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The advent of the Internet has made this world an almost borderless world. In the context of enterprise, the Internet is becoming more and more important to many companies and organizations around the globe. It has greatly expanded the market and enhanced the market reach of businesses, be they small businesses or multinational corporations, to the extent that whatever market segments they can't reach previously, they can now do so to a large extent.
In the context of Internet Marketing, my central message to business owners is that in order for you to have the competitive advantage, you'll need to effectively identify and attempt to satisfy the genuine needs and wants of specifically defined target markets, and that you'll have to do so more effectively than your competitors. Your ability to do so will have a positive profound impact on your business.
What Is An Internet Market?
There're many definitions of the term "market"; it all depends on the context in which it is used. The way I look at "market" is that it consists of people and/or organizations that have needs to be satisfied, have the purchasing power or money, and are willing to spend the money on whatever you have to offer. It generally implies a demand for a product or service, whatever context in which it is used.
From the marketing standpoint, a market consists of your existing customers as well as potential customers.
Why Internet Market-Orientation?
You should realise, as a business owner, that in order to effectively relate your product and/or service offerings to the needs of the marketplace, you should be market-oriented as opposed to product-oriented. What I mean by market-orientation is that you look at the marketplace through the media of marketing research and sales forecasting.
Market-orientation therefore makes it impossible, with the exception of a few special circumstances, to treat the market as a mass of homogeneous potential customers, as the overall market consists of many diverse sub-markets and groups, each with sufficient similarities to be treated as separate markets by themselves.
Furthermore, within each of these sub-markets or groups, there're further divisions or sectors. For a product category (e.g., computers), your focus should be on those sectors within the sub-markets or groups which are most commercially attractive to you for a given product form (e.g., the desktop market or the laptop market), rather than be concerned with the whole population of potential customers for that product category.
This is common sense as you're in business to make profits.
Identifying these sub-markets or groups would allow you to more effectively position your product and/or service offerings, your internet marketing communications, your pricing policy, and the rest of the 7 marketing mix elements.
The result is more satisfied customers and increased profits.