The development of e-marketing has been one of the most important and influential trends in the field of business, marketing and Information Technology offer the past decade. It has revolutionised the manner in which certain businesses market their products and the advent of social media offers the potential to revolutionise the manner in which businesses and consumers interact in the future. This essay will evaluate the impact of e-marketing upon businesses and will do so in three clear sections. The first section of the essay will define the concept of e-marketing and the second section will examine how e-marketing helps businesses to reach their customers. The third and final section will highlight some of the most important advantages and disadvantages of e-marketing. The conclusion will argue that the impact of e-marketing upon businesses has been largely positive and that despite a number of potential problems e-marketing offers exciting new opportunities for business growth and development.
In the first section of this essay it is important to clearly define the concept of e-marketing. This is a vital task, because in order to be able to fully understand how e-marketing affects businesses and their customers it is important that the notion of e-Marketing is first of all adequately defined. Patricelli argues that e-marketing is a general term used to denote a wide array of different Internet-related activities. These include “website building and promotion, consumer communications, e-mail marketing and newsgroup advertising” (Patricelli 2002: p.141). However, the term e-marketing has developed enormously over the past decade and today it encompasses a far wider range of activities and one of the most important of these is the use of social media in order to advertise online. Pride settles on an altogether more comprehensive definition of e-marketing, stating that he understands the concept as referring to the “strategic process of creating, distributing, promoting and pricing products for targeted customers in the virtual environment of the Internet” (Pride 2010: p.70). E-marketing is best understood as a broad concept and one that has gained additional platforms in recent years with the advent of smart phones and tablets such as the iPad. As a result, the notion of e-marketing is defined most clearly when it is understood as referring to the creation, distribution, promotion, pricing and communication of products across the entirety of the Internet and the wide variety of platforms that constitute the Internet in a modern context.
E-marketing helps businesses reach their customers in a wide variety of different ways. Boone claims that the Internet offers businesses the chance to reach their customers in a number of unique ways and that one of the most important of these is the global reach of the consumer base that the Internet is able to provide. According to Boone, “the net eliminates geographic protections and limitations of local businesses and it gives smaller firms a wider audience” (Boone 2011: p.105).
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