Marketing Strategies using New Technologies
Internet boom of 1990s sparked a proliferation of contemporary strategies in marketing with various companies both established and new start-ups seeking to develop strategies that fully exploited the e-commerce technologies. During this time, a medium or even a small cottage industry managed growth in the industry via repackaging and retooling of traditional marketing strategies by taking into account the pitfalls and the potential opportunities afforded by new e-commerce technologies together with the momentum they created (Bidgoli, 442). Many companies since then have depended on new technologies to develop their brands.
TVs and radios have been used extensively in contemporary marketing strategies primarily to make sure that consumers of a given product develop an emotional bond with the product in question. Contemporary marketing strategies aim to increase the market share of the company and at the same time to make sure that the customers’ emotional ties with the brand makes them to form a habit for purchasing more of it. Emergence of new technologies has increased competitiveness in advertising industry with different countries using the technology differently.
The reason why most companies are turning to new technologies in marketing is due to the fact that most people are connected online since like in
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The discussion comprises the manner in which enterprises employs social-networking media in advertising their products and the different marketing strategies in different countries. Introduction Marketing is defined as the activities dealing with flow of both services and goods from the producers to the consumers. Still with the inclusion of new technologies in advertising, companies have to employ the classic advertising components of place, price, product and promotion also referred to as the 4P’s.
Advertising management process revolves around selection of target markets, analysis of advertising opportunities, and management of the marketing effort and development of a marketing mix. Whatever the technology a marketer uses, there is always one aim of the advertising effort: satisfaction of the consumers’ needs and wants. This means that irrespective of what method of marketing strategy is used; determination of the consumers’ needs and wants is a must. This goes hand in hand with the effort to use technology to make sure that the product becomes a success.
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Determination of the success of products under these strategies calls for correct pricing strategy when introducing the product in the market. Traditional pricing strategies largely depend on marketing expenses and product manufacturing cost. Of late, information-based technologies have emerged and new approaches have been enabled via the fundamental aspect of pricing and new product development. E-commerce platform and internet-based technology are used by brand managers to check on the response of consumers in their new product pricing.
The new technologies have enabled consumers to visualize new products in a better way before they are introduced into the market. Main body Guerilla marketing According to Bidgoli (2010, 441), some of the marketing approaches in application today include brand management, social media, guerilla marketing, permission marketing and viral marketing. All these depend on the latest internet-based technology in advertising the services and products. Guerilla marketing involves aggressive and grassroots tactics in promoting either a service or a product.
This is a strategy that assumes marketing effort is conducted using a shoestring budget. It therefore means that it’s a strategy that takes advantage of almost free web resources suggesting the use of public forums to promote services and products. Its one of the contemporary marketing strategies that engenders online community sharing low-cost, simple and effective advertising strategies. It involves printing of coupons on sticky notes then placing them front doors of the product’s potential consumers.
This may also involve active participation in wikis, blogs and discussion groups. Internet users are able to share insights, collaborate on content or even share various experiences still connecting for pleasure and business matters. The social media is also referred to as Web 2. 0 or social computing (Strauss and Beal 2009, 9). Permission marketing E-commerce adoption has grown and both consumers and enterprises are becoming uncomfortable with the e-mail volume they receive in a day thus compromising their privacy.
As customers share more information with their e-commerce companies, they risk experiencing identity theft, spamming and fraudulent credit card activity from individuals and companies advertising products to them. Technologies for ensuring the privacy may continue to become easier to use and thus consumers will increasingly have that ability of controlling private information access through a seamless interface. This shows that until we get to that time businesses will be forced to use the permission marketing strategy that ensures that consumers only receive messages they have interest in.
This is a marketing strategy where customers have to choose what materials they have to receive via filling in a form with select materials. This is single opt-in. Incentives in permission marketing also include winning attractive prizes by participating in online games (Bidgoli, 442). Viral marketing Viral marketing is another strategy that has emerged with the technology advancement. This was mainly via the Hotmail success. In this strategy, customers of a given company are used as the marketers.
As the customers use the services and products of the company, they keep spreading word to other potential consumers regarding the products/services of the company. In this case, the marketing message spreads just like a “virus” via every customer’s social network. According to Bidgoli (2010, 442), Hotmail managed to sign up 12 million users in only one and a half years when they inserted the tagline “Get your free e-mail at Hotmail”. Recipients of e-mails could easily click via the Hotmail web site and set their personal e-mail accounts. Social media is one excellent platform for viral marketing.
An idea may catch fire the moment the promotional messages are sent to lists of friends (Marketing. about. com 2010, 1). Web 2. 0 Social media enables grassroots advertising efforts to open up possibilities of circumventing traditional advertising channels. This is particularly evidenced in the use of digital media in distribution of products like music through the Web. “for example, comedian Dane Cook achieved mainstream success without going through the traditional round robin of late night talk show appearances as a struggling comedian” (Bidgoli 2010, 442).
