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

What is e-Marketing?

e-Marketing is still quite a controversial field to talk about, since no one succeeded to unify the discrete theories around it; however there is one thing upon which there is no doubt - that e-Marketing first appeared under the form of discrete techniques deployed by pioneer clubs selling their products via the internet in the early 90's.


The frenzy around these new marketing techniques created by e-tailers and supported by the internet rapidly gave birth to a new dimension of what we knew as Marketing: the e-Marketing (electronic Marketing).

There are many definitions to what e-Marketing is, the simplest and shortest one being formulated by Mark Sceats: e-Marketing is Marketing that uses the internet as manifestation media. A working definition is that advent from a group of Cisco specialists: e-Marketing is the sum of all activities a enterprise conducts through the internet with the purpose of finding, attracting, winning and retaining customers.

e-Marketing Strategy

The e-Marketing Strategy is regularly based and built upon the law that govern the traditional, offline Marketing - the well-known 4 P's (Product - Price - Promotion - Positioning) that form the superior Marketing mix. Add the extra 3 P's (People - Processes - Proof) and you got the whole extended Marketing mix.

Until here, there are no much aspects to differentiate e-Marketing from the primary Marketing performed offline: the extended Marketing mix (4 + 3 P's) is built around the thought of "transactional" and its elements accomplish transactional functions defined by the transfer paradigm. What gives e-Marketing its uniqueness is a series of exact functions, relational functions, that can be synthesized 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 strategy and they have a moderating character, unlike the superior Marketing mix that comprises situational functions only. Moderating functions of e-Marketing have the capability of moderate, operate upon all situational functions of the mix (the superior 4 P's) and upon each other.

1. Personalization

The basal thought of personalization as a part of the e-Marketing mix lies in the need of recognizing, identifying a certain customer in order to institute relations (establishing relations is a basal objective of Marketing). It is crucial to be able to identify our customers on personel level and collect all potential data about them, with the purpose of knowing our store and be able to institute customized, personalized products and services.

For example, a cookie strategically located on the website visitor's computer can let us know vital data with regard to the way speed available: in consequence, if we know the visitor is using a slow relationship (eg. Dial-up) we will offer a low-volume discrepancy of our website, with reduced illustrated article and no multimedia or flash applications. This will ease our customer's taste on our website and he will be prevented from leaving the website on the presuppose that it takes too long to load its pages.

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

2. Privacy

Privacy is an element of the mix very much linked to the previous one - personalization. When we collect and store data about our customers and potential customers (therefore, when we accomplish the personalization part of the e-Marketing mix) a crucial issue arises: that of the way this data will be used, and by whom. A major task to do when implementing an e-Marketing strategy is that of creating and developing a course upon way procedures to the collected information.

This is a duty and a must for any aware marketer to consider all aspects of privacy, as long as data are collected and stored, data about personel persons.

Privacy is even more leading when establishing the e-Marketing mix since there are many regulations and legal aspects to be thought about with regard to range and usage of such information.

3. customer Service

Customer service is one of the necessary and required activities among the retain functions needed in transactional situations.

We will join together the apparition of the customer service processes to the inclusion of the "time" parameter in transactions. When switching from a situational perspective to a relational one, and e-Marketing is mostly based on a relational perspective, the marketer saw himself somehow forced into inspecting retain and assistance on a non-temporal level, permanently, over time.

For these reasons, we should consider the customer service function (in its fullest and largest definition) as an necessary one within the e-Marketing mix.

As we can authentically figure out, the service (or assistance if you wish) can be performed upon any element from the superior 4 P's, hence its moderating character.

4. Community

We can all agree that e-Marketing is conditioned by the existence of this impressive network that the internet is. The merely existence of such a network implies that individuals as well as groups will eventually interact. A group of entities that interact for a base purpose is what we call a "community" and we will soon see why it is of absolute importance to participate, to be part of a community.

The Metcalf law (named after Robert Metcalf) states that the value of a network is given by the number of its components, more exactly the value of a network equals the quadrate of the number of components. We can apply this easy law to communities, since they are a network: we will then desist that the value of a society rises with the number of its members. This is the power of communities; this is why we have to be a part of it.

The customers / clients of a enterprise can be seen as part of a society where they interact (either independent or influenced by the marketer) - therefore developing a society is a task to be performed by any business, even though it is not all the time seen as essential.

Interactions among members of such a society can address any of the other functions of e-Marketing, so it can be located next to other moderating functions.

5. Site

We have seen and agreed that e-Marketing interactions take place on a digital media - the internet. But such interactions and relations also need a allowable location, to be ready at any occasion and from any place - a digital location for digital interactions.

Such a location is what we call a "site", which is the most full, name for it. It is now the time to mention that the "website" is merely a form of a "site" and should not be mistaken or seen as synonyms. The "site" can take other forms too, such as a Palm Pilot or any other handheld device, for example.

This extra location, accessible 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 an necessary function of e-Marketing once transactions began to be performed through internet channels.

What we need to keep in mind as marketers are the following two issues on security:

- security during transactions performed on our website, where we have to take all potential precautions that third parties will not be able to way any part of a developing transaction;

- security of data collected and stored, about our customers and visitors.

A honest marketer will have to consider these potential causes of added trouble and has to co-operate with the company's It branch in order to be able to formulate convincing (and true, honest!) messages towards the customers that their personal details are protected from unauthorized eyes.

7. Sales Promotion

At least but not last, we have to consider sales promotions when we build an e-Marketing strategy. Sales promotions are widely used in primary Marketing as well, we all know this, and it is an exquisite sufficient strategy to accomplish immediate sales goals in terms of volume.

This function counts on the marketer's capability to think creatively: a lot of work and inspiration is required in order to find new possibilities and new approaches for developing an sufficient promotion plan.

On the other hand, the marketer needs to continuously keep up with the newest internet technologies and applications so that he can fully exploit them.

To conclude, we have seen that e-Marketing implies new dimensions to be thought about aside of those inherited from the primary Marketing. These dimensions revolve around the thought of relational functions and they are a must to be included in any e-Marketing strategy in order for it to be sufficient and deliver results.

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

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