Internet marketing, also referred to as web marketing or online marketing is the marketing of products, or, services using the internet. Internet marketing ties together creative and technical aspects of the internet including design, development, advertising, and sales. Internet marketing also refers to the placement of media along different stages of the customer engagement cycle through search engine marketing (SEM), search engine optimization (SEO), paid advertising like banner advertising or search advertising or e-mail marketing, and other new media strategies.
Internet marketing advantages
Internet marketers have the advantage of measuring statistics easily and inexpensively. Nearly all aspects of an Internet marketing campaign can be traced, measured, and tested. The advertisers can use a variety of methods: pay per impression, pay per click, pay per play, or pay per action. Therefore, marketers can determine which messages or offerings are more appealing to the audience. The results of campaigns can be measured and tracked immediately because online marketing initiatives usually require users to click on an advertisement, visit a website, and perform a targeted action. Such measurement cannot be achieved through billboard advertising, where an individual will at best be interested, then decide to obtain more information at a later time..
Internet marketing limitations
Internet marketing requires customers to use newer technologies rather than traditional media. Low-speed Internet connections are another barrier. If companies build large or overly-complicated websites, individuals connected to the Internet via dial-up connections or mobile devices experience significant delays in content delivery.
From the buyer's perspective, the inability of shoppers to touch, smell, taste or "try on" tangible goods before making an online purchase can be limiting. However, there is an industry standard for e-commerce vendors to reassure customers by having liberal return policies as well as providing in-store pick-up services.
Effects on industries
Internet marketing has had a large impact on several previously retail-oriented industries including music, film, pharmaceuticals, banking, flea markets, as well as the advertising industry itself.
The number of banks offering the ability to perform banking tasks online has also increased. Online banking is believed to appeal to customers because it is more convenient than visiting bank branches. Currently over 150 million U.S. adults now bank online, with increasing Internet connection speed being the primary reason for fast growth in the online banking industry. Of those individuals who use the Internet, 44 percent now perform banking activities over the Internet.Internet auctions have gained popularity. Unique items that could only previously be found at flea markets are being sold on eBay. Specialized e-stores sell items ranging from antiques to movie props. As the premier online reselling platform, eBay is often used as a price-basis for specialized items. Buyers and sellers often look at prices on the website before going to flea markets; the price shown on eBay often becomes the item's selling price. It is increasingly common for flea market vendors to place a targeted advertisement on the Internet for each item they are selling online, all while running their business out of their homes.