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What benefits does the Internet provide for the marketer?

At the start of this chapter we described some of the applications of Internet marketing to support communications with customers across the purchase cycle from generating awareness, achieving direct response for lead generation or sale and supporting customer service and relationship marketing. Smith and Chaffey (2005) have defined the 5 Ss of e-marketing which suggest five broad benefits or reasons for adopting e-marketing which marketers can use to set objectives for e-marketing (Table 1.1).

The relative importance of the marketing benefits of the Internet shown in Table 1.1 depend upon the type of product and its market. Chaffey (2006) identifies four main types of online presence which each have different objectives and are appropriate for different markets. Note that these are not clear-cut categories of web sites since any company may combine these types, but with a change in emphasis according to the market they serve.

As you review web sites, note how organizations have different parts of the site focusing on these functions of sales transactions, services, relationship-building, brand-building and providing news and entertainment. The four main types of site are:

These enable purchase of products online. The main business contribution of the site is through sale of these products. The sites also support the business by providing information for consumers that prefer to purchase products offline. Visit these examples:

Conclusion

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

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