With competition so intense, many businesses is forced to find innovative ways to increase the quality and sales of their products, from manufacturing to inventory to marketing, using advance technology that is now readily available for anyone willing to adopt it. This is exactly why over the last few years’ information technology has taken a firm grasp and continues to gain momentum. The business world is competitive and everyday presents new and difficult challenges. Companies must rely on the most effective marketing and sales strategy in order to remain in front of their competition. In the business world, most companies nowadays use the web technology and Internet to ensure these goals are both surpassed and met. This paper discusses in detail the approach of companies to marketing in the business world.
Marketing in the Business World
The Web is very information concentrated environment. Extensive amounts of information can be integrated, collected, presented, processed, and accessed through the Web by both consumers and marketers. Marketers now can track comprehensive information for all consumer interactions, not just select examples. On the other hand, soft market qualities, such as reliability and reputation, maybe more difficult to evaluate and gather.
Consumers can increase more market information for criteria evaluation; however possible problems of information excess may increase recognised searching costs (Head et al. 2000). Marketers may provide tools to facilitate consumer information collection, but may have to restructure their marketing strategies since competitors can also gather market information and match price differences.
Peterson et al. (1997) argues that the Web will have major effect on communication, will influence transactions, but will have no effect on distribution unless the good is based on digital assets. Businesses, which consider the Web as a marketing instrument, primarily utilise it as a communication means to take advantage of its benefits in lower costs, personalisation, interactivity, digitisation, automation, and constant communication. Most businesses who do not currently sell their products/services through their web sites hold this view. Many businesses create their site to foster better communication and public relations. Consumers can obtain corporate information, and may be encouraged to subscribe to customised electronic flyers/newsletters.
Mahajan and Wind (1989) explained that Web is a market discontinuity. Companies, which deal with the Web channel as a promising new marketplace that helps a complete range of interaction, may find that it co competes and -exists with traditional markets. New importance must be identified and valued by consumers to compete and participate with existing market channels. For instance, customers must value the ease and flexibility of using Web. Companies need to deal with market positions/boundaries to fit the new value with customers’ needs, and look for proper business models in order to achieve these needs. Customer base will be new and existing groups with unique value principle, which may be difficult to attain through traditional channels.
In addition to using the Web as a marketing tool and for information searching, consumers can increase their market power through high involvement in business processes and virtual communities. These are new Web-centered strategies, which are restricted in traditional markets by fixed physical assets and slow transfer of information (Werbach 2000). Some researchers have noted the commercial effects of Web groups (Kozinets 1999). Communication convenience allows consumers to form communities outside their traditional work or family groups.
Such communities accumulate information or knowledge by learning from the experiences of individual community members. Information collection costs and times are often reduced for individuals within a community. Opinions from other consumers are often more valued than messages from marketers, especially in a Web market, where trust is critical and more difficult to build. Not only do groups have a strong effect on purchasers’ decision-making, but they may also affect market variables such as products and prices.
For example, stocks that capture the attention of participants in chat rooms can move noticeably in price (Bruce 1997). The Web, as an interactive marketplace, also gives the consumer data selection and personalisation power. Customers can select information of interest and personalise presentation forms for their own use. Personalized Web pages, which can be constructed fairly easily, increase customer power. Customers on the Web have greater control over what they view and examine. They can select their own path through the information network, process the data, or initiate communication with marketers.
There is a general consensus that the industrial organisational impacts of using e-commerce as marketing tool will reflect two developments: 1) the expansion of relevant geographical markets, and 2) increased competition in those markets. The two changes are related (Globerman et al. 2001). However, E-commerce businesses are characterised by high market capitalisations, which are reflected in the perception of their business models by investors (Venkatraman 2000). Primarily, businesses in the Internet carry a 30% marketing budget in order to reach more customers.
Specifically, as electronic commerce makes it less costly to identify beneficial transactions across a wider range of potential transactors, it should lead to an increased integration of markets that are currently segmented by high transactions costs across geographical space. In addition, geographically larger markets are ordinarily more contestable than smaller markets. In this perspective, one well-known international business professional stated that electronic commerce implies the end of borders and geography as industrial organisation constructs (Kobrin, 1995).
Decision to include international buyers as part of the customer base for a business’s Web site, changes must be made to the site in order to promote global consumers to buy products. Internationalising the Web site will aid in the attraction and retention of foreign users by allowing them easier access to the information and functions it presents in a standardised, more simplified manner.
Most businesses lack the expertise and resources to create separate Web sites along with the independent channels of marketing, distribution and production facilities needed for each target market they intend to enter. As a result, these businesses are expected to enter into the business world on a smaller scale, sticking to stages one and two when redesigning their Web sites with a global focus.
The Internet has made an outstanding impact within its first decade of business use. Marketing professionals have been quick to realise the opportunities provided by the Internet. Particularly, they recognised that business could be improved by integrating the Internet with direct marketing practices such as database marketing. The challenge for information systems practitioners and professionals is to understand these opportunities with the accessible technologies in the relative constraints of an organisation.
It is included that e-commerce which is driven by the exponential growth of the Web is the most common marketing practices taking advantage of the Web by utilising information technology to sell large quantities of products and to become more responsive to the individual. The role of the Internet, in particular, of the electronic commerce web sites, has been recognised as a marketing tool for attracting and maintaining customers.
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