MARKETING

THE CONCEPT OF BRANDING

The American Marketing Association defines a brand as a name, term, sign, symbol, or design, or a combination of them, intended to identify the goods or services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of competitors. Branding, like packaging, is the overt and tangible aspects of a product, and it distinguishes one manufacturer’s product from those of their competitors. In the crowded retail environment, it is branding that helps the product to stand out from the crowd. At the basic level of product, many consumers are unable to distinguish between competing products within the same category. It is branding that is used to offer the customer the necessary differential perception. For example, in a blind taste test of the two leading carbonated diet beverages, when the two products’ brand names were stripped off, 51% of those surveyed preferred Diet Pepsi, 44% preferred Diet Coke, and 5% said they were the same. When the products were sampled in an open test, with the brand identities revealed, only 23% preferred Diet Pepsi, with 65% preferring Diet Coke, and 12% saying that they were the same. It is evident that the key differentiating factor was the brand identity, which provided additional values to the consumers, overriding the physical characteristics of the products. Developing and nurturing a brand name requires a great deal of long-term investment, especially on advertising, promotion, and packaging. Some of the leading brands in Nigeria are: Coca Cola, First Bank, Sony, MTN, GLO, Maggie and so on.   BASIC TERMINOLOGIES We can distinguish between brand name, brand mark, trademark and other related terms in branding. A Brand Name consists of words, letters, and/or numbers that can be vocalized. For example, Mercedes Benz, Zenith Bank, Motorola, MTN, Pepsi and Microsoft. A Brand Mark is the part of the brand that appears in the form of a symbol, design, or distinctive colouring or lettering. For example, Mercedes Benz brand mark is the three-pointed star, which is one of the most recognizable symbols on earth. Trademark is a brand that is given legal protection because, under the law, one seller has appropriated it. Thus trademark is essentially a legal term. Brand Image is the total impression created in the consumer’s mind by a brand and all its associations, functional and non-functional. Brand Look-alikes are products, which take on the visual appearance of the brand leader. If the similarity is confusing and misleading, it could lead to legal disputes as it could rob firms of vital customers. Good examples of brand lookalikes are Chelsea Dry Gin and Megasea Dry Gin; and Izal disinfectant and Z disinfectant.   IMPORTANCE OF BRANDING Branding is important in that: It identifies the company and its products. Since branding is a promise of benefit, it assures the customers of product quality. It enables the producer to charge a premium price. It makes segmentation of market possible. Brand name can be used to sell an entire product line. It makes consumer loyal. Brands can be used globally i.e. brands are universal It enables manufacturers to secure extensive distribution by the dealers. It enables products to be fully supported by marketing communication. Brands are a ready source of information.   CHARACTERISTICS OF A GOOD BRAND NAME A good brand should exhibit as many of the following characteristics as possible. It should suggest something about the product’s use, benefit or action. For examples Guaranty Trust Bank, Maltonic, Robb and, Sleepwell. It should be easy to pronounce, spell and remember. For example, Sony, Omo, Biggs, Vim, and Gulder. It should be distinctive. Examples of brands that are distinctive include Mercedes Benz, Bournvita, Peak Milk and Michelin. It should be versatile i.e. applicable or adoptable to a whole line of products. Examples are Sony Television, Sony Cassette Player, Sony VCD and Sony Walkman. It should be capable of protecting the brand legally. It should be pleasant or have neutral connotation in foreign countries. Nova, for instance fails on this point.   CLASSIFICATION OF BRANDS The major basis for classifying brands is who owns the brands – producers or middlemen. Manufacturers’ Brands Otherwise called national brands are more popular. Manufacturers develop and nurture the brand. Many of the brands in the Nigerian and other markets worldwide are national brands. They include MTN, PepsiCola, Toyota, Knorr, Gillette, Honda, Colgate, Samsung and Heineken. Distributors’ Brands Also called dealers’ brands, they refer to brands developed by large retailers and wholesalers. This is achieved through contracting production to willing manufacturers. In Great Britain, Sainsbury Cola (from Sainsbury) and Classic Cola (from Tesco) are two good private brands competing with Coca-Cola and Pepsi Cola. In Nigeria, Dangote Cement and Burham Cement are two dealer brands competing with WAPCO’s Elephant Cement. Mixed Brand Several manufacturers adopt a mixed branding approach to distinguish between products which they manufacture under their own brand names and identities, and those, which are supplied to retailers and packaged with the retailers’ identities. Generic Brand In some instances, manufacturers or retailers have been content to sell their products under generic or ‘no brand’ identities. For instance, it now common in Nigeria to sell unbranded sugar, salt, butter and detergent.   