In the business world, marketing is strongly present, as it allows companies to promote their products and services, but also to gain a reputation. Today, with the technological evolution, a rising number of companies’ promotions are hosted online. Moreover, internet marketing plays a prominent role in the current market, since the majority of consumers have access to Internet Service Provider (ISP). Therefore, they can visit thousands of internet sites with a click. The development of electronic commerce, facilitated by the rapid evolution of technologies, has led to the advancement of commercial communication in numerous forms. On the Internet, the possibilities that the technique offers create a laboratory of advertisement creativity which is still far to imagine the limits. It includes banners, interstitials, commercial videos, newsletters or spams that invite themselves in your mailboxes. If the innovation of the Internet essentially affected commercial communications within national borders, it can be expected that it is quickly heading towards larger markets, whether continental or global. This paper will cover the characteristics, the evolution, and the issues of global e-marketing, taking account of the transnational dimension of the Internet.
1. The Evolution of marketing
1.1 Marketing as an art
The principal mission in trade, regardless of the method used, it is to sell a product or service, without damaging the reputation of the brand. Marketing has for objective to make the company known, by informing, stirring curiosity, interest, and by inspiring confidence. This practice seems to have always existed, considering that ‘In a lot of ways, marketing is as old as civilization itself. From Ancient Greece to our modern days, culture has based its trading and selling upon communication in order to move products faster than the man next to him.’ (Moré, 2012, para.1).
According to Wikipedia (2017), historically Marketing has first been the art of positioning yourself in the shoes of consumers in an attempt at understanding their needs and desires. Then, offer them images/texts/videos that will make them reflect the happiness of meeting their needs with some products or services. For example, for the launch of a new product radically different from what existed on a market, the marketing teams were to research secondary data (data
already collected by other reliable sources) based on a substitute product or similar. Then, these professionals of human desire will rely on the results of marketing research and on their instinct to create promotional campaigns of large deployment (mass media). Since these were based on indirect data and non-tested assumptions, marketing was an art and the results were very satisfying…for the time.
1.2. Marketing as a science
However, over time, marketing scholars decided that they had had enough of ”assuming” things and transformed the art in science. That era relatively scientific (because there is always a little bit of art in the field) has actually met its success through the web marketing. With the strong coming of all Internet practices and the dialogs constantly increasing among internet users, advertising and marketing were offered a new dynamic and a new field of exploration.
2. The Electronic aspect
By definition, the main objective of e-marketing is to establish a strategy that enables a brand to reach the widest audience possible and generate the most sales possible. E-marketing is based on different elements which allow a company to develop a marketing strategy. First, e-marketing allows the building of an effective analysis of the market, either at the level of the competition or of the demand. Because of the Internet, information about target customers, including socio-demographic information and behavioral, can easily be obtained, but also the competitors’ strategies, results, and internet reputation. Then comes the setting of a website, which can reflect how a company wants to appear to its customers.
When looking for the definition of e-marketing in a dictionary online, it will give you something similar to: ‘E-Marketing is the process of marketing a product or service using the Internet. E-marketing not only includes marketing on the Internet but also includes marketing done via e-mail and wireless media. It uses a range of technologies to help connect businesses to their customers.’ (MBASkool, nd, para.1). In a concrete way, it is the science that allows you to direct potential customers on a website, and then to obtain a maximum of information on them in order to give them offers that correspond to their needs at the appropriate time and in the right way.
2.2 Method to the electronic aspect
On the Internet, advertisements appear through simple or animated banners, interstitials placed between two pages of a site other than that of the advertiser concerned by advertising, hypertext links presented in the form of icons representing a brand or a product, audiovisual messages, including e-mails and spams (Web Marketing pros, nd). All these tools are purportedly formed for contact with a potential clientele.
To ensure a better distinguishability, trademarks often have their own portal where internet users are going to come collect a wide range of information. Harbour (nd) claims that the central constituent of e-marketing is a business website and in order to establish solid reputations diverse business uses useful and easy-to-navigate appealing websites in their fields, and take care to include Important features such as an “About Us” page along with information on products, services, company news, activities and location or contact details. The advantage of Internet is that the brands may have a rapid feedback on their actions, by monitoring the number of “clicks” and of visited pages.
