Good Literature Review On Online Marketing Tools And The Increase Of Sales Through Online Marketing
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LITERATURE REVIEW: Online Marketing Tools And The Increase Of Sales Through Online Marketing
The chapter below is an effort to develop a comprehensive critical literature review to aid the underlying research as working essentials. The produced literary review is crafted via reviewing prior authors’ work in the field to develop comprehensive insight of the matter, as well as theoretical implications of the discipline in question.
The review of prior studies is conducted to explore information related to online tools and its role in increasing the sales. Additionally for developing a comprehensive review, following areas are addressed: the need and importance, tools and techniques, importance of the legacy of entities while connecting virtually to the target audience, importance of customers’ authority of reviews, comparability of online marketing with traditional marketing and most importantly impact of online marketing on sales fluctuations of a business.
Recent history of a couple of decades witnessed extremely rapid changes in the environment of the globe. Technological innovations and internet connectivity have drastically paced up human life with a wider spectrum of obligations and choices (Miller, et al., 1998). Transformation of the earth from a big world to a 24/7 virtually connected global village in terms of social networking highly increased the competition challenges for the businesses (Manyika at. el., 2013). Customers now quest for detailed information about the needed offers via exploiting the virtual channels (Zhu and Zhang, 2010).
The scenario has opened the doors for marketing practices in virtual space via utilizing networking tools. This in turn coined the interchangeable terms of online marketing, internet marketing, and e-commerce and e-businesses (Close Brothers, 2013). Havaldar, (2010) suggests that online marketing is the evolution of traditional direct marketing in terms of assessing audience via new connectivity channels and link its with outcomes in terms of sales and profitability. Below sections are utilized to explore the deeper insight of underlying concepts.
Online Marketing and its Role in Business Performance
Thomas, (2011) suggest that online marketing or internet marketing simply refers to exploit virtual space and tools for the purpose of marketing offerings in terms of products and services. Thomas, (2011) further describes those online marketing moves forward with the notion of building and maintaining relationships with the customers on the ground of new “one-to-one” approach. However, (need reference ) the ever changing scenario of the technology-based complex virtual environment, requires businesses not only to excel the practice but also in terms of generating useful outcome for the business.
In alignment with the notion of complexity embedded in the internet environment, Roberts and Zahay, (2013) presented a complete paradigm of internet marketing. The paradigm also presented below, incorporates the motives of online marketers, environment, and rapidly emerging tools as presented below:
(Roberts and Zahay, 2013)
The above conceptual model comprehensively yet simplify presents the dimensions of the online marketing and highlighted the measures where marketers need to be effective in order to generate positive results. As defined, there are multiple basic motives of the online marketers. Some of the referred motives include the acquisition of customers, maintaining a relationship in terms of conversation and retention, increase in outcomes in the form of value by exploiting opportunities embedded in the virtual environment (Roberts and Zahay, 2013).
However, Constantinides, (2004) argued that getting and retaining customers in a virtual environment is emerging as the key challenge of the field. Therefore, it is suggested that the input from customers is crucial to delivering value via online channels. The author further explained that there is comprehensive consumer behavior process that impact on the outcomes of online marketing in terms of performance as depicted (Constantinides, 2004).
The behavioral impact implies that the web experiences influences the purchase decisions of customers. This in turn calls a need for the online marketers to strive for shaping that behavior in a certain manner.
There is a huge base of interactive tools that are present in the conceptual online environmental model of Roberts and Zahay, (2013). Furthermore, Constantinides,(2004) description pointed that the web experience as controllable shaping tool for consumer buying behavior. Collectively, it can be inferred from the above implications that online marketers can influence online consumers via exploiting interactive online marketing tools tactfully.
In addition to that, Effectiveness of interactive tools specifically from a personalized web to existence in most popular networks in terms of generating outcomes is highly discussed in the prior literature. Onishi, (2011) comprehensively examined the impact of different interactive factors and consumers’ interconnectivity as the influence on buying behavior. Findings of the study supported in understating the effectiveness of blogging in terms of predicting outcomes, traditional marketing mix in terms of the positive impact and social networking groups’ impact in terms of retention.
Further, Zhu and Zang, (2010) also empirically tested the impacts of customer built contents on the brand value and outcomes in terms of performance and found a positive influence of reviews over customer behavior. Hence, it is developed here that impact of online marketing in the form of sales is the outcome of impression of collective interactive tools. Considering the importance of multiple tools that aid online marketing, next section is crafted to highlight the modern, effective tools and vehicles of online marketing.
