Era of Digital Marketing - Acquiring Customers through Internet
Posted in Marketing & Strategy Articles, Total Reads: 1289
, Published on 17 August 2015
Things are changing very rapidly with time and Marketing is also changing at a great pace. With the advent of internet Marketing has gone up to another level. There are various sources through which the customers or potential customers can be reached. Sources are like Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Pinterest and a lot more of such websites which potential customers use these days. As a result it has become indispensable for each and every company to have a presence on these media. Many a times we see that how the companies try to be present on You-Tube and how various companies are trying to make an impactful 30 seconds videos just for You-tube. Also there is a lot of brain storming these days for the 5 seconds slot on You Tube which is played before any video is played on it.
Now before delving in the different strategies that are applied by various companies we need to understand the reasons why the focus has changed on these types of communication mode. The reasons are as follows :- a. The reach of internet has increased a lot in the last few years. A big segment of young consumers spends a lot of time on internet. It is important to understand that they form a large part of consumers and hence it is important to be present where they are going. B. Internet Ads are much cheaper when compared with the regular TVCs. Hence even if you fail to get the desired reach not much amount is lost and you can again try. Thus internet has given a great advantage to the smaller firms who lack the money muscle power. If they are creative enough then definitely they can reach the desired target segment without much expenditure.
It is important to understand that what has changed with internet. Many are under the impression that because of internet the fundamentals of Marketing have changed. All the studies and theories developed in the last 5-6 decades of Marketing have been shaken and hence it is not worthy to follow the basics as that have been given by the likes Philip Kotler, Peter Drucker etc. It is where they have been mistaken. With the advent of internet only one thing has changed which is the media. Initially it was used to depend on the bill boards, posters, radios , later on it moved to Television Campaigns and now it is moving on to internet. The way how brand is built, the way how the market scenario is analysed using the 5Cs, the way how communication is achieved using the marketing mix ( 4 Ps) remains the same. The way the offerings will be presented and on which channel they will be presented has changed completely.
New Approaches the companies are applying these days are as :-
1. Crowd Sourcing: -
Many companies have started using the creativity of their own users to promote their own brands. They come with a competition of Ad making or suggesting some new idea related to their brands and giving prizes to the best entries. This is a very clever move by companies and they are able to get the best possible ideas from the viewers with the minimum of investment for the same. Pepsi came up with the campaign Break the Internet where they displayed the top ten Ads on their websites. This campaign gathered a lot of publicity in a short duration. Maggi came up with “Mera Maggi” campaign where they asked the user to share their happy moments with Maggi. It was also a huge success.
2. User Engagement :-
Many organizations have realized this that marketing is a continuous and they cannot sit back after a successful marketing campaign. It is very important to keep the customer engaged. Social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter etc provides the suitable opportunities for the same. Many a times the organizations put some interesting comment on their website and ask the viewers to respond on the same. This is to start buzz on about their product.
3. Involving in concept development: -
Companies like Starbuck has done this. They started a campaign where they asked the consumers that what they like to have along with Starbucks coffee and how they can improve the combination of coffee and snacks. They gave prizes to the best entry of the month and were able to attract a lot of traffic on their web site. Also the idea was shared on their website and other visitors were allowed to vote if they also liked the idea. The winner was decided based on the number of votes that the person received. This sort of product and concept development is useful because of the following reasons:- a. It helps in generating the idea and gauging the interest of the customers and whatever they will like to have along with coffee so that same can be added on the menu itself. B. Another advantage is that they are again engaging the customers and spreading the word of mouth which will again increase the traffic on their website.
4. Complaint Forum :-
Customers have started using the website as a forum for grievance sharing. It is very common these days that an unhappy customer will post his complaints on either facebook or twitter mentioning the name of the companies. Companies have to reply to such comments and they way in which they handle these complains have made a difference in the perception of each company. Flipkart recently has been targeted many a times especially during their “Billion Day Sales”. They were not able to handle the complaints and grievances during that time. However they have recovered from this and have taken steps to improve their system in the recent past. Amazon has been able to make good use of the opportunity provided to them and have been able to give a satisfactory reply to their customers most of the times.
Thus these are only a few of the ways in which internet has become useful to the organizations and in the coming time we are going to see more innovative ways in which internet will be used for marketing.
This article has been authored by Tarun Sharma from IIM Kashipur
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