Understanding Marketing through the Internet
Elements of Internet Marketing
E-commerce is a commercial activity (i.e., advertisement or promotion of specific services) performed with the help of digital tools (Basu 2013).
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E-business is a type of entrepreneurship, which presupposes that information management should be carried out with the help of modern media and that information transfer should be the key to the company’s success in the target market (Basu 2013).
Internet marketing is the process of promoting specific products or services on the Internet and with the help of digital tools (Basu 2013).
Digital marketing is the synonym for a marketing strategy that suggests digital media as the key tool for information transfer, especially when it comes to the provision of the corresponding data about the product to the target audience (Basu 2013).
Though the concepts listed above share a range of common elements, they, in fact, serve to denote quite different concepts. First and most obvious, each of the phenomena listed above includes the concept of digital media. Moreover, the aforementioned terms concern the acquisition, use, and disposal of information. Data management and the incorporation of the latest technologies, therefore, make the above-mentioned concepts related.
Internet Marketing Mix Evaluation
A book is, perhaps, one of the most common products that one can purchase online. However, an e-book differs greatly from the standard paperback format that used to be popular before the invasion of digital media into people’s lives. A standard digital book, or an e-book, is formatted as a PDF, Epub, or DjVu file and can be opened with the help of a corresponding program (Adobe Reader, Foxit Reader, Epub file reader, DjVu Viewer, etc.). The book can be viewed, therefore, with the help of an iPad, an iPod, a personal computer, a laptop, etc.
The ways of marketing a book are very diverse; they include direct advertisements (e.g., sending e-mails with offers of new products to the subscribers), as well as other tools of modern media, e.g., banners, free YouTube videos with descriptions of the product, articles and book reviews on the thematic sites, etc. Defining the specific marketing approaches used for tricking the target customers into buying a book, one must mention the appeal to specific needs of the target audience, as well as meeting the standards that the aforementioned demographics have set. For instance, depending on the genre and the audience, the book in question can be positioned as a groundbreaking specimen of an entirely new way of viewing a certain problem or, on the contrary, a conundrum of stereotypes acceptable in the genre in question.
Internet Marketing Tools (E-Tools) Comparison
A closer look at the specifics of the marketing mix of the product in question will reveal that marketing an e-book is, in fact, a very challenging task. As a rule, e-books are promoted on a specific website, where reviews of the latest contributions are published on a regular basis (e.g., Goodreads). However, QR codes seem to have by far the greatest effect on e-books promotion.
In terms of the application of the marketing mix for the promotion of the given product to the target audience, the 2012 theory of four Ps seems to be pertinent as a tool for analysis instead of the five Ps concept used previously. Indeed, in the era of information technology, when the emphasis is put on data transfer, preference must be given to the parameters such as people, processes, programs, and performance. Viewing the process of e-books promotion through the lens of the 2012 4Ps concept of a marketing mix, one must admit that people and programs define the performance and profess in the company specializing in producing and selling e-books. To be more exact, people spread information concerning e-books, therefore, contributing to the company’s popularity, while programs with their precision allow for delivery of top-notch performance.
Identifying the Basic Components of Internet Marketing
Key Terms Definition
Search engine marketing (SEM) is an Internet marketing approach, which allows attracting target customers with very few costs taken. SEM is traditionally identified as a marketing strategy that involves the procedures promoting websites and placing them at the top of the items list provided after a corresponding query in a specific search engine (i.e., Google, Yahoo!, Bing, etc.) (Asefeso 2013).
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a set of strategies, approaches, and principles, which help promote specific websites and allow them to land at the top of the query results in the list in specific search engines (i.e., Google, Yahoo!, Bing, etc.) (Asefeso 2013). As a rule, SEO procedures involve creating content that places a specific site at the top of the queries list.
Paid search engine marketing, which has launched the phenomenon known today as Pay-per-Click (Asefeso 2013), is an advertising strategy, which presupposes that specific sites should appear at the top of the queries list in search engines as sponsored advertisements (Asefeso 2013).
Pay-per-Click mentioned above is, in fact, a rather simple concept thought its history and effects might appear to be rather convoluted. The phenomenon is defined as an advertising model that compels advertisers to pay a fee each time that their advertisement is clicked (Asefeso 2013).
