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Recently it has been evidenced in some literature that, ICT applications such as workflow systems, groupware systems, e-mail, and data transfer through Internet and videoconferencing may have diluted some of the traditional market functions which were used by many marketers in facilitating their day to day marketing techniques. This new way of doing business has some effects to the future market due to the different levels of technological advancement the community has.
In terms of implications for global marketing, the impact of ICT activities would have its strongest impact on product development decisions. The trend towards modular designs and the companion platform product strategy in which a firm designs a common core with different versions for different segments is likely to accelerate.1
Principally, marketing is the science of choosing target markets through market analysis and market segmentation, as well as understanding consumer buying behavior and providing superior customer value still needs a wider discussion.2 The main goal of marketing is to make profit by satisfying customer demands and needs. It is also a strategy that can make a business to grow and become powerful.
It is the market target which will define the type of marking structure the marketers might choose to adopt. However, there is an ongoing battle between these types of marketing such as traditional marketing and the marketing which utilizes the advancement of information technology in determining which is better than the other. This being the case; there is a need of identifying the advantages and disadvantages of each marketing type.
The main objective of this paper is to examine the impact of ICT on Traditional Marketing and to discuss the prospects and challenges of the changing roles for future marketing.
The group worked on different materials from the internet, books, journals, interviews and class presentation on marketing and marketing management
Basing on different presentations, books, papers and some formal and informal interview answers, the authors have come to a conclusion that, the combination of the two ways of marketing may be important for successful marketing functions in global markets. With respect to emerging the ICT revolution, internet which is mostly used as a communication channel it has a large impact in marketing and a strong tool of reaching large audience.
ICT is an acronym that stands for Information and Communication Technology. ICT is used in marketing as a process of marketing a product or service using the information communication technology channels. ICT marketing being a process of marketing a product or service using the advanced Information communication technology, it utilizes strategies like website creation, search engine optimization (SEO), banner ads, social media, pay-per-click advertising and email marketing.
In this process, marketing a brand using digital media is used to help connecting business to their customers. Business activities are conducted via the worldwide web (www) with the aim of attracting new business, retaining current customers and/or business and developing its brand identity.
The application of ICT in marketing helped in achieving marketing objectives and the modern marketing concepts which enables marketers to distribute their products and increase their customer base and makes it easier for stakeholders to access market and management data, share information and to build trading partnerships. As a marketing tool; ICT has attracted more customers and has influenced marketing decisions due to its easy accessibility and utilization hence adds value and improved company business and revenues. It enables consumers to collect information as the prices can be accessed online.
However, marketers need to make creative and innovative use of information employing both technology and intuition to tease out trends and opportunities. Adding on the application of ICT in marketing, Strauss et al (2003)3 suggest that ICT in marketing covers a wide range of IT related applications with three main aims such as one; transforming marketing strategies to create more customer value through more effective segmentation, targeting, two; differentiation and positioning strategies; planning and executing the conception, distribution, promotion and pricing of goods, services and three satisfy individual consumer and organizational customers’ objectives.
Marketing can be said to be the management process through which goods and services move from concept to the customer. It includes the coordination of product, price, place and promotional strategy. Marketing consists of the strategies and tactics used to identify, create and maintain satisfying relationships with customers that result in value for both the customer and the marketer.
Marketing is based on thinking about the business in terms of customer needs and their satisfaction and it differs from selling because selling concerns itself with the tricks and techniques of getting people to exchange their cash for your product. It is not concerned with the values that the exchange is all about. And it does not, as marketing invariably does, view the entire business process as consisting of a tightly integrated effort to discover, create, arouse and satisfy customer needs.4
Led by marketing scholars from several major universities, (name the personauthor who say this.)5 substantiate the development of marketing in large part be motivated by the need to dissect in greater detail relationships and behaviors that existed between sellers and buyers. In particular, the study of marketing led sellers to recognize that adopting certain strategies and tactics could significantly benefit the seller/buyer relationship.
Basic Marketing Functions
Marketing is all about identifying and meeting human and social needs. it is the art which marketers use to understand their customers. There are some basic marketing functions highlighted as follows:- Market Research and Information Management, Product Management, Market management , Sales management, Physical distribution management and Promotion research.
2.0. Overview of Traditional Marketing
Traditional marketing utilizes strategies like direct sales, TV, radio, mail, print advertising eg. Magazines, coupon, books, billboards, and promotional materials. A marketer who adopts the traditional method will use the unique selling proposition to market a particular product from a particular brand with less number of competitors. However, this adaptation to the marketing plans and strategies end in advertising. The method believes that, advertising which exposes the product to the world and places it is the best platform to target customer. Traditional marketers understand marketing to be comprised of four mixed facets, known as the Four P’s: Price, Product, Placement and Promotion.
