The web revolution has simply swept through the entire world and no business has been left untouched nor can afford to ignore it. The web is generally the consumer ’s favourite choice as it makes business transactions extremely friendly and transparent. Thanks to the web, businesses are serving customers 24X7 with unmatched anytime, anywhere conveniences and branding innovations.
Internet advertising has evolved to create many new ways to proactively engage the target audience , which is far better than offline advertising which can be boringly static. Internet advertising also provides many unique options i.e. banner advertisements on websites / portals / blogs, sponsored advertisements in search engine pages, online advertisements in e-newsletters and other forms of prospect communication like webinars and white paper downloads.
New web rules
The web as a medium is totally different from all other advertising mediums. Internet advertising is thus unique in many ways. The web is instantly global yet is also local in its focus (thanks to the server’s ability to detect your local IP address). The web is highly interactive yet people don’t want it to invade their privacy beyond a certain limit. The web offers many technologically superior means to enhance the overall appeal of the advertisement like rich media, video streaming etc. Different forms of internet advertising have their own unique advantages and it pays to harness the synergies of different forms. Targeted e-newsletters with high quality content have a high readership, hence well written and designed banner advertisements or even advertorials woven seamlessly into the main content is a smart idea. And since e-newsletters are only mailed to subscribers, this unique form of permission marketing does have a high readability /visibility. Banner advertisements on popular portals are great sales boosters as they can intelligently serve locali sed advertisement content with attractive interactivity (a live virtual tour of the nearest shopping mall). Sponsored content (advertisements) on search engine search pages that map into the used key words are smart and convenient ‘help tools’ for effective brand promotion. While the search engine advertisements are the most difficult to use effectively, as you have to create different copy to harmonize it with popular keywords, they do give good returns of 64.1% on marketing spends as per the latest (2007) Marketing Sherpa report.
Internet advertising is unique
Internet advertising, unlike other forms of advertising is beginning to supplement the sales function. This is possible thanks to the e-commerce functionality of the advertisements. The customer, on the web, can make an informed and comparative decision (by simultaneously checking the websites /comparison portals on competitive products), then fill up a simple delivery form and also pay via an online payment gateway (or decide to pay on delivery). Internet advertisements not only attract prospects, convert them into customers but also complete the entire value chain function of revenue generation with unmatched convenience. Businesses using e-commerce based web advertisements need to deploy robust databases and servers to ensure that the transactions are secure, fast and easy to fully capitalize on the multiple benefits of the web medium.
Banking on customer conveniences
Internet advertising is now a favoured brand promotion decision as it scores over offline advertising thanks to its enhanced customer convenience abilities. It is truly a smart brand innovation as it can accurately track consumer preferences and changes its appearance, deliver different ‘pre-filled’ forms for facilitating online purchase and also give the customer different payment options too. Web marketers can analyse web trends data on visiting customers to implement the desired changes to product, service and sales & marketing processes. This builds customer satisfaction as the customer likes to see the processes and product feature change s as per his needs & wants (like the ability to order pre-configured computers from online advertisements). So internet marketing goes beyond brand promotion to facilitate actual sales and post sales service for sustaining enduring win-win customer relationships, as a competitive advantage.