Academic journal article Competition Forum

A Holistic View of Internet Marketing

Academic journal article Competition Forum

A Holistic View of Internet Marketing

Article excerpt

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Successful e-commerce decision makers and webmasters have to think holistically about every detail of their websites. There are a lot of strategic marketing decision models for brick and mortar stores that are without modification directly applicable to ecommerce. However, to be totally effective e-commerce has to create its own unique strategic models that facilitate critical thinking about web designs. This paper offers such a model (called the HIMEM- Holistic Internet Marketing Exchange Model). The HIMEM proposes looking at websites as four distinct selling units under which website atmospherics and seller/buyers relationships may be evaluated.

Keywords: Atmospherics, Marketing, Internet, Customer Relationship Management, Web Development

INTRODUCTION

Modern domestic and international business environments (e.g., strong domestic competition, information highways, reengineering, pre- and post-modern consumerism, technological "speak," workplace diversity, standardization versus localization, temperamental domestic and foreign governmental legislators and regulators) present Internet marketers with anticipated and unanticipated situations that demand dynamic decision making skills. This paper offers a prospectus for viewing Internet marketing under holistic (seeing the "big picture") thinking, integrative thinking, lateral thinking, associative thinking, parallel thinking, cause and effect thinking, and if-then thinking. A paradigm called the Holistic Internet Marketing Exchange Model (HIMEM) has been created for this purpose. The acronym HIMEM describes how, and when Internet business parties engage in the give and take of negotiating the terms of the exchange relationship, each party contemplates two basic questions: "What's in it for me?" and "What do I have to give him in order that I get what I want?" The HIMEM process is presented:

1. Traditional tools; such as Branding

2. The construct of four (4) distinct sellers and three (3) distinct buyers

3. HIMEM's Internet Marketing Exchange Model

4. The Identification of the 4-Sellers and 3-Buyers

5. The use of the exchange model to identify the four sellers and three buyers; and

6. An integrative and holistic thinking process.

BRANDING

There is a solid reason why organizations are adopting the Internet as a way of doing business. The Internet provides a mechanism for retailers to efficiently, effectively, and frugally interact with their customers. Organizations can spend millions of dollars developing their sites only to realize that customer satisfaction and loyalty have actually declined (Maling, 2002). Many organizations fail to realize that it is not the pizzazz of the site that is important to the success of the site but the processes behind the click (Keen, and McDonald, 2000). Technology in and of itself will not cause a site to be successful. The most highly polished elaborate ornate sites are not the most popular. Google and eBay are both simple and straight forward; yet they are extremely popular. Sites are popular because they serve a customer's needs.

The time has long passed when merely having a website was enough to garner a critical mass of potential shoppers to warrant the effort. E-commerce requires more than inventory; it requires information, infrastructure, and supporting systems (Turban, Lee, King, and Chung 2004). Keen and McDonald (2000, p. 18) put it more succinctly, "the key to turning a website from a technical artifact to a business win is what lies behind the click."

Customer loyalty is one of the most significant contributors to profitability. Loyalty is the product of continuously meeting and exceeding the needs and wants of the customer (Turban et al. 2004). Reicheld & Schefter (2000) argue the point that "without the glue of loyalty, even the best-designed e-business model will collapse." They go on to say contrary to the common perception the web is a very "sticky" place by nature (p. …

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