Electronic Marketing: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow


By

Kunal Gaurav
Research Scholar
Icfai Institute for Management Teachers
Hyderabad
 


Electronic market is relatively new concept and has crept into business vocabulary around 1970s. Electronic commerce denote the seamless application of information and communication technology from its point of origin to its end point along the entire value chain of business processes conducted electronically and designed to enable the accomplishment of a business goal. These processes may be partial or complete and may encompass B2B as well as B2C and C2B transaction (Wigand, 1997). The E-commerce further leads to the emergence of the ''market space'' - a virtual world of information paralleling the real marketplace of goods and services - enables marketers to manage content, context, and infrastructure in new and different ways, thereby providing novel sources of competitive advantage (Rayport & Sviokla, 1994). With electronic marketing one can think for business across the globe that was not possible earlier. Traditional way of market segmentation with an internet audience may not be fruitful. In electronic marketing, segmentation can be done effectively by considering two key dimensions i.e. potential value of the segment to the particular market sector and comparative attractiveness of the channel to the customer (Hymas, 2001).

The 4Ps frame work of traditional product marketing is not appropriate for electronic marketing due to unavailability of demographics and psychographics of electronic customers. Booms and Bitner (1981) considered 7Ps frame work for electronic Marketing. All most all the product can be made available for customer via electronic marketing but few product categories like Software, music, reports, games, videos etc, products can be delivered online at the same time, for other products it can be delivered later at the doorstep of the customers. It was initially believed that the Internet could benefit organizations because of the decreased costs involved with distribution, hence improving profit margins if they chose not to pass these benefits on to customers. But there are some electronic marketers like Amazon.com, have also contributed to price competition, effectively forcing the competitors to reduce the price. But same time Bromage (2001) argued that online customers buy online for convenience rather than for price advantages. Regarding place, electronic marketing offers potential to shift from a non-virtual marketplace to a market-space instead, incorporating virtual transaction/distribution spaces. Websites have the potential to give information, to entertain and be interactive in their communication. Internet can take over some of the activities offered by the personal sales person (e.g. accepting purchase orders), but some of the activities undertaken by sales representatives cannot be replaced by technology. The Internet allows organizations to make their service delivery system flexible. Because of the lack of physical proximity in electronic marketing, marketers make use of "virtual evidence" in the virtual environment. Lack of the personal interface may result in customer distrust of first-time interaction with electronic channels. It is also more difficult for marketers to build a relationship with customers whom they never see (Dobie et al., 2001); in such a situation trust (to reduce transaction cost) can be generated by other means, such as communication messages and brands.

Electronic marketing proved its effectiveness by reducing the time of shopping and made it easy for the people to shop. Most of the business houses adopted electronic marketing so far and many more are in pipe line .Although electronic marketing has proved its success in facilitating communication and exchange but still it has long way to travel.
 


Kunal Gaurav
Research Scholar
Icfai Institute for Management Teachers
Hyderabad
 

Source: E-mail March 27, 2007

       

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