Learn how companies use technology channels to reach customers, keep customers, and collect and analyze customer data. These channels include banner ads, online reviews and ratings, blog posts, and smartphone ad formats. Different marketing strategies focus on customer use of the mobile phone and social media, allowing for easy, automatic target marketing.
Impact of Technology on Marketing
Technology, particularly the availability of big data coupled with a wide variety of digital marketing channels, offers substantial opportunity for marketing professionals.
- Alongside pretty much every facet of business, marketing has been substantially impacted by various evolving technological factors.
- Organizations have access to more data than ever before. Obtaining, organizing, and utilizing this data is a key effort of modern organizations.
- The wide variety of marketing channels available, spanning from social networks to distribution platforms like YouTube, offers more options than ever to reach consumers.
- Consumers are also impacted by technological changes in marketing. Most notably, consumers are targeted by more ads than ever before, often with higher relevance to their interests due to the huge amount of data they share.
- This has resulted in ad blindness (particularly banner ads) along with a number of concerns revolving around data sharing and privacy.
- Organic: Generated according to the ranking algorithms of a search engine, as opposed to paid placement by advertisers.
Technology has impacted the field of marketing significantly, along with virtually every other discipline in business. In marketing, the impacts of technology are diverse. Organizations are tasked with managing more marketing options than ever before, and consumers are more integrated with marketing information than they have been in the past.
Impacts on the Organization
From the organizational perspective, technology has impacted the ability to collect and organize marketing data, the channels the organization can use to reach consumers, and the process of developing different types and formats of advertising assets. Organizations have more data, more marketing formats, and more online places to communicate with consumers (i.e. social networks, blogs, search engines, YouTube videos, etc.).
When considering the impact of technology as a marketer, what is most important is maintaining a full scope of the relevant options and channels that can be used to communicate with prospective and existing consumers:
- Search engine results
- Social networks (paid and organic)
- Banner ads
- Sponsored online retail content
- Online reviews and ratings
- Blog posts and web development
- Online video content (paid and organic)
- Smartphone ad formats
- Tablet ad formats
Web Banner Ads: When marketing materials are distributed online, it can be very complicated. Above is an example of a layout that might be encountered when developing web banner ads.
Impacts on the Consumer
From the consumer side, marketing has become increasingly integrated into everyday life. From Facebook advertising to Google paid search results, the average consumer has an increasingly personalized and data-driven exposure to ‘relevant’ ad materials. This is all not to mention the various devices and distribution formats, spanning from computer browsers to mobile to tablet distribution.
Thanks to the enormous amount of information available, primarily from social networks and browsing behavior, consumers are also being impacted from a privacy point of view. From what we watch on TV to who our friends are to what career paths we are on, all of this information is being utilized thanks to social networks and browser cookies. This creates accurately catered ads, albeit alongside valid concerns of privacy.
Ad blindness is another interesting outcome of the modern technology-driven marketing. As consumers are exposed to more and more sponsored content, the ability to ignore marketing materials (particularly online) has grown quite high. As consumers are accosted with more and more content, they have evolved the capacity to consciously and subconsciously ignore sponsored ad content.
For organizations and consumers both, the most important takeaway is the way in which big data, diverse distribution opportunities, products and consumers are all combined. Identifying the ideal target market from the data, figuring out which channels this market tends to use (social networks, etc.), and which products fill their needs is a strategic necessity in the modern technological era for organizational success (B2C particularly).
Use of New Technologies in Marketing and Research
New technologies in online marketing — smart phones, CRM systems, and social media — can aid marketers in reaching new and existing customers.
- CRM systems for marketing help the enterprise identify and target potential clients and generate leads for the sales team.
- Social media marketing refers to the process of gaining website traffic or attention through social media sites.
- Social media sites regularly used in marketing efforts include Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, Instagram, LinkedIn, Yelp, and YouTube.
- Social media: Interactive forms of media that allow users to interact with and publish to each other, generally by means of the Internet.