Finally, e-mail marketing, which is one of the most common methods of direct e-marketing, involves sending electronic messages to the subscribers so that the company could keep its customers updated on the latest products and, thus, keep them returning to the website as buyers (Asefeso 2013).
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Case Study Analysis
The case study describing a unique model of advertisement used by Lady Gaga provides a unique opportunity to take a closer look at the resurgence of show business marketing in an entirely new realm of digital media. Lady Gaga (or, to be more specific, her producers) has demonstrated a promotion method that is brilliant in its simplicity.
Before the creation of modern media, the domains of interpersonal communication and popular culture used to coexist without actually coming into contact. However, in the realm of virtual reality and virtual communication, the opportunity to intermingle the realm of popular culture and everyday life can and obviously should be used for the advantage of the evolution of the former. By using modern media as a tool for getting in contact with the audience and identifying their demand, Lady Gaga managed to create a product that has both amazed and excited her followers. In other words, the use of modern media allowed the singer to get in touch with her fan base and, thus, gain even more success.
To be more specific, the incorporation of YouTube promotions and music video previews allowed to propel Lady Gaga to the top of the pop culture Olympus: “In 2009 the worldwide bestselling track online was Poker Face by Lady Gaga, selling 9.8 million copies” (‘Case study: entertainment industry: revolutionized,’ n. d., para. 4). It should be noted that the singer faced a threat of her art being downloaded for free, yet, much to her credit, she disregarded the peril and, instead, focused on delivering the product of the finest quality. As a result, the singer became a worldwide celebrity, taking millions of adepts of popular music all over the world by storm. No matter what music critics may say about the singer’s music pandering to the lowest common denominator and failing to surprise with insightful ideas, one must admit that she has made it a perfect selling point, and digital media served as a powerful tool in this process.
Viewed from the perspective of the digital media communities, a case in point still remains spectacular in its success and impeccable calculations. The methods that Lady Gaga chose were targeted exactly at the representatives of the YouTube community, as well as on the online community in general. Apart from the concept of “mass intimacy” (‘Case study: entertainment industry: revolutionized,’ n. d.), which allured average pop music adepts into experiencing the new type of communication between the singer and the audience, the music videos uploaded on YouTube appealed to the local community by displaying the artist’s willingness to share and to provide people with an opportunity to see what they are being offered. Though not being downloadable, the Poker Face official video was made easily accessible and was watched by millions of people all over the world. Thus, Lady Gaga made a very smart move by acknowledging the rights that the members of the YouTube community claimed, i.e., an opportunity to check a certain musical piece before buying it.
Developing Market Research Skills
Market Research Report
The era of digitalization of information brought the products of the gaming industry to a whole new level and finally burst the myth about games being designed solely for children. Companies producing and releasing video games retrieve colossal revenues, and recent market research reports are graphic proof of the ultimate success of the gaming industry in the realm of the global economy. According to the 2014 report, despite minor issues related to the current economic issues and a rather stringent environment, in which the companies producing video games have to operate, the total income from gaming industries has made £ 811,000,000 (‘Computer game publishing market research report’ 2014).
Needless to say, the market size is truly huge. With the concept of computer games has become truly ubiquitous and turning into part and parcel of leisure for any average citizen of the United Kingdom aged 10–40, the market value has grown from 3 (2012) to 3.2 billion GBP; moreover, it is forecasted that the market is going to grow the next decade, reaching the threshold of 4.1 billion GBP in 2018 (‘Video game market value in the United Kingdom (UK) from 2012 to 2018 (in billion GBP)’ 2014).
Market Data Identification
More to the point, the market share of the leading companies producing games remains just as high as it was the previous year. According to the 2014 report, Blizzard has managed to retain its high position in the chart of the top-grossing companies in the UK gaming industry, with 19.5% market shares being held by the organization in question (‘Market shares held by leading video game publishers in the United States and the European Union in 2012’ 2014).
The fact that the industry has been experiencing certain changes in the sales trends and sales channels also deserves to be mentioned. First and most obvious, the shift from consoles to mobile applications must be marked as a major alteration in the market tendencies. In addition, the introduction of both Xbox 360 and Xbox one into the market allowed Microsoft to surpass Playstation, therefore, changing the landscape of the gaming market considerably. With Google Nexus and the devices such as iPad, a major redesign of the existing games, and the further release of the well-known brands as mobile applications is most likely to be expected in the nearest future.
As a result, the customers’ expectations have been rising increasingly over the past few years. People are obviously enthralled with the opportunities that modern technology opens in front of them as gamers, and the quality of the visual components, as well as the gameplay, the characters, and the plot, are the key expectations that the current market leaders must meet in order to succeed.
The benefit of Internet/Digital Tools
However, the information concerning the gaming market in the UK, though easily available, still seems rather scanty; a deeper introspect into the market in question will help reveal some of the essential transformations that it has undergone over the past decade. It is highly desirable that the characters and plotlines that the people purchasing the game will have to deal with in its course should be interesting to the target audience. According to the feedback provided by the most loyal customers, game producers should work on the atmosphere and the characters more carefully than on puzzles and quests. Thus, the entertaining spirit of the game can be kept.
However, the analysis of the current demand in the target market will require more than conducting an opinion poll among the visitors of a minor imageboard. Therefore, it is recommended that a questionnaire should be designed and distributed among the potential clientele of the companies producing video games. In the questionnaire under consideration, open-ended questions must prevail; thus, the companies will be capable of retrieving precise and all-embracive information.
The questionnaire will contain five open-ended questions and five multiple-choice questions. Three of the latte will be used in order to retrieve the basic information about the target audience, i.e., their age, gender, social status, etc. the rest of the questions will be targeted at learning what exactly they would like to change about the games that they play (i.e., the graphics, the sound effects, the dialogues, the overall quality of production, etc.), as well as what kind of games they would like to play in general. The answers will be sorted according to the intensity of changes that the respondents would like to inflict on the UK gaming industry. The pricing issues should also be included in the survey; thus, the optimum pricing strategy will become possible to design.
Marketing Research Continued
The environment in which a gaming organization evolves in the realm of the 21st century is beyond harsh – the company will have to operate in the environment of oligarchy, where the power is being held by several corporate titans. Therefore, becoming the dominant power within a comparatively short amount of time is hardly possible, even for an extremely powerful organization with huge potential. Nevertheless, becoming a decent rival for the existing market leaders seems quite a possibility, which is why a British company is likely to survive in the specified environment once the company leader defines the channels for communicating with the target audience and locates a proper company management approach.
A brief overview of the existing organizations dealing with gaming issues will show that there are quite a few organizations dealing with the production and release of video games in the United Kingdom. Among the major ones, the Valve Corporation, the Bits games studio, the Punchface Studio, the evolution studio, Juice Games, Llamasoft, and Mind Candy must be listed.
Though the UK gaming market is represented by a range of companies adopting different approaches towards channeling their services, most organizations prefer to sell directly to customers.
Traditionally, the target market is split into the types of games that people prefer (action, adventure, RPG, etc.), gender in games (i.e., games involving shooting, racing, and violence are usually labeled as the ones for men, whereas the games that require scrupulous actions and attention are often viewed as those for women), age and the associated simplicity of the walkthrough, etc. For the company dealing with games retail to be successful, it is imperative to take every single type of segmentation into account and, thus, make sure that the needs of every single customer are met. One must admit, though, that the specified goal will require impressive efforts from the RD department; consequently, solid funding must be provided for the research and development needs.
Online Pay Per Check Advertising
Since integrating into the global market will trigger some major costs, an elaborate method of online marketing must be designed for the organization to be able to replenish its costs fast and efficiently. It is desirable that the pay per click advertisements should be located on YouTube in the videos that advertise the organization’s services and products. In addition, several banners with key information regarding the company will be required. Hence, making a partnership with another organization, which will provide an opportunity for advertising the product to the target audience effectively, will be necessary.
Asefeso, A 2013, Online marketing with organic search engine optimization, AA Global Sourcing Ltd, Swindon, UK.
Basu, S 2013, Global perspectives on e-commerce taxation law, Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., Burlington, VT.
‘Case study: entertainment industry: revolutionized,’ n. d., Lady Gaga: born this way?, Antwerp Management School, Antwerp, UK, pp. 4–5.
‘Computer game publishing market research report,’ 2014. IBIS World, Web.
‘Market shares held by leading video game publishers in the United States and the European Union in 2012’ 2014, The Statistics Portal, Web.
‘Video game market value in the United Kingdom (UK) from 2012 to 2018 (in billion GBP)’ 2014, The Statistics Portal, Web.