There has been a lot of buzz about Federal Communications Commission hearing on the proposed repeal of Net Neutrality – followed by public opposition. But how does net neutrality play a vital role in the marketing world? And, if in case the net neutrality ends, what would it mean for digital marketers? But this does not necessarily mean the end of the free Internet world, digital marketing services company are smart enough to prepare themselves to face the challenges that pop up in the digital marketing and advertising world.
From Where Did The Idea Of Net Neutrality Came From
Since the mid-nineties, ISPs were “common carriers,” means that they had to handle all traffic equally without any discrimination whatsoever. This is the same classification for telephone service providers as well. The legal title also prohibits ISPs from engaging in site prioritization, throttling or site blocking.
However, the new proposal seeks to change this classification to “information services”. With the change, the ISPs can block content they do not like, can charge different fees to access different sites or apps. They can also put a control over the speeds on the basis of their whims. For instance, without net neutrality, Verizon may block all online news channels except Yahoo News. This is because they own Yahoo News. In this way, they not only stop customers from visiting other websites but they will also generate traffic for their own business.
If the ISP wants, they can monetize each and every single thing on the Internet. In a nutshell, freedom on the Internet would be destroyed. This has been a long-awaited dream for broadband providers – which might soon come true. It would spell a doom for the common man, but it will be a bliss for Internet providers as they would earn more money. In the initial days the customer may not feel the effect right away, but in the later days, it will be a painful one.
The effect this change will bring to online marketing knows no lengths and bounds. It could put an end to the freedom of browsing.
Will Online Marketing See Its Doomsday
The concept of freemium marketing makes things available to everyone on the Internet. Credit goes to net neutrality that everyone was able to find their brand on the Internet, could sign up for new updates. However, if the proposal gets the clean chit, then some companies might find their website or website pages blocked because they are providing same products and discounts as their competitor in the eyes of the Internet Service Provider.
In such a case, the website owners will have to pay extra amount to reach its target audience. Or it could be the other way round. Customers might have to pay the ISPs more in order to make the website visible to them. In both the methods, the user will be the SUFFERER. This idea does not go well with the low-cost strategy of digital marketing services for both small and large businesses.
Both content marketing and inbound marketing too will suffer a serious hit because ISPs can block access to your free and downloadable contents. This will completely put an end to your lead generation and lead generation nurturing strategies. In fact, it can completely shift your marketing focus.
For both the parties, it is very much important to reach out to the vital audience in cost-effective ways. In simple terms, it can complicate things unnecessarily. In order to advertise and get into the faster lanes, you will have to pay more especially if a video is involved. This will not only mean bloated ad-budgets but also a destabilized playing field.
This is not the end: The ISPs can also charge websites in exchange for faster lane services. The more money you invest, the better would be the services or smooth lane. This will drastically increase prices of all marketing processes. Don’t think that grass is greener on the other side, even if the ISPs start offering their own marketing services, this still means “end of freedom on the Internet for forever”.
Let’s Fight Together
If ISPs start blocking or try changing the way the content is viewed on the Internet, there will occur repercussions. When there’s a will, there’s a way and when the need arises, Internet and the advanced technology will together put an end to such obstacles and hindrances.
If the need arises, there will be an array of companies who would offer net neutrality as a service thus giving tough competition to ISP market. Broadly speaking, implementing something like net neutrality by individual companies is not at all easy, as there are many areas across the world where people will not be able to receive net neutrality service, or indvidual companies will not have access to such areas. Either of the two can create problem.
Since time immemorial when it came into inception, the Internet has revolutionized communication. It has enabled people and brands to grow and prosper through digital marketing services. Snatching away such liberty and freedom is not at all a good idea, but right now we should all simply wait and watch what will be the end results.