-Marketing features, so it can sit alongside other moderation features.
We have seen and agreed that e-Marketing interactions take place in a digital medium: the Internet. But such interactions and relationships also need a suitable location, which is available at any time and from any place: a digital location for digital interactions.
Such a location is what we call a “site,” which is the more common name for it. Now is the time to mention that “website” is simply a form of “site” and should not be confused or viewed as synonymous. The “site” can also take other forms, such as a Palm Pilot or other portable device, for example.
This special location, accessible through all kinds of digital technologies, moderates all other e-Marketing functions; is then a moderator function.
The “security” function emerged as an essential function of e-Marketing once transactions began to take place through Internet channels.
What we need to be aware of as marketers are the following two security concerns:
– security during transactions carried out on our website, where we must take all possible precautions so that third parties cannot access any part of a transaction in progress;
– security of data collected and stored, about our customers and visitors.
An honest vendor will have to consider these possible causes of further problems and has to cooperate with the company’s IT department in order to formulate compelling (and true, honest!) messages to customers that their personal data is protected. unauthorized eyes.
7. Sales promotion
At least, but not last, we have to consider sales promotions when we build an e-Marketing strategy. Sales promotions are also widely used in traditional Marketing, we all know that, and it is an excellent efficient strategy to achieve immediate sales targets in terms of volume.
This role relies on the seller’s ability to think creatively: it takes a lot of work and inspiration to find new possibilities and new approaches to develop an efficient promotion plan.
On the other hand, the marketer needs to continually keep up with the latest Internet technologies and applications in order to exploit them to the fullest.
To conclude, we have seen that e-Marketing implies new dimensions to be considered apart from those inherited from traditional Marketing. These dimensions revolve around the concept of relational functions and are essential in any e-Marketing strategy to be efficient and produce results.