New Kid on the Block: Internet Marketing
Digital marketing is another term to describe internet marketing. In fact, it is the preferred term for most practitioners. It sounds more current, modern and appropriate for the digital age.
Who would have thought that internet technology will have the capacity to revolutionize the way we all conduct business in the 21st century. Its ability to make the world flat and a smaller, more connected place has allowed brands to reach virtually every person on the planet – or particularly those with a personal computer with internet access.
Like most catalysts of revolutions, the internet has changed the status quot by giving rise to new industries.
And a perfect example of that is internet marketing. The digital age has created a new medium or platform where brands can market to consumers.
Essentially it turned every computer into a sort of television set where brands can reach individual consumers and sell their products directly to them, except this particular version of the TV set could talk back, respond and interact with the brand in real time. And it has access to billions of online consumers.
- Traditional media did not allow brands to interact and get consumer feedback the same way internet marketing does.
- Watching a TV ad was a passive activity where the viewer watches and listened for roughly half a minute.
- Brands could not determine at the moment of watching the TV ad whether their message to the consumer was effective enough that it translated to sales.
- Reading print ad was the same. It was cold and passive marketing where brands could only measure effectiveness in the long term through sales results determined over a period of time.
- With internet marketing, it’s very different and so much more exciting. Gratification is instant and very much measurable because it has the capacity to be an interactive experience.
- Let’s use a form of internet marketing as an example, say ‘display advertising’.
Display advertising is internet marketing where brands create text, image, flash video or audio ads intended for websites. We’ve all encountered display advertising. They are the ad materials that greet us when we enter certain websites.
The question is how is display advertising more exciting than TV and print ad?
A sports apparel company for example can choose to purchase display ad space in a sports website that has thousands or millions of subscribers. They can already tailor fit the display ad to the needs of the members of the website.
For example, they could choose to display their new running shoes ad to a website of marathon runners. Or they could purchase display ad space in a tennis website to advertise their new tennis apparel.
Internet marketing allows brands to create and display consumer specific advertising intended for a targeted group of consumers.
With internet marketing brands in essence are speaking directly to their consumer – a large group of consumers already interested in their brand and products.
Also, a display ad in a website is internet marketing that is a virtual endorsement of the brand by influencers or opinion makers imbued with the credibility to recommend products to consumers.
The display ad says to the website members, ‘it’s okay to listen to and watch the display ad the brand is relevant.’If the advertising message is effective and the product is good, it’s very likely going to translate into sales.
The targeted consumer capability of internet marketing is what makes it exciting to brands. Traditional media does not have the same capability of bringing brands to a large group of consumers whose interests and needs make their products relevant to them.
It is comparable to bringing a fisherman to a shoal where a school of blue marlins are ripe for the harvest and all they have to do is cast the net to catch them.