Revolution in electronic media industry has created many ways for business to convey their message to customers. These modes of communication enhance the value of business depending upon the necessity of message and purpose of the organization. Internet has created a new platform for business as an effective source of medium. Many organizations utilize this medium as a large number of customers can be targeted irrespective of geographic boundaries. Depending upon the product and message type different mechanism provides significant solution to business as an effective source for advertisement.
Consumer Trend and Internet Advertising
Recent advancement in technology created a new drive for businesses to succeed and compete by getting edge in terms of offerings and reach to customers. Internet marketing enabled contemporary organizations to promote their services/products over internet utilizing effective means that seems to have greater impact on consumer attitude towards respective services/products (Clow, 93). Consumers are becoming more oriented towards internet as it provides wide range of information related to any activity/knowledge. Therefore internet advertising is gaining considerable attention by organizations in order to effectively communicate the message to consumers (Dave, 156).
Consumer knowledge array has move towards greater information processing that requires in depth analysis of information. This behavior identifies potential advantage to business entities as now they can differentiate their products and convince consumers not only on the basis of hedonic meaning but also characterizing the information having specific meaning in order to get consumer attention (Wolin, 377). Internet marketing is a valuable source and medium communicating two way benefits; it covers wide range of methods which include sponsored e-mails, website creations, and search engine marketing, banner ads on websites, pop-ups, and tickers on social websites (Clow, 93). Each method has its own merits and demerits; solely on the basis of product/service to be marketed and message in advertisement determine the uniqueness of eliciting a response in consumers, either positive or negative. It is essential for a marketer to determine the role of using internet as advertisement medium characterized by significant vulnerabilities in situations.
Internet Advertising Approach
Advertisement channel in electronic medium convey continuous availability of messages to the target audience and are therefore subject to certain predefined imperative standards which determine the nature and quality of each mode. Integrated internet advertising approach explicitly endorses the message to customers; however, customer reach to messages may be intrinsically driven or intentionally driven external medium source (Shimp, 188). An organization may prefer any of the above stated advertising method on internet or may go for multiple strategies to effectively convey message to consumers.
Since last decade social websites such as Facebook, hi5, orkut, myspace, flikr, twitter, etc. have gain much importance and user interaction; enabling creation of a platform for contemporary organization to utilize it as internet advertising approach. These social websites have applied an affiliation market strategy to increase customer profiling; have simplified the burden of organization in segmenting the target customers and then devising a separate strategy for each consumer. This method is user friendly than traditional form of advertising as consumer can access the particular advertisement upon his discretion depending upon the organization approach for the availability of advertisement. Cost structure for advertisement on internet is dependant upon the mode adopted; this include ‘pay per click’, ‘cost per mile’, ‘cost per visitor’, ‘cost per view’, ‘cost per lead’, and ‘cost per order’ (Clow, 264). Each of these method have considerable benefits for the organization when it aims at minimizing cost; such as company which wants to maximize its sales through online order placement can prefer ‘cost per order’ or ‘cost per lead’ strategy irrespective of number of consumers viewing intended messages; but disserting the cost towards objective of advertisement.
Seeing the consumer orientation towards social websites demand improvement in contextual advertisement in order to maximize the attraction of consumers towards the ad message; especially for banner ads as it has great power to influence the consumer perception towards the product/service (Schumann & Thorson, 142). Graphics and texts displayed in the messages related to the consumer query or related search result depending upon the customer profile. Role of contextual advertisement have an effective response towards message convey aimed at specific groups or people based on their search keywords or profile information (Goldsmith, 322). Therefore, organizations can tailor the advertising messages on internet by employing different strategies and applicative principles.
Advertisement on Social Websites
Internet advertising at social websites offer convenience and flexibility to advertisers as it overcomes the weakness of traditional mode of advertisement (Dave, 156). Incorporation of sophisticated software at back hand allow gathering of consumer date developing a specific profile based on the analytical properties of user provided information and visiting patterns of accessing web content such as accessing specific applications, image content, favorite pages, profile information and user status. These pieces of information can be combined into a set of scale properties defining a factor dimension for consumer ranking; helping to categorize information and respective user as target. Therefore, it enables the organization intending to advertise at social websites such as Facebook (as it has highest user joining rate) to design the advertisement campaign ensuring the customer profile based on common characteristics either likeness, preferences, or demographics.
Facebook as Internet Advertising Medium
Facebook is one of the biggest social website that has more than 400 million active users. According to the press release of Facebook more than 200 million users access their profile everyday; cumulatively people spend more than 500 billion minutes per month on Facebook. This resulted in creation of interactive objects which include pages, groups and events determining the consumer standard preference and attitudinal component eliciting behavioral responses. For organizations intending to convey their messages across borders Facebook is an excellent platform as approx 70% users of Facebook are resident other than United States; covering 180 countries. Facebook has more than 250,000 integrated business applications resulting in encouraging business solutions and marketers to utilize the opportunity in consideration of their class objective and budget limit to advertise globally (Facebook, 01).
Facebook as an internet advertisement tool classifies the role of different advertising approaches which include semantic advertising and geo-targeting appealing specific number of people based on their characteristics. It not only reduces the consumer research cost but also provides opportunity to organizations to make their message available at all time following “24x7x365” strategic principle of communication. In contrast to search engine based advertising, Facebook is a better and effective alternative for numerous advantages. Facebook program holds plenty of information concerning user type, gender, employment, age, marital status, location, interest, preferences, favorite things and many other valuable resources. This information is very significant from consumer research perspective as it helps in simplifying and increasing effectiveness of advertisement messages to oriented consumers. Facebook enables the organization to redefine their objective and increase their user reach globally based on their purpose and product type. Such as, currently in under developed countries preferably Pakistan and India, organizations with low budget and business portfolio are advertising at Facebook; contextual ad is displayed only at profiles of people belonging to their respective country region. This decreases the advertising cost of companies as it is based on ‘pay per click’ mechanism whereas limiting their consumer reach only to defined geographic boundary.
When organizations aim at precision targeting; online advertising preferably on Facebook and Google is a plentiful opportunity as it increases the message convey ability to the selected target consumers based on their profile characteristics (Goldsmith, 308). Many organizations have crated separate pages for their products advertisement increasing the membership in order to regularly communicate specific messages to consumers acting as target audience from marketing perspective (Patsioura et al., 374). However, it also enables consumers to have real time access to information irrespective of time limitation (whether day or night) and therefore reinforcement and repetition increases of ad as consumers frequently interact through their profile. As specified by statistical report of Facebook, user viewership is very high determining the capacity of reach of advertisement. Banner ads at profile pages and fan pages, groups are enabling companies to target social media traffic irrespective of typical search traffic which create demographic option based on hedonic and expectation standards using fantasy items and graphical images to attract and increase viewership resulting in awareness followed by positive attitude building towards the brand (Patsioura et al., 375).
Effectiveness of Advertising on Social Websites
Irrespective of type and structure of advertisement, internet media especially social websites provide an excellent advantage to business operating under critical financial controls. Globalization, business expansion, increased foreign direct investment by multinational companies in cross-national business operations have created a differential structure for organizations limited by resources and geographical reach to effectively communicate their message and reach to target consumers. Organizations irrespective of their geographical limitation can develop cost effective and enduring marketing strategies accompanied by online advertising to enhance their product/service awareness and reach to consumers. Internet advertisement decreases the cost and marketing budget of companies; savings in printing of advertisement material which include brochures, wall papers etc (Schumann & Thorson, 143). Market penetration is enhanced through online advertising as strong brand image can be developed in lesser time and progressive reach to a larger number of potential customers.
Many business organizations are utilizing the two fold strategy of online advertising (on social media websites such as Facebook) to increase brand awareness and strengthening customer relationship by sharing real time information and particular consumer oriented messages within small time frame (Goldsmith, 327). However, it reduces the advertisement making cost of company as online advertisement comprise of specific graphic material and texts which can be updated in less time; therefore increasing nominal share of cost pertaining to the consumer influence and associated benefit. Global market expansion with nominal increase in internet advertisement cost has enabled companies to access a greater portfolio with better subliminal messages of enhancing business value through positive customer interaction.
Internet advertising has enabled organization to increase their business value through integrated customer interaction and message convey concerning the product/services. Social media websites have provided an opportunity to companies to customize their advertising campaign with nominal increase in cost through contextual advertisements; ultimately increasing the customer satisfaction and reducing market research cost. However, internet advertising increases the business credibility as hedonic meanings in advertisement helps in rapid increase of target customer attraction to the advertisement message irrespective of geographic boundaries. Advertisements at social media are very effective as it provides two way communicative approaches, both to customers and organizations; automated advertisement content addressing the geographical customers based on their profile characteristics effectively.
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