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Marketing communication deals with the methods used by an organization to transmit message to its target market. Internet marketing is one of the key methods that businesses has attempted to utilize in their promotion activities. Internet marketing is an essential method, which enhances communication and interaction between the customer and the company. Some of the gaps identified in the existing pieces of literature are that most studies have not examined the complexity of internet marketing in business. Internet marketing has turned out to be more complicated because it requires integration of platforms and tools such as customer relations management (CRM), email campaigns and social media, Google analytics and websites. In so doing, the company is able to understand the customer, entice potential consumers in the system and convert them into consumers. Moreover, gaps exist in the use of online marketing because most of these tools are not linked to each other, hence it can be challenging to eliminate the barriers and recognize their interests and wants. Therefore, the research paper will use secondary data to determine the effectiveness and current challenges of internet marketing in enabling marketing communication in business. The secondary data forms the rationale of the methodology used in the paper. The research paper will contribute in establishing solutions needed in marketing communication particularly on digital marketing processes. Precisely, it will offer recommendations on how different channels used in online marketing can be integrated to create a high quality system, which enable faster decision making in the business through data from prospect customers.
Marketing communication refers to the manner in which an organization transmits a message to its target market or customers. It serves as a tool for promotion, marketing, or advertising (De Mooij, 2015). More importantly, it is based on the fact that communication plays a critical part in the marketing mix aiming at production of customized messages, reaching desired customers, establishing high brand interactions. In the current century, businesses are seeking to take advantage of new and effective methods of marketing communication (Li & Kannan, 2014). In this respect, the emergence of internet marketing has revolutionized marketing communication. Internet marketing is an essential method since it connects with the way customers come up with the purchasing decisions (Moriarty et al., 2014). Recent studies have pointed out that most of the customers are spending their time on the internet especially on social media. Others use mobile internet to conduct initial research on the price and other information related to the product prior to final decision making. Internet marketing helps the business to establish relations prospects customer via timely and cheaper personalized communication (Gangeshwer, 2013).
Internet marketing has enhanced marketing communication because of its convenience, accessibility, cost, personalization, and ability to build stronger relationships. It facilitates promotion of the product at any time without being afraid of the hours of opening the stores or staffs’ overtime payments. Customers can receive the information related to the product at any place hence they can make orders at their convenient moments (De Mooij, 2015). By advertising on the internet, a company can overcome many barriers associated with the distance. It enables selling of products in different parts of the world without establishing local outlets hence enlarging their target markets. Similarly, internet marketing has helped the firm to expand their export commerce without initiating a system of distributors in a series of countries (Tiago & Veríssimo, 2014).
Studies have also noted that internet marketing is beneficial to marketing communication because it cost effective. For this reason, marketing goods on the Internet is cheaper than doing so via mass communication or retail outlet (Li & Kannan, 2014). For instance, the company does not incur repeated expenses of property maintenance and rental as well as the inventory costs. Furthermore, internet marketing is the most effective way of fostering relationships between the customer and the business. Precisely, it delivers a platform for formulating relationships with consumers and raising their retention levels (Smith & Zook, 2016). In case the customer has bought a product, the firm has an opportunity to initiate a relationship through follow-up communication to verify the transaction and acknowledge the customer. Personalized and regular communication with the customer through online platforms sustains the relationship. Customers can also be welcomed to deliver the product reviews through the social media hence assisting to create a feeling of community (Tiago & Veríssimo, 2014).
Moreover, internet marketing helps to empower the company to utilize the increasing significance of social media. A number of scholarly evidence have pointed out that there is an association between the growth of online revenue and social networking (Gangeshwer, 2013). Therefore, the type of customer that reacts more robustly to the effects of social networks produced higher sales of approximately 5 per cent. In this regard, the business can leverage of this kind of influence by integrating social networking systems in the internet marketing processes (Vinerean, Cetina, Dumitrescu & Tichindelean, 2013). Furthermore, it permits the business to personalize deals with the clients by developing a profile of their procuring preferences and history. For instance, by monitoring the product information and web pages that the potential customer visits, the company can develop targeted deals that replicate their interests. The data accessible from monitoring website visits also offer information for designing cross-selling promotions in order to raise the sales value (Chaffey & Ellis-Chadwick, 2016).
