Today’s age is the era of information age where all the aspects of lives are affected in some manner by the technology. With the birth of personal computers and subsequent evolution of World Wide Web, the society has become a global society where all the information is easily available. Internet has revolutionized the business environment and all the functions of an organization are dependent on internet. Advances in technology have changed the ways organizations produce and deliver services and goods. Moreover, internet and other improvements in technology such as Smartphone, video conferencing, and social networking have changed the dynamics of advertising and marketing functions of the organization (Roberts and Zahay 2012). The report therefore, aims to understand the concepts of internet marketing and its various elements that could applied for enhancing the marketing communication of Milk and Chocolates Ltd. The report also undertakes an evaluation of internet marketing mix elements and compares the internet marketing tools with an objective of developing a suitable internet marketing plan for the company. In addition, the report also discusses the concept of interactive order processing in context of Milk and Chocolates Ltd.
Internet marketing or online marketing refers to. the advertising and marketing efforts that employ Web, e-mail and other means to drive direct sales via electronic media Online marketing is all the efforts that a company puts to spread their marketing communication that uses internet to reach people. Internet marketing efforts are employed in conjunction with traditional types of advertising like television, radio, magazines in order to achieve integrated marketing communication objectives (Shih et al. 2013).
Elements of internet marketing
Web marketing: It includes marketing communication through e-commerce websites, affiliate marketing, promotional websites and advertising o search engines through Search Engine Optimization.
These techniques can be employed for the Milk and Chocolate Ltd. for promoting the products. The company can develop its own e-commerce website in order to sell its products as well to inform customers about the various products that company provides and the benefits users can derive by utilizing company’s products and services.
E-mail marketing: It includes advertising and promotional marketing efforts of the company via e-mail messages to the current and prospective customers.
Milk and Chocolate Ltd. can employ this method to create awareness about the brand and to initiate desirable response from the current and prospective customers.
Social media marketing: Social media marketing as the name suggest is marketing communication strategy that employs social media and networking websites to communicate brand benefits by creating an interactive communication model (Pomirleanu et al. 2013).
Milk and Chocolate Ltd. can use these techniques for engaging current and prospective customers. Social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and the like be employed to promote the brand. This also helps the organization to solicit response from the users or customers that can be utilized to understand customers’ needs and expectations and implement necessary changes in the products and services offered by the organization to increase customer satisfaction and develop brand loyalty (Fritz 2013).
Banner advertising: Banner advertising refers to advertising a company’s products and services through advertising on the WebPages of prominent websites (Aghaei et al. 2015).
Milk and Chocolate Ltd. can employ this method for brand promotion. Moreover, online banner advertising helps to increase the traffic to the company‘s website that helps in greater brand recognition and leads to higher conversion rate.
Evaluation of internet marketing mix
The internet has changed the manner in which businesses sell and market their products and services. Moreover, customers uses internet to research and products. Therefore, it is important to understand the internet marketing mix to deliver products and services to the customers. The internet marketing mix for the Milk and Chocolates Ltd can be discussed as –
E-Product: While making the purchase over the internet, customers loses the tangibility factor. However, e-commerce sales are all around the world is increasing as buyers can access all the information about the product such as features, product specification and can easily compare the similar products across the brand easily and conveniently (Doostar and Mohammadi 2014).
E-Price: Internet offers customers the power to purchase the products that provdes best deal with just a click. Therefore, it is important for the Milk and Chocolates Ltd. to implement a more competitive pricing strategy to compete within the market. In addition, the company has to formulate customer loyalty programs to reward loyal customers as a means of retaining loyal customers (Hemmati 2016).
E-place: Online business model allows customers to sell its products and services directly to the customers cutting out retailers completely. However, the company has to ensure that customers orders are delivered quickly to the customers and after sales services or grievances are resolved quickly to ensure customers purchasing experience is enhanced and they come back for making future purchases.
E-Promotion: Internet and other electronic mediums provide multiple tools and techniques for marketers to promote their products and services. In this context, Milk and Chocolate can implement integrated marketing communication for the promotional activities. E-promotion activities that can be employed in this case include banner advertising, social media engagement, mass e-mail to current and prospective customers to promote the brand (Ogonowski et al. 2014).
Comparison of internet marketing tools
Various internet-marketing tools that can be employed by Milk and Chocolate Ltd for internet marketing purpose include –
Search Engine Optimization tools
Social media management tools
Visual content tools
Interactive order processing
Interactive order processing is a basic for e-commerce that assists e-commerce business to present online businesses to customer’s authentic brands. It helps in easy services to the customers and organizes the whole online commerce activity with specific order.
In this context, Milk and Chocolate Ltd. work on its entire product offerings and is required to develop a differentiated persona for the product. The product and its qualities must be in accordance with the customer’s needs and expectations. In the purchasing process, initially a lot of customers show interest in the company’s offerings, however, not all the visits to the site translate to actual sales and a lot of customers fall out before the payment stage. Therefore, it is important to ascertain what customers are looking in the brand and implementing this understanding in the product development (Reas and Fry 2015).
The various stages of interactive order processing involve –
(Source: As created by author)
2. Mechanics of search engine marketing
Search engine marketing is one of the most effective means to grow business in the increasingly competitive marketplace. It is a form of internet marketing that help business to promote itself by promoting their websites by increasing their visibility in the search engine result pages. Milk and Chocolate Ltd. is required to implement SEM technique of brand promotion to increase its visibility in the search results when customers search for a particular product or services related to the offerings provided by the company. The company can ensure effective SEM by employing Search Engine Optimization and Pay Per Click techniques (Moran and Hunt 2014).
