The four P’s – Product, Price, Place and Promotion have long been associated with marketing, but things have changed on the Internet. So along with a change in the nature of the four P’s there are three new P’s which are relevant to digital marketing.
The Product on the Internet is usually quite different as the user experiences it electronically, in the form of text, images and multimedia.
Physical goods are usually presented in the form of a detailed online catalogue that the customer can browse through. Technology allows the user to virtually touch and feel the product on the Internet – rotate it, zoom in or zoom out and even visualize the product in different configurations and combination.
The example of the above can be seen at dell.com where the company offers the user to virtually feel every aspect of their product before they go into a buy decision.
Several automobile companies also create a virtual model of their vehicles be it a car or a motorcycle. They give their customers the liberty to view the entire model up close by zooming in and out of the different parts.
To be able to attract the customers and retain them, the company will have to provide new and distinct products that force the net users to purchase and come back for more.
The Price has been drastically changed over the Internet. Also it gives the buyers information about multiple sellers selling the same product. It leads to best possible deal for the buyers in terms of price.
Sites like eBay and Naaptol.comallows the users to view the same product being sold by different people at different prices and then lets the user themselves decide which deal they want to go for.
The Place revolves around setting up of a marketing channel to reach the customer. Internet serves as a direct marketing channel that allows the producer to reach the customer directly. The elimination of the intermediate channel allows the producer to pass the reduced distribution cost to the customer in the form of discounts.
Dell Computers have used this strategy very effectively and hence they have been able to reduce their prices of their laptops drastically and reaped huge profits.
Promotion is extremely necessary to entice the customer to its website, as there are currently more than one billion web pages. Promoting a website includes both online and offline strategies. Online strategies include search engine optimization, banner ads, multiple points of entry, viral marketing, strategic partnership and affiliate marketing.
Presently, the cyberspace is already cluttered with thousands of sites probably selling similar products. For the customers to know of the Company’s existence and to garner information on the kind of products or services that the company is offering, promotion has to be carried out. There can be traded links or banner advertisements for the same.
Also the traditional mediums like print, outdoor advertising and television can be used to spread awareness. Email campaigns and spamming the Chat rooms on almost every server has been exploited to the maximum for the cause of promoting their website.
The Presentation of the online business needs to have an easy to use navigation. The look and the feel of the web site should be based on corporate logos and standards. About 80% of the people read only 20% of the web page. Therefore, the web page should not be cluttered with a lot of information. Also, simple but powerful navigational aids on all web pages like search engines make it easy for customer to find their way around.
The principle of K.I.S.S (Keep it simple stupid) is the most important factor that has to be considered while presenting the online business.
The Processes Customer supports needs to be integrated into the online web site. A sales service that will be able to answer the questions of their customers fast and in a reliable manner is necessary. To further enhance after sales service, customers must be able to find out about their order status after the sale has been made.
For e.g. FedEx (www.fedex.com), the overnight Courier Company allows its customers to keep track of the parcel and they are well informed about the present whereabouts of their package. Similar variants have been used by the Government of India for its Speed post and Registered Ad services where you can keep a track of your post by entering the code that has been issued to you.
Personalization Using the latest technology in software be it PHP, Flash or Photoshop it is possible to customize the entire web site for every single user, without any additional costs. The mass customization allows the company to create web pages products and services that suit the requirement of the user. A customized web page does not only include the preferred layout of the customer but also a pre selection of goods the customer may be interested in.
For e.g. Yahoo! (www.yahoo.co.in) entered the Indian cyberspace and started its personalized services. A registered user of Yahoo can now personalize the front page with all the information he needs. He can read the news of the world, add a tax calculator, see the weather forecasts of his city and listen to his favorite songs and all this simultaneously.