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Is It Marketing Or Is It Advertising?

Internet marketing and online advertising have two similar yet different ideas in mind.
by: James A. Warholic

Answers.com has this definition for marketing:
1. The act or process of buying and selling in a market.
2. The commercial functions involved in transferring goods from producer to consumer.

And for advertising:
1. The activity of attracting public attention to a product or business, as by paid announcements in the print, broadcast, or electronic media.
2. The business of designing and writing advertisements.

On the Web, these differences are blurred with respect to website development, quality link building, and the process of attracting attention to products or services using the various Internet marketing tools available online.

Email marketing for example comes to mind. When sending an email it becomes a powerful tool for marketing to other businesses or individuals. However, having a footer with a header or signature block that advertises some of the other aspects of a company falls under the category of advertising and likewise becomes a powerful advertising tool.

These terms become even more blurred when it comes to the search engines and search engine marketing. The term search engine marketing or SEM represents the process of having a website rank well in the Search Engines.

Google, Yahoo, and MSN are the top three Search Engines. If you take a look at each of these companies for marketing and advertising comparisons we find that they all have some form of advertisements themselves. Many times these advertisements are subtle in the approach taken. For example Google has a program called AdSense in which sites that publish content can run advertisements. Google will pay a portion of the revue back to the publisher. Sometimes Google runs there own advertisements through their own AdSense program. This is no different than someone like ourselves that have online ads to be displayed in conjugation with others or individually displayed on our website.

Apple Computers is another website that does a great job of both marketing and online advertising. If you have not been to their website, and studied it from a marketing, advertising, and branding approach, then you have missed a very unique experience. Each of their Web pages has all three concepts firmly embedded into the structure of the website. Apple even advertises using Google AdWords in the search engine results to continually expand their brand.

Some observers have a difference of opinion and would suggest that there is way too much information on the Apple Website and they should stream back what is placed on it. However, with the number of different components and interrelated business divisions, they are in a unique position to promote, advertise, and market between all of the entities. Many individuals that have one Apple product would certainly be interested in other Apple products. Apple's brand is extremely strong and consumers know that the products are well built. So, it stands to reason that they would want to advertise their products across all divisions.

What lessons can we learn from Apple?

First off, many businesses have a wide variety of products or services provided. To only promote one aspect of a business is selling a business short. Ecommerce B2C sites have found that if they give more options for other products or services at checkout, a large number of consumers will actually purchase additional items. This is especially true for B2C when there is a good brand image in the minds of the consumer. This same concept applies equally as well to the B2B Business to Business clientele. Many times the best B2B new customers are your old customers. Additional sales of other products or services to existing customers is likely to happen when a company has developed a great brand image, in the form of good customer service, customer support, and building quality relationships with customers over the long haul.

Websites are much more fluid in nature. Certainly it makes sense to place your bread and butter first and have what is most important for a business be the most prominent items on the website. If a certain page is out of date, then update the information but don't necessarily remove the page all together. Every time a page is published online is like building a link to yourself. If a page is totally removed offline from your business website, it is like removing one of the supporting strands on a spider's web. Because, there might be outside links to any of the particular pages that help support your website, you effectively would cut off the outside link if a page is removed. If the file naming convention of a certain page is not very conducive for site navigation links, then permanent redirects can be used to help provide a permanent link to the new page. That way, if any pages from the outside do link to an internal Web page, the links will be preserved. One of the most important items to really realize is the Search Engines themselves are providing quality links to internal pages of websites. If consideration is not given for this when designing, redesigning, or maintaining a website, valuable marketing and advertising links will be lost to your company forever.

Touching upon links is only one small part of the overall picture involved with Internet marketing. As you can see, Internet marketing and online advertising are much deeper and more technically challenging then just about all other forms of business and product promotion. Brand image and brand promotion also are factors that need to be constantly evaluated, tweaked, and in some cases totally overhauled to fit in with the overall company theme.

For full service Internet marketing services, online advertising strategies, ethical search engine optimization, and website branding solutions email Professional Web Services today.

Get your business found online and your website discovered. Start bringing in more sales for your business.

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posted by James A. Warholic at 11:06 PM


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    Message From Jim Warholic

    Do it with Internet marketing style! Any person that has known me long enough will find out that I usually get straight to the sales and marketing point. Invest your time wisely. Make a difference in the world. Each individual has something special to share that can impact the world around them. Maybe your sphere of influence is one person, maybe it is your family, business, neighborhood, or a larger group of people. But, no matter how large or small a group of people that you come in contact with, a person can effect change for the good in life. We can start today with a simple business investment, with a professional word of encouragement, a "thank you", or just a kind look that really shows that you understand and appreciate another person.

    Jim Warholic