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2009 International Conference on Computer Technology and Development

Anatomy of Internet Marketing Mix; a Holistic Paradigm


R. Yazdanifard PhD 1
Faculty of Management, Multimedia University, Cyberjaya, Malaysia rashadyazdanifard@yahoo.com
Abstract - For years, marketing mix has been at the heart of marketing management. Marketers have always strived to strategize their marketing mix more effectively and implement those strategies more competitively. In this sense over past decades conventional marketing mix has been elaborated repeatedly in literature but we are living in the global village and internet is sweeping all aspects of business and marketing is not an exception. Internet marketing is increasingly attracting attention from executives and scholars as a crucial body of modern marketing. Thus, traditional marketing mix requires a revision and modification for marketing in the internet era. This paper addresses this issue and undertakes a comprehensive literature review to extract and explain main constructs of internet marketing mix (IMM) and elaborate building blocks this concept. Subsequently this study proposes an anatomy for IMM to be further used by other researchers and practitioners in studying internet marketing and formulating marketing strategies. Keywords - Marketing Mix, Internet Marketing

A. Najmaei2,
Faculty of Management, Multimedia University, Cyberjaya, Malaysia arash.najmaei@gmail.com definition satisfying customers profitably is the essence of marketing. However, this process is not as easy as it seems and marketers over past decades have developed different scenario to succeed at this complex procedure. One of the first and most influential attempts to enhance the process of marketing was the development of the marketing mix as a systematic recipe for managing the process of marketing [2]. This concept strategically signifies the controllable variables of marketing Borden, [4, p386-396],[20]. So, as marketing environment evolves these factors also spontaneously evolve to concur with new changes occurred in marketing milieu. In this regard, over past years internet has been considered as the most revolutionary innovation emerged in business world [10]. Hence a new paradigm for marketing is required in this digitized context [11]. To elaborate this new perspective into the realm of internet-oriented marketing, next sections successively explain the architecture of internetbased marketing mix as the core concept of marketing management.

I. INTRODUCTION The world around us is extremely subject to changes, revolutions, and upheavals and full turnover sometimes. The today life is not to be compared with that of the yesterday; elements of the yesterday life have been renewed and dressed with new and inconceivable cloths. Such stream will dominate the future as well. Internet revolution and information technologies are amongst these changes .The central axle of the changes in the economic section is technology and the principal technological changes have taken place in the communications and information sections. Networks and internet are the operational emblems of such changes. It is an undeniable fact saying that internet has changed the world. It is not ridiculous if we say we shall see the world again with internet and we may reclassify, redefine, and retest it when it is considered in deal with internet. In this sense, marketing science has also been influenced by this phenomenon and in the new millennium; the modern marketing domain which has been characterized with unprecedented changes, challenges and risk must be equipped with new approaches and techniques. But here first and foremost a clear definition of marketing should be given. Wernon [29,p 128] defines marketing as A process in which a company tries to identify, give information and meet the needs and desires of customer in an efficient and profitable manner. According to this
978-0-7695-3892-1/09 $26.00 2009 IEEE DOI 10.1109/ICCTD.2009.133 497

II. METHODOLOGY This study philosophically falls under interpretivism class, undertaken research approach is explanatory and research strategy is literature survey. Consequently this study used secondary data and qualitative analysis techniques. International journals as well as proceedings are dug up through international well-recognized databases like emerald, science direct, Proquest, Ebsco and Springerlink as well as IEEEExplore. Papers were collected over a six-month period and reviewed jointly with authors over a three-month period. A Couple of discussions around the design and the objective of the study were done by some senior lecturers in three business schools as well as some PhD students in order to improve the flow of study. The arrangement of literature survey was planned to be started with reviewing the concept of conventional marketing mix and internet marketing and then scrutinizing and elaborating the concepts of internet marketing mix to be further used by e-marketers, researchers and other practitioners involved in online marketing and customer-oriented decision making.

