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A Dissertation report submitted to the
By – Vaibhav shukla, 0709, PGPM 07BS101 marketing
I also thank to my friends, colleague & my family members for their encouragement & support throughout this project.
I also thank to those who has given directly or indirectly any kind of support which lead to completion of this project successfully.
This project is all about the E-Branding strategy adopted by company in today’s fast moving world & how they expand their market, how they reach to their customer & give them an easy way to do business & thus establish better relationship by providing then time saving & fast online trading/business opportunity. First for this company has to check from all side, study the competitors, make sure about the objective of company, the benefit it is going to do, analyse the current situation. Because one side it save company cost, build relation with client, other side an inappropriate site, move & e-branding strategy can harm company long establish reputation. So how to build it, how to go for e-branding strategy, what factors should be considered, who are helping company to adopt this culture, what can be done to make it a necessary part of marketing process, this all thing has been analyzed in this report. This report present a clear cut idea of the all the points from setting up the platform for going online presence to its marketing strategy & last but not least getting customer feedback, managing database & maintaining a strong relation. In last some recommendation are mentioned which emphasize not only just making it a part of business but also as culture & start it at beginner level to give the coming mangers a idea about this & it also depicts the necessity of this because next generation is moving towards internet so online presence will catch then & cultivate the business & thus leads to organization profitability.
About branding & its benefits to business 2) - Literature review What is E-branding? Personal E-Branding Why e-branding so critical? Developing intrinsic value for E-Branding 3) – how to grab attention of users Brand Analysis Develop e-brand image Brand development Brand value Brand strategy 4) - Factor to be considered for successful E-branding strategy Strategic internet marketing Online networking site – new marketing essential Viral marketing Web marketing strategy Facts 5) - Process in E-Branding
6) – Findings Successful E-Branding strategy Challenges brand face online Formula for online success 7) - E-Branding interactive service
8) – E-Branding mandatory
9) – conclusion
10 – Recommendations
11) – bibliography
Almost every business has a trading name, from the smallest market trader to the largest multi-national corporation. Only a minority of those businesses however, have what could be classed as a ‘brand’ or a ‘brand name’. Branding is a word commonly referred to by advertisers and marketing people, but what does it actually mean, how can one get it, and most importantly; how will it benefit one’s business?
What is Branding?
The most effective description or most effective definition is that a brand is a name or symbol that is commonly known to identify a company or it’s products and separate them from the competition. A well-known brand is generally regarded as one that people will recognise, often even if they do not know about the company or its products/services. These are usually the businesses name or the name of a product, although it can also include the name of a feature or style of a product. The overall ‘branding’ of a company or product can also stretch to a logo, symbol, or even design features (E.g.: Regularly used colours or layouts, such as red and white for Coca Cola.) that identify the company or its products/services. For example: The Nike brand name is known throughout the world, people can identify the name and logo even if they have never bought any of their products. However, not only is the company name a brand, but the logo (The ‘tick’ symbol) is also a strong piece of branding in its own right. The majority of people that are aware of the company can also identify it (or its products) from this symbol alone.
The clothing and running shoe company Adidas is well known for using three stripes on its range of products. This design feature branding allows people to identify their products, even if the Adidas brand name and logo is not present.
How Can Branding Benefit Business? (i) Recognition and Loyalty The main benefit of branding is that customers are much more likely to remember business. A strong brand name and logo/image helps to keep the company image in the mind of its potential customers. If the business sells products that are often bought on impulse, a customer recognising brand could mean the difference between no-sale and a sale. Even if the customer was not aware that one sell a particular product, if they trust on brand, they are likely to trust the company with unfamiliar products. If a customer is happy with products or services, a brand helps to build customer loyalty across business. (ii) Image of Size A strong brand will project an image of a large and established business to its potential customers. People usually associate branding with larger businesses that have the money to spend on advertising and promotion. If one can create effective branding, then it can make the business appear to be much bigger than it really is. An image of size and establishment can be especially important when a customer wants reassurance that one will still be around in a few years time. (iii) Image of Quality A strong brand projects an image of quality in one’s business, many people see the brand as a part of a product or service that helps to show its quality and value. It is commonly said that if one show a person two identical products, only one of which is branded; they will almost always believe the branded item is higher quality. If one can create effective branding, then over time the image of quality in one’s business will usually go up. Of course, branding cannot replace good
quality, and bad publicity will damage a brand, especially if it continues over a long period of time. For example: The Sunny Delight drinks brand was one of the biggest in the UK just a year after its launch. However, constant bad publicity about the quality of the product has severely damaged the image of the brand, and sales have dropped for each of the past several years.
(iv) Image of Experience and Reliability A strong brand creates an image of an established business that has been around for long enough to become well known. A branded business is more likely to be seen as experienced in their products or services, and will generally be seen as more reliable and trustworthy than an unbranded business. Most people will believe that a business would be hesitant to put their brand name on something that was of poor quality. (v) Multiple Products If one’s business has a strong brand, it allows him/her to link together several different products or ranges. one can put the brand name on every product or service he/she sell, meaning that customers for one product will be more likely to buy another product. For Example: Sony sells televisions, music equipment, consoles, camcorders, DVD players, video players, and etc all under the Sony brand name. one can also create separate brand names for its product ranges, allowing people to see brand name, and then use the range brand name to work out what they wish to buy. For Example: Cadbury’s makes a range of confectionary under many different sub-brand names such as Dairy Milk, Boost, Flake, and Time Out. All of these are sold under the product brand, but all feature the Cadbury’s brand name on the packaging.
