Online marketing is a set of powerful tools and methodologies used for promoting products and services through the internet. Online marketing includes a wider range of marketing elements than traditional business marketing due to the extra channels and marketing mechanisms available on the internet.
Online marketing can deliver benefits such as:
- Growth in potential
- Reduced expenses
- Elegant communications
- Better control
- Improved customer service
- Competitive advantage
Online marketing is also known as internet marketing, web marketing, digital marketing and search engine marketing (SEM).
The broad online marketing spectrum varies according to business requirements. Effective online marketing programs leverage consumer data and customer relationship management (CRM) systems. Online marketing connects organizations with qualified potential customers and takes business development to a much higher level than traditional marketing.
Online marketing synergistically combines the internet’s creative and technical tools, including design, development, sales and advertising, while focusing on the following primary business models:
- Lead-based websites
- Affiliate marketing
- Local search
Online marketing has several advantages, including:
- Low costs: Large audiences are reachable at a fraction of traditional advertising budgets, allowing businesses to create appealing consumer ads.
- Flexibility and convenience: Consumers may research and purchase products and services at their leisure.
- Analytics: Efficient statistical results are facilitated without extra costs.
- Multiple options: Advertising tools include pay-per-click advertising, email marketing and local search integration (like Google Maps).
- Demographic targeting: Consumers can be demographically targeted much more effectively in an online rather than an offline process.
The main limitation of online marketing is the lack of tangibility, which means that consumers are unable to try out, or try on items they might wish to purchase. Generous return policies are the main way to circumvent such buyer apprehension.
Online marketing has outsold traditional advertising in recent years and continues to be a high-growth industry.