Introduction

A company that has developed a great online customer experience as discussed in Chapter 7 is only part-way to achieving successful Internet marketing outcomes. In the days of the dot-com boom a common expression was: 'If you build it, they will come'. This famous line proved true of a baseball stadium built in the 1989 film Field of Dreams, but unfortunately, it doesn't apply to web sites. Berthon et al. (1998) make the analogy with a trade fair. Here, there will be many companies at different stands promoting their products and services. Effective promotion and achieving visibility of the stand is necessary to attract some of the many show visitors to that stand. Similarly, if you want to maximise quality visitors within a target audience to a web site to acquire new customers online, Internet marketers have to select the appropriate online and offline marketing communications techniques which are summarised in Figure 8.1 and form the core of this chapter. This is a major challenge since there are tens of millions of web sites with many pages, each vying to attract an audience - Google indexes over 20 billion pages.

3 Online partnerships

• Link-building

Affiliate marketing

• Sponsorship

Offline communications

6. Direct mail

7. Exhibitions

8. Merchandising

9. Packing

10. Word-of-mouth

6 Viral marketing

• Prompted e-mail a friend

• Incentivised

• Media mentions

Figure 8.1 Options available in the communications mix for increasing visitors to a web site

Before reviewing the principles and success factors in deploying the communications tools shown in Figure 8.1 we start by considering the unique characteristics of digital media which we must apply for success and look at approaches for setting objectives for and tracking the success of interactive communications.

The three main objectives and tactics of developing an interactive marketing communications programme for Internet marketing are to:

1 Search marketing

Search engine optimisation (SEO)

2 Online PR

• Media alerting services

• Portal representation

• Community C2C posts

Offline communications

1. Advertising

2. Personal selling

3. Sales promotion

5. Sponsorship

4 Interactive ads

Display ads/banners Rich-media Dynamic/behavioural Sponsorship

4 Interactive ads

Display ads/banners Rich-media Dynamic/behavioural Sponsorship

6 Viral marketing

• Prompted e-mail a friend

• Incentivised

• Media mentions

Figure 8.1 Options available in the communications mix for increasing visitors to a web site

5 Opt-in e-mail

• 3rd-party e-newsletters

5 Opt-in e-mail

• 3rd-party e-newsletters

• House list e-mails d^ Online communications IH¡]> Offline communications

Online site promotion

Internet-based techniques used to generate web site traffic.

1 use online and offline promotion to drive quality visitors or traffic to a web site;

2 use on-site communications to deliver an effective, relevant message to the visitor which helps shape customer perceptions or achieve a required marketing outcome through conversion marketing;

3 integrate all communications channels to help achieve marketing objectives by supporting mixed-mode buying.

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