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Tendencies in Information Technologies with Direct Applicability in Marketing

 

Constantin Ferseta

Abstract:  

Tendencies in Information Technologies with Direct Applicability in Marketing.

 

Introduction:

Nowadays, we are in the middle of a great change. Concepts of traditional business are been replaced by incoming new ones. In this trend, the economic world is one of the most torn apart in this rampage. And, of course, the change is very visible also in the marketing concept.

 

Content:

The marketing concept, that it was so much appraised by the 70-90's gurus, is now facing a dramatic change. This is happening due the change of the target way of living. The marketing now means communicating with every consumer, to adapt the flow of information according each individual demand. No more mass communication, no more considering marketing departments as net spenders in a business economy.

 

So the people changed. They also changed their habits. For the young adults and teenagers, the time devoted to TV is dropping fast, in favor for the Internet usage. Recent studies revealed that by 2007 in all developed countries people from 12-30 years old will spend more time on web then TV! This means the end of an era. And also the beginning of a new one, in which technology comes first.

 

The world is entering in the e-marketing era! Along with communications shifts, also social, economic, politic, environmental, and many other changes influence the average consumer (whether is a company or a person).

 

Now he (the consumer) has a huge amount of information to choose from. Products are available more easily, and services are making the difference. The extra value is created through a better approach to the client.

 

Initially, the companies used web for a presentation sites of their own products, with little or no interaction within the public categories. Their promotions were interesting, but the enthusiasm that they created weren’t very efficient from economic point of view. The dot com era was crashing. We remember (and yet we also see today) the very usual banners promotions, emails campaigns and the very annoying pop-ups. This initial approach had been already considered for an upgrade with the new concepts. Virtual reality with physical consumption, info-tainment, mobile phone integrated services, Marketing Information Systems, CRM, ERP, web tracking, cellular network identification are just few of the tools that the new players can use to enhance their business.

 

General idea

Now, let’s see! It’s business wise to adopt this new medium, IT&C. Why? The main advantages of e-marketing for a business are: increasing key brands indicators, reducing costs, new communication channels for seller’s clients, strategic advantages and direct increase in sales.

An example of decreasing costs: a simple presentation website (made in HTML or Flash) which informs 1000 clients per week about how to use a just bought product will make an economy in the company employer’s time of more then 5000 minutes per week. The time would have been spent by employers answering to routine questions.

 

An important characteristic of the Internet user is the lack of loyalty, and the easiness of leaving the webpage. A solution to this is a continuous adapting of the graphic of the website by using active server pages (or his Linux counterpart – php).  Another solution is using state-of-the-art multimedia features: dynamic 3D graphics, sound, interactive technologies are bringing the web and the mobile operators in a world of senses and basic emotions. The players with the most original approach have the better chances to be in the preferences top of the consumers.

Sometimes, the companies are more innovative then the market could support. And then, indeed, they will have a problem, because the users will not going to use the device. Determining the clients to adopt the new emarketing concept by showing them the advantages of time, money and image could be then a solution.

The emarketing directions are influenced by the existing communication infrastructure, the available hardware, the number of consumers/visitors (reaching a critical mass of users), the availability of electronic payment, and so one. Now, the broadband solutions are slowly expanding, and the Internet connections are increasing dramatically all over the civilized world, and not only! The number of potential users also increases and in most of the cases, it makes sense to proceed with the emarketing implementation. As for electronic payment, it seems that the number of US citizens that used in 2002 online banking and internet purchasing was far larger than those from 2001!

Many traditional firms are succeeding to transform their core business according the new ebusiness architectures. Because the web cuts down the costs of sharing knowledge, smart companies are focus on their core business and outsource the rest.

 

How exactly is marketing changing? Let’s discuss a bit about the marketing main components: the research and the strategic ones.

 

Market research

The technologies are changing in order to provide satisfaction to the large number of requests. From the simple Internet tracking until the spying all moves of the potential client, players are researching what’s going on. What websites target’s visiting, what keywords it is interested in, how much does it spend on the web, how many times a day it’s using the cell phone? Cookies are very common now, which can be planted on the host computers; we have tracking software, which gathers data from the visitors with an incredible number of details. We have small applications which are reading the already stored cookies from the user’s computer, just to find more information regarding it’s habits. We have Trojans, who are watching just like Big Brother the users for his master, and many others

Gathering intelligence can also be done by simple filling in a website questionnaire, to online support of a human operator and desktop sharing.

Everything a person is doing over in the emarketing environment, he leaves traces which can be followed. And there are not many barriers for the people determined to find those information on the Net. Just as a curiosity, in Moscow it is possible to buy for 1.5 USD a CD with the most luxurious cars in town, with the owners’ addresses and technical data. This is just like in a self-service, where buyer can always see first the merchandiseJ.

Also there are now many programs that are gathering, process and analyze the information from the market (like SPSS). And all of them are trying to ease a bit the efforts of their users. The main tendency here is the integration and customization for every single business that uses it, just to increase the overall efficiency.

