Internet marketing is using the Internet to do one or more of the following:
- Communicate a company's message about itself, its products, or its services.
- Conduct research as to the nature (demographics, preferences, and needs) of existing and potential customers.
- Sell goods, services, or advertising space over the Internet.
Definition of Internet Marketing May Vary
The definition of Internet marketing may vary depending on who is using the term. For example, someone who had a home business in which they made money online selling something, might refer to their home business as an Internet marketing business. It would not be inaccurate to do so.
If someone has a website and wants to drive more traffic to it, they might employ what they refer to as Internet marketing techniques - such as writing articles, blogging, placing banner ads on other websites, etc. - to accomplish that goal.
When used in reference to a collection of marketing techniques, the definition of Internet marketing is broader than search marketing, because the latter involves employing techniques primarily aimed at getting listed on search results pages - either through paid advertising, like PPC, or through organic search engine optimization (SEO). When referring to online marketing techniques, Internet marketing might include placing videos on YouTube as an Internet viral marketing tool and generating buzz, or placing banner or text ads on other sites. In this case, the Internet marketing techniques are not primarily aimed at search engines (although it can be an indirect benefit).
So, in short, Internet marketing is the process of marketing goods or services through the Internet - both for those whose income is derived solely from the Internet - and for those who have a brick and mortar location but choose to advertise on the Web.