BRAND-NAME DECISION The firm which has decided to brand its product must choose which brand names to use. The strategic brand choices are: corporate umbrella names, family umbrella names, range brand names, and individual brand names. Corporate Umbrella Name The company’s name is used to cover the complete spectrum of products and services offered. Sony, Sharp and Samsung adopt their corporate names to cover all the products which they produce and market worldwide. Family Umbrella Names are used to cover a range of products in a variety of markets. For instance, UAC uses family umbrella names such as UAC Foods to cover its Gala , Satis and Nourish Bread brands. Range Brand Names link products within a specific market sector. This strategy is used by NASCO (e.g. NASCO biscuits NASCO carpet). Individual Brand Names are used for one type of product in one or more markets. Examples include Gulder, Maltina, Star and Legend Stout by Nigerian Breweries Plc.

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MARKETING OF SERVICES

As consumers, we use services every day. Turning on a light, watching TV, talking on the telephone, catching a bus, visiting the dentist, posting a letter, getting a haircut, refuelling a car, writing a cheque or sending clothes to the dry-cleaners are all examples of service consumption at the individual level. Unfortunately, customers are not always happy with the quality and value of the services they receive. People complain about late deliveries, rude or incompetent personnel, inconvenient service hours, poor performance, needless complicated procedures and a host of other problems. They grumble about the difficulty of finding sales assistants to help them in shops, express frustration about mistakes on their credit card bills or bank statements, shake their heads over the complexity of new self-service equipment, mutter about poor value and sigh .. s they are forced to wait for service or stand in queues almost everywhere they go. Suppliers of services often seem to have a very different set of concerns. Many complain about how difficult it is to make a profit, how hard it is to find skilled and motivated employees, or how difficult to please customers have become a hard-core problems. Some firms seem to believe that the surest route to financial success lies in cutting costs and eliminating ‘unnecessary frills’. A few even give the impression that they could run a much more efficient operation if it were not for all the stupid customers who keep making unreasonable demands. Happily, in almost every field of endeavour there are service suppliers who know how to please their customers while also running a productive, profitable operation, staffed by pleasant and competent employees.   MEANING OF SERVICES A service is an act or performance offered by one party to another. Although the process may be tied to a physical product, the performance is essentially intangible and does not normally result in ownership of any of the factors of production. Services are economic activities that create value and provide benefits for customers at specific times and places, as a result of bringing about a desired change in or on behalf of the recipient of the service. The American Marketing Association defines services as “Activities, benefits and satisfactions which are offered for sale or are provided in connection with the sale of goods.” Service organisations range in size from huge international corporations like airlines, banking,insurance, telecommunications, hotel chains and freight transportation to a vast array of locally owned and operated small businesses,including restaurants, laundries, taxis, opticians and numerous business-to-business services.   CHARACTERISTICS OF A SERVICE There are five characteristics of a service: Lack of Ownership: When you buy a product you become its owner be it a pencil, book, shirt, refrigerator or a car. In the case of service, you may pay for its use but you never own it. You can not own a service and you can not store a service like you can store a product. Services are used or hired for a period of time. For example when you buy an aeroplane ticket to fly to the USA, you are buying a service which will start at the beginning of the flight and finish at the end of the flight. You can not take the aeroplane flight home with you. Intangibility: When you buy a cake or soap, you can see , feel , touch , smell and also check its effectiveness in cleaning. But when you pay fees for a term in college, you are paying for the benefit of deriving knowledge and education which is delivered to you by teachers. You cannot hold or touch a service unlike a product. This is because a service is something customers experience and experiences are not physical products. Inseparability: Services cannot be separated from service providers. A product can be taken away, from the producer but a service can not be taken away as it involves the service provider or its representatives doing something for the customer. For example, a company selling ironing services needs the company to iron the clothes for you. Perishability: Services last a specific time and cannot be stored like a product for later use. For example, an interior designer will design a property once. If you would like to redesign the house another time, you will need to purchase the service again. Heterogeneity: Firms have systems and procedures to ensure that they provide a consistent service but it is very difficult to make each service experience identical. For example, two identical plane journeys may feel different to the passengers due to circumstances beyond the airline’s control such as weather conditions or other passengers on the plane.   