Internet Marketing refers to a collection of methodologies and tools used for the promotion of products and services over the Internet. Compared to the usual business marketing, Internet marketing involves a broad range of marketing elements because of the availability of extra channels and marketing methods on the Internet. Internet marketing is also known as Online Marketing, Web Marketing, Digital Marketing, E-marketing and Internet Advertising.
The History of Internet Marketing
Though the present level of Internet marketing business is high, the Internet marketplace is very young. The history of Internet Marketing shows that the timeline of this marketing is short. Some corporate and consecutive events lead up the online marketing business to where it is now. At first, the Internet was not introduced for any advertising purpose; rather it was the medium for exchanging information and emails. But within a short time, it caught the sight of the marketers that this tool could help them to grow their business.
Here are the events that lent a hand to commence Internet marketing: At the Start
When the email was invented, it was mostly used by universities and the military. In 1979, CompuServe (the first major U.S. commercial online service) offered email and other technical services to the personal computer users. The email was used only for exchanging data and information in the next two decades. In the early ’90s, business owners started to reveal the marketing advantages of the email service.
Introduction of the First Browser
Tim Berners-Lee invented ‘World Wide Web’ in 1990, which was the first web browser. It was later renamed as ‘Nexus’ but it didn’t get much popularity. In 1993, the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois released a graphical web browser named ‘Mosaic’. It was much easier to install and use. After this, use of the Internet began to expand.
Initiation of Business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce
For creating ‘the first Internet’, the credit was given to the National Science Foundation. In 1991, when the foundation opened the use of its Internet for business purpose, business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce gained popularity. In the next few years, online marketing began to grow. Amazon, the leading online seller in the world, started its journey in 1995.
Release of Search Engines
The first search engine, Archie, was invented in 1990. In 1994, WebCrawler introduced a search engine capable of indexing titles and headers of a web page and also its whole content. After that, another search engine called ‘Lycos’ came that could rank search results depending on relevancy. In 1996, the search engine Google was released. In 2003, the Google Company initiated its AdWords campaign. This system helped the marketers to provide ads according to a user’s requirements.
Thus, Internet Marketing has begun to grow since 1996. The acceptance of online marketing is growing day by day as it can offer an incredible opportunity to the people who would prefer to launch their own business on the Internet. Internet marketing allows a broad range of marketing techniques for earning money online. Though the history of Internet Marketing tells that it is a new marketing technique, it has brought a marketing revolution in history faster than any other marketing techniques.
Importance of Internet Marketing
The benefits of Internet marketing are vast. The reasons why the internet or online marketing is imperative for any business to grow successfully are discussed below:
To build up relationship with the targeted audience
The online marketing is a reliable tool for marketing as it has the quality for grabbing the attention of the targeted audience for any business. The Internet works as an excellent platform for initiating and maintaining good communication with the customers.
To provide products or services according to customer preferences
Day by day people is getting interested in purchasing products and getting services online because of the busy life style of the present time. Nowadays, online purchases have significantly increased. It allows the customers to get the advantages of accessing information and ordering products and services through the Internet. So, through the Internet marketing, any business can provide the customers easy access to the information about their goods and services according to the preferences or choices of the customers.
To establish any business online, advertising is an essential part. One of the most cost effective techniques of advertising is Online marketing. To set up a business online, the cost related to start a business, writing blogs or writing articles or using social media for marketing, is less than the cost of traditional marketing techniques.
To increase the web traffic
The objective of Internet marketing strategies is to find and increase targeted website traffic. This can be done by writing marketing articles or using social media sites. The more visitors will visit the site, the chances for sales will also increase.
To increase sales
As the Internet marketing allows the consumers the opportunity for purchasing the products or services online, the customers don’t have to go physically to the outlets. It increases the rate of sales, the profit and helps to get a good return on investment (ROI) and this is surely one of the most significant benefits of Internet Marketing.
To customize the offers for products and services
Digital marketing has a broad range of techniques that the advertisements for any product or services can be placed in such a way that they can reach the targeted customers or audience. So, when the consumers see the offers for their desired products or services, they get interested and respond accordingly. Online marketing can help a business to make customized offers to customers by keeping the history of purchase. It can be done by creating profiles of the customers, tracking web pages to get the idea about their interests, storing information about their preferences and make customized offers accordingly.
To increase brand awareness
An Internet marketing campaign can increase brand awareness. When the customers or visitors browse or make queries or searches on the web, they may get familiar with the name or logo of a company or brand name of a product or service. Thus, it helps businesses to increase their brand awareness.
To keep up with the changing demands
As days are passing by, technologies are also changing and getting updated. Now a growing number of users are using the web. So, using Internet marketing methods, it will be easier for the business owners to get a continuous report about the changing demands of the customers.
Always available to the customers
At present, due to work schedule and busy lifestyle, customers are interested in online shopping. Using Internet marketing strategies, businesses can render the consumers 24-hour services.
To build up credibility
Among the many benefits of Internet Marketing, another one is that it helps to earn reliability of the customers. Setting up an online existence through internet marketing is an excellent way to keep the business up to date and serve the customers with all of the advantages and benefits they need anytime. Thus business owners can earn the credibility of the customers quickly at a minimal cost with a bit of effort.
Recently, Online marketers are innovating new online marketing techniques to drive more visitors to their websites and to make more sales and profit. As the customers are increasing in number, becoming smarter, and their demands are also changing, companies are also trying to come up with new ideas for the Internet marketing and to establish their online presence.