What is E-Branding?
In simple It is electronically branding of company. Mainly the branding over the Internet. The Internet is transforming customer buying behavior, with major consequences for how the new breed of consumer develops familiarity with, and ultimately loyalty to, brand. Marketers who strive to capitalize on these shifts as all successful marketers must do will have to better align their branding investments with new data about how customers shop and buy online. Only by strategically recomposing the marketing mix can marketers drive traffic, build brand equity and capture customer loyalty in the Internet age. According to a recent IMT Strategies research study, there is a severe disconnect between how customers find new web sites and where companies are focusing their branding investments. In a phone survey of 360 web users, customers were asked to identify the primary way they discovered new web sites. Without any prompted choices, fully 45.8 percent cited search engines as their top choice. Another 20.3 percent cited recommendations from friends, and 19.9 percent credited "random surfing." In fact, the 2.1 percent who cited "by accident" as their primary means of finding new sites outranked virtually everything on which marketers are actually spending money television, banner ads, newspaper and radio each of which was the top pick of fewer than 1.5 percent of respondents. Marketers, meanwhile, continue to rely heavily on traditional brand-building investments, including print, TV and radio ads. Consider that 55 percent of ecommerce sites report investment in newspaper ads, 54 percent in magazine ads, 35 percent in radio and TV ads and 35 percent in print catalogs, according to a 1999 Intermarket Group survey. By contrast, "sponsorship on other sites" a powerful mechanism for reaching the nearly 20 percent of customers who find new sites via "random surfing," and roughly equivalent to the affiliate networks discussed below is cited as an investment by only 26 percent of e-commerce sites in the same study.
While print, TV, radio and related marketing vehicles are hardly superfluous, the data does suggest that "old media" investments will be less effective in building visibility and brand equity over the web than a range of alternative programs and tools that better align with online customer buying behavior. Successful marketers will experiment with these emerging strategies to reach out to and connect with their web-savvy constituents. The following strategies appear particularly promising:
Search engine optimization With nearly half of all web users citing search engines as their primary portals to new sites, marketers must re-examine their strategies for optimizing their rankings in search results. Appearing among the first few pages of search results on the top engines is a black-magic science practiced by (usually expensive) outsourcers who specialize in the realtime adjustments that are the key to maximizing search engines. Such outsourcers include BeFirst.com, Did-It.com, Fat Traffic, SearchEngineWatch.com, Web-Ignite and Web Site Results.
Affiliate network Online marketers need to carefully plan and manage partner programs that give them a broad reach of links on affiliate sites across the Net. Where 20 percent of web users cite "random surfing" as their top means of finding new sites, marketers must have extensive links in place to maximize their reach to customers throughout the Internet. So-called "affiliate networks" which typically reward referring sites with a commission or bounty based on click-throughs, sales leads or completed transactions are generally much more cost-effective than standard cost-per-thousand banner campaigns.
Advocacy marketing Often the most powerful recommendation for a company is that of a satisfied customer to a friend. With 20 percent of surfers citing word of mouth from friends as their top means of finding new sites, companies need to provide incentives (e.g., discounts, loyalty currencies) and simple mechanisms (e.g., web-based email forms, pass-along email newsletters) to enlist their customers as marketing advocates to their friends, a strategy often referred to as "viral marketing" by online marketers.
Permission Email When customers explicitly opt into permission marketing relationships, email can be one of the most cost-effective and brand-positive means of acquiring new customers and remarketing to existing customers. Savvy Internet marketers have realized that "email marketing" does not need to be synonymous with "spam." Instead, a range of strategies such as customer relationship email, corporate email newsletters, reminder services, permission networks, sponsored independent newsletters, discussion lists and partner co-marketing can drive online traffic and enhance brand equity.
Personalization and Mass Customization Marketers can dramatically enhance customers' online experience by personalizing their web presence and allowing customers to configure products and services (enabled by mass-customized back-end processes). Sites can improve customer loyalty and build exit barriers with services such as personalized customer interfaces behavioralbased recommendations and individual product configuration. Personalization is the very essence of experiential branding, whereby customers impact a product or service to reflect a bit of themselves through a one-on-one interaction with the brand.
E-Care A key component of any brand experience is the quality of customer service and support. While companies have long striven for customer service excellence in the offline environment, they are finding that customer expectations for online service present many unfamiliar challenges, such as managing a torrent of customer email inquiries and enabling efficient self-service knowledgebases. With the proper allocation of resources, however, companies can experience brandpositive efficiencies, delivering quality customer service more efficiently online than through traditional channels. Companies that disappoint user expectations, however, will damage their online brand equity.
Personal eBranding is the next wave of personal and professional development online. A personal brand is how one market oneself to others, whereas an eBrand is a digital representation of one’s online. the brand is who he/she is and what he/she stands for, including values, competencies, attitudes, vision, mission, personality and appearance. The combined sum of everything one is and how one project it to others, whether online or offline, is one’s brand. Therefore, if one’s name is only attached to a single blog, that blog becomes one’s personal eBrand.
Why e-branding so critical?
The terms Internet Branding and Online Branding may be an unproductive way to think of both the internet, and branding. The internet is a tactical part of business strategy, just like the yellow pages; newspapers; direct mail; a storefront; business cards; even the business model and product design. In fact, every tool person use to communicate and grow his business is a tactic. In Small Business Advertising each tactic requires a strategy of its own; but each of those tactical strategies must be based on larger overall business strategy, and that larger strategy must come first. This larger business strategy is used to be call as “Brand Strategy.” So, the terms Internet Branding and Online Branding really aren't helpful if anybody is developing them in isolation, without the guidance of an overall Brand Strategy. So what is a Brand Strategy? when consumers think of one’s business, they think of what he does or sell; but when they think of his brand, they think of what he stand for, the idea his company represents. Marketing the brand is far more powerful than marketing one’s business; and more powerful still than an isolated attempt at internet branding or online branding.
Here’s an example: when anybody think of Marlboro cigarettes, what comes to mind? Chances are it isn’t an image of a cigarette, but an image of a cowboy, accompanied by associations of masculinity, independence, freedom and rugged American spirit. All that from a cigarette? That’s the power of a Brand Strategy. To be most effective, all aspects of one’s business, from the business model itself, to product development, to the thank you cards one send to clients after doing business with them - and everything in between - all of it must be in alignment with your Brand Strategy. Therefore, it is critical to understand Brand Strategy from the very inception of business. That way, Brand Strategy can be ‘built in’ to every facet of business. Let’s take Marlboro again to demonstrate “strategic incongruity.” Suppose the cigarettes were pink. A Brand Strategy for a pink cigarette based on an image of rugged masculinity would be an obvious “strategic incongruity”. As one can see, it is for this reason that Brand Strategy is most effective if it is determined at the inception of business so that the product itself, and all the tactics used to promote it are “strategically congruent.” But what if business has been around a while and one didn’t start with a Brand Strategy? What if one has “strategic incongruities” all over the place? Don’t panic. one can still create a Brand Strategy. Look for Brand Strategy within the truth of product or service. What is the promise it makes to customers? How is it different from alternatives they may have? What value does one add that is available nowhere else? Once one has answered these questions, and found company’s core truth, analyze every aspect of business to see if there is “strategic congruity” up and down the line. Where there is, nurture it. Where there isn’t, change it.
E-Branding - How to Develop Intrinsic Value through Brand Imaging & Brand Identity
Small businesses are challenged by formidable decisions and foreboding circumstances which on one hand harbor perilous outcomes or on the other, equally promising reward. Internet branding if not harnessed properly is also one of such quandaries. if one person is seeking higher conversions from advertising and marketing efforts then try building SEO value intrinsically by developing a distinct brand image for internet exposure. One example is the Internet Marketing Ninjas from We Build Pages , others such as the Sumo from heavy.com are viral marketing icons. Brand imaging can truly assist the company by distinguishing its website from competition and provide an added incentive for others to spread the word, based upon the viral nature of campaign.
Internet marketing methods differ distinctly from traditional marketing methods. So, how can one expect to leverage one’s online brand if he is using the wrong or outdated tools for the job. The value of SEO and social media promotion as vital part of overall internet branding strategy speaks for itself. That is, if one is interested in the long-term organic placement for his site (as a result of the traffic and links they produce). Search engine optimization is just one piece of the internet branding equation, yet it is not the crowning achievement that can solve all of marketing dilemmas. Just as social media is great for creating a stampede of traffic, but without the right bait, some argue that it rarely converts.
Like anything, it is a tool that has it’s place in the grand scheme of so knowing how and when to employ it, can be more pertinent than that the defining motive of why. one can walk the beaten path using known/tested fundamentals for ensuring that search engines and visitors alike can benefit from one’s internet advertising and marketing efforts, or one can take machete and toil away until he finds higher ground in which to plan his next grass roots campaign. Aside from content, visual appeal and “the it factor” play a role in the success of companies online identity.
Developing Value for E- Brand Image
Branding is synonymous with a embedding a particular mental and visual reference in the psyche of the consumer such as being (more reliable, faster, more effective, more affordable than the competition,” Solid as a Rock” etc.) uniqueness is an absolute must. Therefore having the most compelling, yet inviting brand image is crucial in order to quickly communicate prime directive to potential prospects. In a nutshell it’s all about shock value (making a memorable impression), referrals, and managing the exposure to yield the ideal brand image. That image in turn is what sells others to sell his company, it’s products or services. They say bad news travels fast, but good news travels faster. So think about positioning and grass roots word of mouth advertising x 1000 and then one can start to grasp the power of a well executed viral marketing campaign that spreads on it’s own accord like “The Whopper Freak Out” or “Elf oneself”.
On-line “internet brand” may not always be synonymous with “off-line brand” as each respective market is unique, as the methods used to convey urgency differ greatly as the audiences are often from two schools of thought. The first school is the (break em down through repetition) crowd who is used to passively being coerced into purchasing decisions (the typical Television watching Consumer). The other (from the new school of behavior) is a new breed of technologically-savvy super consumers who knows specifically what they want, how much they are willing to pay for it and don’t mind performing some comparative analysis in order to find the best value proposition (The Nimble / Instant Gratification Based Cyber-Shopper).
In this instance when one is considering brand identity and brand value online, he should consider this internet savvy consumer and be able to cater to their attention and their needs (quickly and without the fuss) as corporate brands are gravely losing market share to smaller, more ambitious companies who embrace this exponentially growing breed of credit card wielding consumers “from The Hannah Montana Generation to the Gadget fanatics, that have to have the latest and greatest electronic Gizmos”.