- Customer relationship management: A widely implemented model for managing a company’s interactions with customers, clients, and sales prospects. It involves using technology to organize, automate, and synchronize business processes—principally sales activities, but also those for marketing, customer service, and technical support. Also known by the acronym “CRM. “
Use of New Technologies in Marketing & Research
A wave of new technologies exists today to aid marketers in reaching and researching existing and prospective customers. Even tools thought of as “new” a decade ago, such as internet advertising, e-mails, and text messaging, are now seen as the norm or even antiquated. Newer technologies, including GPS, DVR’s, social media and smart phone applications, are becoming increasingly important. Two major tools being used today are customer relationship management systems (CRMs) and social media marketing.
Customer relationship management systems use technology to organize, synchronize, and automate business practices. CRM systems for marketing help the enterprise identify and target potential clients and generate leads for the sales team. A key marketing capability is the ability to track and measure multichannel campaigns, including email, search, social media, telephone, and direct mail. Metrics monitored include clicks, responses, leads, deals, and revenue. In a web-focused marketing CRM solution, organizations create and track specific web activities that help develop the client relationship. These activities may include such activities as free downloads, online video content, and online web presentations.
A certain amount of marketing information is being gathered all the time by companies as they engage in their daily operations. When a sale is made and recorded, this is marketing information that’s being gathered. When a sales representative records the shipping preferences of a customer in a firm’s CRM system, this is also marketing information that’s being collected. When a firm gets a customer complaint and records it, this too is information that should be put to use. All this data can be used to generate consumer insight. However, truly understanding customers involves not just collecting quantitative data (numbers) related to them but qualitative data, such as comments about what they think.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing refers to the process of gaining website traffic or attention through social media sites. Social media marketing involves using peer recommendations, building brand personality, and addressing the market as a heterogeneous group
of individuals. It also uniquely encourages customers to create their own content and buzz around a product. In other words, programs usually center on efforts to create content that attracts attention and encourages readers to share it with their
social networks. Hence, this form of marketing is driven by word-of-mouth; this means it generates results in earned media rather than paid media.
Event Promotion: Social media sites can be used when putting on a business marketing event.
Some examples of popular social media sites are:
Twitter allows companies to promote products on an individual level. The use of a product can be explained in short messages that followers are more likely to read. Messages can link to the product’s website, Facebook profile, photos, videos, et cetera. This link gives followers the opportunity to spend more time interacting with the product online. This interaction can create a loyal connection between product and individual and can also lead to larger advertising opportunities.
Facebook profiles are more detailed than Twitter. They allow a product to provide videos, photos, and longer descriptions. These also can include testimonials, as other followers can comment on the product pages for others to see.
Foursquare is a location-based social networking website where users can check into locations via their smartphones. Foursquare allows businesses to create a page or create a new venue or claim an existing one. A good marketing strategy for businesses to increase footfall or retain loyal customers includes offering incentives like discounts or free food/beverages for people checking in to their location, or provides special privileges for the mayor of that location.
LinkedIn, being a professional business-related networking site, allows companies to create professional profiles for themselves as well as allowing their business to network and meet others. Through the use of widgets, members can promote their various social networking activities, such as Twitter stream or blog entries of their product pages, on their LinkedIn profile page. LinkedIn provides its members the opportunity to generate sales leads and business partners.
Marketing Innovation Trends
Innovation trends in marketing include mobile marketing, viral marketing, and more efficient usage of branding and targeting.
- On average, SMS messages are read within four minutes, making them highly convertible.
- MMS mobile marketing can contain a timed slideshow of images, text, audio and video.
- Push notifications have helped application owners to communicate directly with their end users in a simple and effective way.
- Acting as a visual hyper-link to a page, QR codes make it easy for someone to reach a mobile optimized offer page.
- Viral marketing involves the exponential spread of a marketing message by online word of mouth.
- With the immense amount of personal and usage data currently available, targeting can be done automatically and extremely successfully.
- Mobile SPAM messages: SMS sent to mobile subscribers without a legitimate and explicit opt-in by the subscriber.
