Marketing in the digital age
Tesco, the leading British supermarket, has grown successfully for many years. By contrast, Sainsbury’s, the former leader, has struggled to keep pace and now is in only third position. Tesco understands and addresses customer needs in a compelling manner — it has the right product mix, and provides excellent value. Tesco illustrates the essence of effective marketing.
In general, when you talk about marketing the first thing that comes to our mind is Advertisement, promotions, selling, etc. That is because we are bombarded with television and newspaper ads, direct mail and sales calls every day. Marketing is not only about advertisement, promotions or selling your products, but it has many more business activities. Marketing is based on 4Ps i.e. Product, Price, Place and Promotion. We could also say that fulfilling the needs and satisfying needs of the customers by earning profit is called marketing. In simple words marketing means creating awareness of the product and the brand name by targeting a particular group of customer (for example age group of 18yrs to 30yrs, females or kids etc.) to whom you want to sell your product. It generates the strategy that underlies sales techniques, business communication, and business developments.
Marketing is a very broad concept. Today it plays a very important role in the process of launching a new product in the market, brand loyalty from the customers, reaching and increasing the customer base for the product’s long life in the competitive world of marketing. The sales of a product are largely depended on the marketing style. A strategic planning is always important for the success of the product, especially in today’s world where the marketing has gone digital. We find people buying things on internet unlike in the early years of 2000’s when internet was just building up its image in marketing of products online. The advertisements are now done online which is the easiest way to reach the targeted customers. That is because the use of internet has been increasing tremendously. The vast difference that has made in digital marketing is the use of internet technologies, data mining, neuroscience technologies, web2.0, etc. It has changed the whole system of marketing. The marketing is now done by targeting the people and brainwashing their mind through advertisements and many other ways. They term it as neuromarketing. They target the thinking of the customer straight away or you can say the human behaviour. The firms, today, want not only to retain their customers but also increase the customer base. The firms therefore, have changed the way of marketing and trying to stay with the digital age marketing by using various types of marketing technologies. The essay discusses more on the evolution of the marketing, the difference that the Web2.0 has made in marketing world and also the neuroscience marketing which is very commonly used by many firms today as a marketing technic. The essay also discusses about the forthcoming Web3.0 an internet based technology which will be the next big step in marketing system.
Definitions of Marketing
Marketing has many definitions given by various people. The following are some popular definitions:
Marketing as defined in 2007 by the American Marketing Association is “the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.”
Peter drucker a leading marketing management thinker, has described marketing as follows:
“Marketing is not only much broader than selling, it is not a specialised activity at all. It encompasses the entire business. It is the whole business seen from the point of view of its final result, that is, from the customer’s point of view”.
The Evolution of Digital Marketing
Today the marketing has gone to next level. The marketing has gone digital. Every day you find out a new marketing style or a new way of marketing is been used to attract people to buy your product or services. As mentioned earlier the major difference is made by the internet related technologies i.e. data mining, web2.0 and various other things. The firms especially have enjoyed the change from 2005, when the Web2.0 came into play. The marketing as a subject has become very wide and broad concept. This is because the change or the evolution in the marketing that is brought in by the new technologies and other new ways of marketing for example, stealth marketing, online auctions, e-commerce, etc. these are the things that bears the proof of impact of the technological development on marketing in the recent past. Today internet is a kind of lifeline for the people, without internet they are helpless. For example a person wants to buy a top-up for his cell phone he’ll not go to a store instead he will use internet or the cash machines to buy the top-up. If a person wishes to eat pizza he can go to any pizza web site i.e. pizza hut, dominos, etc. and order it. The eBay has been a perfect example of technological development in the marketing evolution where people literally sell and buy different products without even knowing each other. They just buy and sell things by displaying a picture and the details of the product. Whereas, in the 1990’s the people had to go to the shops and buy things they wish to purchase. Most of the people didn’t know about the new products launched in the market in that era. The change in the marketing technics and the use of technology has helped the people in the right way they wanted. They are now updated through e-mails from the companies, etc. They also save a lot of time, money and energy to do the same things they did by spending a lot time and money in travelling to buy things.