In fact social media has made it easy for customers in obtaining ongoing news and promotions concerning services, products or even a company through automatic feeds to their browsers and desktops by using RSS protocol. Moreover, these RSS feeds in social media usage do integrate rich media like audio clips, pictures and videos. An advertising enterprise achieves such integration via copying and pasting the links such as Flickr or YouTube on its sites. These are social media promotions that can also be enhanced through inputs from different users including the customers.
The enhancements may be in form of metatags, media uploads and comments and these have the advantage of making the site even more visible to various customers. If it is well managed, social media hold great promise in advertising of e-commerce efforts. Blogs According to Chaney (2009, 55), the best known tool in social media marketing is the blog. Blogs have been in use than any other social media marketing tool. They have an advantage in that they facilitate inclusion of several other forms of social media like social bookmarking, podcasts and videos.
Even though there is no tool that fulfills all marketing needs, blogs are normally applied as headquarters and operations base for forays into other social media applications. Even though blogs may be relatively old, today they seem new again. They are being used as vehicles in content marketing and still appear to be great niche market penetration tools. They are also magnets for search engines meaning they form search engine optimization (SEO) of their own (Chaney 2009, 65). Relationship marketing In their efforts to make their customers loyal, companies are using relationship marketing where even employees are used as marketers.
Relationship marketing involves creation of healthy relationships between the company and its customers and the suppliers (Joe. org 1988, 1). It calls for the companies to determine what their customers want early so that they don’t provide them with information that may turn them away. In this strategy, existing customers are highly valued and it involves striving to maintain them. The cost of maintaining these existing customers is low compared to that of finding new ones. In this strategy, willing customers agree to create a buzz on a given product of the company.
Buzz marketing is effective in attracting new customers as the gap between the company and its products is bridged. Successful companies like Build-a-Bear Workshop and Microsoft are already using their customers to create buzz for their products. “Toronto-based Agent Wildlife describes itself as marketing firestarters dedicated to the idea that today’s consumers trust, pay more attention to, and act on the opinions of their social networks more than any other source of influence” (Snow, Mackenzie and Kurtz 2009, 37).
Many companies have established their blogs as the way to communicate with their customers. Using such social media applications helps companies to know what consumers think and talk about their products. It is true that effective relationship marketing applied by companies uses information technologies like computer databases which record price preferences, tastes and lifestyles of the customers (Snow, Mackenzie and Kurtz 2009, 38). According to Comm, Robbins and Burge (2009, 142), online advertising has spoiled everyone in the world of business.
Today, marketers can not only target where their ads will appear by ensuring that they are viewed by only those who will find them interesting but also they can easily track the behavior of their targets after they launch them. Marketers can today measure how many of their target customers view their ads, those who click on them in order to learn more and of course how many of them purchase as a result of viewing the ad. This explains why Google is worth billions of dollars via its AdSense system.
Companies portray their brands with their profile where they do create a sidebar on the left of a page and this is sent to its followers in different Web sites. These followers not only click on the ads but they also end up purchasing the products. Twitter However, when companies use Twitter to build their brand, they only want the followers to remember them but not to make them type a URL in their browse making a right away purchase. In this case, an advertiser produces a design that endeavors to make the brand memorable to sum up the business.
For example, Southwest Airlines uses its planes’ tail as the photo and the sky is the background. Users can thus understand easily whose page they are on and know what it does. On the other hand, Mars in branding of M&Ms used two pages and keeps changing the design of the pages to make sure the image of the brand aligns the current campaign. In Valentine’s Day 2008, Mars used Twitter to promote its idea that green is the color of love but not red. This was a memorable design. Others like Whole Foods Market use a plain green background.
This matches with its green image and further uses the logo as the picture (Comm, Robbins and Burge 2009, 147). According to Marr, Jue and Kassotakis (2009, 35), some companies still in the time of “wait and see” are not aware that their competitors have turned to social media to enhance their execution speed. Most employers today have opened doors for their employees to use social media. The 2008 data showed that 69% of them allowed their employees to use the social media. The mostly used social networking sites include Facebook, Linkedln and MySpace and they are applications used frequently by organizations for business purposes.
According to Marr, Jue and Kassotakis (2009, 35), almost 63% of companies today use outward-facing social media when building brands with potential consumers. However, according to Weber (2009, 211), even though Facebook is used by many young people, it cannot be taken as one site where people go to purchase a company’s products but they mostly go there to chat with their teens. It cannot be seen as a vibrant search engine about brand/product information. But still, even though it may not work like other social network sites it is still social.
A good example is Victoria’s Secret Pink where thousands got involved in its Facebook page. Recently, it was reported to have almost 400,000 fans. The target was college teens and they could tell their friends about the products which included tee shirts, hoodies, sweat pants and jackets. Facebook has given these customers a chance to express themselves and play with the brand. Holtz, Havens and Johnson (2009, 189), explain that social networking sites like Bebo, MySpace and Facebook have enabled online interaction where community members may connect, share messages and photos.
