Monthly Archives: January 2016

Ethical And Unethical Ways Of Using Social Networking Websites As An Online Marketing Tool

Integrity is always important especially if you own and maintain a website. Unethical behavior in using social networking is rampant these days. This type of behavior could damage the integrity of your business and affect the potential for marketing your products or services. On the other hand, there are many methods you can use to market your website that are ethical.

Always respect the privacy of online users. Remember that social networking websites are composed of an actual community of internet users. So, if you are using social networking marketing, you become a member of that community. Your business may have a place in any community but you have no right to invade the privacy of people within the online community. Avoid spamming your friends on your social networking sites.

Online websites such as Facebook and Friendster are being used by various social network marketers to get internet traffic to their businesses. This can be done in an ethical way by directing people to an interesting blog article on your blog site, but spamming internet users using links or images directly to your business website is not ethical. That can eventually gets you banned by search engines and social networking sites.

Avoid spamming with your marketing advertisements for your business website.
Social networking websites are now vigilant on spamming patterns which are considered unethical practice as part of online marketing strategy. Honesty and professionalism with the online communities are very important.

When using social networking websites, always participate with integrity and honesty. First, you need to be a member to participate. You need to register yourself to groups which are relevant to your business. Make friends within the community and show to your co-members that you have expertise in a certain field which is related to your products and services.

The content that you publish on the social networking website must be good quality and relevant to the people on that site. Avoid being too pushy to the online community for your products or services. Avoid misleading information referencing your products or services. Criticizing your competitors is unethical.

Ethical practices in using social networking websites as a tool for online marketing have no specific guidelines; however, it is wise to seek at least some basic knowledge of on media law to know the potential risks for yourself and your business. Just google the term media law and youll find plenty of good information.

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Direct Marketing

The term marketing implies the single goal of profit. It is categorized into two, direct marketing and indirect marketing and there is a significant line of difference between the two. Direct marketing is basically business from manufacturer to consumer without the involvement of middlemen, whoever it is. This is generally done by mailing the consumer or contacting him directly, so he can know about the products. The use of media advertisements is very limited and whatever little use is made includes only the demonstration of their products with call back numbers. Direct marketing is a boon and a bane, both in some respects:

Advantages:
– Direct marketing involves direct business. So it is cost beneficial for consumers, as there is no price hike due to wholesalers or retailers.
– Marketing executives can state certainly of the exact response to their products.
– The profit or loss can be more accurately judged.

Disadvantages:
– Sometimes, direct mailing offends the customers and many do not endorse it as they say it inhibits their private lives.

But most marketing managers are in support of this kind of business. The various forms in which direct business is made are:

– Direct mailing: Here, paper mails are sent to the selected groups of people, who likely to give positive response e.g. the paper mails of latest food processor is sent to all homes where house wives are resident so that immediate response is seen. Also CDs can be used as demonstrating media.

– Email Marketing: Here, emails are sent to all the selected customer categories with repeated intervals of time. But most of these are put into trash and spams. So the effectiveness of this form cannot be predicted.

– Telemarketing: In telemarketing, calls are made directly to the consumers and the concerned product is advertised. People sit at call centers to sell products on behalf of their clients. But this form of direct business is quite unpopular and most people oppose the uninvited calls. It was initially made illegal but later on new laws were re-enforced and calls are now made only to those who don’t mind them.

– Voicemail: Telemarketing created a lot of consumer opposition and consumers would abuse the ones advertising on the phones. In order to avoid this, voicemail marketing was introduced, wherein; the entire advertisement is digitally recorded and presented.

– Use of coupons: Coupons are attached to direct mails and sent to the consumers. These generally advertise and give cost benefit to the consumers. So they avail these coupons and respond fast.

– Television marketing: Advertisements are given on the television and demos are with toll-free call back numbers or certain websites for the consumer to get in touch with the manufacturers.

– Broadcast faxing: This is the least popular form of direct marketing. The ads are directly faxed to the consumers.

Direct marketing can thus become successful only if the entanglements with the consumer are good. It can be B2B or B2C. It measures exact consumer response.

Marketing Environment And The Factors Involved

Marketing environment is made up of all the factors and forces that influence marketing. These forces can be internal like departments (other than marketing such as finance department and human resource department) or external like competitors, suppliers, economic or political situation. To understand them better, marketing personals divide them in two categories namely macro environment and microenvironment. Lets have a look at some of the important factors involved in marketing environment.

Internal factors:
All the departments involved in business management affects the process of marketing as well, for example the finance or research department in large enterprises. Marketing department is bound to keep their expenses under the budget set by the finance managers or to consider recommendations from the research department. Similarly the supplies and collections can have an impact on marketing as well.

Customer markets:
Different types of customers markets include consumer markets (B2C), business markets (B2B), government markets (B2G), also a new type of customer market has emerged as a result of globalization i.e. international market. Where most other departments will treat these markets similarly, marketing team has to treat them all in different manner. Though most advertising campaigns are targeted to consumer market, the type of customer market does affect marketing decisions on the whole.

Competition:
Competition is becoming more and more influential in a company’s approach towards marketing. Competition stems from the business that is offering the same product as yours. A business has to counter this competition through marketing; some times businesses do try to have a hit at their competitors in advertisements (though not candidly). The level of competition is also a decisive factor when planning on how much to spend on marketing.

Different types of publics:
Another important microenvironment factor is the publics (government, consumer associations, financial or media publics). All of them can have an affect (positive or negative) on company’s reputation and marketing.

Demography:
Good marketing managers tend to spend plenty of time in conducting demographic research for their targeted consumers. Demography is the research of gender, age, race or anything else related to consumers. International businesses are concerned about various races (Asians, Hispanics, etc) and their different set of demands. While the terms like “baby boomers” or “generation X” were invented to reflect the specific age groups of consumers.

Economic Factors:
All the variables of economic markets like inflation, rate of exchange, fiscal policies and monetary policies fall under macro environment factors. They affect all businesses, and needless to say their marketing efforts as well.

Other Factors:
Other notable macro and microenvironment factors are marketing intermediaries, political stability (or instability), new technologies or natural forces.