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Why Your Online Marketing Efforts May Fail

Most online marketing efforts will fail if planners continue to follow their current strategies, according to a new report from Jupiter Communications' Strategic Planning Services Program (SPS).

The reason? Because top brands have not yet embraced Brand Action Marketing--a strategy that exploits interactivity both to develop a brand and drive consumer action, the report said.

Marketers that focus exclusively on either brand building or transaction driving will find themselves losing market share or eroding their brand equity as more consumers go online.

"Brands are choosing an either/or strategy in which they focus on brand building OR direct marketing initiatives," said Peter Storck, director of Jupiter's Online Advertising Group. "This ignores what makes online different from other media--interactivity. Online, marketers can both build brand and drive action, so they must do both--because their competitors will."

According to the Jupiter report, successful brand action marketing consists of six component tactics: media, retail enhancement, customization, promotions, sales service and support, and distribution and transactions. The degree to which brands should emphasize individual tactics depends on whether the brand offline is primarily a direct seller, indirect seller or a retailer.

Media, for example, a key tactic for offline retailers, is equally important to that category online. However, it has been noticeably absent, the study found. Top traditional retailers spent an average of just $27,000 during the first six months of 1997 to advertise online. Four of them--Kmart, Home Depot, Dillards, and Target--spent nothing.

A listing and description of New York City-based Jupiter's services and reports are available on Jupiter's Web site.