Internet Marketing Objectives
Create Awareness, Create Desire, Motivate Transactions
The objective of Internet marketing is to create clear value for the profit organization. With this focus the value proposition of the Internet is not limited to profitable transactions; partially it might be rather sufficient to raise awareness for new product launches or to support offline events with additional Internet activities.
This chapter describes a set of 3 objectives: awareness, attraction and transaction. Those three objectives are on a generic level and weighted differently for different scenarios. The Internet marketing of price inflexible commodity products has certainly other approaches than price flexible products with a dominating USP.
1 - Awareness [AAT-O1]
Market transparency enables potential or existing customers to choose from a larger selection of reachable vendors. Scanning the available sources the person searches for the best offer. No matter if the transaction itself is performed via the Internet the profit organization has to create awareness for its company, brands or products and services. For medium online shops with price inflexible commodity products awareness is the key success factor. For a pharmaceutical enterprise awareness is simply required to communicate with potential partners, customers or multipliers and not to sell products itself.
Awareness can even be created totally without traffic of potential partners, customers or multipliers on the Web site.
The existing Internet marketing environment largely concentrates on the generation of targeted Web site traffic in combination with a high conversion rate. In case of the targeted traffic the core objective is primarily to create awareness for products, services or the company itself. If awareness could be created without targeted traffic, an alternative approach would be totally feasible. Targeted traffic therefore describes already a possible technical implementation of the objective awareness.
The business value of AAT-O1 reaches from raising interest for products and services to support offline sales activities. More examples are listed below:
- Company establishment or product introduction
- Generic products or competitive markets
- Services / Consultation
- Offline sales strategy
- No offline representation
The Internet marketing activities of the previous 3-4 years focused largely on search-engine ranking optimization (SERO) which is a rather simple strategy to generate targeted awareness. Additionally the revenues for awareness activities via super-banner or rectangles rose by 123% in 2005, affiliate marketing, focusing on products and services sold via the Internet, rose by 75% (Heise Website, 2005).
2 - Create Desire / Attraction [AAT-O2]
The awareness for a company, brand, product or service is idealistically free of a judging evaluation. The process of the following evaluation and development of an opinion is structured in the area of attraction [AAT-O2]. Within the implementation of Internet marketing activities both objectives are strongly interdependent (a text-banner on a high-traffic Web site firstly creates awareness but simultaneously initiates a first evaluation), even though from the business perspective it makes sense to differentiate the two aspects as both objectives create value for the profit organization.
Efforts spent to generate awareness might be completely useless for established company, brands or products and services, e.g. fast food chains. A business case for an established brand is for example to shift bad reputation with open and comprehensive public relations. Enhancing the opinion about the brands, products and services of the sales organization has a large impact on customer satisfaction. Improving customer service is determined by perception of potential new or existing customer.
Similarly to awareness, attraction can be created even totally without a Web site.
The business value of AAT-O2 is mainly to convince potential or existing customers, partners or multipliers of favorable product or services attributes. Additional examples are mentioned below:
- Market unknown product types
- Build brand image
- Change bad reputation
- Promote private products
- Support offline sales
- Establish public relation channel
- Enhance customer service
3 - Motivate Transaction [AAT-O3]
The scope of discussed Internet transactions is generally reduced to purchases or orders. As this approach excludes a large spectrum of alternative strategies, the objective transactions is considered from a generic perspective. A profit organization which wants to steer their customer interaction maybe considers an entry in an online forum as a valuable transaction. A platform for dating or email-services maybe seeks for registrations.
Even though awareness and attraction are partially sufficient objectives for Internet marketing activities, some profit organizations have to convert the two first aspects into financial transactions. Marketers want to induce a favorable action from the potential or existing partner, customer or multiplier.
The business value of AAT-O3 covers many aspects from generating revenues, enhancing the margin or enforcing customer relationship management. Some further examples are listed below:
- Generate direct revenues
- Avoid intermediates
- Gain flexibility in sales volumes
- Limit distribution channels
- Collect customer and partner information
- Reduce service desk requests
- Facilitate customer feedback