CLASSIFICATION OF SERVICES A classification of services is useful because of the great diversity of service institutions. If service marketers are to develop marketing strategies, they must know where their services fit in relation to competition and to consumers need. Services in business can be categorised into two groups. The first category is products supported services. In this situation, the wide range of service elements that accompany the physical product are frequently as important as the technical solution offered by the product itself. The best example is that of consultancy services associated with the sales of computers and other technical products. The second category is pure services; those that are marketed in their own right without necessarily being associated with a physical product. These include insurance, consulting, banking, accounting and travel booking services.   MARKETING STRATEGIES FOR SERVICE INDUSTRIES Marketing strategy is a long-range plan that guides the efforts of all marketing personnel. Marketing strategies should not be confused with marketing goals. The marketing goal of an organization is to satisfy customers and other members of the public in exchange for a profit or acceptable revenue/cost ratio. The marketing strategy on the other hand, is a particular plan for achieving that goal. Two or more service firms might have identical marketing goals, but use different marketing strategies for reaching that goal. Therefore, marketing strategy is based upon goals. The most successful organizations are those that take strategic marketing seriously and strive very hard to have competitive edge or advantage. Marketing strategy is a single statement indicating the general route to the achievement of the objective sometimes. However, it is very specific and quantitative. Shaping marketing strategies for services, the marketers must often face a great number of choices and options, which if adopted will guarantee their success, these are: The resources available need to be identified. The competitors’ marketing strategies. The competitive size of organization and position. The coordination of the tactics into an integrated cohesive whole. The character of the economy/environment.   CHALLENGES FACED BY THE SERVICE INDUSTRY It is a challenging task to manage a service or product industry. These challenges however are different and unique for each industry. Some of the challenges that are faced while managing, growing and making profit from a service industry are discussed below, these factors do not readily apply to the product industry. Services are intangible and so customers cannot see or hold them before they buy it. Buyers are therefore uncertain about the quality of service and feel they are taking a risk. The buyer is unable to conceptualize and evaluate a service beforehand. From the seller’s perspective he finds it challenging to promote, control quality and set the price of the service he provides. Unlike products the intangible nature of service causes difficulties to both client and the firm. Defining and improving quality in the service industry is a major challenge. Unlike products very often services are produced and consumed simultaneously. As a result service quality management faces challenges that the product industry has never come across. In the product industry the manufacturer gets ample opportunity to test his products before they reach the market. In case of a quality issue the problem is taken care of during the quality check and customer satisfaction is taken care of. However, during service production the customer is right in front. To guarantee customer satisfaction in this scenario is a major challenge. In the case of the service industry, the customer first needs to develop trust in the service organization before he buys their services. The client often gives more important attention to the amount of faith he has on the service organization than the services being offered and their value proposition. Service industry faces competition not only from fellow service industry but also from their clients who often question themselves whether or not they should engage a service at all. Most of the product companies have dedicated sales staff, while in the service industry the service deliverers often do the selling. Coordinating marketing, operations and human resource efforts is a tedious task. Passion works for the service industry. More of the passion, spirit and desire among the service staff is more on the revenue generation and success generated every day. There is a direct correlation between staff passion and financial success and similarly lack of passion leads to failure in the service industry. Staff members need to be constantly motivated and efforts have to be intensified to sustain employee commitment. While testing new services is a constant challenge, communicating about these services simultaneously is also not easy. Setting prices does not come easily for service industry. Standardization versus personalization is another major issue the service industry has to face.

