Provides information to stimulate purchase and build relationships. Products are not typically available for purchase online. Information is provided through the web site and e-newsletters to inform purchase decisions. The main business contribution is through encouraging offline sales and generating enquires or leads from potential customers. Such sites also add value to existing customers by providing them with detailed information to help them support them in their lives at work or at home.
Provide an experience to support the brand. Products are not typically available for online purchase. Their main focus is to support the brand by developing an online experience of the brand. They are typical for low-value, high-volume fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) brands for consumers.
Provide information or news about a range of topics. ‘Portal’ refers to a gateway of information. This is information both on the site and through links to other sites. Portals have a diversity of options for generating revenue including advertising, commission based sales, sale of customer data (lists).
Each of these different types of sites tend to increase in sophistication as organizations develop their Internet marketing. Many organizations began the process of Internet marketing with the development of web sites in the form of brochure ware sites or electronic brochures introducing their products and services, but are now enhancing them to add value to the full range of marketing functions.
In Chapters 2 and 4 we look at stage models of the development of Internet marketing services, from static brochure ware sites to dynamic transactional sites that support interactions with customers. A powerful method of evaluating the strategic marketing opportunities of using the Internet is to apply the strategic marketing grid of an off (1957) as discussed in the strategy formulation section of Chapter 4 (Figure 4.10). This shows how the Internet can potentially be used to achieve four strategic directions: