Introduction to Internet Marketing
Internet Marketing as a business function in recent some years has evolved and developed by great margins, as new and new dimensions are being added to it on a constant basis. In the modern world, one of the most vital aspect of marketing is that of promoting goods and/or services of an enterprise through means of internet. Present report assesses and evaluates the concept of internet marketing from view point of Virgin Atlantic, one of the leading UK based airline company. Furthermore, utility and importance to internet for purposes of marketing also have been discussed in the report.
1.1 Elements of Internet Marketing
Digital marketing is a concept of marketing different goods and/or services by using various internet based tools and techniques. Herein, various electronic devices such as personal computers, mobile phones, tablets, TVs etc. are used. There are various elements and components which make up Internet Marketing.
It can be defined as a process in which consumer can buy different products and/or services by means of using internet based platforms. In this sense, it may not be wrong to say that to develop a successful and effective marketing campaign, management of Virgin Atlantic need to pay attention to developing their own e-commerce portal, using which customers can buy tickets by using website of the company.
This element may help management of the aviation firm would be able to reach out to a large audience base and thus increase its customer base by significant margins. In addition to this, it will also enable the authorities to simplify their ticketing process. This way the customers can be provided a unique yet rich experience with the company.
1.2 Evaluating internet marketing mix
In the corporate scenario, 7 major components of an extended marketing mix which have to be followed by companies.
The very first constituent of this mix is that of the 'product'. Herein management of the given aviation firm would have to pay attention to developing their goods and/or services in an efficient and effective manner, so that needs and demands of customers can be fulfilled with great ease and comfort. It will be important for the management that they develop their products in such a manner that they are efficient and effective in meeting demands of the customers.
The next element of internet marketing mix is 'place', i.e. the system in which products or services are delivered to target customers. In such situations authorities have to pay attention to deciding on the best and most effective ways in which goods can be provided to the customers. Therefore, it can be said that distribution strategies have a very crucial role to play.
Next element is the 'price'. It requires utmost attention to be paid to ensure that prices of goods provided by the company are as per industry trends and justified. The concept of 'promotion' is the next very important constituent of the internet marketing mix. It states that company formulates such promotional strategies which would allow it not only reach out to a large number of customers, but also be able to attract as well as retain them.
another element of internet marketing mix, would enable management at Virgin Atlantic to provide some kind of evidence or proof to the customers that they had purchased ticket of the company. It is an important constituent, mainly because it would help in making a connection with the target customers.
The human resources, company will have to provide appropriate training so that they can carry out their tasks and duties in an efficient and effective manner, contributing to attainment of organizational goals along with satisfying needs of the customers.
Simple and effective processes will have to be developed by management at Virgin Atlantic so that marketing strategies can be developed in such a manner which would result in development of a positive image in the market as well as delivering goods to the customers in an effective manner.
1.3 Comparing different internet marketing tools
The online marketing activity is to be carried out via different tools of marketing that enable marketers to gain attention of customers. The marketing activities of Virgin Atlantic are to be conducted through using different tools of marketing. The internet marketing tools involves Company’s website, E-mail marketing, Search Engine Marketing, Internet banner ads and so on. However, all the tools are used to gain attention of market customers and to ensure online presence of businesses entity but there are many differences in all such tools. The difference between such tool are explained in following points :
The tool is used by the marketer to ensure online presence and to shown the vision and mission of business. Through online website, it has been seen that the customers are provided with information regarding products and services of customers. The tool is used to pass the information about company's offerings that different it from other customers. Virgin Atlantic has a unique website for gaining attention of customers.
The next famous tool of internet marketing is email marketing that is considered the low cost and effective tools that offers customers with information regarding company's new offerings. Using this tool, customers can be easily transferred to company's website while they search travel services in future time.
Search Engine Marketing
Search Engine Marketing has been seen as an effective tool that is used to market the service over the web. The tool affects the visibility of a website and is used to promote the website of company in to online market using various search engines i.e. Google.
Pay per Click
Pay per Click (PPC) tool is used by marketers to services of organization among target customers and to promoter sales of firm. It is used to achieve and retain competitive image in online market.
