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.
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.