Guerrilla in Internet marketing
Internet and Internet users
Internet may be defined as a computer network consisting of a worldwide network of computer networks that facilitate (...) data transmission and exchange. (Princeton University, 2009). There is more than 1.5 bld. Internet Users in all continents together. The user growth worldwide from 2000 to 2008 rose by 342%. (Miniwatts Marketing Group, 2009)
As the latest statistics from the year 2008 shows, European Internet users make 25% from all internet users worldwide and number of European Internet users is estimated on 393 millions. In Czech Republic specifically, there is almost one half of population, 4,991,300 citizens, identified as internet users. The number of internet rose from 2000 to 2008 by almost 400%.
Image 8 - Internet Penetration in Europe, Miniwatts Marketing Group, 2009
Role of Internet marketing
The term Internet marketing tends to refer to a perspective how the online medium can be used in conjunction with traditional offline media in order to acquire and deliver products and services efficiently. Internet marketing, or e-marketing, means achieving marketing objectives through use of electronic communications technology (Chaffey, 2006).
The marketing may be defined as a management process responsible for identifying, anticipating and satisfying customer requirements profitably. (The Chartered Institute of Marketing, 2009).
As Chaffey, 2006, describes later, the efficiency of the marketing activities is increased considerably when marketing activities are coordinated throughout the media mix. The role of the Internet in marketing activities should be therefore supporting of the Multi-channel marketing where customer communications and product distribution are supported by a combination of digital and traditional media at different points in the buying cycle.
Internet marketing is built on the principles of traditional marketing. Internet marketing is, according to Chaffey, 2006, using Internet and related digital technologies in order to achieve marketing objectives. The same resource explains that Internet Marketing benefits are among offline media especially on the opportunities to:
Therefore, the literature review describes in the next chapters application of Internet Marketing by using innovation and creativity in order to gain competitive advantage.
What is the purpose of innovation in marketing?
Innovation is a process that translates knowledge into economic growth and social well-being. It encompasses a series of scientific, technological, organisational, financial and commercial activities (The Australian Research Council, 2007). What the translation does not cover is the fact that innovation is a tool of how to gain competitive advantage.
If a company´s products or services are not continually improved, competitive pressures invariably lead to falling prices, declining margins and the commodization of its offer. Innovation is the path to achieving growth in sales and profitability. (Doyle on Google Books, 1998)
As the literature sources show, innovation helps businesses to achieve competitive advantage and consequently lead very often to higher profit.
Innovation is often related with creativity. Creativity is defined as an experience of thinking, reacting, and working in an imaginative and idiosyncratic way which is characterized by a high degree of innovation and originality, divergent thinking and risk taking (University of Southern Maine, 2009). Analyzing the definition, three elements of creativity may be found as the most important: innovation as a source of new ideas or new application of already existing entities, originality as an element of uniqueness, divergent thinking as a thought process generating ideas, and risk-taking as an essential factor when new ideas or processes are implemented with no guarantee of success. All the three elements can be found in Guerrilla Marketing as it is described in the next chapter.
Guerrilla marketing in context of Internet marketing
Guerrilla Marketing Online is a form of Guerrilla Marketing which fulfils the same objectives as the internet marketing in general: to sell the products and satisfy customer needs and wants.
Guerrilla marketing online means using characteristics of classic guerrilla marketing on Internet.
Communication applied on Internet is differentiated from communication using traditional media. Peter (1998) in the book of Chaffey on Google Books, 2006 describes the four ways of differences:
The way how the communication of guerrilla marketing campaigns on Internet is applied is strongly affected by internet marketing characteristics and common characteristics of Internet as an environment where Guerrilla Marketing Online is performed. Therefore great emphasis on Internet Marketing principles is put into the Findings section of this Dissertation in order to produce relevant information about why and how the guerrilla marketing may be applied successfully and what are the risks involved.
Use of Internet in Guerrilla Marketing Online
As the evidence of the primary research revealed, the Internet is valued in the small and mid-sized companies as the most common communication channel in the marketing mix. The evidence provided in the secondary research pointed out how Internet can be used for purposes of marketing activities on different business organisations. Following section identifies, based on the secondary research, what kind of principles of Internet can be applied most appropriately for guerrilla marketing principles.
Internet versus traditional media
Internet as an online medium has variety of characteristics that traditional media, such as outdoor billboard advertising, is not able to provide. Some of them are as follows:
However, several obvious limitations of the online communications via Internet have to be published in order to objectively cover all relevant aspects influencing potential online communication of the guerrilla marketing campaign. Such limitations are identified as follows:
Using Guerrilla Marketing principles in Internet environment is, according to the secondary research findings, opens an opportunity to apply wide range of tools, functions or processes how to efficiently raise interest of visitors and build desire for further information which should consequently lead to purchase of a product or service, by fulfilling the objectives of the AIDA model of communication that was already discussed. Internet, as a platform used on different places by different devices in different situations, has common characteristics that allow the marketer to create such guerrilla campaigns using following tools of interaction.
- Clicking, touching, using a keyboard or a mouse
- Sound receiving or posting
- Video receiving or posting
- Cooperation with other devices (Mobile phones, PDA...)
- Referring to friends
- Reporting and other.
All of the activities mentioned above may be used for creating interaction between the business, in form of a website (or other online chanel) and the customers.