Digital Marketing Product
We've already considered product as part of the marketing mix. Two previous tools for product decision-making have been introduced - Product Life Cycle (PLC) and the Three Levels of a Product. Both of these tools are equally applicable to the context of digital marketing, and can be easily applied to include digital marketing and product.
For example a product marketed solely online will go through a life cycle in the same unpredictable way as a product marketed through any traditional channel (PLC). Products marketed online will have a core benefit to the consumer, be an actual tangible product, with augmentation that adds value such as insurance, warranties and so on (Three Levels of a Product). Although tools actually specify the term 'product,' they can be easily adapted to include brands, services or solutions.
The digital marketing Product/Business Matrix (depicted below) should be used in conjunction with Product Life Cycle (PLC) and the Three Levels of a Product. It represents an additional tool for audit that bridges existing businesses and new online start-ups, and existing products and new products. It allows marketers to categorise those marketing on the Internet as an Online Extender, an Online Alternative, an Online Innovator (Existing Business), or an Online Innovator (Online Start-Up). Let's take a look at it in more detail.
A - Online Extender
An Online Extender is an existing business that has a strategy whereby it extends its marketing activities to the Internet. It could be any traditional, terrestrial organisation that has historically grown through using traditional channels of distribution to get existing products, brands, services or solutions to market.
B - Online Alternative
The Online Alternative is a new start-up that uses the Internet as an original channel of distribution to get products, brands, services or solutions, currently available elsewhere, to market. Some segments may be better targeted with this online alternative, for example remote or fragmented markets.
C and D - Online Innovators
Online Innovators come in two forms:
- C - Online Innovators are existing businesses that see a benefit to launching new and innovative products, brands, services or solutions online by leveraging new technology. Existing businesses have a wealth of knowledge and learning that underpin their moves onto the Web. Remember, the Internet is not a business paradigm shift (at least not yet) and so current business approaches are often adapted for the Internet. Existing businesses have experience.
- D - Online Innovators are start-ups that seize the opportunity to launch new and innovative products, brands, services or solutions online. Despite not having as much knowledge and learning as some of their competitors, they are flexible and can move much more quickly. Start-ups often lack experience.