Electronic channels of marketing refers using the internet to market the products. There are broadly two aspects through which the electronic channels can be effected. They are database marketing & direct marketing. Database marketing, involves collecting useful information & direct marketing refers to giving personalised product or services via internet. In practise, these two are interconnected. The information about the customers are stored in a database, which is procured via direct marketing; the data base is used to create lists, of prospective customers, and can be directly communicated via electronic channels! Thus, database & direct marketing is interconnected activites.
Digitalistion & connectivity are the platform on which electronic channels of marketing are built. Digitalisation refers to converting the physical aspects to softwares or intangible aspect. For example, instead of a printed bill or statement a soft copy in pdf format. digitisation helps to transmit information / data quickly across, as well as processing them for gaining insight becomes faster.
Connectivity refers to creating network for communication. The network can be intranets, extranets or internet.
Intranet – network which is limited to the company
Extranet – the network connects a company with its suppliers & customers
Internet – the network connects across the globe.
Customisation & customerisation
The internet based business or e business revolves around information business. Since information can be easily differentiated, customised, personalised, & sent across very fast over network.
Hence, it is possible to gather information easily about the customers, as well as business partners (distributors, suppliers, retailers). This also makes customisation easier.
Hospitality companies can have a competitive advantage by understanding the customer on an individual level and there by developing marketing offers that fit their wants. For example they can decide which customer should be given loyalty benefits, easily by looking at the information of their purchases with the company.
E-business, E- commerce & E- Marketing
E – Business – involves the use of electronic platforms such as intranet, extranets, and the Internet
E – commerce – involves electronic based communication between company and the customer. Hence, it involves buying and selling process supported by electronic means, primarily the Internet. E-commerce involves e-marketing & e-purchasing.
E- markets are “market spaces” rather than the market place which is physical.
Three basic principles of electronic marketing
- Building and actively manage a customer database
- Develop a clear concept on how the company should take advantage of the Internet
- Be easily accessible and quick in responding to customer calls
Build and manage the customer database – The details of valuable prospect and customers is a very important function. This information can give the company a strong competitive advantage. The targeting become more efficient with the aid of the information.
Developing clear concept of how the Internet shall be used – the company can use the Internet to do a research, provide information, run discussion form, provide training, carry on online buying & selling. The website of the company should be attractive. It should be appealing, relevant, and current.
Be easily accessible and quick in responding to customer calls – customer has high and rising expectation about how quickly and adequately they should receive answers to questions and complaints sent in by phone or email. Make sure the Internet user can communicate directly with the company online. Another interesting aspect of online communication is that it can be automated. For example reservations can be done automatically using softwares.
The benefits of e marketing
The buyer as well as the seller is benefited by e marketing
- Customer can conveniently make the purchase
- Customer has greater product access and selection
- Buyer has a wealth of information available online.
- Online buying is interactive & immediate.
- For the seller, the Internet is a powerful tool for customer relationship building.
- Value addition is possible, with the help of customer feedback and reviews.
- There is cost reduction for the sellers, as the interaction is on an online space.
- Faster service and more efficient service can be provided by the seller
- Direct link to company obviates the need for holding inventory.
- There is greater flexibility for the seller. It is possible to make ongoing adjustment to its offers and programmes. For example, as the inventory of the hotel changes for a given date, they can adjust the rates on their
There are four domains of internet
- B2C – Business to consumer
- B2B – Business to business
- C2C – consumer to consumer
- C2B – consumer to business