Internet marketing has influenced every aspect of the way business is done. But it has evolved only in recent times. Before the flashy television commercials on OTT, on-demand television dreaming channels and social-media ads online, there were different systems in existence. Between the 15th and the 20th centuries, print media – including newspapers, billboard and magazines – was the prime advertising channel. The beginning half of the 20th century was when new advertising mediums were born. These include radio, telephones and television.
The latter part of the 20th century saw the TV ad revenues surpassing magazine and radio ads as sales plus telemarketing emerged as common marketing tactics. Towards the close of the 20th century, print advertising revenues plunged further, as PCs and desktops came into the fore. The rise of digital marketing during this period was chiefly due to smartphones gaining in popularity, making mobile marketing easier.
This period also saw the first automated, large-scale commercial use of emails for promotional purposes. Search engines launched by companies like Yahoo in 1995, Ask.com in 1997 and Google as well as MSN in 1998 gained relevance and popularity as search engine optimisation emerged as the key trend.
- How the World Wide Web Revolution Changed the Marketing Landscape
In the year 2000, the internet-bubble popped and numerous features of the digital world, which were available to select and few of the users became available to the masses. Tech-linked growth saw a rise of almost 500 percentage points on the indices such as NASDAQ alone. Pathwwway Limited places greater emphasis on easy information-dissemination and transfer of data facilitating a user-focused design that leads to the brands or retailers engaging with customers in fresh ways. In the years between 1997 and 2006, there was an emergence of new social media channels that changed the way internet marketing was done, from Six Degrees (the first of the social media sites across the globe) to LinkedIn, MySpace, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
- Emergence of Mobile Marketing and Social Media Channels
The social media craze changed the way marketing was done. As the number of smartphone users grew by leaps and bounds, the way marketing was approached changed irrevocably. Most businesses were used to print media but it only allowed targeting of small audiences. The aim was eventually looking to the online internet for promotional purposes. Social media and online channels also facilitate interaction with the audience and give users the ability to select how to receive and interact with promotional content. As a result, active user count is rapidly booming. These channels brought people from various geographical regions to a single and common platform for dissemination and exchange of the data.
- The Cost Factor
Digital marketing also overtook print media in such a quick time, because it was cheaper as against traditional print media marketing and offered better investor ROI. The number of active internet users across the globe is presently in billions and growing. The Facebook member base alone numbers approximately 2.04 billion. The YouTube client-base has a membership of over 1.5 billion. Traditional marketing using print or conventional media had downsides when it comes to making marketing amenable for different businesses. In the event of print media, it was also a one-sided communication that was extremely costly for the ROI invested. The cost of print media marketing is high, given that rates vary from one publication to another and in association with the magnitude of the order when it comes to marketing tools like brochures and flyers.
- Measuring Results
While internet marketing offers an abundance of tools to monitor and measure online metrics of campaigns, assessing the impact of a print media campaign is tougher. With an online marketing channel, all you need to do is refer to the analytics for volume, reach, retweets, comments, shares, replies and amplification. It is essential to monitor the ROI and progress of a conventional print-media type campaign, but this requires manual processing and given the lack of automation, it is yet another cost addition to the marketing budget.
- Receiving Feedback From Customers
There are quite a few interactive communication channels online, so that internet marketers receive regular and constant feedback from readers, to improve campaigns and get access to more useful sources. With print media marketing channels, the biggest problems were the huge bounce rates and unfavourable conversion ratios, making marketing an issue for one and all. Online marketing makes it easier to understand your audience through login, commenting, and sharing options on social media profiles, for example. These permit marketers to understand buying behaviour better and develop ads that are targeted.
Obtaining information about users is easy on the internet. With just a couple of clicks, one learns about the likes, dislikes, hobbies and interests. This permits the easy formulation of internet marketing campaigns tailored for the target audience, that ensure massive conversion rates.
- A Question of Reaching The Right Audience
As against print media, where reach is limited by money or locational restrictions, online marketing permits your brand to reach anyone with an internet or wireless connection. Print media distribution is costlier. With digital marketing, you only require a connection to publish and go on to share data. Many social media sites don’t even charge cash for letting users share content.
Paid marketing campaigns online cost less than conventional marketing channels, too. Online marketing enables brands to be able to publish content across different channels and connect with customers on a consistent basis. Establishing authority on the internet is easy. Updates and insight can help your brand to gain credibility and trust, directing traffic and increasing brand sales.
- Feedback, Customer Care and Community Building
Customers can easily switch brands today, given the plethora of choices. The surge in internet or online marketing is also because it has revolutionised customer support. Consumers can now connect with staff at any location, any time and from anywhere. Brands now offer personalised support and boost customer retentions rates thanks to online marketing channels.
- Tracking ROI
Easy and accurate measurement of ROI for online campaigns is another reason print media has been outmoded. Giving figures and analytic insights like lead generation, customer acquisition, clicks, revenues, contest entries etc., based on goals, it creates the best and most optimal platform for measuring ROI. Positive changes and improvised approaches towards targeting customers is the result. Mass adoption of internet channels into consumer markets has impacted marketing in myriad ways over the past 30 years.