Online Marketing Tools and Techniques
As depicted in the environment presented above, there are various tools that aid online marketers to build a relationship with the customers. Kalyanam and Mclntyre, (2002) Identified that e-marketing tools include multiple overlapping tools that collectively impact on the performance of the firm. In alignment with above notion, main tools of today’s online marketing mix are discussed below:
Search Engine Optimization
Currently, search engines are considered as the main hubs of connectivity among portals and users. Critics argue that the company should possess the ability to manage existence in search engines to reach online customers. Shih, Chen, and Chen, (2013) discussed the importance of search engine optimization for the firms to be connected with their customers. Employing exploratory research for the ranking of an e-store of books, it was revealed that effective SEO strategy in combination with social networking positively impacts on building connections with the customers.
As a matter of fact, there are large number of platforms that build connection between the customers and the business. The section below develops the role of most prominent online tools and its impact on the business revenue.
Web simply refers to the personalized internet portals of businesses that are intended to either inform or serve customers online. Effectiveness of these tools highly impacts on the customer perception and retention. Koufaris, and Hampton-Sosa, (2002) empirically tested the relationship between web portal’s ability to serve customer and trust factor of the customers. Employing a conceptualized model, hypotheses based research attempted to find the impact of the websites on the customer’s trust. The study concluded that the perception of enjoyment and ease of control builds positive impact on the customer about the company. This in turn plays a critical role in building and maintaining a relationship with the customer, customer retention and translating visitor to into customer.
Blogs are defined as the portals that allow freedom of expression in terms of information, reviews, feedback and descriptions of events and experiences (Jérémy, 2006). The tools can have both constructive and destructive impact on the business as it not only allows businesses to present themselves on the virtual space but also customers to speak on globally. Yu, et al., (2012) empirically tested the impact of sentimental reviews in terms of expression on online tools and suggested the confirmation of their conceptual model. The model suggested that quality of reviews, as well as expression of sentiments in reviews highly, affects company’s future sales performance. Additionally, Hu, et al. (2012) maintained that the word of mouth in form reviews directly affect the sales performance of a company. Mentioned researchers empirically tested the contents of reviews for manipulating customers’ perception. The results found that around 10.3% products are subjected to the review manipulation techniques; hence, confirmed that the incompetence of online reviews in defining the viability of a product.
Onishi, (2011) employed job portal groups assessment found that the impact of social networking in terms of group is higher on customer retention. Paquette, (2013) maintained that social networking’s authority of recording and promoting customers’ expressions of senses hypes the challenges for businesses to be authenticated for their actions and to be smart enough to build networking relationships.
Further, Mangold and faulds, (2009) argues in their exploratory article that social media connects stakeholders of a business in both traditional and non-traditional dimensions. They maintained that traditional dimension, where business communicates directly to customer, possesses a higher degree of influential control, however, non-traditional dimension of social media is connecting customers directly thus increasing challenges for businesses for effective communication. Additionally, Kim and Ko, (2012) empirically tested the social media marketing outcomes of a fashion brand. The study concluded that social media plays an effective role in guiding business in crafting future sales forecasts more accurately. Moreover, social media also plays a prominent role in identifying the needed set of marketing practices for improving customer services.
Odhiambo, (2012) employed the case the study research method and explored the effectiveness of social media over traditional channels. The study listed popular networking tools that are utilized by both marketers and customers as interaction vehicles. These tools include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickr, Youtube and many others that are now emerging as social networks. Importantly, Odhiambo’s (2012) study has also clearly stated that the social media cannot singularly generate or develop business for a firm and shall be taken as a necessary complimentary medium.
Web ads are the efforts of attracting customers towards exploring company’s website via posting commercial banners and links on other popular sites. Martín-Santana and Beerli-Palacio, (2012) employing survey research method measured the effectiveness of web ads methods and found that the effectiveness of web ads depends on the involvement, perception and time spent by consumers. They further suggested that managers should not depend only on web ads clicks to measure the effectiveness of their online marketing.
Communication tools (e-mail/ direct marketing)
Considerably one of the initial online marketing methods, E-mail marketing is still highly employed by marketers in developed countries. Effectiveness of this method is highly dependent on the exploitation of engagement measures. Chadwick and Doherty, (2012) empirically tested the effectiveness of e-mail marketing in UK, the method of content analysis for assessing 1000 advertising e-mails was employed. The findings of the study suggested that presentation tactics in terms of organizing contents and viability of hyperlinks aid marketers develop attention and interest of customers.
Factors Influence Online Shopping Intentions
Perea y Monsuwé, Dellaert, and De Ruyter, (2004) selecting online shoppers as sample defined the factors that shape customer intentions for online shopping that direct impact on the sales of business as depicted below:
(Perea y Monsuwé, Dellaert, and De Ruyter, 2004)
Evaluating the model on the grounds of above discussed findings of multiple studies, three of components that drive the customer intentions including usefulness, ease of use and enjoyment are the outcomes of effectiveness of online marketing tactics. Further after building of the positive attitude, there is trust, online shopping perception, and situational factors that finally contribute to building customer intentions.