SEO: The company can utilize search engine optimization, by focussing on both paid and unpaid means of increasing an organizations visibility. The purpose of this exercise is to ensure that the company’s website appear as a top result when a user searches by inputting certain keywords. The reason being the earlier and more frequently a site appears in the search results list, the greater number of visitors would visit the company’s website and greater would be the probability of converting those visitors to the company’s customers. SEO is the ongoing marketing activity as the ranking on the results page changes over time. Therefore, the company is required to take necessary steps to ensure that company’s website appear high in the search engine results. Various tactics that should be employed by the company for appearing high on the search engine results are creating and publishing excellent web contents such as blogs, using relevant keywords, link building to improve link popularity and enhancing the users experience through providing excellent customer experience (Nabout and Skiera 2012).
E-mail marketing newsletter
“Get a 15% off on all our product offerings across all the categories. In addition, our customers can also have to opportunity to ship our products to your loved ones in any corner of the world for free. This limited period offer would be applicable for the next 15 days. Apply the discount code: MNCDIS15” (Hartemo et al. 2016).
Online public relations
Online public relations are one of the most cost effective marketing strategies for any business and can be used by Milk and Chocolate Ltd. for brand promotion. In order to implement effective online public relations approach, it is important to employ a variety of online applications such as social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, Foresquare, and LinkedIn), photo and video sharing sites (Youtube, Vimeo, Flicker, and Instagram), and other online avenues (blogs, RSS feeds, comparison sites, affiliate sites, and so on).
In order to ensure that the best online public relations strategy is being employed by the organization following four steps has to be implemented as discussed below –
Attracting visitors through search
Engaging and initiating dialogue with all the stakeholders
Building campaign buzz
Developing strategies to manage any negative publicity
Online public relations aim at influencing the impression of the stakeholders and particularly the customers in favour of the business. The heart of the online public relation is to tell a story about the brand and to create an aura for the brand in the minds of the customers (Saffer et al. 2013).
New digital media communities
Business can use digital media communities such as file sharing sites, video sharing sites, social media sites and the like for marketing communication purposes. Many organizations are using file sharing sites such as Dropbox and Google Drive to connect with the internal stakeholders of the organization and to promote the brand internally. Moreover, increasing visibility over the video sharing sites such as YouTube and Vimeo is more innovative and contemporary means of online marketing and helps the business to attract young customers that uses these sites on a regular basis. It appeals to the users directly to the end users and presents an opportunity to engage with the current and prospective customers directly (Hirst et al. 2014).
From the above discussion, it can be concluded that internet marketing is one of the most effective way of marketing communication for the users. It helps the firm to target and customer base more effectively and efficiently. The exponential spread of personal computers, Smartphone and the internet has made the internet marketing more lucrative for the marketers. Various tools and techniques like search engine management, social media management and e-mail marketing helps the organization to connect directly with the customers and provides an opportunity to get loyal customers.
Adams, R.L., 2015. Web 4.0 Marketing: The Black Book of Powerful Online Marketing Strategies & Tactics.
Aghaei, M., Abdolmaleki, S. and Asadollahi, A., 2015. Investigation of the Effect of Internet Marketing Mix on Improving the Performance of Internet Companies. Research Journal of Recent Sciences ISSN, 2277, p.2502.
Doostar, M. and Mohammadi, M.H., 2014. Studying and prioritising the effective elements of internet advertising on e-marketing. International journal of services and operations management, 18(1), pp.57-73.
Fritz, W., 2013. Internet-Marketing und Electronic Commerce: Grundlagen—Rahmenbedingungen—Instrumente. Springer-Verlag.
Hartemo, M., Suomi, R. and Hakala, U., 2016. Towards Improved Performance: A Model for Testing Email Newsletter Design. Journal of Electronic Commerce in Organizations (JECO), 14(3), pp.1-16.
Hemmati, M., 2016. Analyzing the Effect of Social Internet of Things on Making the Internet Marketing Smart. Modern Applied Science, 10(9), p.213.
Hirst, M., Harrison, J. and Mazepa, P., 2014. Communication and new media: From broadcast to narrowcast. Oxford University Press.
Madle???k, R., Madle???kov?, L., ?vadlenka, L. and Salava, D., 2015. Analysis of Website Traffic Dependence on Use of Selected Internet Marketing Tools. Procedia Economics and Finance, 23, pp.123-128.
Miller, P., 2013. Social Media Marketing. The Social Media Industries, pp.86-104.
Moran, M. and Hunt, B., 2014. Search engine marketing, Inc.: Driving search traffic to your company's website. IBM Press.
Nabout, N.A. and Skiera, B., 2012. Return on quality improvements in search engine marketing. Journal of Interactive Marketing, 26(3), pp.141-154.
Ogonowski, A., Montandon, A., Botha, E. and Reyneke, M., 2014. Should new online stores invest in social presence elements? The effect of social presence on initial trust formation. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 21(4), pp.482-491.
Pomirleanu, N., Schibrowsky, J.A., Peltier, J. and Nill, A., 2013. A review of internet marketing research over the past 20 years and future research direction. Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing, 7(3), pp.166-181.
Reas, C. and Fry, B., 2015. Getting Started with Processing: A Hands-On Introduction to Making Interactive Graphics. Maker Media, Inc..
Roberts, M.L. and Zahay, D., 2012. Internet marketing: Integrating online and offline strategies. Cengage Learning.
Saffer, A.J., Sommerfeldt, E.J. and Taylor, M., 2013. The effects of organizational Twitter interactivity on organization–public relationships. Public Relations Review, 39(3), pp.213-215.
Shih, B.Y., Chen, C.Y. and Chen, Z.S., 2013. An empirical study of an internet marketing strategy for search engine optimization. Human Factors and Ergonomics in Manufacturing & Service Industries, 23(6), pp.528-540.
Tuten, T.L. and Solomon, M.R., 2014. Social media marketing. Sage.