Online Marketing

Today online marketing is the fastest growing advertising method. Online marketing is a part of electronic commerce, using Internet to advertise and sell products and services.

The first attempt of online marketing was made in the 1990s. This was in the form of simple text-based websites offering product information. In due course online marketing developed into the fastest growing advertising method than just selling product information.

Online marketing comprises of public relations, information management, customer service and sales. Internet marketing has become so popular that one-third of users who have Internet access use Internet to make purchases. Now online marketing deals with selling advertising space, business models, software programs, products and services etc.

Online business has the comfort of working from home.  Online marketing includes business models such as business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C). In B2B companies do business with each other while B2C is selling directly to the customer. Peer-to-peer (P2P) is another business model where persons exchange products between themselves. P2P is a less common model.

Various techniques of online marketing are cost per click online advertising, search engine marketing such as search engine optimization, banner advertising, e-mail marketing, article marketing, affiliate marketing, interactive advertising, and blog marketing. To keep up with the competition and fast pace set by new products, the advertising firms have to keep themselves updated regularly. The mantra for generating maximum revenue from the Internet business is effective website marketing.

In search engine marketing method, the advertising companies are required to optimize their websites to search engine listings. This is because almost 80 per cent of web traffic comes from search engine referrals. Online marketing with search engine optimization is very beneficial in the long run since companies can save on their advertising budget. Website optimization is very important in online marketing since search engine optimization places the website of a company in the natural search engine listings.

Online marketing has its own benefits. The availability of information is one of the benefits.  Customers can make purchases at any time from their homes. For companies, online marketing is less expensive unlike advertising in print, radio and television. Companies can reduce their sales force also. Online marketing converts local markets into national and international markets.  Online marketing has certain limitations also. Slow Internet connections and difficulty to download information create problems. Consumers cannot try on tangible products before making purchases though some companies offer return policies. Sometimes, lack of development in electronic payment methods also makes online shopping difficult. 

Despite certain limitations, the scope of online marketing is very high since it is easily accessible and widely used. And it reflects in its huge popularity.

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