With the current increase in the number of individuals using the internet, internet marketing has become the best option for use in promoting a product. Many companies have resolved to use the internet to make their products known to their consumers. The advantage that the internet has over other marketing strategies is that it has no border limitations (Todaro, 2009). The products on the internet can be seen by anybody any where who is access to the internet. However there is a lot of competition for the products on the internet since many companies are using the same. It is therefore important for the company to choose the best marketing strategy in order to have a reasonable market share.
It is important to note that the marketing strategies on the internet are similar to the others only that the internet targets a wide range of consumers. When selecting a certain strategy from a variety, one needs to know the kind of consumers that they are targeting, their tests and preferences and also include information on how the product can be made available to the interested parties (Haegele, 2001). The same way that the men and women behave while shopping for the products traditionally is the same way they will behave online. Depending on the targeted consumers, it is recommended that the products be displayed in a manner that will catch the attention of the servers.
The first thing that attracts the attention of a potential consumer is the brand name of the product (Chaffey, 2001). A brand is generally a name or a symbol that distinguishes a product from the various other products of other companies. The brand is usually registered as a companies trademark to protect it from being used by others (Kerin, 2003). When giving a name to a brand it is not a bout what the company likes or prefers, it is all about the potential consumers that are being targeted.
A brand generally reflects a picture that is drawn into the mind of the consumer when they come across such a name (Fritz, 2004). Take for example a name of margarine and name it ‘frisky’. Margarines are mostly preferred by children to ensure that they grow healthy and strong. When a parent is therefore looking for such a margarine that will promise the good health of her child, she will consider a name that signifies strength and energy (Albaum, 2008). Frisky means being energetic, lovely and playfully, this is a name that will therefore attract the parent to buy the margarine with the hope that when the margarine is used, the child will display the characters of the brand name.
A brand name should not simply be the best name that has been suggested for use, it is all about the real nature of the product and the company manufacturing it. As much as it needs to be simple, it has to be descriptive. It is to be remembered that there are many more products of similar nature in the market; the trick is therefore to display your product in a way that will distinguish it from the others (Sweeney, 2006). This can be done by briefly explaining the content of the product and its significance. All this contents should be brief as many consumers may have no time to read many details.
Once a brand name has been established, the most sensitive part is maintaining the quality of the name. When a product is new to the consumer, they will first read the detailed explanation of the brand and then take it for tasting. You need to be careful when you have given the brand a description that attracts the attention of consumers (Gregory, 2007). It is usually expected by every company that once a product has been introduced into the market it will not only attract consumers but will also retain them. The company should therefore ensure that the product is the same quality as its description. If it does not meet such criteria, it will enjoy a bumper sale only for the first time but there after, all consumers will disappear. They will also develop a negative attitude towards the product which will render the brand name ineffective.
Once a brand has lost its loyalty among consumers, it may be difficult to convince them that the product is good even after making several improvements on it. It may again take the company to probably change the name for it to regain a market share which is usually not easy (Swanepoel, 2006). When choosing a brand name for internet marketing, one should keep in mind the number of potential customers that he may be targeting. It is therefore appropriate to choose a name that will be acceptable to the international community.
The kind of website that one chooses to use will determine how far the product will reach. When selecting a website, it is not about the number of people that flip through it everyday, instead it is about the potential consumers that you are targeting and the website they likely prefer (Hiebing, 2003). Looking at our earlier product ‘frisky’, which is margarine for children, our target customers here are mothers with young children. It will be unreasonable for us to advertise such a product to a website that is most frequented by the youth and men. We will hence resolve to market it on a website that we know mothers will frequent.
Now that the website has been identified, you need to know how to display the product so that it catches the attention of the mothers. Such a website may be having other similar products that may be preferred by the mothers more than your product (Harris, 2002). The essence of marketing is to inform the potential consumers that your product is the best and that it has a good value for their money. One should remember that the aim of the mothers that are flipping through the internet is not necessarily to see the advertised product, they have gone to the website for a totally different reason and your aim is to influence them to take a look at your product and subsequently purchase it. The advertisement should therefore be one that draws attention. Ensure that it is simple and clear and that the words are big enough for them to see clearly.
