Internet Marketing - Introduction to Internet Marketing, part II

Service Business

Over the last decade, a new package of two-way communication channels has emerged as an excellent opportunity for advertisers. I am talking about social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Companies have been given valuable tools that allow them to communicate with their recipients - fanpage, profile, sponsored post, etc. Social media is also a huge platform, gathering the largest masses of consumers in history. These are not anonymous masses - the essence of functioning on this type of websites is sharing information about your life, preferences and features. With this data, you can run extremely effective advertising campaigns. This is what Facebook takes advantage of, which makes it possible for advertisers to direct a persuasive message to a specific target. These are the tools that internet marketing uses.

Internet marketing - the role of social networks

Social media is one of the best ways to create a positive brand image. Let's look at Facebook, for example. those given in bad faith), mobilize for discussion, organize competitions, give discounts, present products The key is to create a bond between the brand and the consumer, which may pay off in the future in the form of trust and loyalty.

There is also something in social media that is not the case with the old forms of marketing - mutual communication and benefits. Advertisers must try hard to maintain the interest of the average Internet user, whose focus time on one thing is extremely short, and whose attachment to specific brands is fragile.

Keeping a company profile on social media also has its downside and requires a lot of caution. Here it is not difficult to make a slip-up, which can be quickly noticed and picked up by unfavorable Internet users. It should be noted that social networking sites blur the lines between privacy and professional life. Online statements of people associated with the company often translate into brand reputation. This was the case of a certain PR head of major online portals who posted a hideous racist post on her Twitter account before traveling to Africa. By the time her plane landed, she was out of work and her CV is unlikely to be welcomed in other companies.The published tweet went around the world - Internet users shared it and commented on it. Therefore, it is worth remembering three rules:

  • nothing is lost on the internet,
  • the network magnifies every mishap,
  • Internet users rarely forgive.

Social media users are usually young people, often quite idealistic and radical in their views. They like not only the freedom to exchange information, but also the possibility of creating it - e.g. in the form of memes, fanpages on Facebook or YouTube videos. Their activity is directed almost exclusively to online activities. Practice has shown (e.g., on the example of protests against ACTA) that the virtual community can be strong in the real world for a short time, only during one-off outbursts. Their power on the Internet is also not impressive - there are not many tightly knit organizations here, more groups gathering spontaneously, activating in a specific matter, e.g. stigmatizing a phenomenon.

As you can see, the online social element is difficult to control. However, some marketing wizards have managed to do so. A few years ago, the Facebook profile was very popular, postulating the return of the once cult brand Frugo. Effect? One entrepreneur discounted the success of the fan page and brought back a drink that is currently selling well. It is an excellent example of skillfully shaping the mood of social media users, resulting in a true marketing victory. Another way to use the potential of social networking sites is through a meme.

Internet meme in advertising campaigns

A meme is a short piece of information that, like a virus, infects the minds of thousands of people - it can be a picture, text, photo. The most common form of a meme on the Internet is a combination of a photo + text, where the object in the photo (usually a human) represents an archetype, a specific attitude, a reference to culture. Polish examples include a meme with a "typical Pole" - a photograph of a mustachioed, chubby man (as it turned out later, a policeman) against the background of white and red, usually accompanied by some racist or intolerant text. Purely text memes are, for example, "last" from an unforgettable Plus advertisement, "such things only in the Era" and "you are somehow indistinct, take Rutinoscorbin". All three smoothly entered the colloquial language, which is a huge success for marketers - thanks to this, the awareness of the promoted brands has increased significantly. The popularity of these memes was not - probably, because there is no certainty - a deliberate action by ad creators, but rather a positive side effect. Their success was unpredictable. It could have ended up like McDonald's - "maybe fries for this?" The company's advertising has turned into a malicious reminder and a sad commentary on the disastrous situation of young people on the modern labor market. Nevertheless, attempts to create your own meme that will infect the minds of Internet users are highly recommended.

Internet Marketing - Action Diagram

Marketing plan

Often equated with a business plan, although some consider it a mistake. It is difficult to agree with them - it is often forgotten that the concept of internet marketing does not only refer to advertising activities, but also focuses on the product itself - the analysis of its strengths, external threats and demand among consumers. Another controversial issue is the difference between the classic and internet marketing plan.

In principle, there is no need to create separate visions for old and new media. Actions in both areas should complement each other, so it is worth putting them together. Just remember to take into account the peculiarities of marketing activities in cyberspace. As mentioned earlier, techniques and tactics known from classic advertising forms cannot be transferred to the Internet without reflection.