The internet marketing is viable to business because it allows them the freedom to promote and advertise services and products and obtain an instant response. Companies can realize the benefits of this form of marketing communication because it is easier to initiate and inexpensive (Gangeshwer, 2013). The online strategy selected enables the company to increase its visibility in order to raise its visitors. The key aim of successful internet marketing is to establish an approach that has the minimum risk investments and cost aiming to optimize sales potential and obtain high returns (Armstrong, Kotler, Harker & Brennan, 2015).
Online marketing has empowered the companies to be closer to the target customers and sustain the closeness. Consumers using the internet are increasing steadily while the numbers of potential customers staying online have increased (Li & Kannan, 2014). For this reason, internet marketing delivers a chance to establish preliminary brand awareness via customer acquisitions. Since online purchasers are changing their lives to fit a series of aspects accessible for them to use, internet advertisings are capable of exploit on offering these opportunities (Tiago & Veríssimo, 2014).
Social media marketing is one of the methods of Internet marketing. Since the development of social media, the landscape for product promotion has changed and companies have initiated a new strategy for the marketing. It has challenged the traditional media such as newspapers, radio, and TV (Li & Kannan, 2014). It has empowered customers to improve communication and interaction through platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. More importantly, it has facilitated sharing of experiences, thoughts, opinions, and information about a certain brand among a community of consumers (Moriarty et al., 2014).
According to Tiago & Veríssimo, (2014) social media has acquired the market share from conventional media. Therefore, the amount of time, which was spent, on the conventional media are now utilized on social media. They use it to share their suggestions, criticism, opinions, and thoughts. Therefore, these platforms have now transformed from the Internet from a system of information to a podium of influence (Tiago & Veríssimo, 2014). Social media has generated interactivity in the promotion site and has enabled companies and consumers to openly communicate with each other without barriers such as time and distance. Most importantly, social media has substantially transformed the way communication takes place between online consumers, individual consumers, and companies (Li & Kannan, 2014).
Internet marketing has turned out to be more complicated to be used in businesses because it requires integration of platforms and tools such as customer relationships management (CRM), and email campaigns as well as social media, and Google analytics (Smith & Zook, 2016). Since various tools are not interlinked, it creates a barrier on how to use the available data to entice the potential customers and convert them into actual purchasers of the firm’s products. For instance, email campaigns are key tools, which are used as part of the marketing strategy. Applying digital instruments such as MailChimp to administer these online promotions can deliver huge analytical data. In this regard, visitors who accessed the emails or clicked in the intended sites can be identified (Tiago & Veríssimo, 2014). Nevertheless, these tools cannot deliver any data about what took place after that. Furthermore, it does not provide the pages the visitor access after clicking a particular website in the email. Similarly, it fails to determine whether they filled out page designed to gather more information (Tiago & Veríssimo, 2014). It cannot also explain whether the company was able to finally convert a potential user into real customers. although the company is able to know the level of traffic after the customers access the site, the email advertising tools fail to give the qualitative user monitoring that will demonstrate to the company exactly what every prospect or contact is searching for (Li & Kannan, 2014). In addition, emails advertising systems alone cannot help the business to assess the needs of the customers without being linked to other tools (Moriarty et al., 2014).
Research also indicated that social media advertising tools produce traffic through platforms such as Hootsuite and Tweetdeck. The digital tracking systems can be utilized to systematize the digital campaigns and monitor the users (Vinerean, Cetina, Dumitrescu & Tichindelean, 2013). It is also useful in engaging the prospective customers. Nonetheless, gaps occur because the firm cannot understand what the visitors do after staying at the site (Smith & Zook, 2016). For this reasons, most businesses use Google Analytics, which is helpful in determining the traffic of the site. Therefore, it helps to record the number of persons who visit or click on the link and data on their origin and the time they stayed on the site. However, the Google Analytics provides data, which is anonymous. In this respect, the company does not have crucial data about the particular person who visited the site (Vinerean, Cetina, Dumitrescu & Tichindelean, 2013).