Before placing the advertisement on the website, one should first check and observe the other products being advertised, how they are designed and probably their trend in the market. Such information is vital for any company that seeks to employ a unique means for quick retained sales. Among the other details of the product, the advertisement should include where it can be purchased, the different units available and if possible their prices.
When selling the product on line, the advertisement should include by what means the consumers can buy the product and how it can be safely delivered to them. International customers may be afraid of purchasing the product because of the shipping charges and other levies that could be charged. Make sure you provide all the details of shipment and any other transportation cost that may be incurred.
The same kind of behavior that is naturally displayed by potential buyers is the same that will be displayed with customers online. The men will usually go for a specific product that they need while the ladies will desire to look through all the products and choose the best (Chaffe, 2008). It is therefore important to know and understand the nature of your consumers so as to know the measures that can be employed to persuade them to buy the product.
Some of the vital questions that a company needs to ask itself before displaying a product on the web is why they think the consumers need to buy their product rather than the other products in the market, what is really going to influence their decision to select the product that you want them to select, what will be their reaction when they take hold of the product, how can the product be made not only to attract the attention of the buyers but also to satisfy their needs and how the customers that have been lured into the product can help influence others to purchase the same product (Sweeney, 2004). With all this questions in mind, it will help the company to come up with the most persuasive means to attract and retain more customers.
One advantage that internet marketing has is that consumers are given a chance to look through the products before purchasing them (Chaffey, 2006). When a consumer visits the internet to specifically look for a product that he can purchase, he will take his time to be informed about the details of the product and thereafter make a decision that will give him the best value for his pocket (Doole, 2007). As a marketer, it is important to know the specifications that consumers will go for. When comparing the various products, the consumers will look for a product with a unique feature for them to purchase.
Some of the unique features that the consumers will finally consider before purchasing a certain product are packaging and price. It is therefore important to add aesthetic to your product (Bredenberg, 2002). There are different kinds of consumers, each driven by different motives. Some may be motivated to buy the product considering their prices, while others will be attracted to their display, others to the way they have been packed and still others for curiosity. Some may also want the assurance that the product will serve the exact purpose to which they are purchasing it (Weber, 2009). Such customers may go to the extent of making calls to approve their decision.
Internet products will reach people of different cultures, background and races. It is hence necessary to understand the nature of your potential customers. If the product is to reach all the groups, then the advertisement should be in a language that will be understood by all (Kotler, 2007). If it is possible the advertisement should be written and displayed in varying languages to suit the cultural values of a certain group.
Website comparison and evaluation
The above mentioned website lacks the aesthetic value for the commodities that are being advertised. It is website that will least attract a consumer to flip through for the commodities. Apart from its boring nature, the words are written in very tiny letters that one has to move closer to the monitor to read the contents. There is no immediate display of the product that will motivate a potential consumer to continue searching (Millar, 2003). The speed at which the products are displayed is also so slow that even the most patient person may not be patient enough to view all the products.
The website does not completely suit the kind of products that are being advertised. Even though the products seem to be okay, the means used to market them may fail to attract the potential consumers. When marketing ladies fashion, the marketer should understand that his potential consumers are women and they value beauty more than the other details (Strauss, 2005). The first thing that will catch the attention of the woman’s eye is the style and design through which the product has been displayed. Unlike men who will not mind the design and style of the product, the ladies need to see its beauty at the very first sight.
With the various facilities available on the internet to display different formats and colors, the website requires a much better design to suit the products. In my view, the very first page of the website should have included a colorful catchy statement that will make a person to have interest in what is being advertised (Stonehouse, 2004). Second the products should be displayed in a serial PowerPoint format to make it livelier. It should also indicate on the first page the different variety of products being provided by the company. To make it more appealing, the advertisement should mention that they are currently being offered at the best price.
