Marketing is the process by which a company communicates with the stakeholder of the company. With the advent of advanced usage of internet in the daily livelihood of the people, marketing in the business has also seen a drastic change. The concept of digital marketing is contemporary; it has endless possibilities with wide range of reach. Depending up on the target market of the product or service that the company’s offer the marketing strategies are identified. It is the same with digital marketing. Digital marketing is one of the most important relevant methods to promote any product or service in today’s world. With the revolutionary advancement in technology and decreasing rate of technology has enabled common people to be close to internet and information technology. Some of the popular tools of digital marketing are: the different ways of using various platforms of social media, e-mail, and website advertising etc. (Ryan 2016). Digital marketing offers an array of advantages over traditional ways of marketing that help organisations in ways that were not even imagined a few decades ago. The biggest advantage of digital marketing may be the aspect of cost curtailing that enables the companies and organisations to maximize their profit margin. The world is rapidly shifting from manual/analogue to digital and the marketing strategies need to adapt as quickly as possible (Armstrong et al. 2015). Digital marketing is not only a rapidly expanding marketing tactics; rather it is going to be the future of marketing. Every company that advances and encourages the dynamic changes in the business world has recognized the impact and importance of digital marketing.
There are various tools and strategies of digital marketing that enable companies to make best of the available technological components and maximize their sales and profit margins. Search engine marketing is one such practice that helps companies get maximum market exposure on the online customer market and that in turn gives a high market share to the businesses. The following paper seeks to give a detailed idea about this particular form of digital marketing, using search engine marketing, and also try to give feasible recommendations for the company regarding how to adopt this particular tool for its entry to the digital marketing industry.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
Search engine marketing is the process by which websites all around the world use search engines to promote the website in order to increase the traffic of the site. Examples of search engines are Google, bing etc. For example: A common scenario from everyday life today, when a person thinks of going on lunch he first searches the name of the cuisine it in Google, and several restaurants show up. It is a task that has become so common that google has also become a generic word for searching something on the internet. The fundaments of the SEM is based on this theory.
In a marketplace that is as competitive as today’s search engine marketing is one of the most efficient and optimal ways to expand a business. Today’s market is filled manufacturers and providers of services and it has never been so important to advertise products online than it is now. Search engine marketing is about gaining more visibility on the websites and this is achieved by making sure that the online web users who use specific keywords to search for products to be redirected towards the company’s website. Search engine marketing is made up of efforts that promote a company’s website through paid and organic lists (Kelsey 2017).
The theory of search engine marketing is this: when a potential customer is looking for some information that may be relating to commercial purposes both directly or indirectly, the customer is in hunt mode. These searches are done through either text box or a directory hierarchy of the internet guides the customer towards the websites and other results that contain the information that the person is searching for (Shih, Chen and Chen 2013). This searching, or “hunting”, indicates to the marketers that the searcher is in the buying cycle and the marketer rushes to provide the person with the information in the hopes that the potential customer may choose their product or service to buy. Search engines facilitate the potential customer with the valid information that would help them to conceive all the data that is required to make the decisions and purchase the commodity that would satisfy either an immediate or future need of the searcher. Search engines are often some of the best sources of targeted traffic because of this single aspect: they provide the best information pertaining to the customer’s needs right at their fingertips.
The targeted traffic may come from “organic” unpaid search listings or through paid advertising lists. Some organizations view SEM as an entirely paid service, where the traffic is guided towards the company’s website only via pay-per-click (PPC) method. On the other hand, other marketers view SEM which describes every possible marketing effort that has an impact on the performance of the listings of the search engines (Berman and Katona 2013). In these cases, the SEM is used as an umbrella term that encompasses everything, both organic lists as well as paid services. With e-commerce becoming more and more important today, making sure that SEM becomes more specific and keyword oriented is something of utter and immediate necessity.
