As described elsewhere on this site, the internet is an incredible tool for reaching a mass audience. Moreover, as an “entity”, the internet grows every year in terms of both, the amount of users as well as the amount of information that has been uploaded to servers. The inevitable result of this fact is quite simply that the potential marketing capabilities of the net keep growing, but at the same time, so too is there an increase in competition for virtual “presence”. Although the latter phrase will seem contradictory, it refers to the visibility of your brand/product/website on the World Wide Web.
e-Marketing has thus become an increasingly competitive and specialised field over the past few years, and only stands to grow as a phenomenon as the internet grows. Some sites and brands are, however, more reliant on the medium than others due to the nature of their business model. e-Commerce sites where you can buy an Apple Mac, for example, are entirely dependent on site traffic so web visibility will naturally be of greater consequence than a product available in the fridges of every supermarket around the world (yes, I’m referring to Coke here).
The challenge for any e-Marketing agency is to gain internet-based exposure for the brand/product they have been tasked with promoting. There is no singular figurative “silver bullet” that has the power to solve a multitude of problems through a narrow approach: rather, e-marketing should instead be seen as an exercise in a cohesive but multi-pronged strategy that builds awareness through a sustained and significant activity in the internet’s “public” spaces. This includes the correct use of site search engine optimisation, advertising space provided by search engines (perhaps the single most used web application), social-networks and media sites (like YouTube).
The notion of creating a sustained presence is the central concept here, and in addition to the “traditional” methods described above, new and innovative digital means of promoting a brand are always welcomed. The digital environment is highly dynamic and e-marketing proponents should strive to keep themselves up to date on the latest developments as any new channel of communication contains the potential to reach a new audience or further entrench an established presence.
Perhaps the most significant development of the past few years, in terms of digital marketing, is the inter-connectedness of social networks. Consequently, these networks have become an important area of focus for business communication. Just as the net is an indistinct, cloud-like “entity” emerging from the inter-connectedness of millions of networks, social networks are also inter-connected and play a central role in information dissemination. Just as traditional mass media (TV, radio, the press) can identify the audience of different programmes/ their readership, so too can specific social-networks be identified as a target market for a product. As with advertising, the overall presentation of the communications needs to be appropriate both in terms of the brand as well as for the target market. In this way, traditional marketing communications and new media communications converge once again as an exercise in presenting the right product in the right way to the right audience. When this is achieved, e-marketing proves itself to be an indispensable ingredient in the marketing mix.