This is a marketing strategy used to create business connections and friendships. Moreover, Schawbel (2009, 56), shows that even professionals are now promoting companies and products using Facebook. Further, it is reported that almost 44% of employers use social networks such as Facebook to check profiles of potential employees. CIA is also a company that relies on Facebook to recruit employees in the National Clandestine Service. This shows the power of Facebook in advertising. Marketing strategies vary in different countries
Basic marketing aspects of retail promotion, tour support, video, press and radio are used to market in different countries even though importance of each varies from one nation to the other. Many foreign countries have varied structure of the radio industry compared to the one in United States. MTV for example is popular in both Asia and Europe and has been approved successful in promotions but still it is beyond reach for many. Tour support is one of the most popular and important aspects for U. S. acts promoted in foreign countries. Music genre is different in various countries.
These are vagaries that explain why marketing strategies have to be the way they are in different nations (Allen, Macy and Hutchinson 2006, 302). Just like the issue of language, advertising in any market must be modified so that it gets to suit the target market. Attitudes in culture related to good manners, behavior and family life or even sexual equality vary in different cultures. There are legal restrictions that forbid comparative advertising and also have restrictions on broadcasting time. Media do vary in various cultures (Rugimbana and Nwankwo 2009, 159).
A product life cycle position varies in different cultures and this is an implication that product decisions and marketing mix have to be adapted accordingly. Moreover, the level of literacy in some cultures may call for the relaying of some promotional information in graphs. This means that undifferentiated marketing strategies do exists in different countries just like what fast food chain MacDonald’s does. There are however some closer inspections that indicate that there are differences in the product mix of this company in various overseas regions (Lancaster and Reynolds 2002, 230).
Jagpal and Jagpal (2008, 533) explain that every company’s marketing policies must vary across cultures due to international differences like cost structures, competition, distribution channels and consumer preferences. Companies use varied pricing strategies across different nations. For example, before launching their business operations in China, most mobile phone firms like Nokia relied on price-skimming strategy in Europe and could maximize profits in the long-run. These strategies were such successful as there was no threat from copycat products.
In addition, these companies could use monopoly pricing as their intellectual property had proper protection. But when they tried to employ the price-skimming strategy in China, this was not successful as necessary conditions couldn’t hold, that is, there was inadequate intellectual property protection and copycat products flooded this market rapidly. Optimal product placement in retail stores varies in different nations. For example, the UK do-it-yourself chain, B&Q displays switches, cables, sockets and conduits in its UK outlets not by brand but by end use.
But when the same merchandising strategy is applied by B&Q in China, results are very low volumes in sales (Jagpal and Jagpal 2008, 534). The main problem was that Chinese product buyers are not consumers but tradesmen. This shows in China, this is a country where advertising of products especially electrical ones cannot be categorized by function. According to McDonald and Harris (2009, 81), across European countries, promotion policies are influenced by legal conditions and thus promotion and advertising activities vary.
For example, there is variation in terms of what is permitted to be stated on product quality and social mores. These cultural differences call for different promotion types. There are technical factors like differences in demographic and geographical coverage of television, connection to internet, telephone ownership and newspapers and thus there is influence on adoption of promotion package. McDonald and Harris (2009, 82) conclude that the use of 4Ps in European marketing shows that strategic decisions on entry mode and standardization versus segmentation have very important influence in marketing.
On the other hand, differences in technical, legal, cultural and economic conditions have influence on selection of options for place, pricing, product and promotion (Doole and Lowe 2009, 121). Where brand expression differs between the host and the home country, marketing mix is expected to differ too. But price component is the one that is most likely to differ between the product’s home and the host country (Gelder 2009, 169). According to Kotabe and Helsen (2009, 465), internet rapid growth has a growing effect on international marketing.
Internet marketing strategies have both moderating effects and direct effect on impact of marketing mix decisions. In countries where internet has spread, Web has allowed for more transparency in pricing and still permits differentiation opportunities across cultures. Most developing countries are ahead of others in the use of email and internet and thus the differences in their strategies in marketing using the different technologies. The tendency has been development of marketing strategies for an individual country.
This is the polycentric approach with the assumption that every country is different and thus must have a unique marketing strategy. However, there are firms that develop strategies that are common in different countries but with exception in regard to currency domination and language. Companies like Dow and DuPont (U. S. ), Asahi (Japan), Rhone-Poulenc (France) and BASF and Hoechst (Germany) compete with standardized products globally and these are sold at low prices. But such strategies are less than global and most of them are developed for major economic regions like Asia, Europe and the United States (Jenster, Hayes and Smith 2009, 132).
Conclusion Conclusively, marketers irrespective of whatever technology they use, they must consider the differences between markets. Choice between adaptation and standardization across countries must consider differences and similarities in consumer behavior and attitudes in a given market. Using the international market approach in standardization calls for identification of consumer segments with no differences across cultures on their tastes and preferences in a specific product. This may allow for standardized marketing program in different countries and cultures.
When using standardization however, a marketer must be very cautious in drawing conclusions on similarities between markets since too much of standardization may give your competitors room to meet the local needs in a better way (Dacko 2009, 496). References Chaney, Paul. 2009. The Digital Handshake: Seven Proven Strategies to Grow Your Business Using Social Media. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons. Bidgoli, Hossein. 2010. The Handbook of Technology Management: Supply Chain Management, Marketing and Advertising, and Global Management.
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