The evolution in marketing has brought a lot of change and has helped the firms in many ways. It creates a great value for the shareholders and also attracts more new investors to invest in the company. It also helps the firms to track the market positions of the firms & its product in the market, the firms have a great advantage of doing marketing research of its product to plan the marketing strategies of the product i.e. how to market, where to market, who to target for the product, etc. which is necessary for the success of the product. It has made very easy for the firms to apply the Marketing Mix. Marketing requires a lot of communication with the consumers that is in B2C or with the firms in the case of B2B, for which the internet has been a bridge to fill the gap. You just have to e-mail your clients or the company of what you want and how you want, there is an immediate reply within a days’ time. This has been a major boost for the marketing system. It has changed the whole scenario of marketing today. The use of internet has helped companies save a lot of money which they spent on finding the dealers which bears very high risk of the success of the store. The consumer on the other hand is also happy because they can directly buy the goods from the company and also can get the after sales services directly from the company which is generally faster then what the retailers do. Dell is an excellent example for this. They sell computers only online or through an authorised Dell dealer which is very rare. The company enjoys a higher profit margin and the customers enjoy good service which is direct from the company.
The Role Of Web2.0 In Marketing Evolution
The first big step towards the technological revolution was back in 2001 when dot-com entered in the world of marketing. World Wide Web was used for sharing ideas and promoting discussion, etc. Many people thought it was overhyped and is not as good as it looks. The fact is that in the star it slowly got in but on the later stage it lacked many ways which were then seen in Web2.0. Web2.0 is the second biggest but even more effective step towards the technological revolution in marketing system. It took one and half year for getting a proper hold in the marketing world after it was used for the first time in 2004. The progress story or the point of the Web2.0 coming in the lime light is the high-profile takeover of the internet telephone service by Skype and then the online payment system PayPal by one of the most successful online auction site EBay, the takeover of the photo-sharing site Flickr by Yahoo and the 1.6-bn-dollar takeover of the video exchange site called YouTube by Google have placed the subject of Web 2.0 in the spotlight. The firms as well as the consumers both have accepted the change well. It is also called as the ‘Social Web’. It is also very often used for Social programs like Social Networking (Facebook, Orkut, MySpace, etc.), Social Media, Sharing Contents, Blogs, Wikis, Podcasting, YouTube, RSS, Google, etc.
The Web2.0 has helped the firms reach the customers directly for example SPORTSDIRECT.COM. They sell sports goods online, they do have retail outlets but their main way of marketing is through internet. The consumers book the products online where they can select and compare from different brands and get the goods delivered within 24 hours at their door step without wasting time of going to the store and buying. There are some websites which help people compare and choose to what they want to buy. For example the HUNGARYHOUSE.COM which helps people choose from different restaurants in their area for which food they want to eat and what is the speciality of the restaurants in that area. The consumers can go the website and select from the options and order meals. They also can get best deals and offers by booking online. Also there is a website for developing business networks or helps find new buyers or sellers of different products. The website is known as ALIBABA.COM. It is very popular website where people from different part of the world can find different products sold by many different companies from various countries. They are also individuals buying and selling variety of products.
In general, it is said that everything has a positive and a negative side. The same goes with the Web2.0. There is some danger towards the culture, society, etc. posed by the use of Web2.0 for example There are some anonymous videos and remixes on YouTube, Google videos and many other similar sites where cultural danger and also the abuse and misuse of the copyright videos, logos, music, etc. is often seen. There are so many sites which give in detail information of making a BOMB. These things are somehow a worrying part where lot of care has to be taken make sure of the safety of the world.
After all the good and bad side of the WEB2.0 the essay further discusses the forthcoming Web3.0. The Web 3.0 technologies are difficult to define how brilliant it will be, as the outline of emerging applications has been very clear over the past few years with the use of the Web2.0. We can thus essentially view Web 3.0 as powering large-scale Web applications. The kind of applications that are used in web2.0 will be even more filtered and will be even more sophisticated with better softwares. The marketing system will benefit more in terms of selling goods online, increasing the customer base and in many other ways. Thus Web3.0 is going to bring tremendous change in the marketing world by making things easier and effective by spending less time, money and reducing the amount of labours hired for marketing related jobs.