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PURCHASE, SUPPLIES AND MERCHANDISING OF GOODS AND SERVICES

Marketing business is all about purchasing goods from manufacturer and making them available to consumers. Marketing outlet exist to bridge the gap between the manufacturer and the consumer by providing total marketing solutions to their clients. They purchase goods from manufacturers or producers such as manufacturers of beverages, dairy and eggs, food additives and chemicals, grains and cereals, meat, poultry and seafood, fruits, nuts, and vegetables, cosmetics, makeup and perfumes, underwears, tooth brush and tooth paste, photo printing machines, t-shirt, trousers, fabrics, cigarette and cigar, detergent, toilet soap, tooth paste, medicated soap, etc and supply them to the retailer or the final consumer.   SELLING AND BARGAINING SKILLS Bargaining is a type of negotiation in which the buyer and seller of a goods or service bargain about the price with which to pay and the exact nature of the transaction that will take place, and eventually come to an agreement. Knowing how to sell is a vital ingredient for marketing success. In simple terms, effective sales and negotiation techniques blend with talking to the right people and listening attentively to find out what they want to buy. It is important to learn how to negotiate more effectively so that the good will be sold above cost price. The following are sales and bargaining techniques: 1) Focusing on the customer: A successful sales process starts by looking at the customer and knowing what they want, rather than just introducing to them immediately what you are trying to sell. This allows you to tailor the way you present your product or service to match each customer’s individual requirements. This kind of ‘solution selling’ is a far more powerful selling technique than simply delivering a general-purpose sales pitch. Your sales message can highlight exactly how your product suits your customer, emphasising the points where you have a competitive advantage. At the same time, the more you know about the customer’s position and what your product is worth to them, the more likely you can prove its value to them.   2) Dealing with objections: Good sales skills include anticipating and dealing with any reasons the customer may choose not to buy. Your selling techniques should include the ability to see when the customer is ready to buy, and the right selling technique for closing sales. Selling techniques often focus exclusively on winning sales. But knowing how to negotiate the right terms is important too. Like the earlier parts of selling, negotiation should start with understanding the customer. What makes them tick? What would make them enthusiastic about buying? What is the problem that they are trying to solve through buying from you? And how much value do they attach to that? The good news is that most customers are far more interested in talking about themselves than on hearing about you and your product, so use this human trait to your advantage. But you should also be clear about your own position. What would be an acceptable compromise for you to close the sale? How important strategically would the sale be? And what would make it a bad deal for you and be at the point of no return. If your customer believes that you are working with their interests at heart as well as your own, they are more likely to be more honest about what they view as their alternatives. And this in turn allows you to do the same that is, making for a more positive environment to do good business. Successful negotiation results in a coming together between buyer and seller, ideally, both you and your customer should have a sense of achievement as you shake hands on the deal.   FUND MANAGEMENT Fund management is a broad term that covers a number of functions that helps individuals and businesses to process receipts and payments in an organized and efficient manner. It refers to a broad area of finance involving the collection, handling, and usage of cash. Frequently corporate treasurers or a business manager is responsible for overall management of organisation fund. Managing company funds allow companies to process and use their money in such a way that they have adequate funds available for regular costs like paying employees. It ensures that the company has some money for the things they did not plan for such as a higher than expected increase in the cost of materials. The business also uses these techniques to check if people are paying as they should and that the funds are used for their original intent that is, it prevents payment loss and heightens financial and overall operational accountability. These strategies influence cash flow, as well, making it more likely that the business will have the funds it needs at the right time. Companies use a wide variety of techniques in fund management. One of the simplest is cheque book or account balancing, also known as reconciliation. Many organizations use software programs to automate how the business collects funds from clients. Agencies routinely use other methods such as Internet services, automated clearing houses and controlled disbursement.   