The online marketers use keywords and bid on those keywords which the customers are most likely to use to search for their desired result. The results that are given by the search engines, when a marketer uses PPC subscriptions, often varies depending upon the pay package that they opt for: some are small text based results, while others are more visual with pictures or detail descriptions about the product that is being searched for (Pan 2015). In most cases, the higher paying marketers are listed higher than the ones who pay less. The higher paying sellers often get to convey to the customers the most important information at a glance.
The biggest advantage of online search engine marketing is, this allows the sellers of a commodity to exhibit their products or services in front of the customers in detail and every idea and information regarding the product is virtually uploaded.
The two basic and most popular forms of search engine marketing are as follows:
SEO: In a very basic sense, this refers to reaching the online traffic through free organic listings. When a potential customer enters some keywords in the search box of a search engine, results are displayed on the main page of the website. To make sure that a particular website gets higher ranki9ng on the search engines, the websites have to optimize themselves, in order to be displayed on the higher quartile of the list. Optimization means narrowing down the keywords and being more specific, so that the customers can easily find what they are searching for.
SEM: This refers to the process of buying higher position in the search engine listings. PPC is the most commonly used method of SEM (Kelsey 2017). This means a marketer is supposed to pay the listing only when a potential customer clicks on the seller’s advertisement and goes into the company’s website.
Search engines provide much kind of advantages for online e-marketers. Generating leads that would land the traffic to the company’s website and helping in the sales are the two most important reasons to use search engine marketing.
Challenges of digital marketing and the Simbound simulation
Digital marketing poses some challenges that are to be mitigated in order to come up with a proper marketing plan for any organization or company. One of the main problem with digital marketing is that many companies have not yet realized the importance and effectiveness of it, this due to lack of knowledge and ignorance towards implementation of new technology. A Simbound simulation is a good strategy that can be adopted in order to identify and target a proper customer base (Bhandari, Singer and Scheer 2014).
- Optimal product mix- To ensure maximum sales through online stores, Evolution first needs to understand which products have the best and most visited markets online and then identify the products that they are going to sale on the online web store. This is not an easy task and would involve trial and errors. To decide upon the products that are to be sold, the market has to be analyzed extensively to recognize the general trends of the market, the brands that are sold the most or have the highest customer loyalty (Leeflanget al.2014). Upon recognizing the market and the most sold brands online, it would then have to be decided on the products that the company is going to be selling. It is almost impossible to sell every product online and hence the company has to shortlist its online products and has to create a catalogue based on that.
- Landing page optimization:This means that the company has to set the keywords for each of its online page on the web store so that maximum web traffic can be directed towards specific online pages. This is an important step and has to be implemented with great care so that maximum customer exposure is gained. Successfully directing customers to the online pages require minute market analyses that require the customers to be closely observed (Ryan 2014). A good way to achieve this is by doing market campaigns online and providing the links for the company’s online pages along with those posts or promotional messages.
- Keyword research:This step forms the basis for the previous task. Without identifying the correct keywords, the customers online cannot be directed towards the pages that the company wants them to visit. The company has to ensure that the traffic can be directed towards the online web store while keeping the click numbers to a minimum (Royle and Laing 2014). If the click numbers can be controlled, then the cost per click can also be minimized, which would ensure maximum profitability for Evolution.
- Performance indicators: The Simbound simulation provides the user with an array of tools that not only facilitates in the promotion and sales of products but also with indicators and measurement techniques that indicate how every component is performing and the customer trends as well. These information can help to improve sales and give the ideas about how can one use different approaches to increase the performance of the online store.
- Research on competitors: To achieve a good position in the industry, every company has to do research on the other companies of the market and observe their operations and functions and look into how they work. The marketing strategies and tactics of the peers in the sector must be analyzed to identify a gap and focus on that specific gap to give the customers something extra that is not provided by the others in the market. Evolution has to look into the functioning of the other online sellers of similar products and then strategies on how to out-think the others.
- E-mails: Sending potential customer’s e-mails and initiating conversations can help companies to learn about the market requirements in detail or what are the unique requirements of individuals (Kelsey 2017). This would help to notice a trend in the market and plan strategies accordingly.
