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Internet marketing is an activity of carrying out business transactions using computer networks that is selling and buying of goods and services through the utilization of the concept of internet applications. It follows the basic principles of traditional commerce but in this case, buyers and sellers swap or exchange commodities through the internet for money. This has offered maximum convenience to buyers and sellers alike. Buyers and sellers in this form of internet marketing get the opportunity to compare prices, quality of the products and other factors before deciding to undertake any business transaction.
With internet marketing sourcing of goods and services internationally has become simple and has increased inter reliance between countries in supply of goods and services. With globalization being the form of contemporary business, internet marketing has taken the center stage in marketing activities and research indicate that it has yielded the best results in terms of increase in profit levels as a result of increased market share by organizations through the use of internet. (Mark, 2001) The use of internet as a marketing tool
For any business, the main goal is to increase its market share, increase relative industry growth, enhance competitiveness, and enhance its survival and growth in the ever changing business environment. In the contemporary business world, information technology (IT) particularly the use of internet marketing has increasingly become essential in order to explore new markets and to widen the firms financial bases.
More advancement of information technology is being witnessed, which is providing better solutions to ever upcoming challenges in marketing activities. Internet marketing remains an important feature in building organizational value and especially enhancing marketing activities. IT and particularly the utilization of internet marketing concept have had the capacity to change product nature, their processes, change industries and companies and even affect competition itself.
The introduction of e commerce, which can be defined as selling and buying of goods or services using electronic media for example, the internet has seen an increase of volume of goods and services being bought and sold. Internet marketing includes transfer of money using electronic means, e-marketing, inventory management, online marketing and many others. Many companies are embracing internet marketing in one way or another in order to remain competitive and international in scope.
The use of internet marketing has a lot of advantages and that is the reason why many have opted to transact business using the internet mainly referred to as online business. The use of internet provides a direct link between the two businesses; it is possible that any party can update their e-catalogue anytime they want especially if a new product has been launched in the market or when prices are to be adjusted. This will result in reduction of expenses which could be incurred if the traditional methods were used. It also provides extensive search capabilities to the businesses in order to keep record of any threat in the market. (King, Lee, and Vineland, 2004)
Internet marketing also reduces the competition gap between businesses. This can be in terms of reduced advertising or marketing costs. It also provides a level field that will allow small and growing organizations to have an equal footing with multinational giants in the same sector. This means that all these companies will have to compete on availability, quality or prices of the products.
With the use of internet marketing there is usually an unlimited market place that businesses can achieve. In addition, there is the effect of extended customer base that will ensure that the business will meet other customers electronically. The internet for example gives customers the opportunity to stay in their offices and perform their transactions. It really does not matter the distances, time or resources availability, it provides a global outlook. Internet marketing is one of the cheapest ways of doing business. Business to business communication costs are reduced greatly when the two companies adopt this concept as a medium of transaction. Costs such as; phone calls, purchasing costs, traveling costs, inventory costs, data entry costs, faxing among others reduce the amount the transaction costs which is beneficial to the growth of any business.
Since all transactions carried out through internet are computerized and are only accessed through the computer, it promotes the automation of all operations and the automation come with all sorts of benefits including security, improved authorization features, direct checks and minimal errors and omissions. . (Mowery and Rosenberg, 1989)
Online marketing is based on the technology of internet and the usage of personal computers. In earlier days companies used power full computers to computerize millions of transactions carried out every day. Through internet branches of the same organization can develop networks, through which they could keep up to date with business progress and could improve service provision to customers. Internet marketing is relatively a new advancement in the field of marketing even then there are many business and customers who have switched from traditional to online/internet marketing. The reason being quite obvious, the convenience and flexibility it provides cannot be ignored.
Managers of different organizations need to ensure good planning by availing resources in terms of finances and skilled employees who can provide technological advancement. It is important for the organization structures of the company to be well organized to create an enabling environment for the company to succeed in internet marketing. Leadership any company should be taken seriously, good leaders inspire their juniors and also ensure that they take the lead in embracing new technology in the company. Through this, the company will be able to attain its objective; of using internet marketing to improve the company sales.
