An integrated Internet marketing strategy

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The integration of an Internet marketing strategy into business and marketing strategies represents a significant challenge for many organisations, in part because they may have traditionally considered the Internet in isolation and in part because of the profound implications of the Internet for change at an industry level and within organisations. The E-consultancy (2005) research highlighted the challenges of Internet marketing strategy. The research involved e-commerce managers at companies in markets where their products could be sold online - for example, mobile phones (Orange, The Carphone Warehouse), travel (Tui and MyTravel), financial services (Lloyds TSB and Bradford and Bingley) and direct marketers such as BCA. Respondents were asked what their main challenges were and these highlighted the issues of gaining sufficient resource for Internet marketing. Challenges included:

• Gaining buy-in and budget consistent with audience media consumption and value generated;

• Conflicts of ownership and tensions between a digital marketing team and other teams such as traditional marketing, IT, finance and senior management;

• Coordination with different channels in conjunction with teams managing marketing programmes elsewhere in the business;

• Managing and integrating customer information about characteristics and behaviours collected online;

• Achieving consistent reporting, review, analysis and follow-up actions of digital marketing results throughout the business;

• Structuring the specialist digital team and integrating into the organisation by changing responsibilities elsewhere in the organisation;

• In-sourcing vs outsourcing online marketing tactics, i.e. search, affiliate, e-mail marketing, PR;

• Staff recruitment and retention.

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