This broad overview of each piece of the Internet marketing world gives students a firm foundation in the field to help them decide where their interests and talents fit the best. All designers should have an understanding of content creation, while all content specialists should have respect for the design process (See also Content Marketing Specialist). At the more advanced levels of a marketing program, students will hone the skills that are most important to their areas of emerging expertise to create sharp minds and strong portfolios on their way to the workplace.
Many businesses fail to use research to shape their plans by conducting market research and market analysis, says Albritton. "It's either overlooked or perhaps small businesses feel it is a cost they can't afford," she says. Marketing plans that do not consider such research, however, will almost certainly waste money. The goal is simply to better understand who and where you customers are – something known as market segmentation.
Explain how the pricing of your product or service is competitive. For instance, if the price you plan to charge is lower, why are you able to do this? If it's higher, why would your customer be willing to pay more? This is where the "strategy" part of the pricing strategy comes into play; will your business be more competitive if you charge more, less, or the same as your competitors and why?
How much of your marketing strategy should be done online and which internet marketing elements you use depends on the nature of your business, your budget, your time, and your goals. Many small business owners do it all themselves in the beginning, but as their businesses grow, they begin to pay for services or outsource work to a virtual assistant that can help them with online marketing.
To find the best internet marketing tools for small businesses, we began by talking to business owners themselves, as well as some of the professionals who advise them. Due to the highly strategic nature of marketing, however, none would speak on the record about the products they use or how they use them. Off the record, though, we did get some helpful details about their choice of internet marketing software, what features are most important, how they go about choosing a provider, what they like about their internet marketing software, and what they would change. It turns out that cost, scalability, ease of use and customization are the things they consider most important. Customer support and robust help desk performance also were key factors in their choices.
Many businesses fail to use research to shape their plans by conducting market research and market analysis, says Albritton. "It's either overlooked or perhaps small businesses feel it is a cost they can't afford," she says. Marketing plans that do not consider such research, however, will almost certainly waste money. The goal is simply to better understand who and where you customers are – something known as market segmentation.
The only way to start a business venture with confidence is to develop a good marketing plan—one that's backed up with facts and research. This document clearly shows how you'll attract customers to your product or service and persuade them to buy. The marketing plan also builds confidence with financial institutions, showing lenders that your business has a good chance of being successful.

Another step that can help set objectives is to perform a S.W.O.T. analysis, where you identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats facing your business. By conducting such an analysis, you should identify the key insights and strategic plans that will drive your business over the next one-to-five years. This includes understanding, your five Cs—the consumer, channel, company, competition, and climate—deeply enough that when you finish, you should understand your point of difference in the market and where your opportunities lie," Roberts says. This should inform how you set your objectives.

In November 1994, CDNow launched its BuyWeb program. CDNow had the idea that music-oriented websites could review or list albums on their pages that their visitors might be interested in purchasing. These websites could also offer a link that would take visitors directly to CDNow to purchase the albums. The idea for remote purchasing originally arose from conversations with music label Geffen Records in the fall of 1994. The management at Geffen wanted to sell its artists' CD's directly from its website but did not want to implement this capability itself. Geffen asked CDNow if it could design a program where CDNow would handle the order fulfillment. Geffen realized that CDNow could link directly from the artist on its website to Geffen's website, bypassing the CDNow home page and going directly to an artist's music page.[14]

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