Today, internet is being used extensively by many businesses as we continue to depend more on it for our needs. From online education to online shopping, everything is available through the internet. E-businesses and e-commerce have been extremely popular for more than a decade now and hence, e-marketing strategies have gained importance in the field of business and marketing. For my personal e-business, I would prefer to set up a website first and then proceed for other major advertising campaigns. Below, I’d discuss the steps that I will proceed for to expand and promote my e-business online as well as offline.
Promoting an e-business online and offline is a big work that would require immense research. This would include learning about companies and businesses that market similar products as I do and the strategies they use would be noted. Search engines online are a good start and therefore, I’d proceed with Google or Yahoo as they are extremely popular and yield many relevant results (Lone Eagle Consulting, n.d.). This would help me decide on the pricing of my product as well because I’d prefer to price my product in a competitive way so that my product is ahead of others in the same arena. I believe the product quality of my company is better than the ones in my arena and therefore, pricing would be done in a way that it would help me gain profits as well as help me sell my product as well. I believe that looking into strategies that work is always a beneficial start to which I can modify it with time and the kind of product I am offering to my prospective customers. This would help me with the product improvement, pricing as well as distribution of the product.
It is obvious that since I am in an e-business, I should set up a website that would offer my products to my prospective customers. Flashy websites take a long time to load and hence, I would be opting for a simple yet sophisticated layout for my website that would attract my customers through special prices and promotional offers. I believe presentation matters in marketing and thus, I’d be offering a clean website with no banner ads to attract my customers. Then comes the actual selling; this would involve spreading the word about my e-business through several means. This would include the word-of-mouth, online advertisements, pay-per-click advertisements, newsletters, offline marketing (through newspapers and magazines), affiliate programs, traffic banner exchanges as well as joining several community groups where businesses offering similar products advertise themselves online (Emarketingman.com, 2007).
According to Otilia Otlacan, e-marketing strategies constitute of seven dimensions and the uniqueness of the e-marketing is marked by as she states,
“What gives e-Marketing its uniqueness is a series of specific functions, relational functions, that can be synthesized in the 2P + 2C+ 3S formula: Personalization, Privacy, Customer Service, Community, Site, Security, Sales Promotion. These 7 functions of the e-Marketing stay at the base of any e-Marketing strategy and they have a moderating character, unlike the classic Marketing mix that comprises situational functions only. Moderating functions of e-Marketing have the quality of moderate, operate upon all situational functions of the mix (the classic 4 P’s) and upon each other” (Otlacan, 2005).
I agree with what Otlacan has stated and therefore, plan my e-marketing strategy in the same manner. Personalization would include regarding what has already been stated above regarding the websites. Privacy issue consideration is extremely vital for e-marketing as spamming the clients through e-mails or other unwanted techniques is not only unethical but illegal. Taking the privacy issue of the client into consideration while marketing my product would show the professionalism of our company and therefore, the customers would trust our products as well as our company. Hence, we would have returning customers thereby facilitating the distribution of products.
An excellent customer service with prompt answers to customer’s questions is what brings the customer’s back again to buy from us. If we want to sell our products, we should have an excellent customer service to draw customers towards us. Then, we have the community involvement where the customers as well as the product companies interact with each other. Being a part of the community that supports the products we are offering advertises our products in the most interactive manner with our customers.
Furthermore, we also require a proper site where we make our services available to our customers throughout such as real-time product tracking or customer services without giving any considerations to weekends or places. The information should be accessible from anywhere. Security measures for accepting online payment through accredited merchants brings back customers again to buy from us. Therefore, a secure environment is vital for our functioning and for the customers to trust us. Lastly, we have the sales promotion through which we promote our products by giving special offers and discounts. This can include “Buy 1 and get 1 free” offer or 50% discounts on any products bought on or before a specified date. Customers are really fond of sales promotions and therefore, such marketing tactics always work for any business to succeed- whether online or offline.
Lone Eagles Consulting (n.d.). Lesson Four- E-marketing strategies. Retrieved online on the 29th of June, 2007 at http://lone-eagles.com/ecommercenew4.htm
Otlacan, Otilia. (2005). e-Marketing Strategy: 7 Dimensions to Consider (the e-Marketing Mix). EzineArticles. Retrieved online on the 30th of June, 2007 at http://ezinearticles.com/?e-Marketing-Strategy:-7-Dimensions-to-Consider-(the-e-Marketing-Mix);id=21976
Emarketingman.com (2007). Internet Marketing strategy: Implementing the best internet marketing strategies. Retrieved online on the 30th of June, 2007 at http://emarketingman.com/internet-marketing-strategy.shtml