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Introduction

The advancement in technology and the internet has completely changed the way the social, economic, and political process are conducted. The computational era is changing after every second, with new methods of performing various activities being invented. The sector of information and communication has shifted towards the technological inclination. This shift has in turn resulted to the shifting of the audience towards the technological side. As a result, most of the business operations have also changed in accordance to the technological changes.

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The growth of the internet has resulted to the invention of new methods of conducting the business operations over the web. Emergence of the e-commerce sites became the onset of the shifting of the business operations to the web, it was then followed by the internet banking, or simply online banking, and recently, internet marketing. In the, contemporary business environment, internet marketing has been the key factor towards gaining competitive advantage by businesses since most of the audience is found on the social media sites, political forums, and recently on e-commerce sites. The products are usually promoted well where the audience is huge, therefore, the internet has become a lucrative platform for promotion and creating good customer relations through internet marketing.

An Overview of Internet Marketing

Internet marketing, also known as online marketing or e-marketing, refers to the process that involves the promotion of a brand, product or service via the internet. According to Becherer&Halstead (2004), internet marketing entails all the techniques and strategies involved in promoting a particular product or brand by utilizing the millions of internet users. Online marketing is one of the fields that have been growing continuously with more companies shifting from the traditional offline methods of promotion and venturing into it (Schwarzl&Grabowska, 2015).

The growth of the internet marketing has been accelerated by the daily growth of the internet users throughout the world. The explosion of the interactive and commercial features enhanced by the introduction of web 2.0 in the year 2002 creates the first step in the growth of the internet usage and hence the idea of internet marketing (Jones. Malczyk&Beneke, 2011). Today, the method of advertising over the web remains to the widely used means of product promotion and marketing hunting. This method combines the creativity and the technicality of the World Wide Web in the process of designing, developing, advertising and maximizing the sales of a particular product or a service.

The decision made by the Smart Restorations Limited venture into internet marketing is one of the brilliant decision. By using this platform, the company will be assured of utilizing the different elements of the internet marketing, the internet marketing mix, the effective internet marketing tools, and also, to utilize the interactive order processing technique with an assurance of reaching more customers hence an increase in sales.

1.1 Elements of Internet Marketing

At Medium Blue Search Engine Marketing Company, we have been utilizing various elements of the internet marketing for ensuring positive results for our clients and ensuring that their products gain a wider market share and therefor make greater sales. The same elements will be combine when conducting the promotion of the products from Smart Restorations Limited.

For internet marketing to be successful in providing positive results, it must have key crucial elements that work in a combined form to ensure an effective product promotion that produces the positive results to the organization. Among the essential elements that must be present includes, digital marketing, e-commerce, e-business, and the internet marketing micro-environment and macro-environment. These elements functions as the basis of not only understanding, but also the working and the functioning of internet marketing.

Digital Marketing

Sometimes, digital marketing may be used interchangeably with internet marketing, however, this is a different idea. Digital marketing is the canopy term used to refer to the promotion of a brand, products, and services by the use of available and working digital technologies. Digital marketing brings in the aspect of internet usage, however, it is not only limited to the internet but includes the usage of digital devices such as mobile dives like phones and tablets and also display advertising. Digital marketing is a broad area, extending beyond the idea of the usage of only the internet. Digital marketing has been used extensively is support of internet marketing.

Digital marketing comprises of different internet marketing techniques like search engine optimization (SEO), Search engine marketing, and Relationship Building. The process of entails those techniques that are not bound to the idea of internet marketing. These are techniques that uses the digital media such as the utilization of Short Messages Services (SMS) and the use of the Multimedia Messaging Services (MMS). The usage of mobile devices can also help to facilitate the digital marketing environment through the employment of call-back services and the on-hold mobile ringtones. These techniques employed in digital marketing together formulates the elements that aid internet marketing.

1.2 Internet Marketing Mix

In marketing, combining the various factors which can be controlled by the business organization greatly helps to impact the consumer buying behavior (Chai, 2009). In strategy formulation, the factors that are combined are collectively termed as the 4Ps: Product, Price, Place and Promotion (Kotler, 2003). The act of combining this factors is referred to as marketing mix.

The internet marketing strategy, just like any other type of marketing strategy, utilizes the idea of marketing mix. E-commerce sites for example, employ the 4Ps product mix strategy to market the products and increase the market share, hence increasing the sales of the products and services at hand. The same mix will be used by our organization to promote the products of Smart Restorations Limited. The promotion is centered and around the products, the pricing, the place and the promotion.

Smart Restorations Limited Internet Marketing Mix

As mentioned above, the internet marketing mix takes the usual 4Ps marketing strategy to formulate the marketing strategy. Smart Restorations Limited deals with buying and selling of the refurbished office furniture in London. Implementation of the marketing mix will help our company come up with the best marketing strategy to be used to promote the sales of the company over the internet. Our mix will be the normal, 4P-based promotion strategy.

Product Policy.