3. The global aspect
Global marketing can be explained as the practice of standardization or of modification of the marketing strategy of a company to adjust to the conditions of other countries, leading to the promotion of the company’s product on the international market. During the formation of a digital strategy, companies usually adapt the message to each new channel and to each new audience.
In the same way, actions are usually coordinated in time. Online actions are not only relevant content wise but also have a meaning in regard to time. The fast-food chain McDonald’s can serve as a perfect example when it comes to global e-marketing as it has a huge international presence and built a reputation all over the world. Today, a vast portion of people worldwide know the existence or are customers of McDonald’s.
Furthermore, with the widespread of the Internet, small enterprises without offices abroad can have access to international customers by trading and marketing online.
4. Disadvantages and advantages
Most brands have been initially designed in a national context. The globalization is neither easy nor always desirable. A local brand obtains accounts of the specificities of the markets easier than a global brand. The standardization of global e-marketing of a company is interpreted by the use of identical communication in all countries or geographical zones. In theory, it offers total homogeneity to messages, and product ranges. The advertisement from a standardized marketing must be universal in the message it delivers. The message should be able to be translated into all languages without any distortion. The practice gives the company some advantages such as the reduced cost of the advertisement campaign, as well as allowing the company to create and strengthen its brand name, its product or the company itself on an international scale. (Martin, 2016)
However, the advantages must not hinder the difficulties bound to the strategy. Those can appear due: to the impact of cultural differences, legislation differences and constraints related to communication and technology means that are not always available in all target countries. For instance in the late 1980s when KFC opened in China, the company accidentally translated its slogan: “Finger-lickin’ good” to “We will eat your fingers off”. In this case, the damage for KFC was not enormous, however, for some other; these types of mistake have been shown to affect companies significantly. (The Chairman’s bao, 2015)
5. The impact global e-marketing on trade
Electronic marketing has a positive impact on the activity of the company in particular through an increase in the number of prospects and customers, a better understanding of client needs, new segments and territories touched along with a more visible brand. One of the pertinacious effects of this digital technology growth and e-marketing has been to encourage e-commerce that in turn induced the decline of sales in physical stores, especially on large products. The phenomenon of showrooming (the act of watching/comparing/learning about a product in a store and finally buy it on the Web) is the main cause. It is also argued that the widespread of internet is not always positive for companies with the indication that: ‘Whilst social media has the potential to offer many e-marketing benefits, businesses must also beware of the danger that poor reviews and poor customer service can have upon their operations. The opinions of one disgruntled customer can go viral at lightning speed and therefore irrevocably undermine a particular business, product or service in an instant. This type of increased transparency also manifests itself in other ways and leads to a situation in which consumers are empowered to search for the lowest prices from a wide range of different online businesses.’ (UKessays, 2013).
6. The efficacy
When a buyer compares several companies before making a purchasing decision by visiting the companies’ websites, the only information that has a greater influence than pricing is the presence of detailed information and the specifications on the products (Linton, nd). All through a consciousness of the needs, in the research phase, the most frequently used resources are web resources: General search engines, Web sites of suppliers, online catalogs. In addition to these online platforms, other resources, including colleagues and print directories, are used in the phase of comparison and assessment. During the purchase phase, the most often used resource is the Web sites of the sellers, tracking of online catalogues and general search engines.
One research study reveals that more than 60% of US consumers with access to the Internet, purchase a product or service online at least once a month. While more than 70% of those online shoppers don’t look at a product in the store prior to buying it online, 83% of those consumers claim to be pleased with their online shopping experience (Khalid, nd). Another study on shoppers in 29 countries on the 4 continents claim that 54% of the population shop on Amazon.com, more than 40% possess or intend to possess a wearable device and 39% say their purchases inspiration are mainly provided by social networks (PWC, 2017). Based on current trends, global e-marketing has been proven to be effective and required in order for companies to adapt to the current technological era.
As being derived from the systematic innovation of traditional advertisement/marketing practices and technology, the mechanism of e-marketing was entitled to acquire a global form, since possessing the Internet as the basic component involves dealing with the transnational quality of the web. Although possessing relatively numerous positive aspects in modern trades, the later requires professional skills to gather effective results or minimize potential repercussion.
By origin, the tool is a combination of marketing techniques, statistics, trade, and communication, varied with the new information technologies and ranges of multimedia. The overall system has the ultimate purpose of conquering and hold users who will buy product and services.