In this way, small businesses (utilizing aggressive internet marketing) have a distinct marketing advantage, they can quickly make changes, implement entirely new facets on a whim for an enhanced marketing campaign or target a new direction entirely with less bureaucracy than their corporate competitors. Granted, small businesses have to be more creative and valueconscious in their pursuits, but with the ability to leverage social media and create a lead generation or sales campaign at a fraction of the costs, it is only a matter of research and targeting the appropriate niche. Internet marketing is leveling the playing field that was previously leveraged by large corporations with deep pockets using traditional marketing channels (TV, Print, Radio) that they essentially funded (from the onset) into the booming categories and industries they are today. Ambitious smaller businesses however are poised to dove-tail on the successes of such established category leaders (every industry has one). These smaller more nimble businesses can essentially carve out nichespecific revenue generating business model as a result of narrow-casting vs. broadcasting and become profitable by services a specific need. The internet is truly fertile ground for this type of positioning, with the implications of niche marketing encompassing so many facets.
For the sake of internet brand, consider that playing it safe and conservative may not be best move. Not everyone thinks the same way one does or uses common queries to reach his pages (as more than 30% of all search queries are unique). Hence, he should have enough depth (with your keywords) and his internet brand image to use modifiers (variants) to supplement the core message using a variety of established advertising cliches. Examples like “when one top 10 ranking is just not enough” with a picture of a basket of eggs is a perfect example of risk vs. reward (as it drives the message home
with a simple tag line), while still making the point of a solution oriented proposition.
Strategic Internet Marketing
It's amazing to think that Strategic Internet Marketing wouldn't have appeared on a website like this just 10 years ago (in fact, a website like this wouldn't have existed either!). Internet marketing strategies became, not only a part of any successful marketing plan, but a highly important one, around the year 2000. In his book, "The World is Flat," Thomas Friedman sites developments such as the creation of search engines like Google (and others); an over abundance of internet infrastructure; and a proliferation of consumer oriented software, as some of the reasons for the explosion of internet use, making the internet one of the 10 factors 'flattening the world.'
Question: How does one develop Strategic Internet Marketing? Answer: his internet marketing must be active, not passive. The internet
marketing strategies will fail if they consist only of passive techniques, with website acting as an online brochure. For better understanding, let's break down Strategic Internet Marketing into smaller parts. Websites; blogs; email advertising; pod-casting; affiliate programs; e-zines, data collection; these and other techniques are all active, not passive. At least one of these elements is part of most successful internet marketing strategies. one may have been surprised to see Websites listed as an active element. As he will see in the Website Marketing Strategies that website can be used to create income for one’s business by making website an active, information gathering, promotional machine. In fact, for many people, their successful money making business is their website. Of course, as with all of marketing efforts, everything should be coordinated and based on sound overall marketing strategy, so be sure to read the related articles here for more information, and seek professional assistance if one need it.
Are online social n/w site the New Marketing Essentials?
online social networking website like MySpace, FaceBook and others. These websites represent a wave in marketing which is critical for businesses to understand and, if appropriate, incorporate into their marketing mix. Around the year 2000, a series of new marketing concepts and terms began to emerge, among them: buzz marketing; viral marketing; social network marketing and others. Some of the earliest social networking websites included MySpace and Facebook. Then, in 2005, BEBO (which stands for Blog Early Blog Often) was founded by husband and wife Michael and Xochi Birch. It was created for the purpose of allowing users to find and communicate with friends. It also allows users to share user generated content, including video, music, books, and more. The site even produces its own online television series. One thing that sets it apart from other social networking sites is its openness to all media companies. It claims to have over 400 media partners allowing users access to professionally produced content. The site boasts 40 million members internationally, making it the only global social media network in the world. Users are a mostly English speaking split of 50/50 male/female and rage in age between 16-24 years old. They spend an impressive combined total of over 2 billion minutes on the site per month. That’s a powerful medium for marketers looking to reach a young adult demographic. Bear in mind that this is just one (albeit the largest) of a growing number of social networking websites. Others include Ringo.com and Friendster.
As you can see, anyone involved in marketing a business would be wise to look into the opportunities this and other social networking websites offer. They just may become the essentials in your marketing plan.
VIRAL MARKETING - The Bug That's Good to Get
Although there have been examples of Viral Marketing in television campaigns; live promotions; and even certain business models (like multilevel marketing); it really took the global use of the internet for this form of marketing to become a powerful communications force, accessible, not only to companies with large advertising budgets, but also to anyone with internet access. So what is it? There was a shampoo commercial some years back that demonstrated the concept nicely. The commercial featured a beautiful model with equally beautiful hair. After explaining the benefits of this particular brand of shampoo, she suggests that we try the shampoo, and if we like it that we should “…tell two friends, and they’ll tell two friends, and so on, and so on, and so on….” All the while, her single image is multiplied on the screen with every “…and so on, and so on, and so on…” so that in just a few seconds, the screen is full of small images of the model. That is how Viral Marketing works. While it's true that the existence of the internet is the reason this is now a potent communications force, it is really the phenomenon of online social networking that lies at the heart of it. Here’s why; in the T.V. shampoo commercial sited above, the model demonstrated how quickly one can spread a communication by telling just two friends; however, in social networking circles, it is not unusual for people to have dozens, hundreds, (even thousands) of ‘friends’ to whom they can forward a message. If a video or other communication captures the interest or imagination of these people (people known as having high Social Networking Potential or S.N.P.), the number of people who see that communication can grow exponentially, as each person sends it to their list of friends, who send it to their list of friends; and so on, and so on, and so on….
