Why Internet Marketing Matters in a Slumping Economy

Why Internet Marketing Matters in a Slumping Economy

The times ain't easy. With the recent news of the and the , businesses everywhere are looking for ways to save money. Microsoft, finally in their $10 million investment in Jerry Seinfeld, have done an about face. They rolled out a new ad campaign after only 2 installments into the now-notorious Seinfeld/Gates debacle. Best Buy has said they will , and they certainly aren't the only ones. This shouldn't be coming as a surprise – when the economy slows, large corporations typically look to before they make any other changes. So why then, in this uncertain marketing landscape, is Internet marketing so gosh-darn important?

It's highly measurable.

Traditional media campaigns, measured by truly flawed services like Neilson, only recently started collecting data on important segments like . On the other hand, Internet data collection is fairly comprehensive. Site traffic, banner clicks, purchases, , e-mails, comments, word-of-mouth can all be tracked, measured, and analyzed. And while, in the past, Internet users tended to skew to some predictable demographics, it's . 
There are a slew of services that help marketers understand the quality and quantity of the Internet users who interact with a website or other Internet campaign. This, combined with the ability to instantaneously make changes, allows for many more on-the-go tweaks to campaign tactics. After all, collecting good data is critical to obtaining good results. Which brings me to my next point:

It's cheap!

Sure, television and print are sexy. There's nothing quite like watching your favorite TV show and seeing an ad you commissioned or created flicker across the screen. But it sure does cost you. As of the , a 30-second spot on American Idol would run over $600,000 - and with DVRs, competing channels, and ad conscious viewers - there's no guarantee your target ever saw the ad, let alone interacted with it. Add that to the fact that just one ad never cuts it, and you'd be looking at spending millions to even make a marginal impact. On the other hand, you can fund an Internet marketing campaign for half of what you'd pay for traditional media. I’ll admit that banner ads, the digital strategy that people are probably most familiar with - are . However, the smart marketer will explore other, more interactive tactics for their campaign - think, Twitter, , , Blogging, and a host of other options.

Is Internet Marketing for Everyone?

Well, yes and no. If your target market contains a demographic that isn't economically privileged, educated, or in a developed country - then the Internet probably isn't for you. But, if you're someone like Microsoft, who hasn't exactly had the best of luck with traditional media campaigns, you might want to start looking at the Internet - especially when the economy is a little sluggish.