Almost all of the articles on Internet marketing lacks coverage on all the basics and all the avenues of Internet marketing because there is just too much information to cover in a few words. Here I am going for an attempt which will be an overview, not an in depth affair. Here I would cover four basic marketing subjects:
- Market Research
- Search Engines
- E-zine Advertising
- Email Marketing
Market Research This is the most basic part of any marketing campaign. This involves how much you are going to invest in the campaigns and where you are going to invest. Investing the right money at right place is the key. If you don’t know your target market and how to reach them; if you don’t know the value of the message you’re attempting to convey; if you don’t know the answer to all the pertinent questions…your advertising and the whole project will fail.
The most basic step in researching your market is to first have a “target.” There should be a clear picture in your mind about the target audience and you should treat them as your potential customers. This means you know who you’re aiming for (their likes, dislikes, general age group, income, business type, etc.) and have a general idea how to “hit” them. Sample target markets would include:
This includes the segregation based on
- Age group
- Per capita income
- Spending capacity
- Geographical location
- Business class
Once you know who your target is – the more information the better – you’re ready to get into the nitty-gritty of market research. There are five basic ideas in market research: “Primary,” “Secondary,” “Combined” (all types of research) and “Qualitative” and “Quantitative” (ways of gathering the information). A quick definition of each:
Primary research is research conducted by the primary user of the information. Secondary research is gathered elsewhere and used by you (purchased, leased, etc.). Most small businesses conduct both of these types of market research – customer surveys for primary information and by researching free or paying fees for secondary information. This is called “Combined” research.
Qualitative research is usually exploratory and has a direction or goal. It generally aims at specific issues in the subject matter and gives you a better idea in which direction you should proceed. This type of research is “loose” and is geared more towards finding a market or narrowing your market than it is towards getting specific information on that market and where your product fits within it.
Quantitative is much more rigid than qualitative marketing. This research gets much more accurate statistical results and information and is best used when your target market is already narrowed and you wish to find ways to reach or explore that market as well as find specific information on your product as it relates to that market.
Generally businesses conduct qualitative research during the exploratory research and development phase of their product to see if it is viable on the market and what they need in order to reach their market more fully with the product (colors, shapes, uses, etc.). Once the item is ready to hit the streets, qualitative research is used to fine-tune the market niche and begin offering the product for sale. Conducting your own market research is time-consuming, but is very well worth it if you have a need for information or if you are spending any considerable amount of money on your marketing for specific products or services.