Internet Marketing – How, When, Where?

by admin on March 30, 2011

Pyxle MD Presantha’s latest column on E-commerce on the Daily Mirror
There are currently 2 billion users on the internet which is roughly 28% of the global human population. Sri Lanka itself has 8% of its population or 1.7 million user’s online (ITU). A global market of 2 billion, and a local market of 1.7million, is usually a significant motivator for companies to seriously consider internet branding and marketing.

A typical local company will invest and develop a high-end website with all the latest technology and functionality. It is launched with much fun-fair and expectation; but soon underperforms or does not deliver on the expectations. This website is then left idle and soon becomes obsolete leading to a sunk cost to the company. It displays old news and corporate information with little or paltry internet traffic. What went wrong?

Well-planned marketing
It’s easy to liken this situation to a housing developer who builds a fantastic mansion with every conceivable luxury, but does so in the middle of a jungle. It lacks a good approach road and thus nobody knows where it exists or cares to find it. He is left with the ultimate house in the middle of the ultimate wilderness. This is the same principle that underlies building a comprehensive website strategy. A good website requires a well-planned internet marketing, a plan that can guide potential customers, through the clutter and maze of the internet, to the respective web pages and thus generate the necessary leads or sales.

iMarketing is the platform that positions a website on the internet in a way that it creates the right amount of “Buzz” for the company, its products or brand. The final objective of any internet marketing program will be to create leads and generate sales. If road side billboards, radio/TV commercials, press releases and street activation are mainstream marketing channels today; then social media marketing, code optimization, targeted advertising, online behavioral data mining and brand app’s will be the future.

Three major types
Internet Marketing can be an extremely broad-based subject, but in the scope of this article, only the 3 major types of iMarketing will be considered. Thus iMarketing can be separated into PPC/I (Pay per click/impression), SEO (search engine optimization) and Social media marketing (SMM); though there are many variations of each type. In brief PPC/I would place your brand or product advertisement at pre-set websites and generate leads. A good SEO program will make your website list on the 1st page of search engines as such as Google and yahoo for select keywords. Social media marketing would make it possible to create a direct communication channel and loyal fan base with existing customers. The next two weekly articles will be investigating each of these three channels in more detail.

It is imperative to combine any iMarketing activity with a good reporting and analysis tool. This will ensure that money spent on this activity can create measurable results. There are numerous reporting and analysis tools available on the internet however Google Analytics stands out as the most robust and inventive. The regular reports generated through Google analytics will provide the website owner with detailed marketing information on website visitors and the condition of the website.

At the end of the day it’s important to remember that the internet is just one type of media, like TV or radio, which can be used to generate leads for a business. It cannot compensate for actual product/service quality and customer support. Thus it is essential to match the promises made through marketing activities with the actual product or service experience.

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