As the number of online users increase, the requirement for companies to engage with internet marketing initiatives becomes more demanding. According to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) by the end of 2010, there will be 2 billion users actively engaged on the internet. This is approximately 30% of the world’s population.
One of the first comments that most companies will make upon learning about these statistics is: Why should I engage online if my current business is still successful? To help in our explanation, we will consider a scenario and then break it down from there.
Ted and Robyn own a chain of stores that specialize in fair trade coffee from around the world, and bite sized pastries to accompany the coffee. Each of their cafes has about 15 tables so that customers can sit and enjoy their coffee. Free wi-fi internet is also available, which makes this cafe an ideal place to conduct a business meeting or to study for an upcoming exam. Ted and Robyn currently invest their entire marketing budget in traditional forms of advertising. They send fliers in the mail twice a year, have a couple of billboard advertisements in a couple of cities, and occasionally but a radio commercial on air. Although their business is doing well, it could be skyrocketing to a whole new level if they were to implement internet marketing tactics.
Now that we understand the scenario, let’s break it down to show how it could be improved with internet marketing.
First of all, the size is perfect for a cafe. Ideally, you want it to be small enough that it seems cozy, and full with only a handful of people inside. However, you don’t want it to be so large that it resembles more of a restaurant.
This is a great implementation strategy as everyone is looking for a change of scenery to study or conduct business. By providing free wi-fi, you give people a place to come and enjoy a cup of coffee while doing their business.
The current marketing plan is the big kicker with Ted and Robyn’s chain of cafes. Traditional advertising is good to do if you are appealing solely to an older demographic who still reads the printed newspaper and listens to the radio. However, to reach the majority of demographics, then internet marketing is the way to go. It is suggested that they build a website to start. The website would include a menu, specials, locations, and any other information they feel is pertinent. The next major internet marketing tactic to implement would be social media marketing. This is crucial especially when appealing to the younger demographics as this is how they communicate with each other. It is also a way that they share opinions—word of mouth advertising. If Ted and Robyn create Facebook and Twitter campaigns, then they will be able to communicate more with their customers.
Although this may same like a small and easy task, internet marketing can be tedious and time consuming. However, if implemented correctly, internet marketing tactics will aid in reaching those 2 billion online users, which will in turn boost your sales.