III. TRADITIONAL MARKETING MIX

Retrospectively, the need for a systematic model to explain the main pillars of marketing backs to 1960s when Professor Neil Borden [3] found the need for a more elaborative model of marketing and consequently coined the concept of marketing mix. McCarthy [21] extended this concept and described marketing mix as: the entire factors that a manager applies for reaching the market satisfaction purpose (p 35). With a little change, this definition was accepted by many commentators. Among them, Kotler and Armstrong have defined the marketing mix as a collection of marketing variables chosen by the company for meeting the needs of the target market [16], [15]. Therefore, the concept of the controllable factors or the tools at the hand of the marketing managers used for impressing the customers is called the marketing mix and there is no disagreement in this concern; the difference is in case of the essence of such tools Rafiq and Ahmed [27,p 4]. This set of factors technically covers a broad spectrum of variables and scholars have classified them differently. For example, Frey [8] classified the marketing mix in two groups as: 1. Product presentation: including the product, packaging, trademarks, price and service 2. Methods and tools: including distribution networks, personal sale, advertisement, sales promotion, and public relations But Borden [3] proposed an integrated list included 12 elements in his marketing mix including of product planning, pricing, commercial branding, distribution channel, personal selling, advertisements, progress, packaging, representing, services, physical access and the actual and analytical findings (p 386-395). Furthermore, Lazer et al. [19] included the three following sub-mixes in the marketing mix collection (p 39-43): Mix of goods and services, distribution mix and relations mix. However, the most important and famous marketing mix is introduced by McCarthy. He put four elements in the marketing mix complex and since all four elements start with P, it is called 4P mix. McCarthy [21,p 38]. Price, product, distribution, and progress are the ingredients of the marketing mix of McCarthy that is universally wellknown as 4P of marketing theory [26,p 190],[28]. Later, other researchers completed this construct by adding more ingredients into the theory of modern marketing. The 7Ps paradigm [3],[27] which adds people, process and physical evidence as other Ps to traditional mix and finally the 4Cs model [18] that replaces 4Ps with customer, cost, convenience and communication are the two most acknowledged complementary approaches developed recently to formulate marketing mix. After this review from an evolutionary perspective it must be noted that the criticality of marketing mix manifests itself in marketing strategy and planning , because Kotler [14],[15] opines that holistic marketing management starts with segmentation and then continues with developing effective mix elements for targeted segments and ends with competitive execution and controlling of

implemented strategies (p 70-74).Therefore, marketing mix must be understood as a core construct of marketing strategy and planning [14],[30].In spite of this undeniable fact, marketing literature in the internet-driven arena dominancy of internet-customers lacks a conclusive description of internet-based marketing mix and developing an integrative model based on prior studies in this context makes a real sense more than ever before. In adherence to this objective and in pursuit of the main objective of this study the next chapter is devoted to expound internet-marketing mix IV. INTERNET MARKETING MIX According to Pollack [25] one of the most stunning aspects of the past few years has been the speed at which the Internet market has expanded and matured. This rapid rate of Internet adoption has resulted in an extraordinary pace of change in the marketing landscape- and opened up a variety of opportunities for marketers [30]. In this sense, Ngai [23] defines the internet marketing as the process of building and maintaining customer relationships through online activities to exchange information, product and service that satisfy the goals of both buyers and sellers. Hence, traditional marketing mix, as previously explained, must be tailored for the virtual market place and online environment [1]. So even in the context of cyber-marketing, product, place, promotion, price and some other factors like interactivity and speed are used by researchers and practitioners [24]. More recently, Kalyanam and McIntyre [12] theorize marketing mix from a more radical perspective consists of two views, in the first view, 5 elements of the marketing mix were considered including the product, distribution, price, promotion, and sale progress. In the second view, the relational interaction aspect of the marketing mix was taken into account which is directly the result of philosophy of internet and the new philosophy of marketing under the title of relational marketing [7]. In this regard product as a core element of marketing mix was articulated by Wernon[29],in three successive levels from core level to formal and finally augmented level and accordingly enumerated main sub-factors of product as (p 162): 1. Packaging 2. Feature 3. Brand of the Product 4. Quality 5. After sale services and 6. Access to complementary product The aforementioned factors have been supported and expanded by Kotler and Keller [14 p 334]; Then subsequently price has also occupied a centric position in internet marketing mix [1],[12],[7]. Kotler and Keller [14] state that pricing is set based on two approaches as: costbased pricing and value-based pricing (p 401). In the internet markets these approaches are also undertaken

