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The Interet to transform business.

The Internet is changing many aspects of life and business is no exception. The Internet is transforming business from mass marketing to interactive marketing. Conventional mass marketing is a one-to-many process. That means a company gives content to a large group of consumers through a medium, or mass media. And the medium is just in the middle of the one way traffic of content from businesses to consumers. There is no interaction between consumers and businesses.

The World Wide Web, a new medium on the Internet, is a many-to-many process. It enables interaction or interactive marketing bewteen consumers and businesses. In interactive marketing, consumers are no longer passive. Firms provide the medium with content and consumers provide the medium with content,too. In other words, The Web is an electronic meeting place, where consumers and businesses participate and exchange content or information. The direct relationship here is not between sender and receiver, but with the medium consumers and businesses interact.

Interactive marketing puts consumers first. In interactive marketing, accommodating an individual's needs is the key. And in this commercial environment, the best a company can hope for is that it satisfies one or a few market segments or niche consumers. That means a wide variety of choices spread out before consumers. In mass marketing, the taste of an individual consumer is neglected. If a marketing survey concludes that 70 percent of young women in their 30s prefer floral pattern umbrellas, umbrella manufacturers tend to put those umbrellas into production. The rest 30 percent would be left out. In interactive marketing, those consumers can provide content information to the manufacturers through the medium.

And the key to success in this electronic commerce, is a sophisticated database. It helps a company to define what markets are there, which individual consumers populate them, and how their purchasing decisons are made. This information is the foundation of marketing strategies for contacting the right consumer at the right time with the right product.

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