E-Marketing - The New Vista in Marketing


By

M.Vignesh
M.Sc., MBA.
Asst. Professor
Department of Management Studies
The American College
Madurai, Tamilnadu 625002
 


INTRODUCTION

The letter 'e' has assumed special significance in this digitalization era.  After the dot com bust in 1990s, many sectors used to complete their transaction by electronical means. This was being backboned by the state-of-the-art ICT innovations (Information and Communication Technology) such as e-mail, e-tailing, e-payment and so on.  Now it becomes a status issue that every transaction must be performed through advanced technology.

E-marketing can be defined as the application of information technologies for transforming marketing strategies to create more customer value through more effective segmentation, targeting, differentiation and positioning strategies.

Whereas, the term E-business, was coined by the IBM and Gartner Group moulded the concept as a continuous optimization of a firm's business activities through the digital technologies.

E-Market the Big Picture

The concept of "http" and "www" for the internet revolutionized the information technology field.  In other words, it is said to be the great digital divide.  Of course, there is a burgeoning increase in the usage of internet and emails over the years.  As e-mails replaced the snail mails, there was a increased frequency in the usage of e-mails.  Hence it is common that emails, formed a base for the emarketing.   Besides emails, emarketing can be done through other formats as pop-ups, interstitial advertisements, banners etc.

Figure  1: Growth of E-commerce in Asia over the years


Source: www.techinasia.com

Entities in an E-Business Model

E-marketing strategy for a company (whether it is of a B2B ,  B2C or  C2B )  is somewhat difficult and a cumbersome method than a traditional company.  Normally, the various levels of any e-business model must have the following:

i) Online purchasing: Firms can use the web to place orders with suppliers so as to establish a proper supply chain management.

ii) Order processing : This happens when online retailers automate internet transactions created by customers.

iii) SPAM mails :  These are other wise called as the sales promoting advertising mails.  Here the target group is identified and flooding of emails can be done to lure the users.

iv) Business Intelligence(BI): This refers to the gathering of secondary and primary information about competitors, markets, customers and using that data , some pertinent information or inference can be derived out.

v) Online advertising : The firm buys advertising on someone else's e-mail or web site. When the firm sells advertising, it is engaging in content sponsorship, a higher-level process.

vi) Online sales promotions : Concerns use internet as a media to send samples of digital products(music or software) or electronic coupons, among other tactics.

vii) Social media marketing : Nowadays,  it is the trend to capture the youth , who form the major pie of the customer group, through various social networks such as facebook, twitter.  And of course, most of the brands have their facebook and tweets besides their urls to attract their customers.

Table 1. Differences between brick-and-mortar and eMarketing

Theme

Brick and mortar format

Emarketing

1)Marketing concept

Word- of- mouth

Word- of- mouse

2) Customer retention

Possible

Not possible

3) Quality of product

Assured

Not assured

4) Global reach

Limited to a locality

Ubiquitous

5) Interactivity

Restricted

Unlimited

6) Access

Restricted

365 X 24 X 7


4 P's of E-Marketing Mix

Traditionally, the marketing mix as product, price, promotion and place strategies are co-ordinated in such a way to facilitate for products purchased over the counter. E-marketing mix considers the elements of presenting the marketing mix online. There must be clear facts about the product to be purchased online.

The buyer knows immediately about the product features, the facts, and not the sales persons assumptions.  Electrical store offers clear information on products and their specifications.

Regarding the place, the buying process is facilitated by the internet and the consumers have the power to shop around for the best deal at a click of a button. 

E-pricing can also easily reward the loyal customers.  Promoting products and service online is concerned with a number of issues. Having a recognizable domain name is first stage towards e-promotion. 

Figure 2. The e-Marketing Mix


The Pros of E-Marketing

E-marketing gained its momentum with companies because of the following reasons:

i) Compared to other media investments such as direct mail or printed newsletters, it is less expensive.
ii) It lets the advertiser "push" the message to its targeted customers, as opposed to a website that waits for customers to come in.
iii) It is easy to track the customers' preferences.  An advertiser can track users via bounce messages, cookies, read-receipts, click-throughs etc.,
iv) Advertisers can generate repeat business affordably and automatically.
v) Cross-selling and up-selling can be performed by knowing the customers preference instantaneously.
vi) Specific types of interaction with messages can trigger other events such as updating the profile of the recipient to indicate a specific interest category. 
vii) Green-email marketing is paper-free.

E-Marketing the Difficulties

Marketing through electronic means is considered to be a failure owing to the following reasons:

i) Abut 60% of  the consumers delete e-mail advertising without reading it.
ii) Because of the complex process, some find it difficult to access things.
iii) One-third of permission e-mails that consumers want to receive from trusted sources are being blocked by filters and corporate firewalls and hence considered to be spam.
iv) Customer loyalty and retention is not possible.

CONCLUSION

E-marketing is not all lopsided by the advantages but also being governed by major hiccups such as failure in retention of the customer loyalty.  Also the customer conversion ratio is very low when compared to the traditional business. It is the task of the corporates to adopt a proper emarketing strategy such as permission email marketing which acts as a handshake protocol between sender and receiver.  This system is intended to eventually result in a high degree of satisfaction between consumers and marketers.

REFERENCES

1. Jeffrey F. Rayport & Bernard J. Jaworski ,  "Introduction to E-Commerce", Tata McGraw Hill Edition.
2. Judy Strauss, Adel El Ansary  & Raymond Frost , "E-Marketing", Prentice Hall

WEBLIOGRAPHY

1. www.emarketer.com
2. www.nextsbd.com/imarketing
3. www.techinasia.com
 


M.Vignesh
M.Sc., MBA.
Asst. Professor
Department of Management Studies
The American College
Madurai, Tamilnadu 625002
 

Source: E-mail May 29, 2012

          

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