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Online Marketing: Personalised Product Placement

 

With the advent of the internet and online media, communications have unprecedented reach today. Hence online marketing, or the use of the internet and online media for advertising products, has limitless potential. Not only is it cost efficient, it also ensures that advertisers can target specific markets with ads for specific products. This maximises the notability and effectiveness of the advertisements.

The cookie-based data collection systems of sites like Google also allow potential advertisers to keep track of customers and their preferences. They can therefore customize their advertisements according to these preferences. This helps in increasing the appeal of their products in the eyes of the customers, and also ensuring proper reach for these products in the correct markets. Most websites provide advertisers with data on how effective their advertisements have been, including any actual sales that may have been made. The advertisers can thus use this data to adapt their tactics as necessary.

Advertisers can use various means like social marketing, e-mail marketing, search engine marketing etc to reach out to potential customers through the internet. Social media marketing in particular has enormous reach because it harnesses the power of large social networking websites like Facebook and Twitter. Since the experience of these websites for a particular user is entirely defined by personal preferences, the ads can be sites can be extremely personalised and target-based.

The advertisers can even collect personal data on the users and tailor their marketing accordingly via these websites. E-mail marketing adopts similar tactics by sending either automated or personalised mails directly to a customer’s inbox. However, a lot of these mails are automatically classified as spam by the e-mail websites, especially if they contain too many links or images. Therefore these need to be avoided to make e-mail marketing more effective.

Marketing on websites and social media sites can avoid this pitfall since they can be laden with images. This also makes them more likely to be noticed. Search Engine Marketing, however, works more subtly by collecting data on the user’s search queries and surfing patterns and tailoring the search results accordingly to place products in the results, and also place similar ads in other websites frequented by the user.

Companies can also specifically sponsor search results to include links to their own products. These results will turn up when a user enters a relevant search query, though engines like Google often deliberately distinguish between sponsored and non-sponsored results. Google-based search engine marketing is even more effective these days with the global proliferation of android-based devices.

Despite the enormous potential of online marketing, there are certain pitfalls and risks as with all marketing strategies. Since online marketing is mostly middleman based, depending on the websites, there is the possibility of fraud. For example the Cost-Per-Click format in which the effectiveness and cost of an ad is judged by the number of clicks it receives.

This can be exploited by third-party users or bots to maximise profit for the host website but reducing profit for the advertiser. Alternative formats like Cost-Per-Engagement, which bases its effectiveness on the actual level of interaction between and customer and an advertisement, may be more effective depending on the needs of the advertiser. One must thus look into these carefully before placing an online advertisement.

But one need only look at the massive online ad campaigns organised by companies large and small to judge how far-reaching, fast and effective they are.