Internet marketing is the advertising or marketing of products online or through the internet, which can also be known as i-marketing, online marketing, web marketing or e-marketing. It sells not only products, but can also be the transfer of information to others, regarding a product, service or promotion through electronic online means.
How did it start?
The Internet became increasingly popular in the late 1990’s in what is known as the dot-com boom. Day by day, millions of surfers started to get in touch with this new innovation, including many companies. Websites from these companies started appearing online, in order to advertise their products and/or services, and so Internet Marketing was born.
- Internet Marketing is very fast.
- Online businesses can be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year.
- Spreading the message to customers is as easy and as fast as a few clicks away.
- Updating customers about information can be done with just one e-mail.
- You can deliver products straight to your clients, such as newspapers or online magazines which can be sold through new digital distribution channels.
- The Internet can provide worldwide coverage.
- People can interact with your business, from the comfort of their homes.
- There is a lot of competition online, because millions of people are using the internet.
- Web visitors have learned to anticipate things being free.
- There can be risks of information overload, due to the abundance of information now available online.
- The Internet can open new windows of opportunity for scammers.
Significance of internet marketing
The internet is playing a very essential role in modern business. Many people are now using the internet, and many of them are now also using it to support their own product or services as well as their everyday lives. In fact, it has turned into one of the most important parts of every business. Internet marketing is the ideal and best way to make your products or services known to millions of potential customers worldwide.
Barriers of internet marketing
There can also be barriers to successful internet marketing. Since internet marketing is online, you will definitely have to have a high-speed computer that can help you meet the demands of your consumers and the companies affiliated with you. High-speed computers can give you fast access to all the people who want to get in touch with you, and to the people you want to get in touch with.
Also, there can exist barriers to entry into the internet market as a whole, as to set up an online business you can need to rent or buy web space upon which to store your company’s website, secure domain names for your company’s website and ensure that your website can be easily found using the commonly used functions on the Internet, such as search engines.
This can mean that more time has to be spent ensuring that websites made are optimized for search engines, in order for them to rank well on the corresponding search pages. There can also be a lot of other influences to take into account when it comes to Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Effects on industry
Internet marketing has had a large impact on industry, since billions of people now have access to the internet. An example of this is in the field of banking, where there is now online banking, which, for many customers is preferable because they consider it faster and more convenient than going to their chosen banks branches. In fact, in the United States alone, over 150 million people bank online, being one of the primary reasons for the fast-growing pace of the online banking industry, which has seen new forms of online banking emerge, such as Paypal.
In the advertising industry, internet marketing has also had a huge impact. Many technology companies now advertise their products and services online. In fact, it is expected that by 2013, over $26 billion will be spent on internet marketing in North America alone.
In the political industry, electoral candidates can now hold their campaigns on the internet to reach their target voters. A very good example of this is the recent presidential election campaign of Barack Obama, were the campaign spread across the internet covering popular social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Youtube.
Internet marketing has become the primary means of commercial marketing today, even taking over mediums such as television and radio. For any modern day business to successfully expand, especially over an international market, it needs to take Internet Marketing into account. Internet Marketing can now, quite literally, make or break a business.