First, the cost of Internet advertising is still relatively low. Second, advertising in the Internet can appear immediately. It takes about six weeks to advertise in the New York Times, but in the Internet, it takes a lot less time, possibly an hour if the need is urgent. You can also change your ads as quickly and as much as you want because of its low production costs and flexibility. Third, different from the existing media where style and image are important, the Internet advertising should be oriented toward content. Fourth, the Internet offers an alternative to mass media communication. Advertising on the Internet is two-way communication between advertisers and consumers. Consumers can now talk to advertisers while they are watching ads on the Internet. The Net already supports many applications for real-time two way communication. A lot of new skill sets are required to create interactive web advertising. Although advertising agencies and advertisers recognize the importance of the Internet as a powerful advertising medium, many advertising agencies are not equipped with required skills. Then who is? Multimedia people - those who do interesting things with multimedia-authoring tools - and ad people should work together to create interactive advertising. We do not know exactly what interactive advertising will look like, but there are several guidelines advertisers should follow:
1) concentrate on "meat" or hard facts;
2) do not underestimate the intelligence of customers;
3) be truly interactive;
4) treat the customers like kings;
5) have fun.
Marketing is often defined as a matter of identifying consumer needs and developing the goods and services that satisfy them. This involves developing the right product, pricing it attractively, and making it available to the target customers by persuading distributors and retailers to stock it. But it is also necessary to inform potential consumers of the product's existence, its features, and its advantages, and to persuade them to try it. There are generally several stages involved in a consumer's decision to buy a new product. A well-known acronym for this process is AIPA, standing for Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action. According to the familiar "4 P's" formulation of the marketing mix -product, price, place and promotion - attracting attention, arousing interest, and persuading the consumer to act are all part of promotion. Marketing textbooks conventionally distinguish, four basic promotional tools:
which together make up the marketing communications mix.
For consumer goods, the most important tool is generally advertising. As well as advertising particular brands, companies also carry out prestige or institutional advertising, designed to build up the "company's name or image". Advertising is often combined with sales promotions, such as free samples, coupons and competitions.
For industrial goods, particularly specialized ones, the most important tool is often personal selling. Sales reps can build up relationships with company buyers, and can be very useful in persuading them to choose a particular product.
The fourth promotional tool is public relations (frequently abbreviated as PR): activities designed to improve or maintain or protect a company's or a product's image. Public relations include things like company publications, most notably, the annual report, sponsorship, community relations programmes, the lobbying of politicians, and the creation of news stories, all designed to get publicity for a company or a particular product.
Unlike paid advertising, publicity is any (favourable) mention of a company's products that is not paid for, in any medium received by a company's customers or potential customers. Quite apart from financial considerations, the advantage of publicity is that it is generally more likely to be read and believed than advertising. It can have a great impact on public awareness that could not even be achieved by a massive amount of advertising. Public relations is the process by which a business obtains goodwill and promotes a positive image of itself. Public relations and publicity are often combined. Together they can contribute substantially to mass selling at relatively low costs, and in some cases can be more effective than advertising.
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