Internet marketing has emerged as one of the most innovative mediums for organizations to promote their products and services. The global Internet marketing industry is worth several billion dollars and is expanding at a rapid pace. Many leading business houses have seen an increase in their sales as a result of putting their business on the Internet and this has prompted many others to follow suit. However, there are some challenges, the most important of them being security and frauds.
- Marketing your business on the Internet gives you a wide access of your potential customers. It has been estimated that a couple of billion people around the world use the Internet, and more are becoming aware of Internet with each passing day. So, marketing your business to such a large group of people is only possible through Internet.
- Internet is the only medium that is able to cross geographic and national boundaries. You can put your advertisement on the Internet and people from all countries of the world can see that advertisement.
- The cost of promoting your business on the Internet is cheaper than other mediums of marketing. This makes it easy for small and mid-sized businesses to advertise their products.
- Internet allows you the ability to stay connected with your customers on a real-time basis. If you have a discount going on, you can easily send an email to your customers and they can buy the product instantly. Internet also allows you to send multiple messages at the same time, which means that you are saved the tedious task of sending a newsletter to every client.
- Internet marketing allows you to get an instant feedback from the customers. Customers can let you know about their experience after using the product and this allows you to know whether you need to make any improvements to your service.
- Internet marketing saves a lot of time and effort. Instead of having a customer service representative to answer the queries of customers, one can put all the information about the product or service on the Internet so that customers can go through it. The most common way of doing it is to have a section dedicated to frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the product so that customers get all the required information about the product or the service.
- Internet marketing allows your business to be available 24/7, which means increased sales and profits.
- Although, Internet marketing allows you a wider reach, the start-up costs of a website can be high. This includes the cost of the required software and hardware, and maintenance costs.
- There are still a lot of customers who use the Internet just for having more information about a product and prefer to buy it in person. For example, Internet marketing allows a customer to view how a phone looks like and its technical specifications, but customers prefer having a look at the phone in the store to get a hands-on experience.
- There are a lot of customers who are not proficient in using the Internet and focusing solely on Internet marketing can cause you to lose these customers.
- The rules of the trade change rapidly in Internet marketing, and it requires constant attention and monitoring to ensure that your marketing strategy does not look out-of-date.
- The biggest disadvantage of Internet marketing is its vulnerability to fraudulent activities. There are a lot of illegitimate websites out there which look similar to original websites and rob the customers of their money. Spamming is also one of the biggest challenges for Internet marketing and confidential data can be easily stolen by hackers.
- Internet marketing lacks the human touch that is involved when a customer buys a product from a salesperson. This hampers the prospects of relationship building which plays an important part in repeat sales and word-of mouth publicity.
- Internet marketing depends heavily on technology, which is vulnerable to technical faults. For example, if a customer clicks on your advertisement but due to a technical glitch, is unable to buy the product, he may easily become irate and take his business somewhere else.
Although, there are some challenges involved in Internet marketing, it can be safely said that Internet marketing has led to increased transparency and ease of buying products. The need of the hour is to counter the challenges so that Internet marketing proves to be truly beneficial for all.