Relatively few companies are able to start with a ‘clean sheet of paper’ as far as Internet operations are concerned.
For most companies, setting up Internet operations involves a significant degree of cultural and structural change. It also usually means running both ‘traditional’ and ‘new’ business alongside each other, and developing an appropriate degree of integration between them to create useful synergies. (Chaston, 2001) Although a number of lessons can be learned from the bursting of the dotcom bubble. Therefore, the proper marketing strategy is very important for business on-line. The idea of the marketing mix has been around for many years – well before an ‘e-‘ came in front of Marketing or anything else. As far back as the first half of the twentieth century, the job of the marketer was described as a ‘mixer of ingredients’ (Berry, Shostack and Upah, 1983).
Some theorists argue that ‘traditional’ marketing (based merely on managing the marketing mix) is actually defunct and relationship marketing principles represent a dramatic change in marketing focus over the past two decades. Certainly, in the business world, relationship marketing is currently a highly topical area, with the prolific use of ‘relationship’ terminology in company literature, corporate announcements, advertisements and even job titles. From this perspective, the claim of its status as a ‘new marketing paradigm’ with universal applicability may seem more realistic. In recent years, speculation about the potential of the Internet in facilitating the development of relationships has ensured that the debate about the role of relationship marketing remains prominent in both theoretical and practitioner circles. Online business as regular business aimed at providing satisfaction and adding value for customers.
The usual 4Ps are used as an approach to marketing planning that, according to later editions of Borden’s still-popular Basic Marketing. The prominence of the 4Ps derives largely focus on these as central to marketing strategy. With an increasing ‘service’ element in the added value of most production activities, the ‘7Ps’ approach is becoming more widely accepted. The e-Retailing in this series will return to the ‘7’ approach. For simplicity we shall use the better-known ‘4’ here as a framework for examining online marketing operations.
The operational aspects of the other three will be incorporated where relevant. Typical marketing decisions classified by the 7Ps Framework are: place, product, price, people, process and physical evidence. (Keith, 2003) The contention is based on relationship marketing’s long-term view, customer orientation, means of differentiation and the economics of customer retention. It is evident that earlier innovations have had radical impacts on society, but perhaps not always in ways expected at the time. The perspective lent by distance is necessary to comprehend the full extent of the changes taking place over a significant period of time.
(Borden, 1999) The value of such historical thinking for marketers centres upon the additional insights it provides to analysis of the current business environment. Our capacity to plan for the future can be enhanced by understanding how earlier innovations appeared at the time, so that we do not apply the standards of the present to the past through the rosy glow of hindsight. We would like conclude by observing that if the existing process is a significant building block for innovation as noted above, then perhaps as marketers we should not be too quick to abandon traditional business principles in our enthusiasm for new ideas, but rather to ‘mix and match’ as customer needs and market conditions dictate. …