 

Strategic marketing

There are so many tendencies on this direction, so I’ll just try to pinpoint some of them, the most interesting from business efficiency point of view:

-the idea of using the mobile phones as position identifiers in space, and based upon this, to deliver promotional messages (of course taking into consideration the buyers history). SMS can be send to the potential buyer who just happen to walk nearby the shop, with a promo message “John, at our store we have shirts of your size at a discount of 35% especially for you. Come in now!”. And, in the very moment of entering the shop, an electronic personalized welcome message could be displayed on TV screens. Just like in “Minority Report” (the movie), only using cell phones instead of eye contact! Of course, this is not a confidentiality issue, due some previous agreements.

-using a CRM solution is a very good move for every business that respects itself. A respectfully care showed to all the actual clients it’s very good for the business health. The CRM market is a fast growing one, now being very hard to find a big company without such valuable system. Processing useful information, delivering it to the top management, many administrative problems being solved instantly are just few of its great features. And all of them in an integrated manner, allowing special benefits to the loyal customers. The market launch of interesting articles for the clients can be communicated via email / web alert / SMS. The products can be then also shipped to the clients by mail/courier.

-the search engines are a very efficient method to start browsing over Internet. But having in mind, that, for a usual search, there are millions of results. It is very hard to find what you actually looking for. And if the target webpage is not in the first one or two results pages, the chances of viewing it are dropping exponentially. To increase the number of results they are several methods: to have a simple webpage (HTML) which is the easiest to index by website robots, using meta tags into the site’s sources, using links on other page towards target page, etc That’s why making a “relevance deal” with the search engines could turn very profitable for both sides.

-Displaying promotional messages in the search engines, according of the relevance of the searched keywords. This is one of the first methods for the Goggle to make some revenues. And this helped the companies which wanted for their page to be accessed by the interested people.

-According the statistical numbers, the Romanian surfers are using the Internet for emailing in 49% of the cases. So a great importance is given to this communication method by the new marketers. So much time can be quickly transformed in promotional time, during which the consumers will read “promo messages”. Email promotions become quickly very popular. Along with them, collecting the email addresses: searching through robots in all available websites in a specific Internet domain, buying whole databases, hacking into databases with email addresses, sending test emails to all the combinations available, and the eliminating the errors, collecting email addresses from naives, etc. Easy earnings, diplomas, free phones, indecent proposals, free Nokia phones. Sounds familiar? The persons that are using this kind of promotion have all the interest of having a larger number of target users to deliver the message. And if only 1/10000 surfers are visiting and buying the product, it is still a huge success for them.

-Initial, marketing for a usual company over Internet meant having the classic banners. Then the banners dimensions changed to giant banners, with a much more important effect (see Yahoo). Very new is the idea of having interactive banners, made available by the fast evolution of Flash Macromedia. Different actions happen while the user moves his mouse. These can be simple games which ask for the visitors attentions and skills (fly through space or driving through obstacles). The main advantage is the increase of chance to remember the banner and the chances of clicking on it. Other visuals, over layers, pop-ups, pop-under, appear from the same purpose: the need to innovation, to keep the surfers interested in a world of temptations.

-Network marketing is a good concept to be used over the Internet, just as good as in the real life. It is based on pyramidal business for example attractive discounts for selling services/products to other consumer. Yet another case for the search engine relevance, spamming and all those intrusive means of communicating the message! A subsection of it is the viral marketing, based mainly on email system and on high multimedia content.

-The classic concept of measuring the results of promotions over web is outdated: it is based on views/clicks. In a world in which the technology is a way of life, everything can be cheated. There are websites on the Internet where the visitors can earn money looking at banners all day long, or reading emails. New methods are appearing every day. On one side, there exists so many means to elude the payers. On the other side there are some client companies, who pay the money and are proud of its great Internet achievements with his Internet promotional campaignJ. Some new means of measuring the results are bond with the increasing tracking capabilities.

In the new era, the new technologies will play the big role. The strategies are not so different in their content versus 10 years ago. Still addressing the target, but with new (and interactive) methods that will ensure the winning of the target’s attention, and the propensity for them to act in a commercial way.

 

References:

Marshall McLuhan, Daniel Chandler, Jamie Rowse, Brady Nemmers, Patrick Dickson, Philip Kotler, and others.

 

wsj.com

crmguru.com

Philip Kotler – “Marketing Management” – Teora – 1999;

Bill Gates – “Businesses with the speed of thought” – Amaltea – 2002

Sergio Zyman – “The end of marketing’ – Nemira - 2001

 

 

 

 

Related links:
 
  1. Tendencies in Information Technologies with Direct Applicability in Marketing

  2. Retelele si impactul lor asupra IMM-urilor

  3. Pericolele marketingului personalizat

  4. E-Marketing vs Direct Marketing

  5. SE POT REDUCE FACTURILE TELEFONICE?

  6. Concepte in comunicare

  7. BANCILE PE INTERNET

  8. Avantajele apelarii la o a doua opinie – firmele de consultanta

  9. 25 de motive pentru care un site te ajuta in afaceri

  10. Search Engine Optimization
     

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