The real question for marketers then is: can Viral Marketing be planned and implemented as part of a marketing campaign, or is it strictly an organic process that depends on luck and the whims of social networkers? The answer as one might expect is, ‘it depends.’ Ultimately, the public will decide what catches on and what doesn’t. The archives of marketing history are filled with examples of campaigns that seemed like great ideas at the time, yet despite the best research, strategy and creative execution (and often a lot of money), just aren’t adopted by consumers. However, there have been planned campaigns that grabbed hold in the market, demonstrating that Viral Marketing can be implemented strategically. Here are a few examples: - In 1999, the movie “The Blair Witch Project” created so much internet ‘buzz’ that the ‘buzz’ itself became a news story of its own. Of course, this generated even more online ‘buzz’, and so on, and so on, and so on…. - In 2000 TiVo gave free TiVo’s to people with high S.N.P., relying on Viral Marketing word-of-mouth to spread news about the product. - In 2008, the movie Cloverfield made use of social networking websites directly, creating pages on MySpace for fictional characters and companies in the movie. Should this kind of strategy be part of marketing mix? When appropriate, sure. However, because it relies so heavily on the whims of the marketplace, making Viral Marketing the centerpiece of a marketing campaign must be given careful consideration.
Website Marketing Strategies
Website marketing strategies have changed over the years. Website marketing strategies used to consist of using a web site as an online brochure and that was it. Not any more. One’s web site marketing strategy must now include active methods for generating traffic, and even generating income directly. one'll find three website marketing strategies listed below. he can incorporate one, two, or all of them.
1. The Importance of Data Collection Though it may seem strange at first, many e-marketing experts agree that the most important function of web site is data collection. In particular, collecting visitor's e-mail addresses. Though many business owners view their websites as online brochures, or even T.V. commercials, it may be more useful to incorporate direct mail principles into web site strategies. That is not to say one should actually use traditional (snail) direct mail to promote site, but that one should apply some of direct mail marketing's principles. The first principle of direct mail marketing is that a relevant and accurate mailing list is the most important aspect of any campaign. What e-mail list could be more relevant or accurate than the one created by one’s own interested website visitors? Of course, ir is not recommended using the e-mail addresses for the purpose of sending spam, or unsolicited advertisement. But a list of people who have agreed to receive mailings from company is a hugely powerful resource for any business. In his book "Multiple Streams of Internet Income," author Robert G. Allen suggests that if you do not have a place on your website for people to 'sign up' (and a good reasons for them to do so), you are missing one of the most valuable benefits of having a website in the first place because you should not only be bringing people to your site, you should also be bringing them back again and again. The use of e-mailed updates, e-zines, and special reports are just a few of the ways your e-mail address list can help do that. Therefore, data collection should be among most important website marketing strategies. 2. Affiliate Programs An easy web site marketing strategy for creating income is the use of Affiliate Programs. These programs allow to align business with other businesses that are complimentary to one’s. one’s website features ads for these businesses. When his website visitors click on one of the ads and then buys the product, he receives a small payment.
Affiliate Programs provide a convenience for website's visitors by making it easy for them to find products related to one’s. This convenience also adds value to one’s own website resulting in more return visits. The result is a winwin-win.Check out AffiliateTips.com; AffiliatesDirectory.com; and AffiliateZone.com, for more information. 3. Online Advertising If website is getting enough 'hits' (visitors), selling online advertising space could be part of website marketing strategy. Many companies are eager to advertise on websites that appeal to visitors who may be interested in their products. In addition, almost any website can participate in Google's AdSense Program. If one make Google AdSense a part of his web site marketing strategy, Google will display small and relevant ads on his website. Each time a visitor clicks on such an ad, one will earn a small referral payment. These payments can add up fast. Google Ad Sense can be incorporated into most website marketing strategies. It is popular because both website visitors and website publishers trust Google. Another win-win situation. Of course, these are just a few of the many web site marketing strategies one can implement. he'll find many more as he continue to explore this website.
Companies, as well as individuals, understand the importance of eBranding, and the untapped potential of social networks. In fact, 40 percent of companies are set to increase spending on social networks next year (Forrester Research). 78 percent of marketers are using blogs, 63 percent use video, and 56 percent use social networks (MarketingVox.com). Online profiles are monitored by recruiters constantly, and although one’s personal brand may remain constant as technology advances, eBrand must be both consistent and up-to-date to accurately represent one’s brand as being knowledgeable and technologically savvy. Google is the gateway to viewing and uncovering personal eBrands. A simple search determines if one has a presence, how many hits depict how impactful that presence is and the content represents the credibility behind the brand. The first page of results for one’s name is critical for reputation. Forty-nine percent of people actually change their search terms after not finding a desired result on the first page (iProspect). Being in the first page is
great for brand visibility and expert positioning. Thirty-nine percent of search engine users believe that the companies whose websites are returned among the top search engine results are the leaders in the field (iProspect). People are often—understandably—obsessed with their eBrands. They want to know how many results they have for their name and how their results are manipulated by search engines. Forty-seven percent of internet users have done these ego searches, which is an increase from 22 percent five years ago (Pew/Internet Survey). As the number of communication vehicles increase, the need to constantly monitor and patrol one’s personal eBrand increases. Corporations have already noticed this trend and are starting to react. In fact, 51 percent of the Inc. 500 companies are monitoring social media through RSS feeds, web statistics, video downloads and more.
