Digital Marketing (6th Edition)
Digital media and technology, an opportunity and threat
The development of the Internet, World Wide Web and other digital technologies have transformed marketing. For consumers, they give a much wider choice of products, services and prices from different suppliers and a more convenient way to select and purchase items. There is also a choice of technology platforms from desktops and laptops to smartphone and tablet devices for consumers to use. For organisations, digital media and new technology platforms give the opportunity to expand into new markets, offer new services, apply new online communications techniques and compete on a more equal footing with larger businesses. For those working within these organisations it gives the opportunity to develop new skills and to use these new tools to improve the competitiveness of the company.
At the same time, the Internet and related digital technology platforms give rise to many threats to organisations. For example, online companies such as ASOS.com (clothing), Amazon.com (books and retail), iTunes (music) and Expedia (travel) have captured a significant part of their market and struck fear into the existing players. Many consumers now regularly use social networks like Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and Twitter as part of their daily lives. Engaging these consumers is an ongoing challenge, but as we will see, companies like ASOS have taken advantage of these opportunities to interact with customers and this has helped them develop as a worldwide brand.
Management of digital marketing
With the success stories of companies capturing market share following the rapidly increasing adoption of the Internet by consumers and business buyers has come a fast-growing realisation that all organisations must have an effective online presence to prosper, or possibly even survive! Michael Porter said in 2001:
The key question is not whether to deploy Internet technology – companies have no choice if they want to stay competitive – but how to deploy it. What are the techniques that businesses need to master to make effective use of digital marketing? Figure P.1 gives an indication of the range of marketing activities that now need to be managed effectively and which are covered in this text. RACE describes the range of tactics needed to reach, interact with, convert and engage online audience across the customer lifecycle from generating awareness, conversion to sale (online and offline) and retention and growth of customers.
The figure shows the range of different marketing activities or operating processes needed to support acquiring new customers through communicating with them on thirdparty websites and social media, attracting them to a company website, converting website visits into sales and then using online media to encourage further sales. You can see that applying social media is a part of RACE and therefore is one of the key management
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