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Online Marketing Mix Enhances Site Strategy

Online marketing mix

An online marketing mix is a strategy that determines what kind of choices to make for building a Web presence.

Marketing mix is a concept with a long history in business. It usually includes four Ps:

  1. Product (or service)
  2. Place
  3. Price
  4. Promotion

An online marketing mix has some unique twists to the traditional model. Does a website have a place? How do you price it if most websites are free?

Product

The first part of this one is easy. The most common online product is a website.

From a marketing perspective, which really means a customer perspective, what should the product do?

A list of other questions comes to mind:

  • What is the name of the site? Is that domain name available for purchase?
  • Does the domain name have a relevant keyword that will boost its presence in search engines?
  • If not,  are the promotional budget and organic campaign tactics strong enough to build it as a unique brand, i.e., Amazon.com?
  • What is the design concept?
  • What features and functions will it offer?
  • How much competition will it face?
  • What resources are required to build, maintain and grow it?

A website doesn’t have a fixed and unchangeable nature like a can of Coke. The Coca Cola company can’t alter a can of Coke after it has been produced. An online publisher can change a website after its initial launch.

Therein lies one of the great advantages of online publishing. The ability to use analytics to track site visitors will allow the publisher to make continuous improvements that benefit the business in the long wrong. Site usability is fluid.

Place

Place is a little more tricky. In traditional marketing, place includes the location of the business. It’s not the same with a website, which is an intangible.

Think of online place as a location with the potential to reach certain geographic audiences.

The product may be written for a U.S. audience — or an English speaking audience that includes U.S., Canadian and British visitors.

The place is therefore in the country it targets. If it targets a community, the place is much more narrowly defined.

Where and how the publisher promotes the site will have an impact on its geographic footprint. But again, analytics will show whether the actual audience matches the promotional effort or whether that effort has to be adjusted.

Price

Price shows up several ways in an online marketing mix starting with whether or not the website itself is free to access.

Sites with high-value content that can’t be easily duplicated have an opportunity to charge for access. Sites with advertising or that sell products are almost always free.

What if the company sells the same product or service online as it does in an offline environment? The price question goes to whether or not the product should be discounted if purchased online and IF the online cost of the transaction is lower than offline.

Newspapers are a great example of that concept. Newspaper publishers must pay for newsprint, printing presses and circulation costs. They do not have those expenses with the online version of their products.

Price also comes into play for another set of clients — advertisers.

Sites that publish original content usually get the bulk of their revenue from advertisers. So pricing ads on the site becomes an important consideration.

Promotion

For pure Web brands, promotion begins with online tactics such as search engine optimization, paid advertising, content marketing, social media, email marketing and other means of reaching an audience.

Sites with large budgets also consider using offline promotional channels such as print, broadcast and outdoor.

The ads in those environments may have website promotion as the primary goal of the campaign. Or they may mention the site as a secondary goal, such as an auto dealer touting a new car sale with a simple reference to the website address somewhere in the ad.

Competition again is a factor because some tactics are so crowded that it is difficult if not impossible to get the message heard.

As an example, try to get ranked No. 1 in Google for the keyword “vacation deals” or “cheap flights” or any number of other hotly competitive phrases.

The marketing mix concept is one of many useful ways of developing an online marketing strategy.

One Response to “Online Marketing Mix Enhances Site Strategy”

  1. Scott Bateman Says:

    It really does depend on your individual situation.

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