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There are two-sides to everything—including internet marketing. We asked professionals to share their thoughts about the good and bad of internet marketing for both consumers and businesses. Read their opinions below.
Internet Marketing: 17+ Advantages and Disadvantages Of It

John Parkman

John Parkman, U.S. Marine veteran and American serial tech entrepreneur who’s considered a leading expert on full stack digital marketing and lead generation.  He is the Founder/CEO of Marketing Media Wizard, a global digital marketing and lead generation agency.

Personilzation

Internet marketing provides modern consumers with a personalized experience of discovering, comparing, and purchasing a product or service that fulfills their specific needs. Consumers are able to go through this journey at their own speed and convenience while being served relevant content at the right time and place. Prior to this marketing approach, hard sales tactics coupled with unsolicited phone calls which disturbed family dinner were the nightly norm.

Take note of how you don’t hear much about “buyer’s remorse” these days, which, like unsolicited phone calls, was a daily expectation due to high pressure sales tactics that often left the buyer feeling like they were tricked or coerced into making a purchase of something that they knew very little about.

The internet has allowed digital marketers to transition into modern day story tellers rather than reckless Corvette-driving, fast-talking, pitch men of the pre-internet era. These are the undeniable reasons why internet marketing is now the most critical and essential component of a successful business.

Presence, promotions, and bargaining

24/7 presence

The first benefit of internet marketing for customers is the 24/7 presence offered – as long as customers have access to the internet, they can shop anytime of the day or night and from anywhere they wish. This offers the customer huge convenience when they shop with many 24/7 websites backed by customer service.

Promotions

The second benefit would be promotions. Customers can use the website to find information on both sales promotions and potential stores to visit to take advantage of said promotions.

Bargaining power

A third potential benefit for customers is the increase of bargaining power. Customer bargaining power increases as they are able to source multiple prices on the same product from multiple sources. Most websites are enabled so customers can provide direct feedback on competitor pricing, which encourages retailers to consider offering a more competitive price to the customer.

Internet Marketing: 17+ Advantages and Disadvantages Of It

Ollie Smith

Ollie Smith, Chief Executive Officer of expertsure.com.  I am all too aware of the vital importance of internet marketing to your customers.  My entrepreneurial journey began at the tender age of 18 with a loan from the Prince Charles Trust for Young Entrepreneurs.  Since those early days, I have moved on to successfully manage my current company for the last 8 years.
Internet Marketing: 17+ Advantages and Disadvantages Of It

Abby Sanders

Abby Sanders, Content Strategist.

Discoverability

Digital marketing is all about sending the right message to an individual who cares about it. What this means for consumers is that the ads you see while browsing the internet, on Facebook, or between YouTube videos are all tailored specifically for you. And with today’s highly specific targeting, you can bet that those ads are based not only on your age and gender, but on your hobbies, interests, and favorite movies.

All of this means that a consumer is much more likely to “discover” products and services that will genuinely fit in with their lifestyle. While ads are often a nuisance, you’re at least gaining an awareness of relevant products that you otherwise may not have found.

Promotes core benefits

Internet marketing benefits customers in a lot of ways. It allows companies to track consumer preferences, likes, dislikes, etc. to better suggest products based on their wants and needs. It also gives customers a lot of power in their purchasing behavior.

Previously, customers were limited in their options of products and services, but internet marketing has allowed customers to find providers from around the world that best suit their needs. Internet marketing, like all other forms of marketing, primarily focuses on promoting the core benefits of a company’s product or service, and thus allows customers to better differentiate between similar companies and determine what is the right fit for them. At the same time, internet marketing is incredibly competitive, with prices for digital ads, content creators, and influencers always on the rise, making companies work harder to earn and retain the loyalty and trust of customers.

Internet Marketing: 17+ Advantages and Disadvantages Of It

Tony DeGennaro

Tony DeGennaro, One of the co-founders of Dragon Social, a marketing agency that helps companies from around the world engage Chinese customers through social media marketing.
Internet Marketing: 17+ Advantages and Disadvantages Of It

Safwan Khan

Safwan Khan, Founder of Startupily, a platform for entrepreneurs seeking useful content and resources to start and grow a business. He also writes for influencive, besomebody, bizztor and thrive global.

Ethics

I believe that with the change in technology and how everyone is constantly using the internet/phone/computer for work and other recreational pursuits, internet marketing is the future.

The positive thing about internet marketing is that it is directed towards the ideal customer. With Google and so much new tech coming out, companies can easily determine who their ideal customer is, and it has become even easier to target them directly. They don’t have to waste thousands of dollars on people who are not their target customer.

For example, if you search for “vacation in the Bahamas” on Google, in a [short time], you will begin to see ads of airlines, hotels, or other companies targeting you as per your requirements, offering you a discount to book today, etc.

Many people believe this is unethical, and in a way it is; however, it also benefits you as a consumer. If this type of marketing was not available then you would end up paying a higher price. Companies detect that you are interested in traveling to the Bahamas so to lure you into purchasing the ticket, they offer you 10% or 20% off if you book the ticket or hotel.