1.4 Examining order processing of Virgin Atlantic
Order processing of Virgin Atlantic is crucial to identify the online initiatives taken by the company to offer the product ad services to customers. This is an important tool used by the organization to promote products and/or services to target customers. The primary function of company is to access the information of suppliers and to collaborate with them. In case of Virgin Atlantic internet service providers are known as the suppliers as well as the people of travel industry who conduct internet related services for travellers are to be approached. The organization has to pay attention to the companies who are taking initiatives in effective service providing in regard to offer traveller service of Virgin Atlantic in online market. To the other hand, traveller agents need to be approached to conduct online practices. The secondary function is to provide the information regarding flight timings, their destinations, time of departure and arrival, etc to the information providers so that the correct data can be provided to the clients. In this way, the or deer processing of Virgin Atlantic flights is to be conducted. The organization tries to meet the needs and demands of passengers so that they can be retained in the organization.
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2.1 Mechanics of search engine marketing
A widely used form of internet marketing whgich refers to promotion of website with the help of various tools and techniques is referred to as a Search engine marketing (SEM). The objective of using SERP is increase visibility of using search engine results page (SERP). The advantage of using this technique is to use modern marketing tactics. This is helpful in case where the number of traffic which refers to people visiting site can be noticed. This is effective and efficient way of marketing products and services by the Virgin Atlantic. In an aviation form, there are ample of benefits which are used as a part of internet marketing. It provides mode of efficient and cost effective way by which more number of customers can be attracted. SEO is considered as a very effective way of gaining good respeonse from the side of internet users who access the web pages. With the increase in access to internet web pages, chances of increase in sales has also been observed. However, there are some of the disadvantages that are carried by use of SEO by the organisation. It is very time consuming process which sometime may affect the resultant outcome. There are instances when the Virgin Atlantic faces delay in time and finalizing of final process for getting things achieved.
2.2 Guidelines on best practices for online public relations
Developing and maintaining relations with public, i.e. the customers and various other stakeholders is imperative, mainly because of reason that it has a direct impact over working of the firm as well as its survival in the market. Maintaining public relations through online mediums becomes all the more difficult for the cited aviation company. There are numerous positive sides of Online Public Relations (OPR). One of them is that customers can contact and communicate with Virgin Atlantic on a 24*7 basis throughout the week. This way target customers can interact with the company at any given point of time and get their query or any problem solved. Herein, the OPR guidelines states that such customer care executives should possess a variety of skills which may include the likes of politeness; good and strong communication skills, etc. This means that the care executives would have to have proper and effective interactive abilities, along with being polite with the customers. In addition to this, guidelines on OPR states that marketing and promotional strategies must be such that they do not defame any other organization operating in the same industry. In this sense, it can be said that authorities at Virgin Atlantic will have to take precautionary measures to promote themselves, but do not negatively publicise any other aviation firm operating in the country.
2.3 Ways to use new digital media communities
In digital era, for the purpose of attracting customers and business communities, management of company can use instant messaging, discussion group and mobile-commerce technologies in their day to day business functions. Besides that, firm has also launch its own mobile apps for the purpose of providing facilities such as mobile voucher coupons and loyalty cards to its clients throughout the world. In addition, for sharing files and other information with business partners, firm can use Flickr and extranet. Along with this, different file sharing sites can be beneficial for the organization in promoting its products online. Digital media marketing techniques used by company can be showed with help of below figure.
There are certain ways which have been applied to share file between two different locations in a safe and secure manner that can be enlisted as follow.
In the context of sharing file in safe and secure manner and provides storage solutions to their employees, business organizations can use this technology. It offers 20 GB free space and 200 GB paid services to its users. In addition, it provides facilities of FTP upload and file versioning so that users can perform variety of operations such as back-up, file sharing, synchronization and web sharing etc.
In order to meet small business needs and improves business collaboration, enterprises can be employed this office suite in their day to day business operations. It allows employee to securely work across team without compromise between security and ease-of-use. It provides a place where more than one people can chat or interact with other. This is considered as best way to foster relationship which is the biggest requirement of markets these days. Businessmen and enterprises can use office 365 and Dropbox technologies in the context of building relationship by using online interaction and communication with the large number of customers or clients.
In context to Virgin Atlantic, both target and potential clients are interacted online and facilitated with best of information online in this regard, these types of technologies can be beneficial for company.
