The Correct E Marketing Mix


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Marketing Pandits make mistakes on emarketing mix

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The Correct E Marketing Mix

  1. 1. E Marketing Mix by Maxwell Ranasinghe. E marketing is applicable when conducting marketing activities through the use of internet and information technology. It could be considered as availability of an additional channel for marketers to market their products. However, it has unique characteristics when compared with the traditional marketing process. Therefore, marketers have attempted to provide a special e-marketing mix to e-marketing. It is simply the adaptation of price, place, product and promotion to the e-marketing concept. Further one could add people, process and physical evidence also to the e-marketing mix as there is inherent service component in e-marketing. Price As in the traditional marketing mix, “Price” is for the price of the product offered in the e-marketing mix too. Simply what is the price that the e-markerter is charging to sell his product though internet. E-marketer can use traditional pricing strategies such as customer based or competitor based. Pricing techniques such as premium, skimming, penetrative, promotional, discounted could be used. Since the buyer has the ability to go through many similar product offers in the internet and also to compare and contrast the offer with others, there is a high degree of information as to pricing. Buyers can decide to buy the product from the most competitive marketer who offers the best deal comparing all the benefits come with the product. Further there are unique pricing mechanisms such as online auction which are unique to e- marketing. Online auctions. – You can register with a popular online auction company such as e-bay and place your product for the auction with an open price or a minimum price and let buyers bid for your product and allow the highest bidder to buy it. Place: As in the traditional marketing mix “Place” is the distribution point where the consumer can access to buy the product. If you have access to a computer with internet facility, you can have access to buy the product where ever you live. This ability to access the product globally is called digital space. This digital existence of companies emerged in two ways. Firstly, pre-existing companies before the invent of internet or after the invent of internet developed their websites to market their products as an additional channel. In other words these companies are called “ brick and click” companies or “Online Extenders”.. Secondly, the companies who did not have any physical presence before the invent of the internet, initiated their businesses only though the internet by establishing websites. In other words they are called “Pure Click” companies or “Online Alternatives” or “ New start ups” . However, if that digital existence to be an effective point of distribution in marketing, the ability to pay by way of credit card or any other acceptable means plus the ease of delivery to the point where the purchaser is located should be possible. If there is no
  2. 2. barrier in making the product available at any place where a person could access the website then all such places could be considered as place of delivery in e-marketing. However, there could be barriers as to this global existence of delivery points mainly on the access to internet, payment methods and exchange control restrictions and limitations in delivery of the actual product. Egg. If the e-marketer does not accept payment from a particular credit card company then that transaction cannot take place. Further some of the credit cards prohibit making international payments where foreign exchange is involved, then that customer may not be able to pay for a transaction if the marketer is located a foreign country. Further, even if you can make the payment, certain marketers may not have delivery services to certain parts of a country even if it is local transaction or to certain countries if it is an international transaction. Product As in the Traditional Marketing Mix, the “Product” is the product that is offered by the e- marketer. The only difference is that it is offered in e-marketing through the channel of internet. It also will have the same product levels such as generic, basic, expected, augmented and potential product levels. Further it will also go through the same product life cycle as in the traditional marketing channel. However, the sales data for calculation would be the sales in done though the internet during a given period. Leveraging on the technology certain intangible, innovative products have been introduced mainly though digital format through e-marketing such as information, books, entertainment etc. They were not in existence before or not very famous products before the invent of e-marketing. When exiting business introduced new products designed to be offered mainly on internet it was called “Online Innovator- Existing Businesses” and when new companies introduced such products it was called “ Online Innovator- Start Ups”. Further mass customization is also becoming possible through e- commerce as there are a lot of possibilities of offering products through e-commerce as per specific requirements of individual customers. Promotion As in the Traditional Marketing Mix” Promotion” is the way that the e-marketer communicates about the product offered to the target market. E-marketer can use the online tools using internet itself or offline tools using the traditional promotional elements to promote the products offered. Online Promotions There are two main methods of promoting website online. First method is increasing the attractiveness of the website by search engine optimisation. There are many ways and means of directing traffic to your website in this manner such as developing key words, using appropriate website domain names and hosting the website in proper channels. The second method is by way of using internet advertising. This is mainly done through Pay-Per-Click Advertising available through Google Adwords and Overture in Yahoo, Internet Directories, Web portals dedicated to selling products and Affiliate Marketing