In marketing, the product is the main center of interest on the side of the customers. The product must therefore be in a position to meet the customers’ requirements and satisfy their wants. The product features, which include the tangible ones like the size, color, quality, quantity, easy of usage, durability, appearance, and the intangible ones like availability of warrant, availability of support, aftersales services and transportation services must be kept into consideration before deciding on how the product will be presented on the internet (Tălpău, 2014).

Since we are focusing on promoting our products on the internet, the virtual nature of the product must be maintained, while at the same time portraying the product to the potential customer as though it is physically present. The features that we will use to promote the furniture of the company include, use of high quality images that shows more details. The images will be in grids showing pictures of the products captured at different angles. The images will also have a ‘room in’ functionality which will enable the customer to zoom in and see fine details.

Also, we will focus on providing detailed information about the product. The marketing ad will provide a link where the customers can click and be directed to the page that has more details about the same furniture. The idea behind this is to help the customer find the answers which would have been otherwise addressed by a responded were it for personal sale promotion. According to Gay et al. (2009), video usage in online product promotion plays a major role in creating a vivid imagery in the mind of a customer. We will also create some video ads that will run on channels like YouTube. The videos will be detailed in explaining the different variety of office furniture that Smart Restorations Limited has in the stores. Proper branding of the product in terms of visual, textual and audio presentation techniques helps the customer to build confidence in the product (Tălpău, 2014).

Pricing Policy

This is our second part of the internet marketing mix for the furniture products. In the online environment, price policy is one of the key success factors in the internet marketing platforms. The pricing strategy determines how the customer will react to the presented item. The customer might be satisfied by the product features but at the end, fails to purchase the item due to poor pricing policies applied. As a result, extra care must be kept into consideration when determining the pricing mechanisms to be used in the promotion of the item on the internet (Tălpău, 2014).

The best practice of establishing the pricing strategy is first of all doing a market research to establish the prevailing market prices of the same item (Kotler, 2003). Other factors we must consider is the existing discounts, credit facilities and the coupons.

There are various forms of pricing that can be used in internet marketing. The types that we will employ include the psychological pricing and the prestige pricing. For the normal furniture, we will set the price at levels that impart the buyers’ emotions. On theother hand, the high quality furniture will be sold based on the prestige marketing strategy. In this policy, we will also include the internet auctions. (Bechere&Halstead, 2004).

Placement Policy

When using internet marketing, the place part of the 4ps is directly achieved by the organization without involving the need of having the intermediaries (Tălpău, 2014). However, it should be noted that the physical distribution of the, services of the logistics are necessary for Smart Restorations Limited in order to ensure that the furniture that the customers have purchased reaches them at the right place and time, and in the right condition as observed on the internet.

For placement, we suggest that Smart Restorations Limited should use the organizations’ truck to distribute the purchased products to customers that are within different parts of London. However, those that are fair from the city, they are free to decide on their means of transportation or request for the company’s track at relatively lower transport than the one an individual would have incurred. The placement is meant to ensure that the products purchased are delivered to the respective customers promptly.

Promotion Policy

Promotion Strategy becomes our main center of attraction for that matter. It is our fourth P in the series of the 4Ps internet marketing mix. Internet Marketing is all about gaining as much audience as possible to the advertised product. The strategies that are achieved in the promotion strategy must ensure that the products are visible to most of the internet users. The promotion policy will combine a variety of strategies. Our Company has tasted and used these strategies in the past and for this reason, we are sure that it will also work with the Smart

1.3 Marketing tools

Electronic Commerce

E-commerce was among the first areas of commercial utilization of the internet. The idea of e-commerce began long back after the demonstration of the first online shopping system by Michael Aldrich in the year 1979 (Kapczynski&Tkacz, 2009). E-commerce generally refers to the process of conducting business transactions of the internet on the business organization’s website. Electronic commerce itself, as whole, comprises of different activities that facilitate the buying and the selling of products. Services like electronic money transfer, online transaction processing and the inventory management systems have been some of the success factors to the growth of the electronic commerce services.

E-commerce has been one of the things that have contributed to the attraction of different customers on the internet, thus creating a conducive environment for conducting internet marketing. Every day, there are millions of customers that visit these electronic commerce sites like Amazon to purchase goods and services. As a result, the target audience for conducting online market grows.

Electronic Business

As opposed to the e-commerce which involves the process of conducting business transactions online, e-business involves administrative process conducted over the internet (Meyer, 2007). On top of buying and selling of the products on the internet, e-business also entails other business activities like providing customer support and sharing of information over the internet. An e-business oriented organization conducts its daily operations over the internet, including the use of e-commerce services.

Organizations that employ the idea of e-business also promotes the growth and widening of internet marketing. E-business promotes sharing of business information which is essential and crucial in promoting goods and services. E-business as an element of online marketing, promotes the use of the internet to promote goods and services through the sharing of information about products and the prevailing market conditions.