2.1. Factors that influence the traditional marketing:
With “selling” as the ultimate goal, marketing strategies are influenced by two basic factors: first is acquisition of customers, second is retention of the acquired customers. So every other strategy that is laid out will focus on these two. A Company has to work closely towards achieving these factors to attain the desired cutting edge over its competitors.
Together with the two factors; there are also a few other objectives such as creating awareness through information and education of the product, brand-building and accelerating sales which must accompany the utilization of the traditional marketing factors.
Traditional marketing encourages person-to-person selling as a most popular marketing strategy. Customers can directly be able to see the product, test it and decide to buy a product or service he has seen.
Moreover, it is a marketing type which is tangible as it offers hard copy material. There is something to be said about handing a consumer some tangible printed material they can flip through at their leisure.
With few advantage of a Traditional Marketing, there is however negative factors that brings changes such as expensive & Cost Prohibitive: Purchasing advertising for TV, radio or print can be very costly prohibitive to most small businesses. Printing hard copy brochures, business cards and mailers is expensive.
When using the traditional mode, it is difficult to track results. It is like throwing things against the wall and hoping they stick. It is tough to track real quantitative results. This being the case, it is usually requires outside help by using things such as printing materials, buying media and creating radio advertisements all require hiring outside help, which adds to costs. Lastly, the method forces upon consumers to a product or service, they don’t necessarily ask for it.
3.0. Over view of the ICT
Society forces have managed to facilitate the creation of the new marketing behavior and opportunities. With the advances in technology, globalization, privatization, retail transformation, customer buying power; which brings more accurate level of production, technological advances, make it easier for the markets to increase efficiency, branding, collect richer information, direct selling and quick delivery of product.
ICT as a means to facilitate eMarketing is concerned with the storage, retrieval, manipulation, transmission or receipt of digital data. Importantly, it is also concerned with the way these different uses can work with each other to achieve a certain objective.
3.1. Factors affecting ICT in marketing
The ICT has some advantages and disadvantages in the marketing. Some of them are that when the marketer use this marketing type, it is easier to measure the results. Data and results are available immediately when needed for decision making. These data can be made using both real data and qualitative results on whether to market certain product or service or not as the data collecting system is accurate and is governed by programmes which are computerized.
ICT has the ability to drill down into your demographics to accurately reach your target market. The use of social media and networking allow the marketers to communicate directly with groups or even individual consumers. The ability to build direct relationships with your customers via social media and communities is guaranteed.
ICT can facilitate, marketing research, company can facilitate and speed up internal communication, achieve substantial savings by using the internet to compare sellers price and purchase materials
With some few advantages, ICT has some disadvantages such as time consumptions, third party ability to mismanage posted information, sources of power to run the machines, save the strong and lose the weak,
Searching in the web to obtain the product or service required time and space. Consumer is forced to search for a required product in different webs to obtain a brandy needed. With the utilization of time, this mode is not of benefit.
There is no reliability and customer’s interaction hence increase intangibility. Customer has to choose whether to buy the product displayed in the web or choose for the other product elsewhere. The art of interaction increases ownership and customer brand loyal to a certain product.
It can be highly demanding on the web owners as it requires continuous content creation, edited, approved and published comments must be responded to and sites and pages must be maintained every time. This requires manpower which is effective and can quickly respond to the customer needs.
Furthermore, the use of ICT can create classes as it saves the strong and loses the weak. It is the stronger who can manage to pay for the services and be able to access the ICT marketing hence the middle and lower class customers who cannot access the web pages are exonerated.
Impact of ICT in Traditional Marketing Functions
The two types of marketing are geared towards obtaining maximum marketing results with customer satisfaction as a major objective. Marketing being a collective process where individuals can exchange goods or services based on their needs and wants, the marketing mix principle of the product, price, place and promotion is used. (10) [Philip Kotler, 2003, Marketing Management]. However, each one is useful depending on the desired objective, population and especially the marketing mix the community has.
ICT maintains a database of information for record purpose, analysis, research and production of management reports is enhanced for decision making, physical distribution is enhanced through fleet tracking systems, warehouse stock monitoring tools, distribution monitoring and controls, promotion research, etc. the traditional marketing has also database depending on the retail and selling of the product for the warehouse to retail outlets, advertising and customer responses to the advertised product.
Customers in the ICT marketing cannot experience the quality and size of the product by just seeing it on the website in the same way as seeing the product in a physical store. The attitude of not being able to reach and feel the product physically, can create doubts for the customer and have an effect on his/her purchasing decision.11 (Philip Kotler) whereas in the traditional marketing product is tangible for the customer to touch, view and feel.
When it comes to a range of products offered through Internet compared to physical stores used in the traditional marketing, there is an advantage of possibility for a company to offer a wide range of products on their website.12 The issues that can appear here are cost and space for inventory and store space itself, where there is a connection between cost and space in the traditional marketing.
The issue of customer service and how it can reach the customer has some impact on both marketing modes. It is more difficult to provide customer service through Internet compared to face to face contact when the customer visits the physical store or a selling point. The customer can get a quick response and reaction from the staff when getting a service in the physical store, where as through Internet the customer is dealing with a so called fixed service. And even though there might be possibility for communicating through e-mail or support chat function, the response and communication of service will not be as personal and quick as it could be when communicating face to face.
One issue that can affect the customer’s choice of purchase is the warranty of the good. This gives comfort to customers, both in traditional marketing and Internet marketing but most importantly it gives the secure feeling to those purchasing online. The customer that cannot see and touch the product when purchasing it would feel more secure knowing that there is a warranty on the product and this would make the choice of purchase easier and less risky.
The pricing of a product can be based on the costs of its process in reaching the market. When a company does Internet marketing it has a bigger opportunity to save costs and therefore a bigger possibility to have lower prices on a particular product. The traditional marketing has more cost implications as one of the reasons for this is the cost of space for keeping the products than the cheap way of communication through internet by e-mail.
When marketing through Internet, the competition is very tough with the effect in the pricing setup. The competitors are a click away when a potential customer is searching for information on the Internet. Since payments for purchase through Internet are done by credit card mostly, there can be some security issues that create problems. For example a customer would feel more secure paying in the physical store where they can have more control over the payment process; whereas purchasing online is by taking a risk when giving the credit card details.
In traditional marketing, companies have the opportunities to decorate the stores in order to create a specific atmosphere that can attract customers. Some attractive tools to create that atmosphere can be music, colors, tea, coffee etc, but through Internet marketing it is almost impossible to create a real sensation since a website is just a virtual image. Even though many of the websites try to create an atmosphere by adding the same tools for attraction, they cannot create as real experience as can be created in the physical store.
The atmosphere of the store is mentioned to be very important for sales of the products. For example if you see an unorganized store just filled up with some clothes you hardly feel tempted to go in and look for anything. The way the store is decorated gives a message about the company and its style. When one thinks about this, one can realize the importance of the physical existence of the store. Think for example how the company could offer the same atmosphere through the website. But in the end the experience of stepping into the store is different than clicking on computer when shopping.
Internet helps companies to be reachable at any time, regardless of openings hours that physical stores require. Also the possibility for the customers to reach the store location online and the range of customers that can do that is much wider compared to the physical location of the store.
When it comes to promotion, one thing which is clear is the difference between the communication through traditional and Internet is the speed. Speed of getting the message of advertisement, news or any type of information through to customers is very quick through Internet. This is a very important issue in the competitive world of business.
Another difference between promotion by Internet and promotion by traditional ways is the durability of the marketing message the marketer wants to communicate with the customers. In traditional manner, the message would receive attention during a limited amount of time, for example as it is aired on TV or sent out as paper advertising, whereas on the Internet, the message to the customers can exist constantly on the company’s website.
Through a website, a company can present itself in many ways where the customer can study different aspects of the company and get to know it well where as this is not possible in the same way through traditional tools for promotion. For example the complexity of wide range of information cannot be easily fitted into a magazine advertising or TV commercial etc. The tools for traditional promotion can be used mainly in communicating the message shortly and consistently.
There is also a burden of maintaining a website or online commercials that consume time, resources, technology, skills and money will be mostly used. But this should be weighted out by the accessibility and opportunity they provide. The traditional marketing only requires the selling channel which can be physically observed and maintained.
Nowadays a large group of consumers have the problem of time but have the money to spend; therefore it can be easier for them to shop online and saving time when spending. The image, speed, design and generally every aspect of the website of a company is very important.
5.0. Prospects and Challenges of the changing roles for future marketing
5.1. Prospects for future Marketing:
As it was discussed earlier, marketing is largely affected by societal forces which then affect marketing behaviors and opportunities. Recent approaches in marketing with a focus on the customer, business marketing or industrial marketing with focus on an organization or institution and social marketing with focus on benefits to society, have creates new forms of marketing such as the internet marketing or more generally e-marketing, online marketing, search engine marketing, or desktop advertising. This marketing attempts to perfect the segmentation strategy used in traditional marketing.
It targets its audience more precisely, and is sometimes called personalized marketing or one-to-one marketing. Internet marketing is sometimes considered to be broad in scope, because it not only refers to marketing on the Internet, but also includes marketing done via e-mail and wireless media.
Technological advancements can lessen barriers between countries and regions. By using webs, firms can quickly dispatch information from one country to another without much restriction. Prior to the mass usage of the Internet, such transfers of information would have taken longer to send, especially if done via snail mail (postal mail), telex, etc. The advancement in technology provides companies with a new tool for direct marketing and advertising that may be cost effective and provide maximum delivery to targeted customers.
Recently, there has been a large emphasis on data analysis. Data can be mined from various sources such as online forms, mobile phone applications and more recently, social media. Marketers can collect fuller and richer information about markets, customers, prospects and even competitors.
Internet marketing makes the market reachable at anytime regardless of the time and opening hour’s restrictions that the physical store may require. Shopping of product and services can be done on line and selling transactions is concluded within a short time. It saves time to attend and concentrate on one item. Product or service can be represented in different designs and quickly utilized when viewed under the internet. During this time of globalization, the technological advancement has overtaken all other means of life so do the market atmosphere.
With Internet, marketers have a great opportunity to offer sales promotions such as competitions or price reductions to those who visit the company’s website. This can encourage the customers to visit that website again and this way of interacting with the customers provides the means for the company to build a long term relationship with their customers.
Internet is a new medium for public relations and it offers companies the opportunity to publish the news directly while in traditional marketing they would wait for periodical publications or brochures. They can use Blogs, Podcasts/ Internet radio shows, online newsrooms and media kits.
5.2. Challenges for the changing roles for future marketing
Legal issues and specific Internet legislation are vitally important and online marketers should fully be aware of the law wherever they trade whether it is within their own national boundaries, or inside an economic trading bloc such as the European Union or in other nation states. Time, money, litigation and public relations damage can be avoided by being familiar with the relevant legislation and applying to the organisations both in the public and private sector.
The problems associated with the Internet that marketers must understand and respond to such as customer resistance to change, especially older and disadvantaged people; public concerns over privacy issues, such as SPAM and chat-rooms, lingering security doubts over fraud and phishing (hackers) and network security and stability (worms).
Lack of trust with unknown virtual traders, the Internet’s sensory boundaries limiting of senses like taste and touch which influence buyer decisions, limited web access for low-income groups and those in rural areas, continued high costs of broadband connections deterring high speed take up, social impact of the Internet such as debts generated from online gambling.
Poor levels of online customer service and fulfillment, technology gap between users and providers, complexities of cross-border trading, failure to provide an exciting and reliable online shopping experience.
It has been observed that, ICT has played a significant role in changing the marketing functions in the market. Many of the consulted sources such as internet sites, books, marketing thesis and journals, company marketers who were interviewed, made a reference to the changes which occurred in the community which automatically necessitated the dimension of the type of marketing marketers might use.
The future trends of marketing include not only the economy but of communication with brandy of the products or service to measure result and brandy awareness. Traditional marketing takes a little more trust that the impact of your efforts is helping your bottom line. With Internet marketing you can see real facts and every detail that leads to reaching the goals and allows making decision based on facts while the traditional way may face some difficulties when required to show data that leads to achieving the goals. However, the best way to really know how effective your marketing approach is to see exactly what the audience is responding. Internet marketing allows studying every detail about the audience in real time.
Although Internet Marketing is better at reaching the targeted audience, the traditional marketing is known for its reach to a mass audience. There are ways that traditional marketing can target certain demographics depending on a television channel or show, radio station genre or industry magazine. However, traditional marketing will never be able to target as precisely as Internet marketing. With Internet marketing one can target even the smallest audience based on a variety of things.
Internet marketing provides better word-of-mouth as an effective marketing. The fact that social media allows people to build a community and let others spread positive feedback about the product or service. People will normally trust word-of-mouth much more than traditional ads that tries to convince you about the benefits of a product or service. These will emphasis on the tactics that are working and eliminate anything that is not effective. Traditional marketing develops a campaign and then hopes that it will work. This makes it difficult for traditional agencies to test new ideas or even look into all of the details to determine the effectiveness of a campaign.
More companies are now moving away from traditional marketing towards Internet marketing. Companies are shifting money from traditional marketing to Internet marketing because Internet marketing is a more effective way to show proven results.
Moreover, provision of valuable information to people creates a positive impression which helped in creating marketing. It also helps in reaching people who may not have any pre-existing interest or knowledge of your company. Despite the fact that education and sensitize on the advantages of ICT use in marketing is vital, the issues of internet security, privacy and international trading laws should also be emphasized.
Despite the development of the internet; traditional marketing strategies are still proven to be highly effective when carried out in the right way. Nowadays are hundreds of other traditional marketing methods that people still use to market their business everyday and they do work, but due to the living standards we have today, response to these methods is quietly low.
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