What is e-marketing?
E-marketing is still quite a controversial topic to talk about, as no one managed to unify the various theories that surround it; However, there is one thing about which there is no doubt: that e-Marketing first appeared in the form of various techniques implemented by pioneering companies selling their products over the Internet in the early 1990s.
The frenzy around these new marketing techniques created by e-tailers and supported by the Internet quickly gave way to a new dimension of what we knew as Marketing: e-Marketing (electronic marketing).
There are many definitions of what e-Marketing is, the simplest and shortest formulated by Mark Sceats: 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 that a company carries out through the Internet with the purpose of finding, attracting, winning and retaining customers.
The e-Marketing strategy is normally based on and based on the principles that govern traditional offline marketing: the well-known 4 P’s (Product – Price – Promotion – Positioning) that make up the classic marketing mix. Add in the extra 3 Ps (People – Processes – Test) and you get the whole marketing mix extended.
So far, there are not many aspects to differentiate e-Marketing from traditional offline Marketing: 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 of the exchange. . What gives e-Marketing its uniqueness is a series of specific functions, relational functions, which can be synthesized in the formula 2P + 2C + 3S: Personalization, Privacy, Customer Service, Community, Site, Security, Sales Promotion .
These 7 e-Marketing functions remain at the base of any e-Marketing strategy and have a moderating character, unlike the classic marketing mix that only understood situational functions. The moderating functions of e-Marketing have the quality of moderates, they operate on all the situational functions of the combination (the classic 4 P’s) and each other.
The fundamental concept of personalization as part of the e-Marketing mix lies in the need to recognize and identify a certain customer in order to establish relationships (establishing relationships is a fundamental objective of Marketing). It is essential to be able to identify our clients on an individual level and collect all possible information about them, in order to know our market and to be able to develop personalized and personalized products and services.
For example, a cookie strategically placed on the website visitor’s computer may allow us to learn vital information about the available access speed: consequently, 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 will prevent them from leaving the website because it takes too long to load its pages.
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 potential customers (therefore when we perform the personalization part of the e-Marketing mix) a crucial question arises: how this information will be used and by whom. An important task to perform when implementing an e-Marketing strategy is to create and develop a policy on the procedures for accessing the information collected.
This is a duty and an obligation for any conscientious marketer to consider all aspects of privacy, whenever data is collected and stored, data on individual persons.
Privacy is even more important when establishing the e-Marketing mix, as there are many regulations and legal aspects that must be taken into account regarding the collection and use of such information.
3. Customer service
Customer service is one of the necessary and required activities among the necessary support functions in transactional situations.
We will connect the appearance of customer service processes with the inclusion of the “time” parameter in transactions. By shifting from a situational to a relational perspective, and e-Marketing relies primarily on a relational perspective, the marketer was somehow forced to consider support and assistance on a timeless level, permanently, to the long of the time.
For these reasons, we must consider the Customer Service function (in its fullest and broadest definition) as an essential function within the e-Marketing mix.
As we can easily find out, the service (or assistance if you wish) can be performed on any element of the classic 4 P, hence its moderator character.
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 individuals and groups will eventually interact. A group of entities that interact with a common purpose is what we call a “community” and we will soon see why it is of absolute importance 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 exactly 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’s why we have to be part of it.
The clients / clients of a company can be seen as part of a community in which they interact (either independently or influenced by the marketer); therefore, developing a community is a task for any company, even if it is not always considered essential.
Interactions between members of that community can address any of the other functions of e-Marketing, so it can be placed alongside other moderator functions.
We have seen and agreed that e-Marketing interactions take place in a digital medium: the Internet. But these interactions and relationships also need a suitable location, which is available anytime, anywhere: a digital location for digital interactions.
Such a location is what we call a “site”, which is the most widespread name for it. The time has come to mention that the “website” is simply a form of “site” and should not be confused or viewed as synonyms. The “site” can also take other forms, such as a Palm Pilot or any other portable device, for example.
This special location, accessible through all kinds of digital technologies, moderates all other e-Marketing functions; so it is 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 the data collected and stored about our clients and visitors.
An honest salesperson will need to consider these potential causes of additional problems and will need to cooperate with the company’s IT department in order to formulate compelling (and true, honest!) Messages for customers from whom their personal data is protected. unauthorized eyes.
7. Sales promotion
At least, but not last, we have to consider sales promotions when building an e-Marketing strategy. Sales promotions are also widely used in traditional Marketing, we all know it, and it is an excellent efficient strategy to achieve immediate sales goals in terms of volume.
This role has the marketer’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 must continually keep up to date with the latest Internet technologies and applications in order to fully exploit them.
To conclude, we have seen that e-Marketing involves new dimensions to consider in addition to those inherited from traditional Marketing. These dimensions revolve around the concept of relational functions and are essential to be included in any e-Marketing strategy to be efficient and deliver results.