One definition of marketing is “an aggregate of functions involved in moving goods from producer to consumer”, while a market is defined as a “category of potential buyers”.
Internet users can be defined as a widely diverse set of markets. Volumes have been written about how to market using the internet. One website that allows you to explore many aspects about marketing is MarketingPower.com – a free website offered by the American Marketing Association.
A successful marketing program will include a combination of the proper product, place, price and promotion.
Product (or service) definition is the core to success of any organization. If you have a product you are developing and need to patent or trademark it, you can start that process directly with the US Patent and Trademark Office. You can get some insights into what the markets need by reading these American Marketing Association articles or these Ask SCORE articles.
Product management is the managing of the product life cycle from product/service concept to extending the life of a mature product/service. Wikipedia has a very comprehensive article on the subject.
This can be defined as a physical location or website. Although we recommend that you deal directly with a SLO county commercial real estate agent or building owner, the Economic Vitality Corporation (a non-profit corporation dedicated to providing economic development services and business resources throughout San Luis Obispo County and each of its cities) will work with you to help you find an appropriate location.
If your website will be your primary exposure to the public, you can register your domain name by any of the companies listed here. You will also need a website provider. There are many SLO county website designers. Although a website is a good marketing tool; remember that it is only one of the many marketing tools available.
Pricing is an issue that crosses many organizational functions (e.g., marketing, finance, operations). Whether you decide to price the product or service to recoup all costs (R&D, manufacturing, distribution, etc.) up front or price it lower to regain all up front costs in a longer term and gain market share, depends on your overall strategy.
Pricing also includes product positioning. These subjects are discussed in this article at the NetMBA site. Wikipedia also has a very comprehensive articles on this and related subjects.
This disseminating product/service information to the consumer (whether the consumer is a business or and individual). There are many promotional channels available on the internet. These are discussed below within the categories of promotion.
Direct or indirect sales can be a simple as establishing and publicizing a website and make sales directly or indirectly via an effective internet site. Indirect sales efforts are often lead by websites that educate the consumer (such as SCORE) or provide in-depth on-going support (such as Hewlett-Packard’s).
The internet can also provide sales support by provision of qualified sales leads, sales call scheduling, and sales call follow up through software and/or the internet.
There are multiple forms of internet advertising: banner, email, search engine, pop-up, interstitial and mobile advertising. There are also multiple forms of payment: click through rate, cost per action, cost per click, and cost per impression.
Banner advertising comes in various standardized sizes. There are multiple avenues to display your banner ad: banner exchange programs (free form of advertising in exchange for you displaying ads on your site); purchase ads by approaching websites directly, through an ad agency, by joining a banner ad network, or by starting an affiliate program.
Email advertising works well as long as you don’t use spam (unwanted email advertising). The preferred method of email advertising is to use opt-in programs. You can use an outside vendor or internal software to email your prospects. Don’t forget that you can send regularly scheduled newsletters to your existing customers.
Search engines provide advertising based on what the client is looking for (search terms). You need to go to the search engines on which you want to advertise (such as Google, MSN, Yahoo) to look at their programs to determine which one(s) fit your needs.
Pop-up (or pop-under) ads can provide an eye catching ad to consumers; however, they have become so annoying to consumers that internet browsers uniformly allow these ads to be blocked.
Interstitial advertising serves a web page containing ads before the web page you requested is provided.
Although the term “public relations” is over 200 years old, the term itself is constantly evolving. PR communicates to individual audiences in order to build, manage, and sustain an organization’s positive image. The internet is a major PR channel – through the use of blogs, search engines and RSS feeds.