THE PROCESS –
1. Discover – Before entering the virtual world, one need to focus on
finding out who he/she is and what he/she want to do. The majority of blogs fail because people don’t take time to learn about themselves, what they are passionate about and the topic they can write about. Passion is the driving force as much online as it is in reality. Before one go to build his/her brand, it helps to assess what conversations are taking place online and one’s current life situation. 2. Create – After one has taken a stand on a topic, now choose a platform. Do he/she want to establish a blog? Whether more interested
in joining a few social networks? Want to be a traditionalist and stick with a static webpage? These are questions one need to ask oneself. Choose strategy wisely, as he/she doesn’t want to spread the brand too thin. 3. Communicate – Now that one has an eBrand, communicate it to others. There are many ways to promote blog or website online, such as doing guest blog posts, link exchanges, and by joining social networks. Visibility creates opportunities. 4. Maintain – Once one has established online, he/she will need to protect co. reputation. A few ways to monitor brand are to perform a Google or Technorati search for one’s name. Also, he/she must ensure the accuracy of all online properties and keep them up-to-date, so as one grows, eBrand grows as well.
Successful E-Branding Strategies –
These expert strategies offer some insight on how to best exploit eBranding opportunities.
• • • • •
Figure out the objectives before do anything Own a niche. Be curious about social media and study the people that are experts at using these tools to see what is working for them. Keep information up to date & accurate, remove unwanted content. Don’t rely on the old rules of buying access via advertising or begging mainstream media to write. Instead publish great (and free) content on the Web that people are eager to consume Invest in an effective logo design. More often than not, one’s target audience will see logo before any other aspect of the company, and despite opinion to the contrary, people judge books by their covers. Be aware of digital identity; one can’t entirely control one’s digital trail but he/she can put his/her best foot forward with a well-written blog and by being generous in social networks Be generous with time. Answer questions, respond to queries.
Challenges brands face online
There are many challenges that personal and corporate brands face online. Companies are being forced to open their culture and communicate with the outside world in a way that embraces two-way communication. People need to be found and positioned as experts in their niches. In both situations,
there are challenges that may impede the branding process. The following experts shed light on these challenges:
Brands face two main challenges online today: making sure they have a presence where their current and future customers are and moving forward with trends faster than ever before. With the explosion of so much personal digital communication—social networks, IM platforms, blogs, podcasts, virtual worlds, mobile, etc.— brands are facing the prospect of too many channels. We've gone from the concept of mass marketing to mass micromarketing in an incredibly short period of time, and it's difficult for brand managers to understand which are the most important to focus on Moving past message control and stepping into conversations where they are responsible to add value to the community If a brand value is service and one’s web presence makes it a real challenge to get immediate assistance, then one is weakening the foundation of one’s brand
Formula for online success
Strategic Planning – clear understanding of company vision, mission, policies & about its objective & goal. Now make plan for future action Primary Research - primary research is research that's tailored to company's particular needs. By customizing tried-and-true approaches focus groups, surveys, field tests, interviews or observations - one can gain information about one’s target market. Secondary Research - If one is considering extending business into new markets or adding new services or product lines, start with secondary research. These secondary sources can include previous research reports, newspaper, magazine and journal content, government and NGO statistics, and studies conducted by publishers, networks and competitors. Current Customer Analysis – understand in particular, what one is doing correctly in current relationship.Use a number of methods designed to reveal who one’s customer base is, what they found attractive about co. site in the first place, and why they bought from him rather than his competitors. This intelligence is crucial in determining target audiences as one expand your market share. Audience Analysis - Understanding its market is of critical importance. Even the most powerful and creative message will fail if it's delivered inappropriately or broadcast to the wrong audience. evaluate areas where business has excelled and study the demographic that has responded. Bring
into focus a psychographic profile which includes the IAO (interest, attitude and opinion) variables of the people who responded to offer. Competitor Analysis - Just what are one’s competitors up to? What are they doing right? What are they doing wrong? eBrand Interactive uses proprietary techniques to gather important information about one’s competitors that will help to grow online presence as painlessly as possible. Gap Analysis - A "gap" is sometimes referred to as "the space between where we are and where we want to be." Gap analysis is undertaken as a means of bridging that space. Gap analysis naturally flows from benchmarking or other assessments. Industry Analysis - complete industrial analysis. This will usually include: a review of industry's recent performance, its current status, and its outlook for the future, it also analyze the medium in to which one'll communicate marketing messages. The Message Use what is best from the marketing you have done and combine it with our proven formulas for success. Brand Equity Brand equity is the value a consumer places on brand. However, it is more than the value placed on the product or service; it encompasses everything that a consumer thinks, feels, and knows about brand. eBrand Interactive uses its unique discovery process to ascertain the current equity of one’s brand and the tactics that should be used to enhance its value. Campaign Testing The only way to draw any conclusions about a media campaign is to put it in front of the end-user. These tests provide opportunities to witness target audience interacting directly with one’s marketing. Ongoing Campaigns iEngage, a proprietary system developed for ongoing campaigns, supports companies in developing valuable customer relationships by creating unique marketing messages that are responsive to the end users needs and preferences. iEngage is based on a customized and predictable process that
nurtures customer relationships so that when an action is called for, one’s target audience is ready to take it. In addition, QAM, a tool developed to work in conjunction with iEngage, gives eBrand Interactive the information necessary to develop additional strategies that'll further increase brand awareness and conversions while engendering loyalty in each targeted group.