Financial Literacy in fund management It is important for those who are in charge of a company’s money to demonstrate a high level of financial literacy. They must be aware of the benefits and drawbacks for each option the company considers and how those options interact to form the business collective financial approach. New options become available over time, so financial workers routinely must re-evaluate the techniques the company is using to see if they are still effective given the context of the market and the company’s objectives.   The Roles of Technology in fund management Technology has vastly changed how companies approach taking care of their money. An example is the automated clearing house, or ACH. Through these technological networks, a business can transact a business-to-business cash transfer that deducts the payment from the customer’s account and deposits the funds in the vendor’s account. Generally, this service is available for a fee at local banks. Another good example of businesses using technology in cash management is the use of software to automate payroll or the routine purchase of materials or services such as electricity. Software also can be used for activities such as preparing budget reports, purchase orders and fiscal statements. Using software can be costly due to the need for updates and hardware, but most companies discovered that the savings gained from these tools have more than justify their costs.

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PLANNING FOR PERSONAL MARKETING OUTLET

Marketing is critical for organic growth of a business and its central role is creating, communicating, capturing and sustaining value for an organization. Marketing helps organisations in creating value for better understanding of the needs of its customers and providing them with innovative products and services. This value is communicated through a variety of channels as well as through the organisation’s branding strategy. Marketing outlet is responsible for making sure that businesses and service providers receive the exposure they need to attract clients, among other things. A marketing agency helps companies to create and release advertisements.   SOURCES OF FUND Often the hardest part of starting a business is raising the money to get going. The entrepreneur might have a great idea and clear idea of how to turn it into a successful business. However, if sufficient finance cannot be raised, it is unlikely that the business will get off the ground. Raising finance for start-up a marketing outlet requires careful planning. The entrepreneur needs to decide: How much finance is required. When and how long the finance is needed for the business. What security (if any) can be provided.   The finance needed for a start-up should take into account these key areas: Set-up costs (the costs that are incurred before the business starts to trade) Starting investment in capacity (the fixed assets that the business needs before it can begin to trade). Growth and development (e.g. extra investment in capacity).   The following are sources of funds for marketing business: 1) Personal savings: An entrepreneur will often invest personal cash balances into a start-up. This is a cheap form of finance and it is readily available. Investing personal savings maximises the control the entrepreneur has over the business. It is also a strong signal of commitment to outside investors or providers of finance.   2) Loan capital: This can take several forms, but the most common are a bank loan or bank overdraft. A bank loan provides a longer-term kind of finance for a start-up, with the bank stating the fixed period over which the loan is provided (e.g. 5 years), the rate of interest, the timing and amount of repayments. A bank overdraft is a more short-term kind of finance which is also used to start-up a marketing outlet. An overdraft is really a loan facility – the bank lets the business “owe it money” when the bank balance goes below zero, in return for charging a high rate of interest. As a result, an overdraft is a flexible source of finance, in the sense that it is only used when needed. Bank overdrafts are excellent for helping a business handle seasonal fluctuations in cash flow or when the business runs into short-term cash flow problems (e.g. a major customer fails to pay on time).   