A Nimble Look into Internet Marketing

 Note: I prepared this when I was preparing for the IIMB interview :) The article is more like a notes from various sources mainly:

1) Wikipedia
2) http://digitalenterprise.org/index.html



Internet marketing

Internet marketing, also referred to as i-marketing, web-marketing, online-marketing, Search Engine Marketing (SEM) or e-Marketing, is the marketing of products or services over the Internet. The Internet has brought media to a global audience. The interactive nature of Internet marketing in terms of providing instant response and eliciting responses is a unique quality of the medium. Internet marketing is sometimes considered to have a broader scope because it not only refers to the Internet, e-mail, and wireless media, but it includes management of digital customer data and electronic customer relationship management (ECRM) systems. Internet marketing ties together creative and technical aspects of the Internet, including: design, development, advertising, and sales.
Internet marketing also refers to the placement of media along different stages of the customer engagement cycle through search engine marketing (SEM), search engine optimization (SEO), banner ads on specific websites, e-mail marketing, and Web 2.0 strategies.

Business Models

In the most basic sense, a business model is the method of doing business by which a company can sustain itself -- that is, generate revenue. The business model spells-out how a company makes money by specifying where it is positioned in the value chain (Value Chain: The value chain, also known as value chain analysis, is a concept popularized by Michael Porter in his 1985 best-seller, Competitive Advantage: Creating and Sustaining Superior Performance. A value chain is a chain of activities for a firm operating in a specific industry. The business unit is the appropriate level for construction of a value chain, not the divisional level or corporate level. Products pass through all activities of the chain in order, and at each activity the product gains some value. The chain of activities gives the products more added value than the sum of added values of all activities. It is important not to mix the concept of the value chain with the costs occurring throughout the activities. A diamond cutter can be used as an example of the difference. The cutting activity may have a low cost, but the activity adds much of the value to the end product, since a rough diamond is significantly less valuable than a cut diamond. Typically, the described value chain and the documentation of processes, assessment and auditing of adherence to the process routines are at the core of the quality certification of the business, e.g. ISO 9001.)

1. Brokerage
2. Advertising
3. Infomediary
4. Merchant
5. Manufacturer (Direct)
6. Affiliate
7. Community
8. Subscription
9. Utility

[Michael Rappa explains in detail about the models @ http://digitalenterprise.org/models/models.html]
Social media marketing is a term that describes use of social networks, online communities, blogs, wikis or any other online collaborative media for marketing, sales, public relations and customer service. Common social media marketing tools include Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Flickr, Wikipedia, Orkut and YouTube.
In the context of internet marketing, social media refers to a collective group of web properties whose content is primarily published by users, not direct employees of the property (e.g., the vast majority of video on YouTube is published by non-YouTube employees).

Social media marketing has three important aspects:

1. Creating buzz or newsworthy events, videos, tweets, or blog entries that attract attention, and become viral in nature. Buzz is what makes social media marketing work. It replicates a message through user to user contact, rather than the traditional method of purchasing of an ad or promoting a press release. The message does not necessarily have to be about the product. Many successful viral campaigns have gathered steam through an amusing or compelling message, with the company logo or tagline included incidentally.
2. Building ways that enable fans of a brand or company to promote a message themselves in multiple online social media venues. Fan pages in Twitter, MySpace of Facebook follow this model.
3. It is based around online conversations. Social media marketing is not controlled by the organization. Instead it encourages user participation and dialogue. A badly designed social media marketing campaign can potentially backfire on the organization that created it. To be successful SMM campaigns must fully engage and respect the users.

According to Lloyd Salmons, first chairman of the Internet Advertising Bureau social media council "Social media isn't just about big networks like Facebook and MySpace, it's about brands having conversations."
Social network marketing or social level marketing is an advertising method that makes use of social network service and to increase their web presence. This ranges from simply advertising directly on social networking sites, viral marketing that spreads throughout the web, email, and word of mouth or providing niche social networking sites focused around the item being advertised.
Many sites include features where companies can create profiles. For example, on Facebook companies can create "pages" where users can become fans of this company, product, service, individual, etc. Many companies create MySpace pages for themselves.
Companies sometimes invest in internet presence management (the process of controlling the Web presence, or Internet-based channels of an organization or company, with the goal of increasing that entity's operational efficiency.), which can include social network marketing.

Web 2.0 (2004–present) is commonly associated with web applications that facilitate interactive information sharing, interoperability, user-centered design and collaboration on the World Wide Web. Examples of Web 2.0 include web-based communities, hosted services, web applications, social-networking sites, video-sharing sites, wikis, blogs, mashups, and folksonomies. A Web 2.0 site allows its users to interact with other users or to change website content, in contrast to non-interactive websites where users are limited to the passive viewing of information that is provided to them.

Definitions of Web 3.0 vary greatly. Amit Agarwal states that Web 3.0 is, among other things, about the Semantic Web (The Semantic Web is an evolving development of the World Wide Web in which the meaning (semantics) of information and services on the web is defined, making it possible for the web to "understand" and satisfy the requests of people and machines to use the web content [Eg: XML]) and personalization. Andrew Keen, author of The Cult of the Amateur, considers the Semantic Web an "unrealisable abstraction" and sees Web 3.0 as the return of experts and authorities to the Web. For example, he points to Bertelsman's deal with the German Wikipedia to produce an edited print version of that encyclopedia. Others still such as Manoj Sharma, an organization strategist, propose that Web 3.0 will be a completely integrated world, cradle-to-grave experience of being plugged into a dynamic brave new world. CNN Money's Jessi Hempel expects Web 3.0 to emerge from new and innovative Web 2.0 services with a profitable business model.

Search engine marketing (SEM), is a form of Internet marketing that seeks to promote websites by increasing their visibility in search engine result pages (SERPs) through the use of search engine optimization, paid placement, contextual advertising, and paid inclusion. In 2008, North American advertisers spent US$13.5 billion on search engine marketing. The largest SEM vendors are Google AdWords, Yahoo! Search Marketing and Microsoft adCenter.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the volume or quality of traffic to a web site or a web page (such as a blog) from search engines via "natural" or un-paid ("organic" or "algorithmic") search results as opposed to search engine marketing (SEM) which deals with paid inclusion. The theory is that the earlier (or higher) a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine. SEO may target different kinds of search, including image search, local search, video search and industry-specific vertical search engines. This gives a web site web presence. Optimizing a website primarily involves editing its content and HTML and associated coding to both increase its relevance to specific keywords and to remove barriers to the indexing activities of search engines.

Search engine optimization methods include getting indexed, cross linking, keyword stuffing, URL normalization, other simple methods like comments, social media etc
Gray hat SEO - neither really white nor black hat. Examples include purchasing links, creating multiple 'micro-sites' which he controls for the sole purpose of cross linking to the target site.

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