The development of online technologies has transformed marketing strategies of many companies; in fact, nowadays it is difficult to find a product that is not advertised via Internet.
However, many organizations still underestimate the benefits offered by the World Wide Web. This paper aims to develop an Internet marketing strategy for such a product as mineral water. It is normally advertised through television, radio, and billboards but online channels are seldom used.
There are several objectives which have to be attained: 1) to raise the customers’ awareness about the product; 2) to allow the customers make online purchase; 3) to increase the customer base of the company. This internet advertisement will target two types of clients:
Individual customers who may be willing to learn more about different companies selling mineral water.
Private companies: restaurants, hotels, snack bars, fast food chains that will make wholesale purchase.
At this point we can discuss several aspects of online advertising and their importance. One of them is direct e-mail. We are going to use in order to inform our returned customers, most likely, they will be wholesalers, restaurants, hotels about new products, benefits and discounts. It is also necessary to compile a list of prospective companies that may require this kind of product and send them newsletters.
One should note that customers should be contacted via e-mail no more than two times per month; otherwise these mails can be regarded as spam. The major benefit of this approach is that it enables the company to raise awareness about the products and about other offerings. Additionally, direct e-mail enables companies to maintain long-term relations with returned customers.
Cross-media advertising is another aspect of Internet advertisement that one should utilize. Overall, this approach can be regarded as combined use of television, radio, print and video (Chaffey et al, 2009). The distributers of mineral water can successfully adopt this strategy with the help of Internet since nowadays there are many online radio stations or online newspapers; furthermore, one should not forget about online television.
Additionally, there are also many video-sharing websites where companies can post their commercials. The producers of mineral water can promote their products through each of these media. Cross-media advertisement is important for the attraction of new customers. By adopting this approach, the companies can reach a wide target audience (Chaffey et al, 2009, p 180).
The companies, which produce and sell mineral water, can also rely on banner advertising. These banners should be placed at the websites of online newspapers and Internet forums. The banners should emphasize some distinguishing properties of the product such as the benefits for health of the consumers, its taste and certainly the price.
In this case, the main objective of this strategy is to attract the customer’s attention to the product (Belch & Belch, 2009). Furthermore, the banners must provide links to the website of the company. It will be particularly relevant for private companies that may be searching for the information about different producers of mineral water.
In this way, they will be able to make online wholesale purchases. Banner advertising is important to that extent that it serves different purposes at a time: first, it enables the company to increase people awareness about the company and most importantly form the customers’ initial perception of the product.
Prior to launching an Internet marketing campaign, the company should accurately determine the target market. As it has been mentioned before, the producers of mineral water should address the needs of individual clients and profit organizations like restaurants, hotels. The potential consumers of this product can be of different age, sex, income level, values or occupation. Therefore, one should not give preference to only one type of websites.
Thus, the advertisements should be placed at forums, social networks, web directories, website of different newspapers, etc. The identification of target market is crucial for a company because one has to understand the purchasing habits of the customers. The key advantage of Internet marketing is that it can allow us to target different groups of customers, depending on their age or occupation.
We need to mention some other elements of an Internet marketing strategy; they are public relations (PR) and promotions.
The manufacturers of mineral water should maintain their public image by providing information about themselves at their websites. They need to focus on such issues the technology that they use, the quality standards, health benefits that they offer to the customers.
In the age corporate social responsibility PR management can play the most crucial role. Its purpose is to ensure that customers take positive attitude to the firm. PR campaign has to convince them that the company cares not only about profit-making but also about the community.
At the beginners companies producing mineral water should choose above the line promotion which means that they need to pay a specific agency (online newspaper, forum, social network, video-sharing website) for the placement of the commercial (Jones, 2007).
At this particular stage, they need to attract the customers’ attention to the brand. The selection of promotion strategy is crucial for the formation of brand identity; in other words, they aim to make the name of the company as well as its products recognizable.
The enterprises which intend to sell mineral water have to conduct Internet marketing research. In particular it is necessary to conduct survey among the customers and ask them about those qualities which they value most in this type of product or why they select a specific product among many others.
Secondly, it is vital to learn what kind of websites they regularly visit. Internet marketing research can shape the outcome of a marketing campaign because it will give the company insights into the values and habits of customers.
Finally, one has to speak about the search engine registration. The producers of mineral waters create official websites that would be accessible through different search engines like Google, Yahoo, AltaVista, MSN etc. Search engine can improve the visibility of the company and its products. This is why one should not disregard them.
Therefore, in this paper we have demonstrate how producers of mineral water can benefit from Internet marketing and its various aspects. The key advantage of this approach is that it allows to target a wide audience. Moreover, it is less expensive than traditional marketing.
Belch, G. and Belch, M. (2009). Advertising and Promotion. (8th ed.). NY: McGraw-Hill Irwin.
Chaffey D. Chadwick F. Mayer R. & Johnston. K. (2009). Internet marketing: strategy, implementation and practice. NY: Pearson Education.
Jones M. (2007). Customer Communications. Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann.