Internet marketing- The targeting process

The choice for marketers is simple- Target or die

Photo by Mixy Lorenzo

The words “internet marketing” have taken on a sort of mystic quality, as though marketing on the internet involved some kind of personal epiphany/ revelation and profound insights into the nature of humanity. Rubbish. The internet is the world’s biggest billboard, and the marketing scenario issues are the same as they’ve ever been- Getting your products visible in the right marketplace. The new weapons are SEO, good web content, and excellent targeting methods.

The only real difference between internet marketing and conventional marketing is that internet marketing isn’t working with a broadcast medium. The internet audience is highly specialized, often in multiple niches. This is the most demanding market in history, and the one true message about internet marketing to the industry is to wake up and adapt methods to the medium.

You can’t deliver blanket market coverage to the internet in any form of advertising or marketing. It’s ridiculously inaccurate, to start with, as well as building in extremely high costs into marketing operations. Wastage is the only certainty. The likely conversion rates are actually measured by levels of interest as defined by niche audiences, not the old sampling techniques, which have virtually nothing to do with actual internet buying patterns.

Internet marketing clients are also far more savvy than their predecessors, particularly online retailers and distributors. They can get their sales figures instantly, and match them to their projections as well as any agency. Most of them know, usually through gruesome experience, what works and what doesn’t. Few will take kindly to high cost marketing promotion techniques or the shoddy, pseudo-classifieds approach to advertising. They know to some extent where their markets are online. What they want are effective strategies.

The challenge for marketers, appropriately enough in the internet environment, is connecting with audiences. That means targeting, and it means very high quality market research as the primary operating principles.

Targeting an online market requires:

Clear, verified identification of the primary internet audience.

This is a quality issue, separating the “maybes” from the core users of any product or service. This is the big issue for researchers.

Never mind the social sites, just make your product accessible.

Generally speaking a handful of good specialist sites will deliver a disproportionate amount of business simply because these are the real “social” sites for that product. Forget Facebook. People don’t get on Facebook to buy lawn mowers or financial services. They actually go in the opposite direction, from Facebook to the providers. As usual, “market common wisdom” has got it backwards.

SEO is extremely important.

Search engine optimization needs to be geared to a moving target in terms of working search terms, and must deliver good results. That may require some tweaking, but it’s worth it.

Remember the Shopping searches.

Accessibility is everything on the internet. If it’s not findable, it’s not buyable. The more points of access you generate through targeting, the better.

Methods of payment really matter.

The way to buy a product must be very visible. The big credit cards and PayPal are the preferred online purchasing options. This is point of sale targeting at its most basic, and most people forget all about it. Make sure you don’t.

The choice for marketers is simple- Target or die.

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Syam Kumar is the Owner and Editor of WebMaster View. He is based in Cochin, Kerala, India. His interests include information design concepts, standards compliant web development and Linux.

This entry was posted on Thursday, May 19th, 2011 at 11:30 am and modified by WebMaster View on Saturday, March 22nd, 2014 at 4:57 pm. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.