The management should use control to come with measures that can ensure that the company benefits a lot from internet marketing. Though, internet marketing is full of advantages to the company, without proper control from the management, the company will not be able to realize full benefits of this concept. . (Philip, 1996)
The history of internet marketing can be traced back to the 1960s when the Electronic Data Interchange was developed. It was specifically tailored to conduct business information and electronic transactions the use of internet evolved through various steps and in 1984 through the ASC X12, it transformed itself to the Mosaic browser which allowed better and efficient access to electronic commerce browser. The kind of internet marketing got a boost in the 20th century when ICT became the medium of communication, learning, education and marketing. Internet marketing became fully utilized in the last one decade especially given the fact that most sectors went online including online banking and online sourcing of products among others.
Internet was first developed by the United States Department of Defense in the early 1960s. Since then, it is believed that there are almost over three hundred thousand networks which are spread all over the nations of the world. It has been the most exciting development in the world of computers today. Internet refers to international network of computers worldwide with many people accessing the data available. By ensuring that computers in an organization are networked with internet, the company stands to benefit a lot. Besides accessing files on other computers within the organization, one can run software located on all the other computers enabled. This therefore makes communication among the employees in the organization effective and efficient. (Mowery and Rosenberg, 1989)
Another feature of internet use in the instant access of material concerning any topic imaginable to anybody Internet users can also be able to converse with all people all over the world thus boosting international marketing. Internet has globalized this world and also internet marketing is considered global in itself. Difference in cities or countries even continents does not affect internet marketing and recent developments indicate that there has been great disregard to national boundaries.
Transaction is very fast and effective; many online business sites now offer sophisticated tools to help consumers manage all their assets more effectively and conveniently. There is another significance of internet marketing which is that of less paper work has to be done and once you have entered information, it doesn't need to be re-entered for similar consequent checks, and future payments can be programmed to occur automatically.
The old day’s ways of marketing was not only time consuming but also costly especially to a wide range of customers. The current internet technology is the best as it is currently the widely used distribution channel that is being used in the market. Since nearly every household in the world today has a computer and most of them are currently connected to the internet, it makes an opportunity for the marketers to reach a high percentage of the target consumers which boosts their marketing activities.
The internet is a bi-directional communication tool which is ironically the least expensive way of advertising compared to other types of advertising such as radio, television, magazines and news papers. Internet marketing offers great benefits for businesses in this century; increased effectiveness, wide range of audiences, reduced advertising, marketing, and transportation costs, improved exposure, increased popularity, among others. (Philip, 1996)
The potential in internet marketing is high, the internet economy is not falling and many businesses that have taken up this concept are doing well. Thus, the projection that the organizations will continue doing well through internet marketing is high. According to research reports suggests that, the future of internet marketing is emphasized as bright. In fact many organizations are witnessing an increased volume of sales as a result of taking up internet and particularly internet marketing. Internet marketing is not only selling products on the internet, it is companies incorporating their businesses procedures to the internet, enhancing them and boosting their profits levels.
Internet marketing has become the way of doing business in this modern world and business activities has been made simple and interesting with the use of this concept. It has gained roots because of its simplicity and convenience in the ordinary course of businesses and it has been utilized by both Small-Medium Enterprises (SME’s) and Multi-national Corporations (MNC’s). Industry players agree the internet marketing is going to continue to grow. According to research carried out by Center for Research in Electronic Commerce, internet marketing is predicted to revolutionaries industries in the 21st century. Economy of the internet continues to increase robustly. Many companies both new and well established continue getting profits through internet marketing. Internet marketing still has a big market which is not tapped. (King, Lee, and Vineland, 2004)
As many business analysts points out, it effects on industrial economy may be compared to the importance occurrence when the world shifted from agricultural to industrialization in the seventeenth century. Internet marketing over the internet is seen as a more informal way of doing business between two or more companies and especially formulation of different types of contracts. In general, internet marketing does not allow for face to face communication between the traders and therefore the two groups of people may not effectively agree on some things but more transactions can be carried out between the two groups of people.
Today cheap labor and availability of raw material is not enough in world competition, technology advancement that leads to production of high quality products, which are more reliable and flexibly on the market is the key issues of competition. Internet marketing through utilization of modern Informational Technologies is an important aspect in any organization; it helps in product advancement, better service delivery and lowers cost of production. In today’s economy internet marketing continue to be very relevant to companies as they struggle to invent cheaper and more efficient to the market. Internet marketing has modernized the way business is being done and opened up new challenges for the managements of the companies. (King, Lee, and Vineland, 2004)
The management of the company needs to familiarize itself with this concept of internet marketing in order to be a motivating force of the organization prosperity. The future for internet marketing is considered to be bright, as studies show more and more organizations are turning to internet marketing particularly through the utilization of internet as a way of carrying out business transactions.
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