E-Marketing: tools, principles, benefits and use

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The Internet is becoming increasingly popular with the general public, leading to changes in society and modifying the behaviour of consumers and businesses.

Digital media are revolutionising companies’ marketing strategies and helping to create new business models (e-marketing).

They have innovative approaches to delivering value to customers. They can also use digital technologies to improve their internal processes and activities, thereby increasing their efficiency and profitability.

While the Internet has helped to change the world and our behaviour, it has also profoundly transformed our approach to marketing. It offers consumers easier access to information and a huge choice of products and services.

The Internet enables companies to conquer new markets, offer additional services at lower cost, use new communication techniques and be more competitive. It is both a distribution channel for products and services and a communication channel.

In this article, we will try to highlight the ways in which businesses can make the most of digital technologies (and primarily the Internet), which marketers can use to improve their bottom line.

The Internet: a new marketing tool

Before launching into the presentation of the Internet as a new marketing tool, it would be preferable to look at the definition of E-Marketing.

E-marketing is a discipline that brings together all the marketing and advertising practices used to develop a website’s business.

The aim of e-marketing is to reach consumers in a personal, targeted and interactive way, at the lowest possible cost.

Without doubt, with the advent of the Internet, marketers have been given a golden opportunity to market their company’s products using this medium, which has proved effective in most cases.

It is therefore essential for all these professionals to master the various tools offered by the Internet. Let’s take a look at the most important of them:

Google Analytics

This is a high-performance statistics system that allows you to analyse all the information about the traffic generated by your website. It will give you the answers to the following questions:

  • How many visitors have browsed your website?
  • How did they get to the site?
  • How long did they stay (and when did they leave)?
  • Where did they come from?
  • And much more…

All this information will enable you to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your website and take steps to improve the effectiveness of your communication by making the necessary changes. You can also receive personalised reports by e-mail, sent automatically on a fixed date.

Google Trends

This tool enables you to analyse trends in keywords searched for on Google. You can therefore identify the most searched-for keywords at the moment (and in a given region) in order to optimise your site for these keywords. If your site follows the trends observed on the net, you will increase your traffic.

What’s more, Google Trends also allows you to see trends in visits to any website (with a significant minimum amount of traffic), which will enable you to analyse competing sites and see where they stand.

Adwords Search Engine Advertising (SEA)

SEA (Search Engine Advertising) consists of buying links in search engines, Adwords for Google or Yahoo! for Yahoo…

An advertiser with a website can therefore buy keywords typed in by Internet users in order to display an advertising link on these search engine queries.

This method allows you to manage a daily budget, put your campaigns on standby, etc.

Social networking

It is clear that social networks have completely changed the nature of interactions between brands and consumers, having a direct impact on the current decision-making process.

For brands, social networks are emerging as a new way of reaching new consumers and understanding their needs. This explains why companies are now working on their social media strategy to define the degree of interaction they want to have with consumers.

Social networks will then help them to make a decision.

The 4 principles of e-marketing

E-marketing is traditionally divided into four categories. These categories can be likened to complementary and essential stages in the development of a website.

Setting up a strategy

As with traditional marketing, the first activity in e-marketing is to put in place a coherent strategy for a website or any campaign to promote it. The levers of strategic e-marketing are : The right target, Market analysis (competition, demand, etc.), Strategic intelligence, Site positioning, etc.

Traffic generation

To develop a business on the Internet, it is essential that Internet users find your offer and visit your site. To increase your traffic, the e-marketing levers are : Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Google Adwords, Online advertising (Display), Communities on social networks, etc.

Analysis

Once your site has a high profile, you need to optimise interactions with your visitors: ensure that as many conversions as possible take place (purchase, newsletter registration, article reading, email collection, etc.). To do this, you need to use what is known in e-marketing as Web analytics: analysis of visibility, traffic, the Internet user’s path, sales, etc.

Building customer loyalty

As in traditional marketing, a site cannot be satisfied with a buyer coming to the site just once. It has to keep them coming back, and build up their loyalty!

To do this, you need to create interaction with your customers/prospects using the following e-marketing levers: Animating and renewing the site’s content, loyalty e-mailing, creating forums, etc.

The benefits of e-marketing

Marketing via the Internet offers a number of advantages, both for the company advertising and for the consumer.