Many of the studies presented above clarifies the notion that online marketing practices influence the performance of a firm in terms of sales either positively or negatively. Although, collectively it was found that any single online tool cannot be considered completely effective in shaping consumers’ perception. Instead, different tools possess different degree of influence on customer behavior; hence, shall be employed in a complementing manner.
Further, there is a collective inference that the area of study needs more empirical evidences to authenticate value of online marketing mix and its impact on sales (Onishi, Santana and Palacio, 2012, Monsuwe´, Dellaert and Ko de Ruyter, 2004, Odhiambo, 2012). The importance and gaps lie in fact that each business generates different impact from different medium. Hence, consistent contribution is critical in identifying the variations that must be accounted by the business while developing an online marketing strategy. Considering the identified fact and the importance of the underlying subject, the underlying research is an effort to contribute the discipline positively via exploiting gaps in the prior studies.
List of References
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Manyika , M. Chui, M., Bughin, J., Dobbs, R., Bisson, P. and Marrs , A. (2013). Disruptive Technologies: Advances That Will Transform Life, Business, And The Global Economy. McKinsey Global Institute Available from https://docs.google.com/a/solutionicks.com/file/d/0B7gRH-_EJLbZX3RZbEswYU5Nc0E/edit [Accessed 20 March 2015].
Zhu, F., and Zhang, X. (2010). Impact of online consumer reviews on sales: The moderating role of product and consumer characteristics. Journal of marketing, vol. 74, no. 2, pp. 133-148.
Close Brothers. (2013). Guide Boosting sales through online marketing. Available from http://www.closecommercialfinance.ie/userfiles/CBCF_Boosting_sales_through_online_marketing_b.pdf [Accessed 20 March 2015].
Havaldar, K. K. (2010). Business Marketing: Text and Cases. McGraw-Hill Education.
Thomas, L. (2011). Online marketing. McGraw-Hill.
Roberts, M., and Zahay, D. (2012). Internet marketing: Integrating online and offline strategies. Cengage Learning.
Constantinides, E. (2004). Influencing the online consumer's behavior: the Web experience. Internet research, vol.14, no.2, pp. 111-126.
Onishi, H. (2011). Traditional Marketing, Online Communication and Market Outcomes. The University of Michigan. Available from: http://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/handle/2027.42/86448/hohnishi_1.pdf?sequence=1 [Accessed 20 March 2015].
Kalyanam K. and McIntyre, S. (2002). The E-Marketing Mix: A Contribution of The E-Tailing Wars. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science. Vol. 30, no. 4,pp. 487-499
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Jérémy, W. R. I. G. H. T. (2006). Blog marketing: The Revolutionary new way to increase sales, build your brand, and get exceptional results. Dubuque, IA: McGraw-Hill Professional.
Yu, X., Liu, Y., Huang, X., & An, A. (2012). Mining online reviews for predicting sales performance: A case study in the movie domain. Knowledge and Data Engineering, IEEE Transactions on, vol.24, no.4, pp. 720-734.
Hu, N., Bose, I., Koh, N. S., & Liu, L. (2012). Manipulation of online reviews: An analysis of ratings, readability, and sentiments. Decision Support Systems,52(3), 674-684.
Paquette, H. (2013). Social Media as a Marketing Tool: A Literature Review. University of Rhode Island. Available from http://digitalcommons.uri.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1001&context=tmd_major_papers [Accessed 20 March 2015].
Kim, A. J., & Ko, E. (2012). Do social media marketing activities enhance customer equity? An empirical study of luxury fashion brand. Journal of Business Research, vol.65, no.10, pp. 1480-1486.
Odhiambo, C. A. (2012). SOCIAL MEDIA AS A TOOL OF MARKETING AND CREATING BRAND AWARENESS Case Study Research. VAASAN AMMATTIKORKEAKOULU UNIVERSITY OF APPLIED SCIENCES. Available from https://www.theseus.fi/bitstream/handle/10024/44591/Christine.A.Odhiambo.pdf?sequence=1 [Accessed 20 March 2015].
Martín-Santana, J. D., & Beerli-Palacio, A. (2012). The effectiveness of web ads: rectangle vs contextual banners. Online Information Review, vol.36, no.3, pp. 420-441.
Ellis-Chadwick, F., & Doherty, N. F. (2012). Web advertising: The role of e-mail marketing. Journal of Business Research, vol.65, no.6, pp. 843-848.
Perea y Monsuwé, T., Dellaert, B. G., & De Ruyter, K. (2004). What drives consumers to shop online? A literature review. International journal of service industry management, vol.15, no.1, pp. 102-121.
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