Simbound stimulation is a test drive for the marketing strategies of the companies so that the management does not invest a lot of money into a particular plan and then the plan doesn’t go as were anticipated. A simulation game focuses on eliminating the competitors of the company by developing the product or service, building a clientele and also gaining more exposure. The idea is not to win the game but to analyze the strategies on the way to get an idea about the real world. This program includes a game section designed for e-marketing and digital advertising purpose. The gain constitutes of the algorithms that replicate those of search engines and the game features an interface that is similar to that of commercial solutions. The results are being calculated as per the algorithm. The scale of operation is low in this game but it is more like a shrunken image.
Current practices in the industry
Search engine marketing is widely used in the online marketing industry by almost every company that has any existence in the online web store industry. SEM helps companies and business organizations to optimize their operations and make sure that their desired level of online business is achieved.
Companies mostly use Pay-Per-Click (PPC) methods. Most medium and bigger companies avail paid packages to make sure their websites are listed on the higher end of the search results. This helps both the companies as well as the search engines and the overall condition of the online marketing industry becomes better. The search engines assess the content of a webpage and compare it with the keywords that are used to search for a product. The higher the relevance, the higher score is assigned to the website and it is listed at the higher end of the search result lists accordingly. Companies use the Simbound stimulation is used to check the marketing strategies online with the help of Click bait, PPC paid advertising etc. these are some of the commonly used tools that is implemented by companies to promote their products or services. There are some basic advantageous practices that are currently set in the industry, that result from using SEM technology. These sprout mostly from how SEM itself functions. In the industry there is a gap of understanding of the impact, the strategies are made with the help of marketing and analysis tools and then money is invested. The companies’ operating in the industry are in a need an instruction method to integrate the technical and strategic side of digital marketing.
There are many different ways, techniques, methods and strategies that help companies to sale and promote their products online. Some of these strategies are to be adopted to boost the sales of Evolution using digital marketing tactics. The marketing plan is to be elaborated below.
Digital marketing strategies may be used to both promote an already existing product or to launch a product into the market. Digital methods of communication are much faster, versatile and practical than traditional forms of the same and it was only natural that when an easier mode of communication and transaction was discovered, it was embraced in an organic and natural way (Leeflanget al. 2014). While online digital marketing offers a bundle of advantages to the customers, it provides equally exciting opportunities for the marketers and the sellers (Ryan 2016). Some of the more popular forms of digital marketing that are currently used extensively include websites and SEO contents, internet banners, digital online blogs, digital video content, marketing via emails, social media marketing and marketing through sending text messages to the mobile phones of the customers (Hsiao et al. 2016).
The store with the help of simbound stimulation has enhanced its PPC campaign based on a few currently existing practices, the simbound stimulation has enabled the company to understand the challenges and drawback and come up with a plan that is being explained:
Keywords: The effectiveness of PPC campaign rests, primarily, upon the keywords that are chosen that are tasked to divert the traffic towards a company’s web store. The keywords can be properly chosen only when the targeted audience has been identified. After the target audiences have been pinpointed, the keywords are then thought of accordingly and these words have to be directly related to the products that are being offered by the company. Evolution has found the target audience market and has also narrowed down upon the keywords. The store has not chosen already used keywords, but has selected those only after careful market research (Quigley 2015).
Bidding: Bidding is a key element that helps to control a company’s ad placements and the budget of the company, which is managed by AdWords. This system helps to reduce a company’s cost-per-click by setting a maximum expenditure on a daily basis. Higher budgets also help companies to place their website on the higher side of the search results. AdWords help to manage the costs incurred by companies to ensure their higher ratings and placement. Evolution has opted for a paid package that would give their site higher placing on the search results. The AdWord services would be benefiting Evolution with better bid placement (Stone and Woodcock 2014).
Competitor monitoring: Simbound stimulation also helps in constantlykeeping an eye on the operations and functions of the industry peers is a great way to accomplish the desired objectives for any market sector. Evolution will be observing the web stores that are already functional and try to understand how do they drive the traffic towards their own websites and try to make their strategies accordingly. By observing the competitors, Evolution can also decide which keywords would be best suited to operate in this market industry (Chaffey, Smith and Smith 2013).
