We all know that Internet marketing has been a game changer for the marketing world. This ever-evolving marketing medium has caused many companies and marketers to reach global audiences like never before. What makes Internet marketing so different from other forms of marketing are the 6 I’s. The 6 I’s include: Interactivity, Intelligence, Individualism, Integration, Industry Restructuring, Independence of Location.
The power of the Internet allows consumers to become interactive with marketing collateral.
Interactivity starts with the ads themselves. Google has pioneered TrueView ads in YouTube. TrueView ads allow the user the option to skip a video ad after watching 5 seconds. Advertisers only pay for ads that are not skipped. This level of interactivity provides benefits to both the advertiser and the audience. For the advertiser, their ad buys are more efficient and they get a feedback loop about the effectiveness of their creation. For the audience, they make the decision about the ads that are interesting and presumably will be served more ads that meet their interests.
The video phenomenon on both YouTube and Facebook also opens up other interactive options. Facebook users can engage with ads by liking the publisher and even commenting on the ad and responding to friends or strangers. This type of interaction and engagement was never possible with TV, Radio or Print.
In addition to ads, advertisers can now invest in one-to-one post-click experiences. Many advertisers will create landing pages that directly relate to the ad that was displayed. This could either be landing the user directly on a product page that explains the particular product or a service page with relevant testimonials. In the traditional print world, there was often friction in finding the specific product or service being advertised.
Internet marketing provides a level of intelligence due to the fact that extensive market research is conducted in a cost effective manner. The Internet provides information about consumers and companies are able to gather this information and use it for their benefit.
In recent years there has been an explosion in how advertisers are using intelligence from the web. Programmatic advertising is based on user level data aggregated from first and third-party sources. Larger advertisers are able to use the behavior of their current customers to find “similar to” or “lookalike” audiences. Programmatic advertising is powered by the rise of Big Data. Agencies and large advertisers are assembling data troves from multiple sources to make their targeting even more efficient.
In the golden years of traditional advertising, advertisers focused on Nielsen or other audience measurement to roughly match their prospect to the type of TV or Radio they were using. The targeting was typically limited to attributes like age, gender, income and some very basic psychographic characteristics. The intelligence offered by Big Data and programmatic has increased by many factors the targeting options available today.
Advertisements and other marketing activities on the Internet can be customized to an individual's location, demographic, age, gender, interests, and more; the ability to target a certain demographic or geographic area is also how Internet marketing excels in individualization.
The individualization enabled by digital marketing is the best chance for a marketer to cut through the clutter of digital ads. The best example of the individualization allowed by the digital marketing is retargeting ads. Advertisers can code their website to automatically generate ads based browsing history or specific actions. Ecommerce websites will use browsing history to automatically generate ads that show items that a consumer recently viewed on their website. Advertisers can increase their ROI by leading people back to a shopping card pre-populated with the products that customer viewed. These ads reduce the friction in completing transactions.
Advertising platforms develop rich profiles of the consumer and then enable advertisers to use this information to better target ads. Google Adwords has generated billions in revenue for Google. Advertisers see large ROI because Google allows advertisers to tap into “in market” events triggered by what people are searching. When someone is searching for a “emergency plumber in atlanta,” advertisers can read into that search query to understand 1) where the person needs the service 2) when they need it (emergency… now) and 3) the type of service. Ad platforms go above the specific search and can also provide the advertiser information about the specific location of the person searching, demographic information and even if they had previously been to the advertisers website.
The integration of traditional and online marketing methods such as a billboard or magazine with a QR code is evolving and marketers are utilizing the concept of integration daily; combining different media channels via Internet marketing also allows the point of interactivity and intelligence to occur.
As marketers were able to collect richer customer profiles, a new segment of software began to emerge. Modern marketers rely on marketing automation platforms for both consumer and B2B companies. Marketing automation platforms are part data warehouse, part email marketing platforms and part reporting platforms. There has always been a continuum of analytical to creative in marketing roles, but the Internet has brought the data geeks from the back room to the front room. Marketing automation allows marketers to build journeys to help educate customer pre-purchase as well as provide post-purchase support.
In addition to marketing automation, consumers expect unified experiences across devices and channels. As an example, in 2017 Domino’s Pizza offers 15 different channels for ordering Pizza. The name of the game for marketers is to be where their customer is and make the user experience seamless between channels. It is easy to forget but in the late 1990’s many call centers could not access orders or information conducted through the Internet. This type of siloed operations would never be accepted today.
The marketing industry as previously mentioned is continuously evolving. The disintermediation occurs in Internet marketing and is continuing as the middleman is constantly being removed from the marketing process.
The Internet has been brutal in this regard. Travel agents, local retailers, brokers, cab companies and many more middlemen companies have all but vanished. They are replaced by direct booking and ordering or more efficient intermediaries operating more efficiently.
Independence of Location
Being able to do the marketing of a product or service from a personal computer at home is a great advantage of Internet marketing, as well as the ability to be reached as a consumer from anywhere with a wifi connection whether it be via mobile device or computer.
Other differences/advantages that Internet marketing has over traditional marketing is accountability, testing, flexibility, micro-targeting, and cost-control. All of these aspects combined can help you run a successful Internet marketing campaign. Independence of location ties back to Data and Targeting. Rather than targeting people in monolithic blocks like “what TV show they watch” or “which zip code they live in,” the Internet can target people based on much richer profiles of what they are interested in and what they need at a particular time. For example, take a person planning a vacation. They might be in one marketing researching the vacation and planning but then while on vacation need help with reservations or events. Sites like Trip Advisor will change their content based on the profile they built. Trip Advisor knows the dates you are interested in travelling because you often provide them in your searches. They then know how close that trip is and know that people often buy tickets and hotel reservations several months before the trip but then plan tours and other events closer to the trip date. Trip Advisor will tailor their emails and even continue emailing while you are vacation. This is a level of marketing and targeting that would be impossible in the offline world.
The 6 I’s are all exciting reasons to select Internet Marketing as a career. If you are student and would like to learn about the HubShout Internet Marketing Scholarship, we be happy to review your application.