E-branding interactive services
Campaign Management Complete Campaign Management which includes current customer, competitor and audience analysis prior to launch, performance reports during the campaign and continued optimization based on the intelligence gained from the collected data. Customer Remarketing Management eBrand Interactive will create unique and effective e-mail remarketing campaigns to one’s in-house database of e-mail sign-ups and customers. Creative Design Creative services including the design of banners, rich media ads, e-mail, landing pages for a wide range of industries and products. Database Management Effective database management requires a company which has the experience and the proprietary means necessary to deliver third-party offers to your e-mail records in a way that monetizes database while maintaining or enhancing company's brand value. Display Advertising successfully launching and managing banner and rich media placements with over twenty Tier 1 publishers including MSN, Yahoo! and AOL. Lead Generation work with a select number of databases, networks and websites to drive targeted, qualified leads to clients in a variety of different categories. Permission Based E-mail Campaigns
launch and manage Can-Spam compliant, permission based e-mail campaigns, deliver to a wide variety of preferences, interests, habits and purchase histories. Whether it's a mass broadcasts to millions or small mail outs for niche products, target offer to the right people. Private Message Box Marketing The idea of marketing to Private Message Boxes is the result of a brainstorming session in the eBrand Media think tank and is still in the developmental stage. When testing is completed Research The eBrand Media Group provides primary, secondary, current customer, competitor and market research.
Search Engine Marketing eBrand Interactive offers a sophisticated, metrics-driven SEM solution that can't be duplicated or beaten. Utilize highly evolved, next generation technologies to cut paid search costs while increasing website conversion rates, revenue, and return on ad spend.
Search Engine Optimization Search Engine Optimization is a practice where a website is developed so that it has the best chance of prominent display in the "organic" or "free" listings of major search engines. Sometimes described as "part art, part science and part magic"; implement industry best practices and methods. Social Media Optimization connect company with relevant blogs, forums and message boards by placing message in front of a group of people who are discussing products and services of the type one offer. Social Networking
It's important to be seen on popular websites, create a unique page for company. Website Analysis An eBrand Media Website Analysis is a comprehensive review of one’s site's ability convert browser into buyers. Website Design Website Design services including basic graphic designs, website optimization and full e-commerce websites customized to meet business vision and budget.
E-Branding Becomes Mandatory
Personal eBranding is the next wave of personal and professional development online. A personal brand is how one market oneself to others, whereas an eBrand is a digital representation of oneself online. the brand is who he/she is and what he/she stand for, including values, competencies, attitudes, vision, mission, personality and appearance. The combined sum of everything one is and how one project it to others, whether online or offline, is your brand. Therefore, if one’s name is only attached to a single blog, that blog becomes his/her personal eBrand. If one has commented on ten blogs, and have three social network profiles, then the sum of that participation and creation is brand—it is how people perceive him. Any single individual can and should develop an eBrand. There are no barriers to entry anymore, as the cost of building an eBrand has been reduced to nothing.
Companies, as well as individuals, understand the importance of eBranding, and the untapped potential of social networks. In fact, 40 percent of companies are set to increase spending on social networks next year (Forrester Research). Seventy-eight percent of marketers are using blogs, 63 percent use video, and 56 percent use social networks (MarketingVox.com). Online profiles are monitored by recruiters constantly, and although one’s personal brand may remain constant as technology advances, one’s eBrand must be both consistent and up-to-date to accurately represent brand as being knowledgeable and technologically savvy.
Google is the gateway to viewing and uncovering personal eBrands. A simple search determines if one has a presence, how many hits depict how impactful that presence is and the content represents the credibility behind the brand. The first page of results for one’s name is critical for reputation. Forty-nine percent of people actually change their search terms after not finding a desired result on the first page (iProspect). Being in the first page is great for brand visibility and expert positioning. Thirty-nine percent of search engine users believe that the companies whose websites are returned among the top search engine results are the leaders in the field (iProspect). People are often obsessed with their eBrands. They want to know how many results they have for their name and how their results are manipulated by search engines. Forty-seven percent of internet users have done these ego searches, which is an increase from 22 percent five years ago (Pew/Internet Survey). As the number of communication vehicles increase, the need to constantly monitor and patrol your personal eBrand increases. Corporations have already noticed this trend and are starting to react. In fact, 51 percent of the Inc. 500 companies are monitoring social media through RSS feeds, web statistics, video downloads and more.
eBranding requires a multi-pronged online strategy that exploits every content-appropriate platform and level available. As each asset is built, one will need to keep tabs on it, provide fresh updates and comments, and use Google Alerts and Technocrats to track online exposure and popularity. Whether he/she is an entrepreneur or a corporate employee, eBranding will bring meaning to life and expedite professional networking profile and profitability opportunities. Today, eBranding is growing exponentially, and both individuals and corporations who underestimate the power of their online reputation will suffer from arriving late to a venue that is already crowded with established brands.