3) Financing with the Help of Family and Friends: A lot of start ups get their first funding from friends and family. The good thing about financing your start-up business with the help of family and friends is that you can often get fairly lenient repayment terms. That may be important in the initial years of your new business. They may give you a low interest rate and a long time to repay them. On the other hand, they might want a stake in your firm if you are willing. One problem is that in hard economic times, family and friends may not have access to the capital they could normally access.   Advantages Funding is usually obtainable quickly due to your existing relationship. Potential exists for the mutual vested interest in the business to bring you closer with loved ones. The investment terms are usually more flexible and potential exists for numerous equity or pay back methods.   Disadvantages Immense pressure to succeed can strain personal relationships. Friends and family frequently have an extremely limited ability to evaluate the potential of your business, though they tend to give advice because of their monetary stake in the company. Friends and family usually bring nothing more to the table as an investor besides the initial capital.   4) Small Business Administration (SBA) Loans: The SBA is a government administration dedicated to assisting small businesses succeed. The four primary function of the SBA is to help an entrepreneur in overcoming difficulties (financial) or starting up a business.   Advantage Proper treatment of an SBA loan will increase your chances of receiving a bank loan.   Disadvantages The SBA acts to improve the relationship between local lenders and local borrowers. There are strict guidelines; the SBA looks at data from the previous two to three years, most commonly from the worst of those years, so it is difficult for very young companies to obtain one.   5) Angel Investors: Angel investors are wealthy individuals who will entrepreneur financing in exchange for a share of equity in the company.   Advantages Angels normally have experience in the industry and can offer helpful guidance and introductions to their network. Because angels are less rigid, flexible business agreements are common.   Disadvantages You can be forced to give up some degree of control over your company. Due to the high-risk nature of angel investing, angels rarely make follow up on investments.   IDENTIFYING A GOOD MARKETING LOCATION Identifying good marketing location is regarded necessary for all companies. The marketing outlet needs to know as much information as it should about its existing or prospective customers. The more you know about your customers, the better you will be able to make decisions that will enhance your ability to communicate and connect with them. Who do you consider that will benefit you the most from your products and services? Think of the people and their most common characteristics and attributes. One of the best ways to identify your target market is to look at your existing customer base. Who are your ideal clients? What do they have in common? If you do not have an existing customer base, or if you are targeting a completely new audience, speculate on who they might be, based on their needs and the benefits they will receive. Investigate competitors or similar businesses in other markets to gain insight.   SETTING UP AND MANAGING MARKETING OUTLET Being a small business owner comes with challenges unique to the size and function of the business. The small business owner has to handle all the challenges of selling, delivering, financing, managing and growing the business with little or no staff, while trying to make it a success. Managing a marketing outlet effectively is important because your clients (companies) rely on you to promote their image. The manager of the outlet dedicate different units to focus on each of the four Ps of marketing – price, place, product and promotion for clients. He/she will have separate units for pricing, distribution, product development and advertising. Talented individuals with marketing training need to be employed to head each unit of your outlet as project leaders or managers. Schedule weekly meetings with all unit heads to receive or give updates as needed. The manager provides employees with training in important subjects including marketing research, budgeting and project management. You have to use your own outlet as your first client. Develop a recognizable brand identity for the outlet including logo, motto and company colours and create a full-scale marketing plan that helps you to build a list of clients. Promote your company in marketing and advertising industry publications. Use the same or a similar successful model when creating a marketing plan for future clients.

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APPLICATION OF ICT IN INTERNATIONAL MARKETING

Marketing is a very broad ranging discipline which is undergoing radical changes. The approach is adopted by Marketing managers in the 21st century is conditioned by the deep social and cultural changes that we are going through at the end of this century. It is also greatly impacted by the significant alterations of today’s business practices. In a world where change is constant and is also happening at a quickening pace, it seems fundamental to us that Marketing be placed within the big picture of strategic management. The vision for the future of the firm is central to this approach. Information and communication technologies (ICTs) is considered important for creating competitive advantage. The increasing popularity of the Internet as a business tool can be attributed to its current size and prospected growth, as well as its attractive demographics. The Internet potential to provide an efficient channel for advertising and marketing efforts is overwhelming. The information and communication technology is a very powerful tool that help prospective business owners to make their business known to the world.   ADVANTAGES OF ICT IN INTERNATIONAL MARKETING The following are the advantages of using ICT in international marketing: Far Cheaper and Much More Flexible Than Print Advertising: The Internet is extremely different from print advertising in that space is cheap, your advertisement is accessible for a longer period of time, the content can be changed without having to ask someone to do it for you (if you use a content management system) and you can potentially reach a wider audience. This is not to say that you should not use other forms of advertising. You can use it to entice people to visit your website and find out about your company and potentially open two-way communication between the potential customer and a sales person. Market Expansion: The Internet has allowed businesses to break through the geographical barriers and become accessible, virtually, from any country in the world by a potential customer that has Internet access. Diversify Revenue Streams: The internet is not just a medium for representation of your company; it is a form of media from which everybody can acquire information. You can use this media to sell advertising space to other businesses. A recent trend has risen where businesses feature their very own directory of complimentary services, where the visitor can search for information on a business that will enhance the use of your service. The business sells complimentary businesses a listing in their directory. A good example is a catering company featuring a directory with businesses such as event co-ordinators, electronic equipment, rental companies, etc. Offer Convenience: It is far more convenient for a person to research a product on the Internet than it is to get in a car, drive somewhere and look for or ask someone for information on a product. Also, a potential customer would not have to judge a call centre agent to determine whether he/she has their best interests in mind, or just wants to make a sale. The potential customer can visit your website whenever they like in their own privacy and comfort, without the stresses and distractions that exist in the “real world”. Your website is a self-service medium – for example, instead of having to wait on a long cue to pay your TV Licence, you can now do it electronically through the TV Licence website. Add Value and Satisfaction: By offering convenience, a point of reference and that touch of individual customer service, you ultimately add value to your offering and your customers experience a higher level of satisfaction. Your website can add value in other ways too, by featuring tips, advice and general interest content you can “entertain” your customers. This will also help them remember you better. Standardize Sales Performance: By looking at which approaches pitches have worked in the past and those which have not, you can produce the ultimate pitch and use it with your website, so that you use it on every customer. No more training of sales people and waiting for them to get a feel for your line of trade. Improve credibility: A website gives you the opportunity to tell potential customers what you do and why you deserve their trust and confidence. In fact, many people use the internet for pre-purchase research so that they can determine for themselves whether a particular supplier or brand is worthy of their patronage, and would not take them for a ride. The Internet also allows for Viral Marketing – where your website visitors spread positive word-of-mouth about your business, that is, your customers do your marketing. Growth Opportunity: A website serves as a great place to refer potential investors to, to show them what your company is all about, what it has achieved and what it can achieve in future. Two-Way Communicative Marketing: Customers can quickly and easily give feedback on your product and/or marketing approach. Affordable Market Research: You can use features on your website such as visitor polls, online surveys and your website statistics to find out what your customers like more and how they feel about certain aspects of your business to determine how you can improve your product and the way you do business.   