Before you settle on the best type of Internet marketing for you, you need to know what you are marketing. Do you merely wish to raise awareness of your business or brand? Or do you wish to make online sales? If you are making online sales, is it an entirely electronic transaction, with online delivery of electronic content, or will you need to integrate with a physical sales and distribution function? All of these decisions affect how and what you will market.
The easiest online sales for an Internet marketer are information products. These products are e-books, videos, or web-based seminars wherein all of the content is delivered electronically, without any physical component. Such products offer certain advantages from a marketer’s standpoint: instant delivery (and gratification) to the customer, zero delivery cost, zero production cost, and infinite scalability (you can sell a million units as easily as ten).
In this era of service- and idea-based economies, there are still plenty of physical products that are made and marketed. Arguably, these can even be some of the most exciting and valuable offerings for Internet marketing. When one is in the business of making and selling such products, selling on the Internet is an essential part of modern business strategy.
In the world of e-commerce, certain “old-fashioned” principles are becoming more important than ever. This is true whether you market information products or physical products. While it used to be possible to get away with bad or mediocre service, nowadays companies are severely punished for this. Customer complaints not only get posted in conspicuous websites but can even go viral, compounding the damage considerably. Your Internet marketing needs to be aligned with customer support, such as scanning Twitter and other social media for mentions of your product and company, to identify and address customer satisfaction issues.
Purchasers of information products expect instantaneous delivery. If you require backend processing that will take some time before the product will be available, make sure that the customer is informed of this during the purchase process, before the final sale. Similarly, physical product sales should include information regarding shipping times, as well as how long your business requires for fulfilment before the purchase will be ready to ship. Additional customer contact can be made informing the customer when the product has been handed off to the shipper, as well as providing tracking information to further manage expectations of delivery.
By carefully managing expectations and customer service, Internet marketing can lead to a highly successful web-based business with either electronic or physical products, enjoying superior profit margins compared to sales from a physical store.
The Internet Marketing Academy