To succeed in today’s fast-paced business environment, you need to aggressively transform your marketing, communications and advertising plan. You need to focus taking risks with new directions on the Internet.

If you leverage and refresh your existing strategies, the possibilities are endless to gain competitive advantage. You should incorporate new media and techniques on the Web. To be successful, your online promotional plan must be closely woven with all your marketing activities.

With great strategy, planning and focus, you will achieve the reach you want with your marketing and advertising budget. The greatest challenge is choosing the strategies that are right for your business and to integrate them with your marketing and advertising initiatives.

It’s important to think strategically about your marketing choices in order to maximize the success of your program and to select the right tactics.

What are your goals? Enhance brand awareness, improve online visibility, boost traffic to your Website, increase online sales or boost offline sales? If your main goal is to build brand awareness on the Web, focus on activities that encourage public discussion about your company, such as thought leadership activities (white papers, articles, case studies, and best practices research), public relations and social networking activities. If your key objective is to drive online sales leads, then do more direct-response activities such as e-mail marketing and paid search advertising.

The Internet has changed the dynamics of the business world. Customers are going to the Internet to start their purchasing process. In order to stay competitive, businesses need to embrace and use inbound marketing techniques to get found online.
Who are your target customers? You need to find out where your audience hangs out on the Internet. Then use those social media platforms to publish your information and collaborate with your customers on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and others.

Using only traditional outbound marketing techniques such as trade shows and print advertising is less effective nowadays, because people are better at blocking out interruption-based or pushed messages. The Internet presents quick and easy ways for customers to learn and shop to pull information when and where they want it. Instead of flying across the country, a prospect needs only to go to the Internet and research products and services.

Another important consideration for your marketing strategy is whether your company is in the business-to-business or business-to-consumer niche. What type of industry are you in? How is your market structured? All of these will affect your approach to marketing. It’s important to tailor your tactics and approach to your business environment and where your customers can be found on the Internet.

The structure of your market and industry will influence your selection of tactics. If your market is saturated, pursue innovative approaches to stand out from your competition, such as a thought-provoking video. Your video must have a news hook.

If you are in an emerging field, invest resources into educating the public through articles and white papers online.

If your product or service is very complex or difficult to understand, use tactics that enable you to conduct discussions with your audience through forums, chats, blogs and social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

The Internet’s Impact on Your Marketing