Marketing is about people. Whether a business-to-business (b2b) or a business-to-consumer (b2c) marketing is about bringing buyers and sellers (people) together. E-commerce is about marketing and bringing people together in cyberspace or on the Internet. Marketing principles are the same only the methods are different.

The Internet is about content, so marketing concepts need to be adjusted for the difference. Let us examine selling an automobile on the Internet as opposed to selling the automobile with traditional B2C methods. Traditional B2C methods involved a showroom or sales lot with a salesperson and customer. E-commerce still engages the two parties; however, in a different method.

Remember the four Ps of marketing: price, product, promotion, and placement? In order to sell our automobile we will need to modify the methods while adhering to these principles. We will need to think about how the consumer interacts with the product and make up for the deficiencies with e-commerce methods. If you think about the product you can envision the solution.

Traditional marketing of an automobile meant the salesperson has direct contact with the customer and the customer has direct contact with the salesperson and product. Examining the promotion aspect we will need to find a method that enables the customer to examine the automobile as closely as they would in the showroom. Promotion on the Internet can be accomplished through virtual environments and three dimensional photography.

I will be examining the four Ps of marketing and how they may be accomplished in an e-commerce environment as opposed to traditional marketing methods. This is a four part series to help the traditional business model meet e-commerce. So, read on and feel free to post comments, because once you have a firm understanding of how to apply the marketing principles to e-commerce you will see your business flourish.

Mike Kniaziewicz, MIS