Online sales and marketing is the use of the Internet and other electronic media to sell and promote products and services. These marketers use a variety of Web sites, search engines, social media, and e-mail to provide information to potential purchasers. Online sales and marketing is considered an inexpensive format to reach buyers, so many companies are using the medium to broaden the reach of traditional marketing programs.
Marketing and placement strategies for online sales and marketing vary by company and product; however, the tools each company uses are basically the same. Some companies choose to break their potential purchasers into segments and market to each segment accordingly. These segments may be broken down for sales and marketing online into those that will be approached on a one-on-one basis, those approached on a niche basis, and those approached on a geographical basis. Each company may segment its market in a manner that best suits its products and services.
Generally, the search engine is used for direct sales, where the focus is on a one-on-one basis. This allows the company to bring the potential purchaser to an online store, company Web site, or company blog to learn more about the specific product. Online sales and marketing using this method reaches a certain set of people looking for a similar product.
Niche marketing goes after a group of people interested in a specific product rather than a generalized product. An example of this kind of online sales and marketing would be focusing on individuals who want to kayak on their vacation versus those who want to vacation near the ocean. As the potential purchasers search for a vacation destination, they might search for ocean kayaking rather than a beach vacation. The company is more likely to make a sale by focusing directly on those people who want to use their product rather than those who want a more generic offering.
The differences between push and pull technologies effects the manner in which each company does its sales and marketing online. There are tools available that allow a company to push information out to potential purchasers using the Internet and portable hand-held devices. Companies use these tools when they want to push information similar to an advertisement on a television. Pull technologies allow companies to give summary level information during a campaign with a link to another location to acquire more in depth information.