Writing a marketing plan should start with defining the company's mission, i.e. a few words or sentences defining the meaning of its existence. You have to include in it what purpose it fulfills - what needs it satisfies, to what people it addresses its offer. The next point in the plan is detailed analyzes. Many people focus on market research - competition and demand - forgetting the need to analyze the product itself. And this is a mistake - it is at the center of the concept of "marketing".

Marketing is the art of selling products. Marketing is usually viewed as the creation, promotion and delivery of goods and services to consumers and organizations. (by Philip Kotler)

All activities must begin with its design, so that it corresponds to the current needs of the client. A higher level of marketing thinking is the creation of needs, that is, artificially creating and fueling the demand for some good. When analyzing the product, you need to focus on its advantages, which should be emphasized during the implementation of the plan. You should also consider who it is directed to - setting the target is a basic issue that is necessary for the next point of the plan, i.e. defining the strategy.

SWOT analysis

Before we move on to developing a strategy, a SWOT analysis should be performed. It is an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats - Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. As you can see, there are two pairs of aspects here, the first one concerns internal factors (product quality, its advantages and disadvantages) and the second one concerns external conditions, i.e. competition, existing law or exceptional opportunities resulting from a favorable market situation.

Let's present a SWOT analysis on a simplified example of a hypothetical manufacturer who wants to sell an MP3 player. The strengths of the product can be its gigabyte capacity, price and cool design, as well as maintaining good distribution channels. Weak side - sensitivity to damage. The opportunities will include creating a feeling among potential customers that having a player of this brand is something alternative, unique. The main threat will be the power of competition, which managed to develop the market a long time ago.

Strategy and goals

With the analytical part behind you, you can deal with the strategic stage, i.e. setting long-term goals. They are to answer the fundamental question: what do we want to achieve? According to H.I. Ansoff has four strategic options:

  1. Market penetration - focus on increasing sales on the market.
  2. Market development - an attempt to introduce a given product to previously unused market segments.
  3. Product development - introducing a new or changed product to the market.
  4. Diversification of activities - introducing a new product to a new market or its segment.

It is also worth noting that there are many opportunities to create a strategy - some companies use holistic plans that cover all products. Others rely on meticulous strategies for each product line and even for each model.

Tactics

Below the strategy there is a tactic - concretization of actions, selection of means and tools. Even lower are all operational activities, i.e. a detailed step-by-step plan. The relationship of these three components can be explained using the example of the aforementioned manufacturer of MP3 players. Its goal is to develop the product - to bring it to the market. In the tactical part, it can include wide-ranging promotional activities focused on social media platforms. Therefore, operational activities should include detailed guidelines on running a fan page on Facebook, Twitter account, etc.

The strategy and tactic part of a marketing plan must have a budget and schedule. These two elements do not need to be presented in detail - suffice it to say that they are mandatory. The entire document should end with a chapter on control activities that allow for a reliable assessment of the implemented concepts. Internet Marketing - as mentioned before - gives advertisers great analytical tools. Thanks to them, you can find out, for example, from where on the Internet a given person got to the company's website. The effectiveness of purchased Google Adwords ads is tested in a similar way.

Consistency of marketing communication and internet marketing

Marketing planning is carried out so that all undertaken activities are consistent and complement each other. Consistency should be understood primarily as the uniformity of the goal and the tactics leading to its achievement. It is mainly about aspects such as the language used, emotions stimulated, image created or persuasive messages used.

Once again, let's take our MP3 player manufacturer as an example. His strategic coherence should be manifested primarily by focusing on one goal - introducing a new product to the market. In terms of tactics, he must use a uniform language - if he addresses his offer to young people, he cannot address them as to the elderly.

It seems that in the case of fast moving products with a universal target (e.g. food) the best effect will be achieved by using all possible communication channels. The combination of TV clips, newspaper ads, street posters and well-kept social media accounts will give the impression of ubiquity - consumers will not easily lose the brand of the brand. You just have to remember that the message should be consistent - the same everywhere, although of course adapted in form to the specificity of a given medium.

Internet Marketing - Summary

In this part of the cycle, we have presented the most important information about such action as internet marketing - both about theories related to it and the practice of its implementation. The knowledge contained here allows for a general understanding of the basic differences and similarities between the classic approach to marketing and concepts adapted to the specificity of cyberspace. Now let's move on to the chapters that go into more detail about all aspects of building and implementing a strategy for solutions such as internet marketing.