A strategic approach to Internet marketing
To realise the benefits of Internet marketing that we have described, an organization needs to develop a planned, structured approach. As we will see in Chapter 4, which covers Internet marketing strategy, there are many risks if an ad-hoc rather than strategic approach to managing online channels is used. Some of the problems that we have commonly seen in organizations are:
- Unclear responsibilities for the many different Internet marketing activities shown in Figure 1;
- No specific objectives are set for Internet marketing;
- Insufficient budget is allocated for Internet marketing as customer demand for online services is underestimated and competitors potentially gain market share through superior online activities;
- Budget is wasted as different parts of an organization experiment with using different tools or suppliers without achieving economies of scale;
- New online value propositions for customers are not developed since the Internet is treated as ‘just another channel to market’ without review of opportunities to offer improved, differentiated online services;
- Results from digital marketing are not measured or reviewed adequately, so actions cannot be taken to improve effectiveness;
- an experimental rather than planned approach is taken to using e-communications with poor integration between online and offline marketing communications.
Consequently, this book defines a strategic approach to Internet marketing which is intended to manage these risks and deliver the opportunities available from online channels. In Figure 1.9 we suggest a process for developing and implementing an Internet marketing which is based on our experience of strategy definition in a wide range of companies.
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This diagram highlights the key activities and their dependencies which are involved for creation of a typical Internet marketing. The purpose of strategic Internet marketing activities and the main point at which these topics are covered in this book are as follows: