e-Marketing Strategy: 7 Dimensions to Consider (the e-Marketing Mix)

What is e-Marketing?

e-Marketing is still rather a questionable subject to discuss, considering that nobody succeeded to combine the different theories around it; nevertheless, there is something upon which there is no doubt – that e-Marketing first appeared under the kind of various methods released by pioneer business selling their products through the web in the early ’90s.

The craze around these brand-new marketing techniques produced by e-tailers and supported by the internet quickly brought to life a brand-new dimension of what we knew as Marketing: the e-Marketing (electronic Marketing).

There are lots of meanings to what e-Marketing is, the most basic and shortest one being developed by Mark Sceats: e-Marketing is Marketing that uses the web as manifestation media. A working meaning is that originating from a group of CISCO professionals: e-Marketing is the sum of all activities a business carries out through the internet with the function of finding, drawing in, winning and retaining consumers.

e-Marketing Strategy

The e-Marketing Strategy is normally based and built upon the concepts that govern the standard, offline Marketing – the well-known 4 P’s (Product – Price – Promotion – Positioning) that form the traditional Marketing mix. Include the additional 3 P’s (People – Processes – Proof) and you got the whole extended Marketing mix.

Till here, there are no many elements to differentiate e-Marketing from the standard Marketing performed offline: the extended Marketing mix (4 + 3 P’s) is developed around the idea of “transactional” and its elements perform transactional functions specified by the exchange paradigm. What gives e-Marketing its originality is a series of specific functions, relational functions, that can be manufactured in the 2P + 2C+ 3S formula: Personalization, Privacy, Customer Service, Community, Site, Security, Sales Promotion.

These 7 functions of the e-Marketing stay at the base of any e-Marketing method and they have a moderating character, unlike the timeless Marketing mix that makes up situational functions only. Moderating functions of e-Marketing have the quality of moderate, run upon all situational functions of the mix (the traditional 4 P’s) and upon each other.

1. Customization

The essential concept of personalization as a part of the e-Marketing mix depends on the need of recognizing, recognizing a particular customer in order to establish relations (developing relations is an essential objective of Marketing). It is essential to be able to identify our clients on a specific level and gather all possible details about them, with the function of understanding our market and be able to develop tailored individualized products or services.

A cookie tactically placed on the site visitor’s computer can let us know crucial details concerning the gain access to speed offered: in consequence, if we know the visitor is utilizing a sluggish connection (eg. dial-up) we will use a low-volume variation of our site, with minimized graphic material and no multimedia or flash applications. This will ease our client’s experience on our site and he will be avoided from leaving the site on the reason that it takes too long to load its pages.

Personalization can be applied to any element of the Marketing mix; therefore, it is a moderating function.

2. Privacy

Privacy is an aspect of the mix very much connected to the previous one – personalization. When we collect and save info about our consumers and possible clients (for that reason, when we carry out the personalization part of the e-Marketing mix) an important concern emerges: that of the way this info will be used, and by whom. A major job to do when executing an e-Marketing technique is that of creating and establishing a policy upon gain access to treatments to the gathered info.

This is a responsibility and a should for any mindful online marketer to think about all aspects of personal privacy, as long as the information is collected and saved, data about private persons.

Privacy is even more crucial when establishing the e-Marketing mix given that there are numerous regulations and legal aspects to be thought about relating to the collection and use of such details.

3. Customer care

Customer support is one of the needed and required activities among the assistance functions required in transactional situations.

We will connect the apparition of the customer service procedures to the inclusion of the “time” specification in transactions. When changing from a situational point of view to a relational one, and e-Marketing is mostly based on a relational point of view, the online marketer saw himself somehow pushed into considering assistance and support on a non-temporal level, permanently, gradually.

For these factors, we must consider the Customer Service function (in its max and biggest definition) as an important one within the e-Marketing mix.

As we can quickly determine, the service (or assistance if you wish) can be performed upon any element from the classic 4 P’s, for this reason, its moderating character.

4. Community

We can all concur that e-Marketing is conditioned by the presence of this remarkable network that the internet is. The mere existence of such a network indicates that individuals, as well as groups, will ultimately engage. A group of entities that engage for a typical function is what we call a “neighborhood” and we will quickly see why it is of outright value to get involved, to be part of a community.

The Metcalf law (called after Robert Metcalf) specifies that the value of a network is given by the number of its parts, more exactly the worth of a network equates to the square of the number of parts. We can apply this easy law to communities, given that they are a network: we will then conclude that the value of a community increases with the variety of its members. This is the power of neighborhoods; this is why we have to be a part of it.

The consumers/ customers of an organization can be seen as part of a community where they interact (either independent or influenced by the online marketer) – therefore establishing a community is a task to be carried out by any business, even though it is not constantly viewed as necessary.

Interactions amongst members of such a community can address any of the other functions of e-Marketing, so it can be positioned beside other moderating functions.

5. Website

We have seen and agreed that e-Marketing interactions take place on a digital media – the web. Such interactions and relations also require a proper area, to be available at any moment and from any location – a digital place for digital interactions.

Such a place is what we call a “website”, which is the most extensive name for it. It is now the time to mention that the “website” is merely a type of a “site” and should not be mistaken or viewed as synonyms. The “website” can take other kinds too, such as a Palm Pilot or any other portable device.

This special area, available through all sort of digital technologies is moderating all other functions of the e-Marketing – it is then a moderating function.

6. Security

The “security” function emerged as a vital function of e-Marketing as soon as transactions began to be performed through internet channels.

What we need to keep in mind as online marketers are the following 2 problems on security:

– security during transactions carried out on our website, where we need to take all possible safety measures that 3rd parties will not be able to access any part of an establishing transaction;

– security of data gathered and stored, about our clients and visitors.

An honest marketer will have to think about these possible causes of more problem and has to co-operate with the company’s IT department in order to have the ability to develop convincing (and true, sincere!) messages towards the consumers that their personal information is protected from unauthorized eyes.

7. Sales Promotion

A minimum of but not last, we need to think about sales promos when we build an e-Marketing technique. Sales promos are widely utilized in standard Marketing too, all of us understand this, and it is an exceptionally efficient technique to achieve immediate sales goals in regards to volume.

This function relies on the online marketer’s ability to think artistically: a lot of work and inspiration is required in order to find new possibilities and brand-new approaches for developing an effective promotion strategy.

On the other hand, the marketer requires to continuously stay up to date with the most recent internet innovations and applications so that he can fully exploit them.

To conclude, we have seen that e-Marketing indicates new dimensions to be thought about aside from those acquired from the standard Marketing. These measurements focus on the principle of relational functions and they are should be included in any e-Marketing technique in order for it to be effective and provide results.

This will relieve our customer’s experience on our site and he will be prevented from leaving the website on the reason that it takes too long to load its pages.

Personal privacy is an aspect of the mix really much linked to the previous one – personalization. When we collect and save details about our customers and potential consumers (therefore, when we carry out the personalization part of the e-Marketing mix) an important issue develops: that of the way this info will be utilized, and by whom. A major task to do when executing an e-Marketing method is that of developing and establishing a policy upon access procedures to the collected details.

We can all agree that e-Marketing is conditioned by the presence of this remarkable network that the web is.