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New Is Not Always Good

Although companies can introduce e-marketing value elements into their marketing strategies, these elements do not always create perfect solutions, and perhaps sometimes create new problems. Thus, there is a need to

Table 8.1 Complementary e-value elements for traditional marketing-mix elements

4Cs

4Ps

Product

Price

Place

Promotion

Connectivity

Website branding (domain name)

Comparative

SEM

(findability)

Multiple contact in distribution channel

E-mail

marketing

(sales

promotions)

Content

Website

interface

Font and place Appropriateness on the website

Sharing expertise on the website

UGC:

Blogging

Community

Crowd sourcing

e-auctions

Discussing service value

e-WOM:viral

videos

Commitment

Compensations and guarantees

Clear

presentation of shipping and hidden costs

Delivery

tracking

system

Personalization

discuss the new value elements and possible problems in order to achieve better-functioning marketing value drivers.

Connectivity: Connectivity is the first step in successful value-creation processes on the Internet. There are two important ways to connect with consumers on the Internet, which can be functionalized as enhanced addressability of the company’s website and findability17 of the website by consumers.

Addressability means that a company has knowledge about the consumer and targets or addresses the information on its website to that consumer or consumer segment. Findability is the ease with which a consumer can find the company. These connections are formed in opposite directions: addressability is from company to consumer, and findability is from consumer to company. These two components combine to create today’s cutting-edge marketing philosophies: website branding, e-mail marketing, and search-engine marketing.

Consumers can be attracted to directly visit the company’s website or can be directed to it through a link embedded in e-mail contents. Therefore, major addressability components can be discussed from two important perspectives: website branding and e-mail marketing.

Website Branding can be used as a major addressability tool to direct potential consumers to a company’s website. Some websites or domain names are better branded than others. Some consumers go to the specific domain names knowing what they are looking for beforehand, while others prefer searching on the Internet. The most effective tool for creating effective website branding is choosing the right domain name. From a marketing point of view, the domain name reinforces brand identity and is generally used as an equivalent to brand name on the Internet. A company’s domain name must be self-descriptive and provide clues about the company’s products, values, and identity in order to be a facilitator ofstrong brand identity.

Although company domain names can be protected by trademark laws, cyber-squatters can copy the company domain name (cyber-squatting means domain name and trademark infringement) or take advantage of users’ typing errors (typo-squatting is also called URL hijacking), causing a user to end up visiting a different website from the one intended. However, although there are different rulings about domain name infringement in different countries, there is one exceptional situation affecting the legitimacy of cyber-squatting in the USA: the right of free speech which is protected by the First Amendment. In this context, the law protects many consumer-organized anti-brand sites18 if they are not profit generating, thus limiting the effect of corporate legal action. Similarly, dispute resolution services (such as Nominet.org.uk) exist in the UK. Thus, either by enhancing the legal power of such sites with new laws and regulations or through resolution services, the consumer voice will eventually be empowered. The success of a company’s website branding depends not simply on picking the right domain name, but also on predicting possible cyber-squatting and typo-squatting alternatives in order to protect the website’s identity and reduce possible legal problems in the future, and, most importantly, to lead consumers straight to the intended Internet destinations.

 
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