Visitors using the digital networks may access the sites for a long period to read about the product. They also spend time researching the manner in which services and products can satisfy their wants or resolve their challenges prior to completing the form to communicate directly. Most of the forms are often short and simple, hence it compounds the challenges of identifying their problems they are attempting to unravel (Tiago & Veríssimo, 2014). Notably, Google analytics is beneficial in generating a general picture concerning how individuals enter the site. Therefore, it does not provide explicit details on information required to meet the needs of the visitors.
Since a number of studies have been conducted on the topic, the methodology of the research paper will be based on already existing research or past pieces of literature. The secondary data generated from this research design will assist in establishing the goals and contribution of the research. The scholar adopted this type of research because of its potential to harvest all the suitable data as a standard in the process of the study. The systematic research methodology was employed because it had the potential to explore the effectiveness level of internet marketing in marketing communication of the products. Furthermore, it was planned that the use of this type of methodology in order to assess the gaps in the digital marketing which have an impact on the effectiveness level of the business. More importantly, the research paper concentrates on academic journals especially on peer-reviewed journals and books on the topic of the study (Smith & Zook, 2016). Notably, journals and books were used because they offered important information about the internet marketing in facilitating marketing communication.
The study findings
Most of the literature has confirmed that different tools used by companies in internet marketing are crucial in encouraging customer’s participation and interaction. However, they also noted challenges occur because they work separately (Tiago & Veríssimo, 2014). For instance, the discord between CRM, email campaigns, social media, and Google Analytics, which imply that the information gathered from these networks, is also segmented. Therefore, large proportions of companies may not realize the benefits presented by these channels (Li & Kannan, 2014). In so doing, the effectiveness of the internet marketing is normally hampered by the segmentation. A number of scholars proposed that data generated from these sites should be aggregated so that marketing departments can use it to make sound decisions. Significantly, a study by Smith & Zook, (2016) suggested that firms should strive to use the modern software in digital marketing such as a Marketing Automation Platform (MAP), which assist in the analysis of data that can be used to understand the consumers’ preferences, interests, and needs when they visit these sites (Smith & Zook, 2016).
MAPs are developed to solve the barrier between different digital marketing networks because they interconnect and consolidate the systems to supervise the inbound promotion efforts. For instance, it can enable incorporation of data from CRM, Google Analytics, social media, and email campaigns. Additionally, it enables the company to monitor the site’s visitors on personal front (Gangeshwer, 2013). Therefore, it can get a comprehensive image on the way they discovered the site, the pages they accessed and the type of information they are searching for, as well as how the company can satisfy their needs (Moriarty et al., 2014).
The studies advocated the use of integrated systems in the digital marketing, which empowers the marketing team with information, that convert the prospective customer to actual customers. they can access all the useful data concerning the customer in the CRM such as the type of pages the customer visited, the natures of forms they completed, and they kind of emails they clicked and received. In so doing, they gain comprehensive image, which permits them to define precisely what the customer is searching for, illustrate how the business can respond to the questions, and resolve their challenges (Tiago & Veríssimo, 2014).
With the existence of qualitative commercial intelligence, the business can obtain completely aligned and integrated promotion strategy (Tiago & Veríssimo, 2014). For instance, using programs such as MAP, it can eliminate the barriers of internet marketing which enhances their effectiveness. Moreover, it facilitates achievements of returns on investments for the organizational websites (Gangeshwer, 2013). It can also reduce the time of the sales cycles and improve the value of the services.
Internet marketing is a modern strategy used in marketing communication. The popularity of this method has increased in the past decades owing to the rise of persons connected to the internet. Moreover, most persons spend more time on the social media as opposed to traditional media such as TV and radio (Li & Kannan, 2014). Therefore, companies are using platforms such as email campaigns, social media, and Google Analytics to advertise their products. However, the effectiveness of these tools is hampered by the fact that they are segmented and cannot determine the needs of the prospective customer (Gangeshwer, 2013). For this reason, there is need to use integrated methods such as MAP since they provide qualitative intelligence related to the user (Smith & Zook, 2016).
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