This definition emphasizes the focus of marketing on the customer, while at the same time implying a need to link to other business operations to achieve this profitability. Smith and Chaffey (2005) note that e-marketing can be used to support these aims as follows:
- Identifying – the Internet can be used for marketing research to find out customers’ needs and wants (Chapters 7 and 9).
- Anticipating – the Internet provides an additional channel by which customers can access information and make purchases – understanding this demand is key to governing resource allocation to e-marketing as explained in Chapters 2 and 4.
- Satisfying – a key success factor in e-marketing is achieving customer satisfaction through the electronic channel, which raises issues such as: is the site easy to use, does it perform adequately, what is the standard of associated customer service and how are physical products dispatched?
These issues of customer relationship management are discussed further in Chapters 6 and 7. A broader definition of marketing has been developed by Dib, Siskin, Pride and Ferrell (Dib et al., 2001): Marketing consists of individual and organizational activities that facilitate and expedite satisfying exchange relationships in a dynamic environment through the creation, distribution, promotion and pricing of goods, services and ideas.
This definition is useful since it highlights different marketing activities necessary to achieve the ‘exchange relationship’, namely product development, pricing, promotion and distribution. We will review the way in which the Internet affects these elements of the marketing mix in Chapter 5.