Turning a simple visit into a purchase

Once an advert has been sent out, advertisers can be sure that at least 20% of recipients will take the trouble to read what has been sent to them and visit the advertiser’s site. The effort that needs to be made by retailers is therefore to offer e-mails with relevant content that will enable them to convert a simple newsletter into a sale.

Building customer loyalty

After the service has been rendered or the goods sold to the customer, the ongoing contact established, the follow-up through to delivery and after-sales, all help to build customer loyalty through customer satisfaction.

The birth of a huge, direct market

Today, with the Internet, you can have customers all over the country and even better, all over the world. E-mail now makes it possible to reach decision-makers directly.

Better targeting

Advertisers can browse through the sites of companies or individuals, check their profiles and then choose their target according to their needs.

Save time and money

E-marketing makes it possible to inform these customers at lower cost (sometimes almost zero) and the time spent travelling and going through formalities is non-existent. Time and money, the necessary and rare resources of the retailer, are saved here.

Fast and efficient e-marketing

With electronic mail, you can email images, entire books, software, etc. Sending a letter to someone can be done with a short message of a few words.

What’s more, before confirming that you have sent a message, you can reread what you have written and correct any mistakes or badly constructed sentences. E-mail is increasingly taking the place of the telephone, with its near-simultaneous conversation, while still having the advantages of postal mail.

Short reaction time

There’s no longer any need for lengthy market research to find out whether a new product can or will appeal to your customers. Contact them, propose your projects and see how enthusiastic they are. Based on their reaction, you’ll know whether they like it or not.

Establishing ongoing contact

Thanks to personalised customer follow-up and increased satisfaction, lasting contact is established immediately.

For the consumer, the benefits are just as numerous as those for the advertiser. They can express their opinion and judge products and services, compare them and make the choice that suits them best.

Different uses of the Internet for marketers

Internet and Negotiation with Suppliers

The strong contribution of negotiation to the competitiveness of companies leads them to constantly seek to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of their transaction processes.

With the development of Internet technologies, a new concept has emerged: the reverse auction. This is an electronic negotiation tool available to the buyer, who invites selected suppliers to an auction during which the price of the lots to be purchased decreases throughout the process.

Using reverse auctions to award a contract changes the process, which becomes dynamic and takes place in real time during the on-screen confrontation phase.

Internet and distribution

Before the advent of Internet-based technologies, inter-company logistics exchanges were carried out using EDI.

This system was not accessible to SMEs from a financial, organisational or technical point of view. With the emergence of the Internet, an accessible, fast, interactive and less expensive tool, companies preferred to adopt the Internet rather than turn to an EDI solution.

The impact of Internet technologies on the performance of supply chains is mainly measured in terms of their impact on costs, delivery times, service levels and flexibility.

Internet and customers

The use of the Internet by companies has revolutionised customer relationship management. The main objective of the company’s marketing department is to build customer loyalty in order to increase customer share.

The Internet is likely to create an exclusive loyalty relationship for one type of product or another.

Companies can therefore offer several loyalty programmes to their customers on the Internet. The most common consists of earning gift points or discounts through various rewarded actions (purchase, sponsorship, clicks, etc.).

Internet and advertising

As a new advertising medium, the Web is becoming an increasingly important part of a company’s media plan.

Online advertising can be seen in a number of ways, particularly in the form of banner advertising, which is much cheaper than normal advertising and sometimes more effective; Trusted Feed, the paid search technique available on search engines; e-mailing; social networking; and User Generated Content (UGC), a technique that allows recipients to create their own content: for example, by integrating customer comments and ratings into newsletters or e-mails.

Conclusion

With the continuing growth of the Internet and the technological development of mobile phones, e-marketing has a bright future ahead of it. The Internet makes it possible to get to know prospective customers more and more closely, not just on the basis of personal criteria, but also in terms of their areas of interest. Marketing must therefore adapt to the Internet environment and “respect the specificities” of this medium.

This is all the more true because this medium goes beyond the simple idea of a medium; it embodies a world of its own, governed by its own rules and customs. Every day, millions of people from different countries and cultures rub shoulders with it. With a few simple ground rules, you can lay the foundations for your business to flourish.

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