  3. 3. Google adwords is the most famous pay per click advertising program available on the net for e-marketers. E-marketer needs to select a keyword that relates to his product or service offered through the internet. Depending on the amount that you are willing to pay ranging from USD 10 cents to any higher amount Google will expose a short add of your product and a link to your website with the search engine results to anybody who searches from the key word that you have indicated. It could appear on the top of the screen or either side of the screen on web browsers computer. If the web browser clicks the link, Google will charge you the pay per click that you have agreed to pay Google even if the browser buys your product or not. E-marketer can manage this account by paying a stipulated amount through credit card to Google and manage it online with Google. Yahoo Overture is also somewhat similar to Google adwords and it also displays a sponsored link with the search engine results. There are many internet directories that you can list your website with a short summary and a link. There are industry specific directories and general directories that an e-marketer can advertise his products. Annual or monthly payments have to be made to these directories to publish the advertisements. Affiliates Programs work on a different format. E-marketers offers incentives and commissions to other web based marketers and organisations to advertise products offered by them. If some one is having a popular website where lot of visitors are attracted he could have a banner or link that directs the browser to another e-marketers website. If that person buys a product by going through that link the owner of that website will get a commission. There is Affiliate Marketing Companies such as Commission Junction who makes this possible. Initially, one has to register with such an Affiliate Marketing Company to commence this operation. The link with the e-marketer and the other website owner and tracking of the transaction is done through the intervention of this Affiliate Marketing Company and they will send the commissions by deducting their service charge if any for the sales made. Offline Promotions There are so many offline tools promotional strategies used by non internet based companies. All such tools are available for the e-marketer to advertise his products offered through the internet. He could use television, radio, newspapers, bill boards, magazines, posters, banners, printing of the website on company stationery, many methods of public relations and publicity, direct marketing tools and personal selling could be used to promote the website and the products offered. People As in the traditional Marketing Mix “People” are the staff of the e-marketer who will get involved with delivery of satisfaction to its customers. Since e-marketing is internet based, separate specialised information technology competent staff has to be deployed. Further the website is open 24 hours a days throughout the year. Therefore, depending on the nature of the product or service that is offered though e-marketing a proper deployment of staff to attend to the inquiries, orders and complaints have to be made available as and when necessary. If the product or service is purchased globally, then there would be time differences of the working hours and needs to have staff on day and night shift basis to cater to the needs. Their courtesy, efficiency and prompt response to
  4. 4. all the inquiries and complains are vital for a marketer to survive in the fiercely competitive globalized market place. Process As in the Traditional Marketing Mix “Process” is the way that the customers and transactions are handled. In e-marketing, transactions are done through the internet. Therefore, proper state of the art computers and related accessories and equipment should be in place to make the process efficient. Further, the information offered about the products on the website should be easily found and properly explained. The site should be user friendly and anybody would be able to use without much trouble. There should be an easy way to inquire, get quarries clarified through telephone, chat or emails , order, get products delivered and obtain after sales services. In e-marketing the customer needs information and delivery more quickly than in the traditional marketing. Therefore an efficient and quick responding process is vital and it has to be established well for the benefit of the customer. Physical Evidence As in Traditional Marketing Mix “ Physical Evidence” in the e-marketing mix gives tangibility to an intangible product in the e-marketing mix when the product offered is a service. Professional appearance of the website, speed and clarity of information, New Technologies will give tangibility to the services offered. If the e-marketer offers a product where the customer gets the opportunity to visit his office or sales outlet then the e-marketer also should see that his building, physical resources, environment and interior décor etc are in line with the image and positioning portrayed by the e-marketer.