Helps target the customer individually and customize the offer:
The Web also helps the marketer to target the customers individually because of the facility of direct, interactive, and online communication with them. The marketer can easily gain all essential knowledge about the consumers, where ever in the world they may be located. He can also provide from his side an uninterrupted flow of information to the consumers. In mass marketing, it is difficult to target the customers so precisely. Discussing the various routes to direct marketing, we saw that customized mailing through carefully developed databases is one way of reaching customers individually. We also saw that telemarketing to facilitate this endeavor. But, neither customized mailing nor telemarketing, can come anywhere near web marketing in targeting the customers individually and customizing the offers Moreover, the web accomplishes this task at a very low cost. Targeting customers individually helps to provide tailor made products and personalized services to them. The customization practiced by Dell computers in the web marketing of its PCs, which is explained in the following is an example.
Imparts speed to responses; and speed becomes a customer value:
In modern times, speed has become a major ingredient of successful marketing. For example speed in order processing, sales/distribution, and service has become important. So is speed in product development and cycle time of various business processes. Speed in these and other such aspects has become a major source of customer value, and hence an important source of competitive advantage to a marketer. The Web helps achieve speed and thereby helps enhance customer value.
Helps build relationship with Customers:
Like other direct marketing methods, web marketing also helps build ‘relationship’ with customers. Being totally interactive and one-to-one marketing, web marketing is more effective in this respect compared to other forms of Direct Marketing (DM). With web marketing the marketers can interactively elicit a lot of information about the consumer. This helps him to offer customized products, customized services and customized incentives. It also helps offer demos of specific products, which a particular customer may want.
Helps Reduce Costs:
Business/transaction cost: Since web marketing conducts business processes and transactions through real time interaction using electronic media and paperless technologies, it significantly reduces the cost of various business operations, transaction costs in particular. It is estimated that the cost of producing and processing an invoice in web marketing is less than one-tenth of what it costs to process it in conventional marketing. Moreover, as the web reduces the order processing time as well as cycle time of the various business processes, it reduces total business cost. Using the Web is the cheapest method of answering a customer request.
Channel costs, which are a significant part of marketing costs, are reduced considerably when a product is marketed through the web. As mentioned already, in Web marketing one need not maintain a vast network of showrooms or employ an army of sales staff. All it needs is some core staff to download and execute orders. As stores need not maintained, the associated costs of rent, insurance, utilities as well as sales personnel are eliminated.
This is, of course, true only where the Web is suitable as the channel for the entire business of the firm. However, at the moment most firms resorting to the web employ it only as an add-on channel. Even so, it provides immense value addition to the firm’s marketing effort at a very low incremental cost.
Communication/promotion costs, which are another major part of marketing costs, can also be reduced in Web marketing as the web enables gaining worldwide communication at a low unit cost.
Savings in marketing costs also come from faster movement of inventory quicker order execution and faster realization of money. Web marketing also generates valuable sales leads at zero cost.