Internet usage around the world, especially in the wealthiest countries, has steadily risen over the past decade and it shows no signs of slowing. According to a report by the Internet trend investment firm Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers, 245 million people in the United States were online as of 2011, and 15 million people connected for the first time that year. As Internet usage grows, online commerce grows with it. This means that more people are using the Internet with each passing year, and enough of them are spending money online to impact the economy in significant ways. (See also E-Commerce Marketing)
As digital marketing continues to grow and develop, brands take great advantage of using technology and the Internet as a successful way to communicate with its clients and allows them to increase the reach of who they can interact with and how they go about doing so,. There are however disadvantages that are not commonly looked into due to how much a business relies on it. It is important for marketers to take into consideration both advantages and disadvantages of digital marketing when considering their marketing strategy and business goals.
Understanding Mobiles: Understanding mobile devices is a significant aspect of digital marketing because smartphones and tablets are now responsible for 64% of the time US consumers are online (Whiteside, 2016). Apps provide a big opportunity as well as challenge for the marketers because firstly the app needs to be downloaded and secondly the person needs to actually use it. This may be difficult as ‘half the time spent on smartphone apps occurs on the individuals single most used app, and almost 85% of their time on the top four rated apps’ (Whiteside, 2016). Mobile advertising can assist in achieving a variety of commercial objectives and it is effective due to taking over the entire screen, and voice or status is likely to be considered highly; although the message must not be seen or thought of as intrusive (Whiteside, 2016). Disadvantages of digital media used on mobile devices also include limited creative capabilities, and reach. Although there are many positive aspects including the users entitlement to select product information, digital media creating a flexible message platform and there is potential for direct selling (Belch & Belch, 2012).
While the physical presence rule may seem clear, this is not necessarily the case. In Quill, the Supreme Court discusses not only physical presence, but also several types of potential nexus (connections) between a business and a state. Many states, including Texas, have used the term nexus rather than physical presence in their sales tax laws, regulations, or other official documents, and have sometimes defined nexus in ways that could go beyond physical presence.
Before online marketing channels emerged, the cost to market products or services was often prohibitively expensive, and traditionally difficult to measure. Think of national television ad campaigns, which are measured through consumer focus groups to determine levels of brand awareness. These methods are also not well-suited to controlled experimentation. Today, anyone with an online business (as well as most offline businesses) can participate in online marketing by creating a website and building customer acquisition campaigns at little to no cost. Those marketing products and services also have the ability to experiment with optimization to fine-tune their campaigns’ efficiency and ROI.
A fulfillment center is a location, generally a warehouse facility, where orders for tangible personal property are received, packaged, and picked up by common carrier for shipment to the customer. Some sellers use their own fulfillment centers to fulfill all of their orders, including orders processed by marketplace operators. Other sellers contract with a third-party that operates a fulfillment center (fulfillment center operator) to fulfill their orders. In some instances, the fulfillment center operator is a retailer itself that provides fulfillment services to third-party sellers at the same facilities from which it ships its own products.
If you are a seller making sales through an online marketplace in this manner, you are generally considered the retailer for purposes of such sales. However, if the marketplace operator is also providing fulfillment services, the marketplace operator will be considered the retailer if it has possession of the property at the time of sale and it can transfer ownership to the purchaser without further action by you. For additional information, please see publication 114, Consignment Sales. (Please note: If the marketplace operator has the authority to transfer ownership, but a different person, such as a fulfillment center operator, has possession of the property at the time of sale, then neither person would be a consignee, even if the two are related entities, and you would still be considered the retailer.)
In this new world of digital transparency brands have to be very thoughtful in how they engage with current and potential customers. Consumers have an endless amount of data at their fingertips especially through social media channels, rating and review sites, blogs, and more. Unless brands actively engage in these conversations they lose the opportunity for helping guide their brand message and addressing customer concerns.
However, that has not necessarily been the case for affiliate sellers on Amazon. Because these sellers didn’t have a physical presence in many, or in some cases any, areas where their products were sold, they often did not charge sales tax. But now that they are required to, it may not be that easy for those sellers to just flick a switch and become compliant.
Targeting, viewability, brand safety and invalid traffic: Targeting, viewability, brand safety and invalid traffic all are aspects used by marketers to help advocate digital advertising. Cookies are a form of digital advertising, which are tracking tools within desktop devices; causing difficulty, with shortcomings including deletion by web browsers, the inability to sort between multiple users of a device, inaccurate estimates for unique visitors, overstating reach, understanding frequency, problems with ad servers, which cannot distinguish between when cookies have been deleted and when consumers have not previously been exposed to an ad. Due to the inaccuracies influenced by cookies, demographics in the target market are low and vary (Whiteside, 2016). Another element, which is affected within digital marketing, is ‘viewabilty’ or whether the ad was actually seen by the consumer. Many ads are not seen by a consumer and may never reach the right demographic segment. Brand safety is another issue of whether or not the ad was produced in the context of being unethical or having offensive content. Recognizing fraud when an ad is exposed is another challenge marketers face. This relates to invalid traffic as premium sites are more effective at detecting fraudulent traffic, although non-premium sites are more so the problem (Whiteside, 2016).
While many people attempt to understand and wrap their minds around the internet marketing industry as a whole, there are others out there that have truly mastered the field. Now, if you're asking yourself what the term internet marketing actually means, it simply boils down to a number of marketing activities that can be done online. This includes things like affiliate marketing, email marketing, social media marketing, blogging, paid marketing, search engine optimization and so on.
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