a) Organization should have different department to deal with e-branding
promotion. b) Take help of specialist professionals & institutes which provide e-branding facilities
c) e-branding should also be added as learning course for marketing professionals because now world is fighting with technology & during the next few years internet is going to be a big weapon for marketing & the company which will adopt this culture at early stage, have edge over its competitors. d) E-branding can be best promoted through existing customers so if possible the try to educate loyal & existing with telling them benefit of time saving, fast processing & easy to use. e) In spite of generalize mail use customer focus mail i.e. send mail to particular customer, it will avoid the mail to go to junk & due to direct message it will attach the customer with company & give him/her a sense of personal treatment by company. f) Use viral marketing technique aggressively to get immediate attention & quick response. g) At early stage to attract all kind of customer use price discount or special offers & some other benefits like quantity discount or coupons like that to establish company & product name. E-branding is not a science where one has some theory & he applies that & get solutions, in fact it is an art which check the creativity, patience, concentration towards all side. Not every one can do that but the one who do that beat the world.
Next generation is going to be with fast moving world, organization will have to adopt this culture because the one who will miss the train will miss forever like other who left the field like losers.
Questionnaire 1) – define your organization?
a) – small scale/size b)- medium size c)- large
40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 s a se m ll iz m ediums e iz la e s e rg iz
-23 -38 -39
org niz tions e a a iz
2) – nature of business a) -Local market focus b) -A particular region (few states) c) -Domestic market (country) d) –domestic & global market
50 40 30 20 10 0 loc l m rk a a et foc us pa ula rtic r reg ion dom tic es ma et rk domes & tic g loba l na ture of bus s ines
-9 - 15 - 33 - 43
3) – what are the strategies adopted for branding & promotion.
a) -Traditional way like print media, ads etc b) -Digital mode c) -High-tech like internet (e-branding) d) -All method - 33 - 17 - 22 - 28
35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 tra ditiona wa dig l m l y ita edium newtech a m ll ethod s teg a tra ies doptedfor bra nding& prom otion
4) – whether adopting e-branding strategy a) –yes - 50 b) –no – 50
50 40 30 20 10 0 y es no e-bra ndings teg a tra y doption
5) – if no then whether planning to adopt in future (only those not adopted e-branding) a)- yes – 37 (out of 50) b) – no – 9(out of 50) c) – not prefer to say – 4(out of 50)
40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 y es no not prefer to sy a
a doptionofe-bra ndings teg who tra y ha n't a v dopted
6) –if already adopted then which factor influenced to go for this & if not adopted then which factor you think is crucial to adopt this kind of strategies a) – Business expansion & its need b) –competitors 3) –customers & demand for extension of service 4) –ongoing trends - 41 - 14 - 37 -8
50 40 30 20 10 0 bus s ines expa ion ns com petitors cus ers& ong tom oingtrends needs influence offa ctorsto a dopt this s teg tra y
7) – do really e-branding a strong strategy or going to be a strong medium of communication in near future. a) –yes b) – may be c) –can’t say anything d) –better to wait for future - 83 - 11 -0 -6
100 80 60 40 20 0 yes no ca s y n't a wa for future it ebra ndingwhether as trongm ediumof com unica m tion
8) –is it only for big corporation/organization or any body can adopt this? a) –only for big players b) –big & medium size organization only c) – any body can do this - 27 - 35 -5
d) –depend on several other factors than size only – 33
35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 bigpla yers bothbog& m edium a nybody dependonother fa ctors
who ca a n dopt this
9) –do you really thing capital investment a key factor to adopt this? a) –yes b) –no c) –yes but not fully
70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 yes no y but not fully es ca l inv tm am ptia es ent ojor fa ctor
- 67 -3 -30
10) –do really e-branding has benefited those who adopted this? a) –yes b) –not really, to some extent true c) –don’t know - 54 - 18 - 28
60 50 40 30 20 10 0 yes to s e extent om don't k now ebra ndingbenefitedto thos who e a doptedthis
11) – what factors are important or play major role to go for e-branding strategy a) –viral marketing strategy b) –search engines c) –company website d) –customers knowledge e) –hitting during peak season f) –some kind of free gifts/offers/coupons/awards etc - 27 - 29 - 17 - 23 -4 -0
30 25 20 15 10 5 0 vira l m ting k com ny pa web pea k s s ea ons im pora fa tnt ctor for ebra ndings teg tra y
12) –how about adopting as a part of organizational marketing strategy
a) –strongly agree b) –agree c) –it is important d) –can be a part e) –depend on organization to organization
- 21 - 33 - 14 -6 - 26
35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 s trong ly a ree g a ree g im porta ca be pa dependon nt n rt org
a doptionofebra ndinga pa oforg s rt
13) –how about a course or a module which is must for future managers over e-branding strategy to give them a idea about this a) Strongly agree b) Agree c) –leave then on persons d) –not must but knowledge should be given - 11 - 41 - 10 - 38
45 40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 stron ly g ag ree ag ree leave on n m st b t ot u u p erson kn owled e g sh ldb ou e g iven
eb d g as a n ran in ecessary m u for od le fu re m ag tu an ers
*in front of the options the number of response in favor of each option given by respondents
For information 1 - www.google.com 2 – www.doubleclick.com 3 – www.ebrandz.com Magazines & books 1- Google e-book “e-branding strategy” 2- Business world