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News Heading  : Flexible internet system supports integrated marketing

Post Date : 2011-11-28

News Source : Financial Chronicle

News By : M Muneer

News Details  :

Internet explosion is something people talked about years ago but the real penetration and explosion is only happening now. Any company that exclude internet from its media plans will be a loser today. Whether it is social media such as Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, you need to have some presence depending on your target audience and value proposition in order to succeed in any business.

Volumes are written on the effective and efficient use of the internet media but many are still contemplating the optimum use of this medium. Google is indeed a pioneer in propagating the reach and awareness among smaller players. They also made it fashionable to have the keywords concept in every marketer’s lexicon.

Effective marketing requires a well-thought out holistic approach that integrates every point of customer contact, be it print, online, or direct interaction.

As such, marketing executives increasingly are being asked by their management to integrate traditional media and the internet to produce an interactive marketing campaign with customised messages to various global audiences, both online and offline.

This approach, however, needs deeper questioning: "What is the best way to leverage the innovative capabilities of the internet as a marketing medium, without increasing the burden on our IT department for every technical component of an internet marketing initiative?"

Many a time the marketing executive will be very enthusiastic about doing a campaign in the social media or Youtube that will bring in increased traffic to the company website but without the adequate warning to the IT folks this will result in slow or no accessibility to customers.

The foundation for successful internet marketing is to have IT and marketing departments collaborate as a cross functional team. A robust, flexible internet infrastructure that supports complex integrated marketing initiatives serves the needs of both marketing and IT. Such an infrastructure offers the marketing department the freedom to implement sophisticated, integrated marketing campaigns quickly and cost-effectively while receiving timely, accurate and in-depth insight into the success of the campaign. In doing so, it enables the marketing department to focus on the creation of the content without having to worry about the underlying technology.

Key characteristics of internet marketing include the ability to extend brand reach, customisation of content, unlimited scalability, and geographical targeting. This foundation must also provide access to a global marketplace for customers and suppliers, and enable companies to optimise business systems around the globe. The solution should also provide key competitive advantages: An enhanced user experience, delivery of relevant content to the customer and access to data collection and feedback.

Here are some specific considerations when setting up an internet marketing infrastructure:

Outsourcing the internet content to a globally distributed network that intelligently delivers content close to requesting users, thereby avoiding internet congestion, ensures that customers rece­ive the most timely and richest content available with top-notch performance. However, this poses different challenges, which need to be addressed.

Content targeting technology integrated with the internet marketing infrastructure enables you to target specific content to one’s customers based on location, network access speed or other information stored by one’s system. This is perhaps one of the most beneficial features of internet marketing.

Integrated business intelligence tools will enable one to measure the success of online initiatives, evaluate whether the website is generating the "right" type of traffic, establish where customers are coming from and at what times, and ascertain what most interests them. Most successful web marketers have mastered this analytics and the best case is that of Amazon.

The best marketers are providing a complete, end-to-end consumer experience. For example, a consumer-products company uses print advertisements to direct prospects to a website and sign up for free samples, while another uses the internet as an effective channel for a new product launch. Some companies are creating communities in the web like the Dove campaign by Hindustan Unilever.

Whether your company is introducing a new product, promoting a contest, or enhancing an offline advertising campaign, you need an internet foundation to efficiently manage, deliver and track your online marketing initiatives. Only then can you maximise the marketing potential of the internet as part of your marketing efforts.

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