Marketing Innovation Trends
The newest trends in marketing are based on and around the use of new technologies. With the ever increasing use of cell phones around the globe – especially smart phones – one of the more popular current trends is mobile marketing.
Mobile marketing is marketing on or with a mobile device. More specifically, marketers that utilize mobile marketing use interactive wireless media to provide customers with time and location sensitive, personalized information that promotes goods, services and ideas – thereby generating value for all stakeholders. The most popular forms of mobile marketing include:
Over the past few years, SMS (short message service) marketing has become a legitimate advertising channel in some parts of the world. On average, SMS messages are read within four minutes, making them highly convertible. While this has been fruitful in developed regions such as North America and Western Europe, mobile SPAM messages remain an issue in many parts or the world. This is partly due to the carriers selling their member databases to third parties. Most mobile operators in the U.S. demand a double opt-in from the consumer and the ability for the consumer to opt-out of the service at any time by sending the word STOP via SMS.
SMS marketing services typically run off a short code, but sending text messages to an email address is another methodology. Short codes are five or six digit numbers that have been assigned by mobile operators in a given country for the use of brand campaigns and other consumer services. Due to the high price of short codes – $500 to $1000 a month – many small businesses opt to share a short code in order to reduce monthly costs. Another alternative to sending messages by short code or email is to do so through one’s own dedicated phone number. Long numbers – or those based on the international format – are also regularly utilized for mobile marketing.
Mobile content can also be delivered via MMS (multimedia message service). Nearly all new phones produced with a color screen are capable of sending and receiving standard MMS messages. MMS mobile marketing can contain a timed slideshow of images, text, audio, and video.
Push notifications were first introduced to smartphones by Apple with the advent of the iPhone in 2007. They were later further popularized with the Android operation system, where the notifications are shown on the top of the screen. It has helped application owners to communicate directly with their end users in a simple and effective way. It can be much cheaper when compared to SMS marketing in the long run, but it can become quite expensive initially because of the cost involved in application development.
Also with the increase in smart phone usage, QR – or quick response – codes have become much more prevalent in marketing pieces both on and offline. Acting as a visual hyper-link to a page, QR codes make it easy for someone to reach a mobile optimized offer page. As such, they represent a very powerful tool for initiating consumer engagement at the time when the marketing piece is likely triggering its most emotional response. Their potential for tracking offline sources and delivering the types of analytics previously reserved for online tracking makes another powerful reason that marketers are flocking to QR codes in droves.
QR Code: A QR code is a marketing tool. Consumers can scan QR codes with their smart phones to instantly reach information or offer pages.
Other Online Marketing Trends
Besides mobile marketing, there are other trends in online marketing. Viral marketing is involves the exponential spread of a marketing messages by online word of mouth (sometimes referred to as “word of mouse”). A major component of viral communication is the meme – or a message that spreads virally and embeds itself in the collective consciousness. Viral marketing is closely tied to social media, since social media platforms and their sharing functionality are the main way that a message is able to “go viral” online.
Meme: A meme is a popular method of marketing images and ideas on the web and social networks.
Branding and target marketing have also evolved in the online realm. More than ever before, brands are creating personas and identities around themselves, rather than the products they sell. The online space allows customers to interact and converse with the brand personally and directly. Target marketing can be extremely precise on the web. With the immense amount of personal and usage data currently available, targeting can be done automatically and extremely successfully.
In a world where everything is social and shared, the consumer has a lot of power. Marketers foresee that they will need to hand more control over to customers, who want to engage on deeper and more significant levels with content. The trend may go so
far as to let customers create marketing content, with agencies keeping oversight and steering from the sidelines. Also, with increasing mobility and shrinking size of technological devices, consumers will expect to have round-the-clock access to
all of their data, regardless of where they are and what device they are using. There are many opportunities here for even more specific and user-relevant content.
Source: Lumen Learning, https://courses.lumenlearning.com/boundless-marketing/chapter/technology/
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