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based e-consumers orientation [11].The concept of place in internet-marketing is alternatively used with online distribution and synonymously virtual place of the product [12],[7]. In this sense, marketers have thrown light of the roles of cyber-mediaries and intermediaries [5] and also internet direct selling Kotler and Keller [14] (p 557) which have created a new cyber-based business models and require more sophisticated marketing strategies [13] and eventually, promotion is converted to online communication which covers advertisements, sale promotions and interactivities [1].However this mix is not comprehensive and internet-based relational factors must be added as Security, Privacy, Websites design, Customers Services and Support, and lastly Customerorientation and value-based online strategies [12],[6] So a new formula for strategizing marketing mix components is suggested by e-marketers as 4Ps+P2C2+S3, In which 4Ps is the representative of the four classic factors, P2 indicates the personalization and privacy, C2 indicates the services to the customers and the customers community, and S3 is the representative of the site, sales promotion, and security [12]. Mohammad et al. [22] point to internationalization and customization as two forces in todays online markets and consequently add the concept of companys brand in internet marketing mix with two sub-factors of trust and commitment and finally customercentric internet marketing revolves around information gathering about customers and their e-values [22]. In a different approach Capon and Hulbert [6] emphasize on the change of the structure of the new marketing mix to the profit of the customer and proposed a new mixture called 6Cs that consists of (p. 568-569) 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Change Customization Consistency Convenience Customers Community: Choice

shoppers or e-consumers are seeking more value through interactivity, superior communications, convenience and enjoyment for high-quality, branded and customized products that are easily and readily juxtaposed in a globalized networks of sellers , cyber-mediators and intermediaries. In this regard, on the basis of theoretical findings an integrative model of internet marketing mix can be proposed as figure one. This model implies that, nowadays marketing mix is a broad field of modern marketing that encapsulates traditional marketing mix as well as web-based components of e-commerce into a new paradigm. This paradigm must be comprehended by emarketers and considered as a foundation for crafting internet marketing strategies more effectively and competitively. VI. CONCLUSION This paper is a conceptual research that utilizes literature survey and analysis approach to review and interpret the, concept of marketing mix. Firstly marketing mix was reviewed from an evolutionary perspective and the main essence of this pivotal construct of marketing theory was a systematic managerial formula for making marketing decision-making and formulation of strategy. Then, the concept of marketing mix was defined as the set of marketing controllable factors that are strategized and implemented to satisfy customers and brings about profitability and competitiveness for companies. Traditional marketing mix was explained as a changing mixture of factors ranging from reputed 4Ps (price, product, promotion and place) to extended version of 7Ps (people, process and physical evidence) and 4Cs (customer, communication, costs and convenience). Internet marketing was also described as the establishment of relationship with customers through the net in order to satisfy the goals of buyers and sellers. Hence, in addition to conventional marketing mix (4Ps), brand of the organization and the process of collecting customer-centered information were added to internet marketing mix. Therefore, a new set of theoretical factors was elicited and conceptually reviewed to complete this new paradigm. These additional factors of internet marketing mix can be listed as: Trust, Commitment, Intermediaries and, Cyber-mediaries, Sites design, convenience, online advertisement, sales promotion, Playfulness and awareness. These factors were synoptically graphed in an integrative model which is aimed to be seen as the architecture of internet-marketing mix from a holistic viewpoint.

Therefore, a combinatory conceptualization can integrate all of the aforementioned factors in a comprehensive model that is expounded in the section

V. DISCUSSION A survey on existing literature, as conducted and explained earlier, reveals that internet marketing mix is about capturing customers in the internet and selling products to them more effectively through online channels. This logic necessitates a more intensive set of marketing elements apart from conventional marketing mix that are used in market places because internet-

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Fig.1. Internet marketing mix from a holistic view

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