A look at Online Marketing’s Advantages and Disadvantages

Let’s start off with a bit of honesty.

Google it, that’s the quick response when we want to know about something. So of course I did. I got 53,800,000 results, Gee I guess the secret is out. So I looked it up in the dictionary. The online dictionary I used said “No Results Found For Online Marketing. Think about that an online dictionary doesn’t know about online marketing, even though they most likely use it. Gads it’s maddening. So I found the definition #1 below somewhere.

#1) “Online Marketing is a set of tools and methodologies used for promoting products and services through the Internet.”

So I tried to break the standard routine and what I came up with is #2:

#2) “Online Marketing is simply a modern day solution to branding you or
your company and advertising your products to your target market”

1. ADVANTAGES

Lets take a look at some advantages and disadvantages to Online Marketing

The way we used to promote business, such as newspaper, mailings, radio, TV and flyers. It’s really mass advertising.   While this still works today especially for branding purposes, customer acquisition has really narrowed the focus.  Today online marketing is “Pin Point Marketing” where you can not only  market much cheaper. But they can narrow down your target market to people who are most likely to buy.  Who knows what we will be able to do tomorrow.

They also can supply a much wider range of marketing elements due to the many online tools and marketing programs made available on the internet. Therefore they can  influence your target audience in a much more effective manner.

The internet is not only cheaper it’s faster. You can stop a bad campaign instantly if it’s not working. There are many different channels available to the savvy online marketer. From PPC with Google and Facebook and others, to banner ads on appropriate blogs that have tremendous traffic.  The list of free and paid advertising is quite huge.

Lets look at some other Advantages

 REDUCED COSTS

Compared to TV, Radio, Billboard ads or Magazine ads online advertising can be extremely cheap. Not only that but fewer people can do a lot more work at a fraction of the cost. By using a lot less manpower that frees up funds. formally used for salaries and benefits, to be used to target more customers. If you are using the same budget as before you have a smorgasbord of ideas and places to utilize those funds.

 CONVENIENCE

Today’s world is faced paced and people seemed focused on saving time to enable a more comfortable social life. Between Amazon and many other online stores there is no question today that the ease of shopping online is here to stay.

You can combine online shopping with so many other activities without wasting the 1 – 3 hours it may take to go to the store. Especially when it will be delivered to their door step and all they have to do is get out of the recliner and go get it off the porch. Also online shopping gives you so many resources to compare prices and research the product you want to buy. That’s very difficult to do in a physical store

 LARGER DEMOGRAPHIC COVERAGE:

Online marketing beats door to door and broadcast ads hands down. Online marketing can appeal to thousands to hundreds of thousands of people at one time. in one day. Nothing compares to this type of reach.Door to door can’t touch it and broadcast can’t compete simply because the broadcast message is targeted to the general public where online advertising is targeted to your clients or people most inclined to buy your product. Much less expense much bigger profit.

 ENHANCED QUALITY

Ever since online marketers like Amazon, Flipkart, Myntra etc. have made it big in the market, offline stores and markets have been trying to catch up to stay viable as a shopping destination whether online or offline. Many of these online retailers have a distinct advantage because they sell across all quality brands from small local companies to companies on the fortune 500. Plus they do it from their website, you don’t have to walk anywhere.

Today’s traditional brick and mortar store has no choice but to compete online, or eventually go out of business.

CLIENT CARE

One of the things that sets online retailers and brick and mortar retailers apart is customer care. It is not just about providing your customers with what they want, but it is actually following up on them and making sure they are completely satisfied, and following up on a regular basis. Basically their data acquisition allows them to maintain a data base on everything from a customers birthday to their shoe preference. That’s something your regular store hasn’t been able to do.

If we think practically for a minute, we realize that this huge service gap cannot be justified JUST because of the service provided. If that had been the scenario, offline markets would have taken care of that a long time ago. What sets the two apart is the quality of service that they are able to provide.

Online return & exchange policy’s are quite liberal. I know I have returned items for one reason or anothe after 30 days. A feat almost impossible in a offline retailer. The online store also provides 24/7 service, if you don’t believe that check out Amazon or QVC. Need to return a defective item? No problem at the online store but just try it at your local brick and mortar store. It can be quite a hassle. So there you have it online shopping is usually hassle free.

2.DISADVANTAGES

Here are some of the disadvantages of online marketing

TRY IT ON BABY

People cannot try out, feel or touch the object of desire at an online retailer. Sometimes or for some items this makes it hard to purchase online. Many people won’t buy it before they see it in person. It’s hard for them to make a decision without physically examining the product.

Of course online retailers try to overcome this with their liberal exchange policy. Some online retailers are actually marketing their products to try them on first before you buy. But either way that takes a lot of time .

Some people are even going to the online store to see the product then ordering it online. After all Time Is Money, or so they say.

CUSTOMERS SET IN THEIR WAYS

Many older people either don’t use the internet or use it only to stary in touch with friends and family. Many are uncomfortable giving their information out online and shopping online. Of course many like my wife and myself have no problem with it at all. Many of them are worried about online fraud and they worry about product quality. After all returning an item has always been an ordeal at an offline store so why should it be any different online.

Of course like anything else once you try something a time or two and it goes well those foreboding thoughts seem to fade away.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Online shopping is huge and will only grow larger in the years ahead. As the older population dies out and the generations that was brought up using online shopping, it will only get bigger. It’s true today, there is still a place for the traditional offline brick and mortar store. Especially in the older pulation. The fact that many people like to touch and see what they buy may keep them in business.

No one can say what the next decade will bring but it appears that online shopping will become even larger, while the offline stores will maintain some kind or presence, either by consolidating. expanding or moving hugely into online sales, which many are doing right now.

Category: Online marketing
Keywords: Online marketing strategies, offline retailing, Fortune500 companies
Tags: Google, Amazon, Flipkart


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