What is online marketing?

What is online marketing? Marketing expert Nicole Martin has some advice.

Broadband penetration is now over 60% in the UK. Internet marketing, also referred to as web marketing, online marketing, Internet advertising, or eMarketing, is the marketing of products or or services over the internet.

The internet is as effective for advertising as TV was 30 years ago. It can be used not only for advertising but for retail, distribution and socialising.

What does online marketing consist of?

– PR
– Emails
– Advertising
– Websites – yours, suppliers, customers etc
– Selling tool/ecommerce
– Promotions and offers
– Database management
– Networking – business and social

Examples of online marketing at its best to me are Amazon.co.uk, Tesco.com and price comparison sites – it’s their only method of trading after all.

Why is it for you?

It’s a way to start a relationship, not just another way to sell. Find out what the customers wants, listen to them and give them what they need.

– it’s 24/7
–  it allows innovation
–  you can do as much or as little as you like
–  it complements other marketing activities
–  it’s interactive
–  it’s quick to react and change
–  it’s a good way to link up to other sites
–  it can be personalised (in terms of email)
–  it is a proven effective way for companies to motivate customers and their interest in their products/services
–  it allows older products/services to engage with a new audience

– Mass messaging (in terms of websites)
– it can be expensive, but it can be done gradually
–  it needs regular updating

Ways to improve your online presence?
Websites, emails and CRM [customer relationship management]. Customers and potential customers won’t easily find your website by chance, you need to lead them there.

Put yourself in your customers shoes e.g. what sites do they look at, do they have email access, what kind of email message would appeal to them?

– look at your website and email campaigns – are they eye catching, consistent, to the point?
– do you regularly review your website content?
– are you easily found on search engines such as Google, Yahoo etc?
– think like a customer – how would they find you and are you there?
– do you advertise with people such as Yell.com? There are many ways you can do this, to suit all budgets
– do you or can you view the statistics from the traffic to your site?

*Nicole Martin is director of Pinpoint Marketing Consultancy Ltd.

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