Landing pages: It is not enough only to decide upon the keywords for an online business campaign. Evolution has to make sure that the pages that would be led to by the keywords are also relevant and provide the visitors with the information and the products that they have been searching for in the first place. Making every user landing on the homepage of the website is not required and Evolution has to redirect users towards specific WebPages that contain the customer desired information.
Campaign management: Reviewing campaign strategies on a regular is essential. The changing customer requirements always make it necessary for the companies to evolve their strategies regularly. If these are not looked into properly, entire strategies may become obsolete (Taherdoost and Jalaliyoon 2014).
Based on the above report, it looks like Evolution has a good marketing strategy and the marketing plan seems sure to give Evolution all the necessary boost to start its online store. The company has adopted a mix of clever strategies that are based on a lot of market research and this would be helpful for the company to continue doing business band even expand it without having to keep another physical store. The Search Engine Marketing would be helpful to advance the cause of the company to make its presence within the online web store market. The company is going to use paid services to make sure that their page is listed on the higher side of the search result lists, so that more traffic could directed towards the online shop, making the possibilities of higher sales more guaranteed.
Along with these tactics that are discussed above, Evolution can also adopt some simple marketing strategies that would help the company to attract more customers towards them and gain better market exposure.
Identifying the opportunity: A proper planning of the marketing tactics begins after recognizing the opportunities that the market. The customers of the UK have been seen to be becoming more comfortable with m-commerce. The marketing strategy for Evolution will be charted in accordance to this single most important fact as this is projected to be the most lucrative online business area in the coming years.
Strategising: To create a proper marketing strategy for the company with a £15,000 budget an efficient and optimal marketing mix has to be adopted. There are several steps that have to be gone through in order to achieve this. In order to optimally to create an effective marketing plan, Evolution has to come up with a set if strategies that would enable the company to efficiently launch its online web store. An array of strategies is going to adapted which are described below:
- Since Evolution already has physical store, it is easier for the company to invest in its online web store. Evolution would be listing their website through paid services of Google and would be directing traffic towards their site who would be using keywords such as “household”, “electronics”, “kitchenware” etc.
- As Evolution already has a physical shop and has existence in the electronics retail market, the company is well known throughout the sector and this is the prime aspect that has to be exploited. The company’s name would be the first thing that would be promoted to the customers so that a sense of assurance can be instilled.
- Extensive market surveys have been performed on behalf of Evolution and the market trend has been carefully observed. The customer preferences have been noticed and Evolution has decided to sell small to medium size products through its online web store. The big sized products would still be sold in the physical shop only. The reason for this decision is that the customers of the UK are more comfortable to make small purchases from their mobile phones. It is much easier to purchase smaller items using mobile phones or tablets as most people still wish to purchase something big and expensive only after having physically seen the product.
- A website of the company has been set up and the software of the company would be redirecting the traffic that would use specific keywords.
- Evolution has launched market campaigns that have made the customers aware of the discount scheme that the company will offering to them for the first two months after the web store is functional. The first few customers would be given some special discounts and gifts that would entail purchases from the online store.
- Evolution has further elaborated on the fact that any item that is purchased from their online store would be subjected to services in their already existing physical store, which is going to be a massive point in favour of the company. Most customers who buy products online have an issue regarding concerns about how and where will they get their products repaired if any issue arises. This promise of Evolution would make it easier for the customers to get their products serviced or repaired.
- Evolution would be giving their customers the best possible after sales services, where the servicing of the sold products would be given for free after three months of the purchase.
Promoting: Evolution has commission wide scale promotional campaigns for their upcoming online web store. The places for these campaigns have been selected accordingly. Supermarkets and in open market places where there are a big crowd: places where the maximum number of people can be exposed to the campaigns and where they will be able to learn about the different offers that they will be getting and the facilities that entail shopping from the online web store of the company.
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