• 9. Best practices represent business activities that consistently product good results. What is an example you have seen that might be a best practice in customer acquisition In customer retention
  • Chapter 1 Internet Marketing As Part of the Marketing Communications Mix Learning Objectives

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    7. What is the Internet infrastructure stack? What is the relevance of this technological concept to marketers? Why does it now have a cloud at the top?
    The infrastructure stack is Figure 1.4. One purpose of including this small section of technical information and terminology is to emphasize to students that they must know enough to deal with technical experts if they are to be successful Internet marketers. They don’t need to know how to develop or run the technology. They do have to understand what it can do and what it should be doing for their marketing program. If they don’t, they will find most IT departments to be reluctant to exert themselves to meet the requirements of marketing.
    The cloud—SaaS and more—is a development of great importance in current Internet business. The opportunities to cut costs and still provide better services to both the business itself and to its customers is very appealing. There are numerous examples of where it is working well. Salesforce.com is a B2B example. The Apple and Best Buy clouds provide service to consumers. We will discuss other cloud services providers including Amazon in chapters to come.
    It is worrisome to many CIOs to outsource mission-critical operations, but there are opportunities to use the cloud for non-mission-critical applications or at least do not have stringent time requirements. The salesforce.com internal communications network is an example of the former and CRM might be example of an application that is mission critical but with somewhat flexible time requirements in some executions.
    8. Discuss the role the Internet plays in the lives of consumers and businesses? Has it changed the lives of consumers in any meaningful way? Has it changed the way businesses operate in any significant fashion? Can you give examples of the impact of the Internet in either B2C, B2B, or nonprofit markets?
    This question can lead to extended and interesting discussion. Press students for specific examples of what they do (and don’t do) on the Internet. Get them to think about generational differences in usage. Depending on what students bring up, you can discuss subjects like why some consumers use online bill paying and why some do not, why people are willing to buy some things (travel) online but many are unwilling to buy things like clothing and food. This is a good time to get them thinking about segments.
    Travel is one of the retail markets that has been most affected by the Internet. B2B examples are less visible to most students. Companies like Staples that serve large and small businesses in different ways, through different channels, represent a good example.
    The chapter used Charity:water as a nonprofit example. Susan G. Komen is an example of another kind. It has been fabulously successful and has done an excellent job of integrating its Internet activities into the offline events that are key to its strategy. Almost overnight it experienced a huge public relations disaster. The main stream media picked up the Planned Parenthood controversy from the web—bloggers and traffic on the organization’s Facebook page in particular. The fallout from this type of miscalculation by a charity has been magnified by the Internet and it takes time to know whether the organization will ever fully recover from a single misstep that took on epic proportions.
    9. Best practices represent business activities that consistently product good results. What is an example you have seen that might be a best practice in customer acquisition? In customer retention?
    These tend to be hard to document so you should keep your eyes open for good current examples. I just posted a 5-minute product marketing video for my students. It’s an excellent video for a mobile commerce product. Beyond that, I received it embedded in an email (and it was correctly an acquisition email; good list work) and it played perfectly from the email itself. Good work!
    I get tons of retention email in the early spring because I have bought from many different gardening sites and they all want my business this year. Most of them are offering me substantial incentives. They tend to be highlighted in a catalog mailing and repeated in emails.
    Staples, however, reversed the process. Or more correctly, I keep unsubscribing from their email newsletter/offers because they don’t prompt me to buy. That category, for me, is a matter of need, not of impulse. Not missing a beat, Staples just emailed me a $10 off on purchases of computer paper, which I do buy there with regularity.
    10. This chapter emphasizes throughout that business and marketing processes are changing in fundamental ways as a result of the Internet. Discuss in considerable depth one specific driver of change and identify ways in which it is altering the way businesses conduct their daily and strategic activities.
    The list of change agents is not included in edition 3, but cost and access to customers are obvious.
    Ask them for examples. Be sure they understand that adding channels adds costs, so it needs to add revenue also. And, even before we discuss direct marketing in Chapter 4, that they do not mistake absence of retail facilities from automatic decreases in costs.
    The strategic drivers are:

    1. Information produces the greatest value—www.tripadvisor.com is an example of using consumer-generated content to add value.

    2. Distance does not matter—iTunes was suggested as the example. Note that iTunes now distributes podcasts, which are assuming importance in marketing activities

    3. Speed is of the essence. In many ways the expectations of consumers have been increased by the Internet. You don’t have to wait for the weather, a stock quote, or selected news. You can not only go to Weather.com, your broker’s site, or CNN.com—from any of these sites you can get twitter feeds that give you up to date information on subjects of your choice wherever you are.

    4. People are the key assets. Some people ask, “Haven’t they always been?” Historically, students can think back to the assembly line and know that in the early days of the industrial revolution people were considered interchangeable. Students may be happy to provide their own examples that, in many contemporary organizations, individuals are still not valued and supported, especially in ways that support their Gen Y or Millinneal values.

    5. Growth in the network causes exponential increase in value. It is important for students to understand “the network effect.” I’ve never found a better example than the fax machine, although you might try updating it by using an example like SMS messaging. It doesn’t matter if your cell phone has the functionality if your friend’s does not.

    6. Marketers can deal with customer one-to-one. This is a true statement, but students will realize as the course goes on, especially with the coverage of CRM, that it’s not as easy as it sounds. An email newsletter, especially one that appears to have content customized to your purchasing behavior, is a good example.

    7. Demand can be predicted with greater accuracy. The NikeID site (www.NikeID.com) will be used in a later chapter as an example of “they do not make it until the customer orders it.”

    8. Cost patterns change. The changing economics of the Internet will be discussed briefly in the business models chapter. Email newsletters invariably and television ads increasingly try to drive purchasers to the lower-cost ecommerce channel.

    9. Consumers have power in information-rich channels. Some would say that the amount of information confers on them ultimate power. Ask your automobile dealer! Amazon or Netflix, both of which make good use of customer ratings, are good examples.

    10. An information economy is characterized by choice and abundance. That is, for the most part, wonderful for consumers. How do marketers make their products and services visible in the midst of the profusion of information about other products and services? That is the targeting and creative challenge we will discuss in coming chapters.

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    Chapter 1 Internet Marketing As Part of the Marketing Communications Mix Learning Objectives

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