Seven Stages of Internet Marketing

Stage One: Setting Corporate and Business-Unit Strategy

Corporate strategy addresses the interrelationship between the various business units in a firm, including decisions about which units should be kept, sold, or augmented. Business-unit strategy focuses on how a particular unit in the company attacks a market to gain competitive advantage.

Stage Two: Framing the Market Opportunity

Stage two entails the analysis of market opportunities and an initial first pass of the business concept—that is, collecting sufficient online and offline data to establish the burden of proof of opportunity assessment.

Stages of Internet Marketing

Figure 6: Stages of Internet Marketing

Stage Three: Formulating the Marketing Strategy

Internet marketing strategy is based upon corporate, business-unit, and overall marketing strategies of the firm. The marketing strategy goals, resources, and sequencing of actions must be tightly aligned with the business-unit strategy. Finally, the overall marketing strategy comprises both offline and online marketing activities.

Stage Four: Designing the Customer Experience

Firms must understand the type of customer experience that needs to be delivered to meet the market opportunity. The experience should correlate with the firm’s positioning and marketing strategy. Thus, the design of the customer experience constitutes a bridge between the high-level marketing strategy (step three) and the marketing program tactics (step five).

Stage Five: Designing the Marketing Program

Stage five entails designing a particular combination of marketing actions (termed levers) to move target customers from awareness to commitment. The framework used to accomplish this task is the Marketspace Matrix. The Internet marketer has six classes of levers (e.g., pricing, community) that can be used to create target customer awareness, exploration, and commitment to the firm’s offering.

Stage Six: Crafting the Customer Interface

The Internet has shifted the locus of the exchange from the Marketplace (i.e., face-to-face interaction) to the Marketspace (i.e., screen-to-face interaction). The key difference is that the nature of the exchange relationship is now mediated by a technology interface. This interface can be a desktop PC, subnotebook, personal digital assistant, mobile phone, wireless applications protocol (WAP) device, or other Internet-enabled appliance.

Stage Seven: Evaluating the Marketing Program

This last stage involves the evaluation of the overall Internet marketing program. This includes a balanced focus on both customer and financial metrics. It emphasizes customer actions as well as financial metrics used to track the success of marketing programs.

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