When all this information is organized and well displayed on the first page, it will save the consumer the time of first having to go through all the products to find the most suitable one. In fact, she may get tired and not find what she needed (Siegel, 2007). Such kind of display will make the consumer to only click on the product that she is mostly interested in for further details and leave the rest. By doing this the consumer will have a glimpse of all the details of the product being marketed, it will even motivate her to check through the rest of the products.
When designing a website for fashion goods like accessories, handbags and clothing’s, the marketer should avoid taking the consumer through many details before finally displaying the product (Bradley, 2005). People are usually so much exited about the current trends in the market that they may not have time for the detailed information. There are after all many other websites dealing with fashion wares that may be preferred by consumers (Mohammed, 2004). The essence of displaying a product on the website is to make it more popular among consumers and that it should have a market advantage over the other products being advertised. When they are therefore displayed in such a boring format, the products will be assumed to be boring even if they aren’t.
Marketing on the internet unlike other means of advertising gives the company a chance to not only promote their products but also explain to the public whom they are, what they do and where they are located (Krishnamurthy, 2006). It will also allow the consumers to partner with them and consequently receive updates of the other products of the company. It provides the cheapest means through which a company can express many things within a short time. It saves the company the expenses of having to reprint new copies of the advertisements to inform the consumers of the new product.
Through the website, the company is able to inform the consumers of the changes that have been made on the products without many inconveniences. The websites are updated regularly thus ensuring that the information reaching the consumers is not outdated (Proctor, 2005). It will also save the company on the time and expenses that are incurred in trying to answer the frequently asked questions by consumers and persuading them to buy the products. Most of the questions asked are always similar and the company can avoid the monotony of answering them by providing the solutions on the website.
The internet also allows the customers to help the company improve on the quality of the services being provided to them. The company is able to enhance its sales promotion techniques by finding out from consumers how and what they feel can be done to serve them better. When such suggestions are compiled, the company is able to get right into the mind of the consumer without having to guess (Michie, 2006). Since its aim is o provide to the consumers what they need, they will enjoy higher sales as they implement the suggestions. When the company meets such demands from the consumers, it will be creating a bond that may not be easy to break. The consumers will remain loyal to the company with the confidence that it will design products that will suit their demands.
With such loyalty the company may find itself expanding its production and even specializing in production of many other products that it had earlier not imagined. This is because, the already loyal customers will tell their friends about the products and company and how they produce products as per the demands of the customer (Scott, 2004). This will give rise to many more unique requests that will make the company to produce them. The products may be demanded in other places where the company had no branches, it will hence need to establish them or else hire contractors to supply them. With such a continuous trend, the company will continue rising to even greater heights.
Each and every established company desires that one day it will move from its current position to the next, that it will have customers from all over the world. Such a dream may never come true to a company that is not ready to embrace change. Such changes will only be realized when the company displays its services to the public and allow them to comment on the same. The company must also be ready to work on the views and ideas expressed by the customers for positive results. Even though several websites allow the customers to express their views, only few of them will implement what has been suggested. This usually leaves the consumers, who took their time to write them feeling ignored and least valued. They will therefore resort to using products of other companies where they are given the attention that they need.
The internet is the most frequently used channel of communication in the modern times. Compared to the number of services that can be offered through the internet, it has also become the most economical means of passing detailed information to a large number of people (Cohn, 2008). Since it has been currently preferred by a number of companies to market their goods, a correct website needs to be identified and a catchy display identified in order to attract the customers to a certain product. On choosing the marketing design, the company must always keep in mind the kind of consumers that are being targeted and ensure that the products are designed accordingly. It should be noted that even though the internet is the best marketing strategy, if it is not well utilized, it may make the product face even more extensive competition. Apart from the targeted consumers that the message may be going out to, it may also be browsed by other companies offering similar products that may duplicate the brand and make money from it (Dennis, 2004). The company should never take such issues for granted and should therefore take all the necessary precautions not to reveal any sensitive secret of the product and the company.
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