Precision

Each year, users see fewer and fewer irrelevant ads. Internet Marketers now have so much data that we can precisely target users without annoying them. If users don’t want to see ads anymore, there are tools like ad blockers that simply turn off all display ads wherever you go on the web.

The advertising eco-system is changing. In a couple of years, users will get rewarded by watching ads. Technology is being developed right now. The new internet browser Brave is taking care of that. Advertising networks such as Google Adsense keep all of the profit. Brave is changing that and will reward users for watching ads.

Internet Marketing: 17+ Advantages and Disadvantages Of It

Ernests Embutnieks

Ernests Embutnieks, Digital Marketing Specialist. Find him here: ernestsembutnieks.
Internet Marketing: 17+ Advantages and Disadvantages Of It

Julia Ahlfeldt

Julia Ahlfeldt, Guides organizations on how to gain market leadership through customer-centricity. Originally from the USA, she divides her time between Oregon and Cape Town and consults clients around the world. Find her here: Julia-Ahlfeldt.com.

Accountability

The proliferation of digital channels has completely overhauled the business/consumer dynamic, and internet marketing is possibly the most important piece of this. I work across industries and will draw on insights from my advisory work and various research initiatives that I’ve been part of.

As businesses migrated their marketing efforts into the digital world, it made it much easier for consumers to gather information about various products and services, and to compare pricing. This enabled consumers (on a wide scale) to make highly informed decisions about when and where they spend their money. And once broad scale price comparison became the norm, it forced brands to aggressively compete on other aspects of their offering (e.g., product features, customer service). All of this has benefited customers in terms of lower pricing, more abundant options and better customer experiences overall.

Internet marketing has also benefited customers as a means for holding brands accountable. Once an internet marketing campaign is live, the cat’s out of the bag – and in most cases, permanently so. A digital data trail means that customers can call on previously published information and hold brands to account on social media if they fail to live up to their “as advertised” promises.

It may sound simple, but these resources were not widely available to customers 15+ years ago, and the advent of internet marketing has really shifted power from companies to consumers.

Best results

Internet marketing helps customers find what they’re looking for when they’re searching. Every update that Google makes to their algorithm is done with the intent to give searchers the best results and prevent companies from gaming the system.

It allows businesses to specifically target their messaging to people in a specific area, from a specific demographic, or with specific interests – and then gives users several fast, convenient options that match what they are looking for.

Internet marketing allows companies to provide a more personal approach to their audience. Consumers today care a little bit more about the beliefs and practices of the companies they buy from – a whole chicken and egg scenario. The internet allows companies to showcase those things and connect with their audience in a more casual, authentic way than was possible before.

While it can have its drawbacks, there are instances where customers benefit from the collection of data. This allows companies to target the ads and information they serve so that customers are getting the information that fits what they need most.

Internet Marketing: 17+ Advantages and Disadvantages Of It

Laura Simis

Laura Simis is passionate about sharing digital marketing and recruitment marketing strategies with home service businesses and enjoys helping small businesses build their reputation. Find her here: coalmarch.com.
Internet Marketing: 17+ Advantages and Disadvantages Of It

Jeff Rizzo

Jeff Rizzo, Founder & CEO of The Slumber Yard, which is a review website that covers popular consumer products. He has been featured in articles from Forbes, The Associated Press, Inc. Magazine, and other publications.

Value

Internet marketing benefits customers only when it increases the perceived value of a product or service.

As an example, the act of being able to retarget is a major reason why internet marketers prefer Facebook. That’s all well and good, but a constant barrage of the same ads is not helpful. Rather, marketers should focus on diversifying their ads to showcase a wider range of features for their product or service.

In this case, even if an individual sees ads from the same company, they always look fresh and highlight that the consumer just made a smart purchase. It actually plays into herd mentality that reassures the consumer that others are finding similar benefits in a new product.

Stay up to date

Internet marketing keeps the consumer updated on anything new. Without internet marketing, a consumer must either go out of their way to contact a business to gain updated information or just be left not knowing until a salesman arrives one day and tells them.

Technology moves lightning fast these days so as a business, it’s imperative that you keep your customers up to date on any changes that may have occurred in your market. That’s why internet marketing is so important and why it benefits the consumers so greatly.

Internet Marketing: 17+ Advantages and Disadvantages Of It

Tim Absalikov

Tim Absalikov, Co-founder and CEO of Lasting Trend, a digital marketing agency in New York.
Internet Marketing: 17+ Advantages and Disadvantages Of It

Alex Altuhov

Alex Altuhov, General Manager at HandyKith, professional handyman services in New York.

Environmentally friendly

Internet marketing equals less carbon footprint – great for the environment. The internet is so convenient and easy to use nowadays that I really do not see the need for companies to continue sending out paper unless it’s really necessary.

A lot of consumers are opting in for electronic billing and electronic receipts. This is a great thing because now you’re able to lessen the amount of pollution that happens when using things like paper and plastic. You can also do more marketing with an electronic receipt or bill because now you have the convenience of just clicking a button or link instead of having to type in an address.