The Use Of Neuroscience Marketing
After the Web2.0 as the new technology for marketing which has made marketing very easy, the firms had to find a new, a better and effective way of marketing. The firms, then, started to find even more new ways of marketing to reach the customers and to retain them for long term. The firms started using the neuroscience technologies to learn the needs of the customer to satisfy them with their product. The neuroscience uses the methods that are originally used for brain research to investigate the economic problems, and then advance the integrating neuroscientific findings into the economic sciences. Neuromarketing or consumer neuroscience is a part of neuroeconomics that addresses the marketing related problems i.e. Methods of marketing and also the insights from brain research. Therefore, with the help of advanced techniques of neurology, which is used for consumer neuroscience, a more direct view of the customers thinking is feasible which helps the firms market their product easily to the targeted customers. Consumer neuroscience, when at its initial stage, should not have be seen as a challenge to traditional consumer research techniques, but gave a complementing advancement towards further investigation of specific decision-making behaviour of the consumers.
Neuroimaging technology allows researchers to observe in detail of how the human behaviour changes when neural mechanisms are applied. The fully comprehending human behaviour requires an understanding of how evolutionary processes have been selected for the functional patterns and therefore, how the nervous system responds to the same. Both economist and the neurologists made attempts to learn and understand the human behaviour for which they have used various different methods in past few years. The economic research on the other hand has tried to explain the human behaviour through observational data and other theoretical constructs such as utility or preferences. Since there are so many types each one has its own weakness and strength. The research work is only approved or put in to use when they are tried with few other types of research methods and once they are successful with them, they start using it. There are many human physiological reactions that can be easily measured and used for neural functioning. The humans are subject to various cultural phenomena, human behaviour is comprised of biological and cultural mind set when buying things. To be particular the importance of evolution would be a product’s taste and safety along with how the product influences one’s social mind set. Accordingly, various advertising images and celebrity endorsers, sometimes makes a consumer choose and be loyal to the brand. This shows how social influence via brand image can be used as a marketing method which is actually the neural activity for an emotive response by the consumer towards the brand.
Therefore, from the above essay the evolution in marketing has played a very important part in changing the traditional marketing methods which made things easier, more effective by spending less time, also helps find the correct information about the consumer and their needs very easily which is very necessary to retain the customers. However, the major changes were because the use of internet based technologies that were introduced which changed the complete picture of the marketing methods i.e. researching, selling goods, also finding and comparing things easily, etc. Change is must in almost everything. It helps you find new things and also makes it easier. The marketing in past few years have experienced the same change which has made it very efficient but doing it in a very easy method.
On the other hand The Web2.0 has made it so easy for the marketing part specifically because in the 1990’s or even in the early 2000’s it was not easy to look and find the information so easily. It has helped the firms to grow its network of customers in a very easy manner unlike in the 2001 when they used the Web1.0. The Web2.0 has made quit a big difference in the marketing methods already, what will be the next thing when the Web3.0 will be in use, can’t even imagine the way thing s will be. The world will be working so fast. The marketing methods will be even more improved, even more efficient like never before. Also the firms are now using the neuroscience technology. Therefore, when the technology meets science the opportunity in developing marketing skills will be tremendous. The marketing system has taken major change and is trying to read the customers mind to what they actually want and how they think. They are using several neuroscience methods to do this. It has helped them well to both the consumers as well as the firms. These innovations of new technics and also the internet based technology have helped the marketing system change and modernise it. These timely changes are very important to keep up with fast moving digital world. New methods are always helpful and should be used until it benefits both the firms and the consumers. It is always good when the balance is right. Thus changes should take place from time to time and by the time Web3.0 is in market there should be more and more new technologies innovated to make marketing more effective.
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