3.1 Conducting secondary market research
In the context of collecting secondary data, researcher can use books, journals and online published articles. Popick explored that for managing better communication with customers, enterprise is used social media marketing communication channels. Apart from this, firm also launches Clubhouse contest where customers took pictures of them and shared at any platforms.
From the critical comparison of British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, it is found that average price per customers of virgin airline was 614.1 and it was much higher than price of BA which was 468.2 in 2011. Moreover, in term of service and quality, virgin airline more emphasizes on its promotion strategies and meeting needs of customers in a proper manner.
In addition, firm also used Customer relationship management tool which helps company in perfuming marketing functions effectively. In many past investigations and research studies, it has been determined that managing relations with customers is essential, mainly because of reason that it helps in prolonging company's existence in the market and also its effectiveness in the target market. Considering the fact that Virgin Atlantic operates in a competitive market thereby making it difficult to manage consumer relations. Fahy, Farrelly and Quester, believes that customer relationship management is not a very crucial aspect of business functioning, and does not need to be paid a lot of attention to. According to Zahay and Fredricks, modern marketplace are highly competitive, and those companies which do not share effective and healthy relations with the customers, have very less chances of being able to succeed in the market, as well as to fulfil its goals and objectives. Kriemadis, Terzoudis and Kartakoullis support this by stating that effective customer relationships can help an enterprise so as to attract new consumers and retain the present ones. The author further opines that management of an organization must instead of it, pay heed to quality of operations of the company, as it is the one that would help in attracting customers in large numbers and also retain them with great ease and comfort.
3.2 Designing an online survey
With a need to develop effective marketing tactics and strategies, it is imperative that companies, regardless of market that they may operate in, conduct a thorough survey of the target market, so as to obtain various kinds of information about the industry. In this sense, if management of Virgin Atlantic would conduct a survey of the market, then they would get access to a lot of valuable and sensitive information about the industry, which would help in enhancing firm's position and its efficiency and effectiveness. This survey would be conducted to obtain thorough information about needs, demands and perceptions of customers towards Virgin Atlantic. In this survey a total of 100 customers who at least once have availed services of the company would be contacted through online mediums such as emails, as the survey will be conducted over internet.
3.3 Electronic customer relationship marketing
In order to manage clients’ account history and store details about product purchase, eCRM tool can be beneficial for organization. Virgin Atlantic uses this software in order to retain its existing and attract new customers for long time period. By using electronic customer relationship marketing technique, enterprise would be able to develop effective links with the customers and maintaining dialogue online and offline with their customers. In this sense, it can further be said that these tactics aids the company to remain competitive in the market. Moreover, by making use of electronic marketing, firms get a chance to enhance their customer loyalty. Along with e-CRM, marketing department of company can also consider different new emerging technologies like Cloud and Big Data etc. to capture and store large amount of data in safe and secure manner. Hence by making use of these tactics enterprise can improve its consumer base. In addition, predictive modelling can be used to forecast sales of products and increase chances of firm’s survival in hostile aviation industry. Electronic CRM (Customer Relationship Management) can be regarded as the crucial area of internet marketing tactics that should be worked upon by management of company. Apart from this, Vendor management system can be used to collaborate with filtering and segmenting customers.
4.1 Outline of an internet marketing plan
For companies such as that of the Virgin Atlantic, it has become imperative that they develop and put in place effective internet marketing plans, as it would help the company to prolong its existence in the market and fulfil its goals and objectives. In this sense, it can be suggested to the management at Virgin Atlantic that they musst focus on improving their clientele base, for which, authorities must pay a lot of attention to reaching out to and interacting with customers through internet based mediums. Current situation of the company is not very good, as it is facing a lot of troubles from various angles of business operations such as brand image and brand awareness, in addition to financial problems that the company is going through. In this sense, management of the aviation firm needs to develop such marketing plans which may help in preparing a strong and effective image in the market. Herein, it can be suggested to management of the company that it should use approaches and techniques of internet marketing, which could include the likes of pay per click, SEO, etc.
Marketing is a very crucial aspect of business operations to which management of an organization, regardless of market that it may be a part of, needs to pay a lot of attention to. During the present study, it was observed that concept of internet marketing is a very wide one, as there are number of areas that need to be considered in it. Study revealed that e-commerce is a prime element of the internet marketing concept. Further, researcher through this study, also stated that 7P's of marketing are very crucial and applicable to internet marketing mix as well.
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