Discovery and decision

Here are two key ways in which internet marketing benefits consumers:

Product Discovery

A lot of consumers research a product or service online before making a purchase decision. The first and most important benefit of internet marketing for consumers is product discovery. Be it on social media or in an ecommerce store, consumers are continuously on the lookout for new products and services, and internet marketing enables consumers to discover these products and services.

Purchase Decision

Another key benefit of internet marketing for consumers is that it helps them make a purchase decision. Internet marketing these days is more nuanced than just placing an ad and expecting people to buy. Smart marketers focus on building meaningful connections with their customers and engaging them on various platforms.

They are also using influencers and user-generated content to source social proof and honest reviews about their products and services. Anyone who is considering buying a product can see the product in use by other consumers. They can read detailed reviews, watch tutorial videos, and get all of the information they need to make a purchase decision. All of these help potential customers make a well-informed purchase decision with ease.

Internet Marketing: 17+ Advantages and Disadvantages Of It

Shane Barker

Shane Barker, Digital marketing strategist and a brand and influencer and SEO consultant. His expertise is in influencer marketing, SEO consulting, site audits, and sales funnels. Find him here: shanebarker.com.
Internet Marketing: 17+ Advantages and Disadvantages Of It

Gregory Golinski

Gregory Golinski, Head of SEO at YourParkingSpace.co.uk.

Opportunities

Internet marketing is important. Even local brick and mortar shops need to have an online presence, as so many people are now looking for products and services on their smartphone. Forgoing internet marketing can result in a missed opportunity to acquire new clients.

The downside?

Compared to other activities such as sales, for example, the revenue earned from internet marketing can be difficult to track. It’s sometimes hard to know exactly how much money you earned from your internet marketing campaign, as these campaigns can have so many funnels and indirect effects.

When you make a sale, you know exactly how much money you made. It’s not always the case when you launch an Adwords marketing campaign or a campaign on Facebook or Twitter.

Tax on capitalism

Internet marketing in no way directly benefits the customer. Marketing is basically a tax on capitalism that companies must pay to be seen.

Don’t get me wrong, it serves a purpose, which is basically to expose a company’s product and/or services to the customer and then to endear itself to the customer – kind of like a disembodied relationship building.

So indirectly, marketing benefits the customer by, perhaps, introducing them to something or someone they would not have otherwise known about, but there is no value added.

Internet Marketing: 17+ Advantages and Disadvantages Of It

Cody Swann

Cody Swann, CEO of Gunner Technology – a software development firm that builds JavaScript solutions on AWS for the public and private sectors as well as entrepreneurs.
Internet Marketing: 17+ Advantages and Disadvantages Of It

Oz Chowdhury

Oz Chowdhury of Powerphrase has an extensive background with Web Design, Web Application, SEO, and more.

Great for branding, but…

Internet marketing is a great way to drive traffic to a website. There are some advantages and some disadvantages.

Advantages

Internet marketing is the best way to drive traffic and sales to a company’s business. It helps develop a company’s branding. Since most things are done online these days, companies who engage in this first mover advantage typically get more traffic and sales.

Disadvantages

Internet marketing can be expensive. Cost per acquisition can be high as well as cost-per-click for ads. It is very time-consuming work creating content/blogs/videos/PR, etc., and it can take months if not years to get some traction.

Branding, Bond, Cost-effectiveness

Internet marketing helps customers in various aspects such as:

Branding

In order to succeed in today’s competitive market, branding your business is highly important and internet marketing helps customers achieve this goal by building positive brand signals on a wider scale. This is referred to as the internet branding process and helps the business to stand out from the competition as well as be recognized easily by consumers on all platforms.

Bond with Customers

Imagine the power to communicate with your existing and potential clients through multiple free source applications such as social media, website forms, emails, forums, public platforms and more. All this adds huge value and empowers the business to strengthen customer loyalty as well as maintain a prosperous business relationship. This can also be used to share new product launch details or promotional offers effectively.

Cost Effective

If you compare the advertising cost involved in traditional marketing methods such as in newspapers, television and radio vs. the cost involved in online marketing, you will be shocked to see the big price difference. Internet marketing is highly cost-effective and connected to the modern age. As a business owner, if you are looking for a way to market your business on a tight budget then internet marketing is the way to go.

Jobin John

Jobin John is a speaker on the topic of SEO and an internet marketing professional serving businesses around the world. He is the Founder and CEO of Egochi, a Wisconsin-based internet marketing agency specializing in SEO since 2009.

Alan Santillan

Alan Santillan works with the digital marketing team at G2 Crowd. Their business model revolves around helping businesses better interact with customers.

Solves problems

Internet marketing benefits customers by giving them better insight as to how your business, product, and service work for the customer. By providing new perspectives and information for use cases for a product, it improves a customer’s ability to solve problems with a current platform at their hands, rather than looking for more complex and expensive ways to add software to their tech stack.

Better knowledge of a SaaS product also helps improve overall productivity in day to day operations.
More information improves overall adoption rate within a company. These improvements provide a better overall customer experience by giving customers insight as to how to ideally use a product. In turn, customers will provide positive marketing through word of mouth and online reviews through websites.

This is a crowdsourced article. Contributors are not necessarily affiliated with this website and their statements do not necessarily reflect the opinion of this website, other people, businesses, or other contributors.