Marketing strategies incorporating information systems, such as email, social networking and media, search engines and websites may be classified as emarketing strategies. To develop an understanding of how your business might leverage information systems to support marketing efforts, a series of approaches to marketing are first discussed here. Later in this series we will discuss various techniques to use technologies in your marketing efforts.
The classical approach to marketing is an exposure maximisation strategyThe classical approach to marketing has been the exposure maximisation strategy of mass marketing. The more people that see your message, the more people buy your products and services. It is the one-to-all approach selling whatever you have to many people, with the expectation that there is a direct correlation between exposure and sales. This strategy has been relatively expensive in the past, using print, TV and radio based media to push the message out. As the communication phenomenon that is the Internet has begun to provide easier ways for marketing online, it has become a cheap method for distributing your marketing message.
More targeted approaches
A different approach to marketing is to target specific groups that may be particularly interested in your offerings. This segmentation strategy attempts to match the message to the specific segment targeted. Instead of broadcasting a message designed to intrigue a global populace, the segmentation strategy tunes into a smaller niche. Here, one expects a stronger correlation between exposure and sales considering the targeted exposure. This strategy is implemented using Internet tools and technologies by identifying where your likely customers spend time online and targeting your advertising efforts in those places.
The third approach to marketing further shifts the focus of exposure to the single individual. In this scenario, the segment is one person. It is a strategy based on access to the individual where, instead of selling one thing to many people, many things are sold over time to single individuals. The strategy is to develop fuller business relationships with individuals. Considering each customer as an individual with specific needs and wants allows a focus on what your business can do for that individual. Profiles are created and patterns of behaviour analysed. Marketing can then be tailored to the individual, better serving their needs and providing better results for your marketing efforts. Further, developing profiles in this way and understanding consumer behaviour allows you to use the information to identify segments based on shared attributes. As such, relationship marketing doesn't replace more traditional approaches but provides additional techniques to understand market needs.
Cost vs. scope
Of course, the more people and the more often see your message the more chance there is that it will stick. However, the number of messages that are targeted at the masses would appear to be increasing all the time. As more methods for communicating become more and more prevalent, mass broadcast messages become less and less effective. The more cost efficient methods tend towards mass messaging, e.g. a simple website or Social Media account. To really use the information systems available, that is to use these tools to narrow the scope of your target following a segmentation or relationship marketing approach costs you in two ways. Firstly, many of the really useful targeted advertising tools such as Google Search Adwords, Facebook Social Advertising and banner advertising come with a fee. The rates are quite reasonable but an unchecked campaign can drain your marketing budget without providing expected returns. More importantly, both paid marketing and 'free' techniques cost you time. Of course it takes time to manage any marketing campaign and there are great tools to help you track and manage progress. To take real advantage of emarketing techniques, it takes significant time to understand the technologies and to tailor your approach to how they work, but then that's the fun part isn't it?
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