1.4 interactive order processing

The way in which the company serves its customers is very crucial in determining the reliability and the effectiveness of the company. One of the ways involved in determining this is through the examination of the order processing steps of an organization. Order processing refers to the entire process involved from the time of receiving the clients order to the time of product is delivered to the customer.

The ordering process begins when the customer starts to search the product on the website. After acquiring the product, he or she places the order for then makes the payments. The company then validates the information and then completes the process by delivering the product to the client. An interactive ordering process is the one in which the business organization involves the customer in all stages.

The company can keep on assuring the customer the progress of the order processing until the product is delivered. This is the kind of ordering process that will be used marketing Study of Smart Restorations Limited. The interactive order processing does not only end when the product has been delivered, but goes ahead to collect feedback from the customer.

Businesses are always surrounded by different factors that influence how it performs its business operations. These factors are either internal or external to the organization. The internal and external factors that affect the business operations are collectively termed as the business environment. The internal factors are those that the business has direct control over them, and they are termed as micro environment. Those that are external and the business has no control over are referred to as macro environment.

2.1 Search Engine Marketing

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is also one of the key tools that can be used to ensure that the products are well-promoted over the internet. One of the factors that make the products of a particular company to be found easily is through the use of search engines (Tălpău, 2014). Each day, customers are always searching for products on the internet using search engines search as google, Yahoo, Ask, and Bing. SEO ensures that the company’s website is indexed at the top of the search results when a search of the product is made on the search engine (Schwarzl&Grabowska, 2015).

Our Company has experts that helps in performing the Search Engine Optimization on different types of Company websites. We are certain that we will be able to ensure that Smart Restorations Limited is easily found when furniture is searched in any type of the search engine. The E-CEM encompasses all the CRM operations with the use of the net environment. For example : intranet, extra net and internet. Electronic CRM concerns all views of handling relationships with consumer making use of information technology. E-CRM is enterprises using it to incorporate internal enterprise resources and external marketing scheme to understand and fulfill their consumer requirements.

2.2 Best practice in online public relations

Restorations Limited’s Internet Marketing. Some of the techniques that we plan to use in promoting Smart Restorations Limitedin the internet include: engagement in the paid advert programs, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Affiliate Marketing, Social Media Marketing, and Online Partners.

Paid adverts involve paying companies that specialize in providing traffic to the company’s website and products. Google AdWords, AdSense, and other companies like PopAds provide the opportunity for directing the relevant traffic to the website by running the ads on other sites, blogs, and channels. The method of payment used in this ideas is the PPC (Pay per Click), which means that for every click that the potential customer makes on the advert, the company pays for that (Tălpău, 2014).

Social media

Social media has been one of the key areas of interest when it comes to internet marketing. The audience that uses the social media platforms are on the increase each day. As a result, most of the digital marketing is aimed at social media. This process entails creating an active profile that will be used by Smart Restorations Limited to engage the huge audience on the same platforms (Schwarzl&Grabowska, 2015). The active platforms that will be used is initiating the opening of a Facebook page, Twitter handle, google plus profile, YouTube channel, and other active social media platforms. This platforms will be managed by a team of experienced individuals who have the knowledge of how they operate. To increase the reachability, we advocate for the paid options, especially for the Facebook page since

2.3 use new digital media communities

There are different types of media community which can be used by organization for sharing the file. New media are sites and other computerized correspondence and data diverts in which dynamic shoppers participate in conduct that can be devoured by others. In this different types of marketing sharing file are available such as social media Social media is important because it provides the direct interaction with the customers and hence will enable the company to get direct feedback from the customers as well as finding out the customer views about the products. Customers can also help in the promotion process by sharing the information, for example a product that has been posted on the platform. This increases the reachability of the platforms as well as the views. Social media has the widest coverage in the internet marketing world (Tălpău, 2014).

Conclusion

Recent years have been characterized by the advances in the technology sector and the growth of the internet. As a result, most business operations have shifted to the online platforms. Internet Marketing is one of the methods resulting from technological advancements. To gain the competitive advantage and increase sales, Study of Smart Restorations Limited has opted for the use of internet marketing. This is achieved by the use of tools like company’s website and online advertising company’s and also employ an interactive order processing method when dealing with the customer purchases.

References

  • Chai, L. (2009). A review of marketing mix: 4ps or more? International Journal of Marketing Studies, 1.
  • Gay, R., Charlesworth, A. et al. (2009). Marketing Online: A Customer-Led Approach. Bucharest: All Publishing
  • Kotler, P. (2003). Principles of Marketing. Bucharest, Teora Publishing House.
  • Meyer, M. H. (2007). The Fast Path to Corporate Growth: Leveraging Knowledge and Technologies to New Market Applications. Oxford: Oxford University Press
  • Becherer, R. C. &Halstead, D. (2004) Characteristics and internet marketing strategies of online auction sellers. Int. J. Internet Marketing and Advertising, 1(1): 24-36
  • Ryan, D. & Jones, S. (2009) Understanding Digital Marketing: Marketing Strategies for Engaging Digital Generation. London: London and Philadelphia.

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