The Six “I”s of Internet Marketing
Evolving technology has forever changed how we communicate and the marketing industry itself. But, while the biggest “I” of internet marketing is the internet, there are six more specific factors of success in digital marketing:
- Industry Reconstruction
- Independence of Location
Before we get into specifics, let’s clarify that the six “I”s of internet marketing are not the same as the four “I”s of service marketing. The latter would be another blog entirely. The four “I”s of service marketing (Intangibility, Inconsistency, Inseparability, Inventory) relate to marketing in a more general sense, whereas the six “I”s of internet marketing focus on digital marketing related influences, helping us understand the internet’s impact and how to best leverage it to make better business decisions.
Formerly longstanding business models—like those of travel agencies, brokers, local retailers, taxi companies, and more—have experienced disruption. The typical supply chain of times past would include a supplier, manufacturer, wholesaler, retailer, and buyer. Now, with the utility of the internet, suppliers can sell direct-to-consumer—just one of many structural changes.
Historically, marketers have not been able to see the results of their campaigns in real-time. With the evolution of internet marketing, these insights are of the moment. After running a Facebook ad campaign, you can see how many people engaged and who converts. With this real-time data, marketers can tailor and learn from their campaigns like never before.
Launching a broadcast radio or television campaign and hoping for the best is no longer best practice. With new marketing technologies and interactivity, marketers can quickly get feedback and learn what works and what doesn’t to create highly targeted campaigns.
With recent data collection controversies, there is a limit to the amount of intelligence you can gather and for good reason. Some big data companies are rumored to be able to tell if you’re pregnant by what items you purchase and sites you surf. The goal of any ethical internet marketer is to use this intelligence to offer products and services people are looking for, but not to take advantage.
Individualization is the ability to narrow audiences based on demographic, geographic, and psychographic targeting. Re-marketing campaigns are a great example—say going to a clothing website then leaving the site only to have clothing ads, sometimes oddly specific ones, follow you around the web.
Independence of Location
The internet removes the need for brick and mortar operations, as customers are always a mere WiFi connection away. This creates more access to the tools for marketing your business, as well as an environment of geoarbitrage for both the company and the employee. In this environment, companies can outsource work to countries with a lower average wage, and employees can work from locations where the cost of living is more affordable.
Internet marketing is capable of reaching customers at multiple touchpoints—email, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, podcasts, and directly through Google. This ability gives marketers the power to reach and nurture, whether they stay in the funnel or not—you can always retarget to pull them back in. It’s up to you to find what medium works best and lean into that.