Friday, October 5, 2007

Emerging Marketing Vehicles

In marketing, companies are moving online across the spectrum of marketing tactics, from building awareness to after-sales service, and they see online tools as an important and effective component to their marketing strategies.

Web-based sales and services were the early uses of the Internet for marketing. Today, providing service information on Web sites, interacting with customers via email, and executing information transactions are more widely used. Some companies are even experimenting with selling in virtual worlds.

The evolution under way in digital marketing reflects fundamental changes in consumer behavior. More and more people use the Web, instead of books, the yellow pages, libraries, car dealers, department stores, or real-estate agents, to search for information. In doing so, they often become aware of new products and compare prices.

How far will these shifts go? McKinsey & Co. research says that by 2010 the Web will play a role in the first two stages of the consumer decision-making process-- product awareness and information gathering-- for a sizable marjority of all consumers. The expectation that most consumers will seek out new products online may be a factor in the plans of companies to increase spending on several digital-advertising tools they see as most useful in building brands.

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