This article focuses primarily on internet marketing and its impact on marketing in India. Also it emphasizes the importance of social media marketing and its role in increasing the percentage shares of internet marketing in the current marketing environment. Gone those days where marketers used to rely too much on traditional marketing mediums such as television, radio etc. With the rapid advancement of technology, the scope of marketing is also changing. It brings us to a new era of marketing certainly.
An introduction to marketing
What comes into your mind when you heard about the term “marketing”? Some of you may think of advertisements, while others think of public relations (managing flow of information between an organization and the public). The truth is all of these along with many more things make up the field of marketing. It is an organisational function which forms a bridge between a society’s material requirement and its economic patterns of response. The most acceptable definition of marketing given by American Marketing Association (AMA) is “the activity, set of institutions, and process for creating, communicating, delivering and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners and society at large”(1). Some of the current trends in marketing include relationship marketing, business marketing, social marketing and internet marketing apart from the most reliable marketing of our country “traditional marketing”.
The advent of internet
In the modern era, internet has become an inevitable one like that of technology. Also it begins to change the way by which people used to do or understand things. Naturally, the same would reflect on marketers too. Internet has been accepted as one of the most powerful tools of marketing since it lacks geographical barriers i.e. it cannot be bound to a particular geographical location. Another reason is that, the acceptance level of internet has increased. Hence it becomes necessary to study the “Impact of Internet on marketing from customers as well as marketers point of view”.
Internet marketing and its impact
Internet marketing includes marketing on internet and marketing done through e-mail. In the current economic climate, traditional marketing becomes more expensive and unattainable. A magazine ad that would cost several thousand dollars may not reach more people than an internet-based ad costing only a fraction of that. Yes, there were days when most of the peoples in our country rely too much on traditional mediums such as television, radio, newspaper etc. The situation is quite changing due to changes in the preferences of customers. It is true that people started realizing that internet can serve as a one stop point for all their needs. Be it knowledge search, shopping, communication, amusement etc. internet serves as a remedy for all the requirements of the customers. This becomes an opportunity for marketers to exploit this revolution.
Let us see, what statistics have for us. The total share of global advertisement spends during 2009-2013 is as follows(2).
There is no question that the growth of internet marketing is outdoing offline marketing. Now, most of the companies started realizing the value in marketing their goods and services online. Consequently, the market share of internet marketing is improving dramatically while the market shares of offline marketing mediums begin to decline.
At the current growth rate, internet marketing has already overtaken radio marketing in spending and market share. The marketers are expected to spend US $ 96,392 million in internet marketing in 2013 second only to television, which is around 1.76 times more than the year 2009 (US $ 54,683 million).
Since most of the western countries are into internet marketing already, let us shift our focus towards the two Asian giants, China and India. The growth in internet marketing in these two countries is mainly due to two important factors.
- More marketers moving promotions online.
- Growing penetration of internet itself.
The following table shows internet usage, population data and facebook statistics of China and India as on 30 Sept 2012(3).
( 2012 Est.)
|China *||1,343,239,923||22,500,000||538,000,000||40.1 %||50.0 %||633,300|
|India||1,205,073,612||5,000,000||137,000,000||11.4 %||11.4 %||62,713,680|
Among the Asian countries, almost 61.4% of internet users are from China and India. Also penetration (percentage population) of China and India is 51.5%. Hence internet marketing becomes an unavoidable one in both these countries. Also the interesting stat is that, number of facebook users in India is almost 99 times greater than China. Hence social media marketing is more prone to emerge as the dominant way of internet marketing in our country.
What is Social Media Marketing?
Social media marketing is a recent addition to organizations integrated marketing communications plans. Integrated marketing communication is nothing but a practice of connecting an organization with their target markets. It brings together various promotional elements such as direct marketing, personal selling, public relations and sales promotion. Progressively, viral marketing campaigns are also grouped into integrated marketing communications. In traditional marketing communications model, the content, rate of occurrence, timing and medium of communications by the organization is in collaboration with a third party, i.e. marketing agencies, marketing research firms and public relations firms. On the other hand, the growth of social media has impacted the way how organizations communicate? With the emergence of latest technological trends like Web 2.0, internet provides a set of tools that allow people to build social and business associations, sharing of information’s and also in working together on projects online.
Social media marketing programs primarily focus on creating contents that attract attention and encourage readers to share it with their social networks. Social media has become a stage where one can access internet quite easily. Also it serves as a relatively inexpensive platform for organisations to implement marketing campaigns. With emergence of networking sites like facebook and twitter, the barriers for entry in social media are greatly reduced.
In the modern marketing era, internet marketing not only becomes an unavoidable one but also an eye opener for most of the organizations. Also with the emergence of internet marketing techniques like social media marketing, soon internet marketing will acquire more percentage of shares among the various marketing mediums available. The percentage shares of traditional marketing mediums such as television, radio, newspaper etc. is more prone to decrease in the upcoming years.
“All the so-called secrets of success will not work unless you do”
- Kotler, P. Marketing Management – A South Asian Perspective. Pearson Education.
- Padmanabhan, M. (2010). Advertising and Sales Promotion – An Indian Perspective. Ane Books
- Wertime, K., & Fenwick, I. Digi Marketing – The Essential Guide to New Media and Digital Marketing.
- Wilson, R. F. Planning Your Internet Marketing Strategy: A Doctor Ebiz Guide .
The article is authored by Vivek from School of Management, Pondicherry university.
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