ELECTRONIC MARKETING Any transfer of goods or services from seller to buyer that involves one or more electronic methods or media can be considered electronic marketing. Electronic marketing is a form of product promotion and customer relations conducted with the use of electronic media. With the development of the telegraph, a new era in marketing was created. Marketers have been quick to jump on subsequent technological developments from radio to the Internet. Companies may market exclusively via electronic media or use a mixture of marketing media in order to reach a broad target audience. Marketing has a number of goals, including familiarizing people with companies and products, encouraging consumers to adopt specific products, and promoting a positive public opinion of a company, product, or service. Electronic marketing is highly flexible and allows companies to create targeted campaigns with broad reach. This form of marketing can also be very cost effective, making it possible for companies to reach lots of consumers at a fraction of the cost for other types of advertising. Some advertising firms specialize in electronic marketing services. They can help their customers devise effective campaigns and may also be involved in the implementation of marketing campaigns. These firms keep up with the latest trends in marketing so that they can stay ahead of the curve with advertisements that will appeal and attract consumers. Companies must use electronic marketing with care. Some consumers may find such marketing intrusive, forcing companies to find creative ways to advertise in a way that will boost interest instead of irritating people. It is also necessary to think about how advertising fits in with a company’s image and the ideals that a company wants to project. A company that prides itself on discretion, for example, would probably not want to deliver an intrusive email marketing campaign based on browsing habits.   ADVANTAGES OF ELECTRONIC MARKETING In any business organization, advertisement cost constitutes a major expense in the operations of the business organisation. However, Internet marketing has promised to significantly reduce the cost of advertisement. For example, accumulating email addresses and sending newsletters through the Internet is relatively cheaper compared to traditional marketing strategies. Due to the popularity of the Internet in the modern world, almost all organizations have a website. Making good use of the website can significantly reduce the cost of advertisement. The ability of the organization to track the rate of return on investment. For example, click-through feedbacks as well as responses to emails from customers enable the organization to rate the effectiveness of their marketing strategies. The instant delivery of the message enables organizations to make their marketing campaigns faster and facilitates immediate responses or communications between the customer care department and the customers. It enables an organization to personalize messages or more effectively select the targeted clientele. For example, different electronic marketing strategies can be employed for the youths, professionals and other categories of customers. It can easily and effectively be integrated with the traditional marketing strategies. For example, a brief advertisement on the print media can guide a potential customer to the company’s website for more detailed information on the product.   DISADVANTAGES OF ELECTRONIC MARKETING Electronic marketing is limited by the ability of the consumer to access and use Internet services. Although there is an increased popularity of Internet services in the modern world, a large number of consumers are unable to use or have no access to Internet services. It is important to note that spam filters that have become very essential to majority of the users are a major limitation to the effectiveness of E-marketing. There are concerns over the high number of commercial messages being filtered because the spam filters consider them illegitimate. It has intensified competition which is a major barrier to new entrants in the global market. There is no replacement for good old fashioned customer service. The majority of internet marketers lack customer service and inquiry response programmes. As a result, many online visitors to your site will already have painted your site as poor service before they have even contacted you. The majority of websites also have poor navigation, which makes it difficult for your visitor to find what they are looking for. Many sites were created with a marketing view, not from a customer service point of view.   INTERNET ETHICS AND ABUSE Ethics are a set of moral principles that govern an individual or a group on what is acceptable behaviour while using a computer. Computer ethics is a set of moral principles that govern the usage of computers. One of the common issues of computer ethics is violation of copyright. Internet ethics means acceptable behaviour for using the internet. We should be honest, respect the rights and property of others on the internet. The following are various internet ethics: Acceptance: One has to accept that Internet is not a value free-zone .It means World Wide Web is a place where values are considered in the broadest sense, so we must take care while shaping content and services and we should recognize that internet is not separated from the universal society but it is a primary component of it. Sensitivity to National and Local cultures: It belongs to all and there is no barrier of national and local cultures. It cannot be subject to one set of values like the local TV channel or the local newspaper since we have to accommodate multiplicity of usage. While using E-Mail and chatting: Internet must be used for communication with’ family and friends. Avoid chatting with strangers and forwarding e-mails from unknown people /strangers. We must be aware of risks involved in chatting and forwarding e-mails to strangers. Pretending to be someone else: We must not use internet to fool others by pretending to be someone else. Hiding our own identity to fool others in the Internet world is a crime and may also be a risk to others. Avoid Bad language: We must not use rude or bad language while using E-Mail, chatting, blogging and social networking, We need to respect others views and should not criticize anyone on the internet. Hide personal information: We should not give personal details like home address, phone numbers, interests, passwords. No photographs should be sent to strangers because it might be misused and shared with others without our knowledge. While Downloading: Internet is used to listen and learn about music. It is also used to watch videos and play games we must not use it to download or share copyrighted materials. We must be aware of the importance of copyrights and issues of copyright. Internet has some abuses too nowadays. They some time keep chafing and whiling away their time with friends or even unknown persons when they are supposed to be…

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