Marketing refers to activities intended to acquire clients, maintain clients, and promote and sell products and services, including ongoing practices and specific campaigns. The prefix e- or E- — also spelled without the hyphen — refers to activities, products, or services offered on, through, or by computer or computer network, particularly, the Internet. Therefore, e-marketing is the various uses made of the Internet that serve marketing functions.
Traditional marketing has developed a variety of outlets. In advertising, these include newspaper, magazine, radio, and television advertisements; direct mailing; signs, posters, and billboards; and flyers. Other types of marketing include contests, give-aways, coupons, and various other types of promotions. Taking many of these techniques and modifying them to suit the medium of the Internet produces e-marketing, also known as online marketing or Internet marketing.
Marketing prior to the Internet had some inherent costs including paper, ink, and printing. E-marketing can have the same attention to typography and graphics without the cost of reproducing the logos and text on thousands or hundreds of thousands of pieces of paper. Television air-time is notoriously expensive for 30 seconds when the audience the company wants to target may or may not be watching. E-marketing provides 24/7 access for the cost of the e-commerce hosting plan.
Traditionally, much of the marketing energy has been expended in trying to put marketing material where it will cross the path of the consumer who would be interested in it. This accounts, for example, for the linkage of advertisements for certain types of products with certain types of programs. By contrast, much e-marketing works by getting a reaction from the consumer that leads, in some cases to an on-going, focused relationship. While clicking on in-text advertising and Google AdSense® ads are one-time consumer interactions, they are still the result of consumer choice, while signing up for a weekly email or a monthly newsletter are examples of how consumers might respond to e-marketing in a way that initiates a long-term relationship.
E-marketing has led to new ways of measuring and analyzing the effectiveness of various campaigns. Web coupons marked with a bar code can reveal to a company exactly which key words a consumer searched for in order to reach the web page with the coupon. Links on web pages and in emails can send users to different landing pages so that the effectiveness of different e-marketing efforts can be tabulated more readily.