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ICT Applications in Marketing Practitioners Diploma in marketing

June 2012

Marketing Society of Kenya

Technology has evolved from the Telegraph to Fax Machine, the Pager, Internet/ Email and today we have the mobile technology. The growth of the Internet has opened new marketing opportunities that are more cost effective, faster and have a wider reach.

The Internet The Internet refers to the physical network that links computers across the globe. It consists of the infrastructure of network servers and wide-area communication links between them that are used to hold and transport the vast amount of information on the Internet. Web browsers Browsers such as Netscape Navigator or Microsoft Internet Explorer provide an easy method of accessing and viewing information stored as web documents on different servers. World Wide Web The World Wide Web is a medium for publishing information on the Internet. It is accessed through web browsers, which display web pages and can now be used to run business applications. Company information is stored on web servers, which are usually referred to as web sites. Intranet A network within a single company which enables access to company information using the familiar tools of the Internet such as web browsers. Only staff within the company can access the intranet, which will be password protected. Extranet Formed by extending the intranet beyond a company to customers, suppliers, collaborators or even competitors. This is again password protected to prevent access by all Internet users.

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Internet Marketing The following can act as baseline definitions of Internet Marketing. Defn: The process of growing and promoting an organization using online media. It Does not simply mean building a website or promoting a website. Somewhere behind that website is a real organization with real goals. Defn: Internet marketing or Internet-based marketing can also be defined as the use of the Internet and related digital technologies to achieve marketing objectives and support the modern marketing concept. These technologies include the Internet media and other digital media such as wireless mobile media, cable and satellite. In practice, Internet marketing will include the use of a company web site in conjunction with online promotional techniques such as search engines, banner advertising, direct e-mail and links or services from other web sites to acquire new customers and provide services to existing customers that help develop the customer relationship. However, for Internet marketing to be successful there is a necessity of integration with traditional media such as Print and TV, The Internet can be applied by companies as an integral part of the modern marketing concept since: It can be used to support the full range of organizational functions and processes that deliver products and services to customers and other key stakeholders. It is a powerful communications medium that can act as a corporate glue that integrates the different functional parts of the organization. It facilitates information management, which is now increasingly recognized as a critical marketing support tool to strategy formulation and implementation. The future role of the Internet should form part of the vision of a company since its future impact will be significant to most businesses.

Without adequate information, organisations are at a disadvantage with respect to competitors and the external environment. Up-to-date, timely and accessible information about the industry, markets, new technology, competitors and customers is a critical factor in an organisation s ability to plan and compete in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

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Why Internet Marketing?

Benefits of Internet Marketing The availability of information Consumers can access the Internet and learn about products, as well as purchase them, at any hour, any day Smaller sales force Companies that use internet marketing can save money through a reduced need for a sales force. Faster geographical Expansion Internet marketing has a wider coverage. It can help expand from a local market to national and international market places. Low Cost The costs are low compared with traditional media, such as print, radio and TV. Accountable It is easy to track and measure efficiency. Using counters on the site, you can tell how many people accessed the website, the geographical locations an even particular pages visited. It is also possible to tell how they got to the site whether it was a referral from another site. Global visibility Research results have shown that internet technology is Growing faster than any other type of media Speed Communication on the net is much faster than the traditional methods of postal mail and couriers

Limitations of Internet Marketing

1. Internet marketing requires customers to use newer technologies rather than traditional media. 2. Low-speed Internet connections are another barrier: If companies build large or overly-complicated websites, individuals connected to the Internet via dial-up connections or mobile devices experience significant delays in content delivery. 3. From the buyer's perspective, the inability of shoppers to touch, smell, taste or "try on" tangible goods before making an online purchase can be limiting. Many consumers are hesitant to purchase items over the Internet because they do not trust that their personal information will remain private. Encryption is the primary method for implementing privacy policies.

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4. Another major security concern that consumers have with e-commerce merchants is whether or not they will receive exactly what they purchase. d buyer protection systems to address problems if they actually do occur.

Search engine marketing (SEM)

SEM, is a form of Internet marketing that seeks to promote websites by increasing their visibility in search engine result pages (SERPs). Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the volume or quality of traffic to a web site from search engines via "natural" ("organic" or "algorithmic") search results. Typically, the earlier a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine. SEO may target different kinds of search, including image search, local search, and industry-specific vertical search engines. This gives a web site web presence. As an Internet marketing strategy, SEO considers how search engines work and what people search for. Optimizing a website primarily involves editing its content and HTML coding to both increase its relevance to specific keywords and to remove barriers to the indexing activities of search engines. SEO may employ several techniques which includes but not limited to: Using the right key words in page titles and body content Including the key words in Meta data Inherited importance referrals from other highly ranked sites e.g through inline ads

Blog marketing Blog, short for weblog, is the term used to describe internet marketing via web blogs. These blogs differ from corporate websites because they feature daily or weekly posts, often around a single topic. Typically, corporations use blogs to create a dialog with customers and explain features of their products and services. Many organizations use blogs with their user community. This allows them to share and preview product features, functions, and benefits before the products are released. Blogs are an excellent way to gather feedback and to make sure products meet the needs of users. Blogs have become the next generation marketing tool to corporate websites which merely post collateral and do not provide any interactive feedback.

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Viral Marketing
viral marketing and viral advertising refer to marketing techniques that use preexisting social networks to produce increases in brand awareness or to achieve other marketing objectives (such as product sales) through self-replicating viral processes, analogous to the spread of pathological and computer viruses. It can be word-of-mouth delivered or enhanced by the network effects of the Internet. Viral promotions may take the form of video clips, interactive Flash games, advergames, ebooks, brandable software, images, or even text messages. The basic form of viral marketing is not infinitely sustainable.

Email Marketing E-mail marketing is a form of direct marketing which uses electronic mail as a means of communicating commercial or fundraising messages to an audience. In its broadest sense, every e-mail sent to a potential or current customer could be considered e-mail marketing. However, the term is usually used to refer to:

sending e-mails with the purpose of enhancing the relationship of a merchant with its current or previous customers and to encourage customer loyalty and repeat business, sending e-mails with the purpose of acquiring new customers or convincing current customers to purchase something immediately, adding advertisements to e-mails sent by other companies to their customers

E-mail marketing (on the Internet) is popular with companies for several reasons:

A mailing list provides the ability to distribute information to a wide range of specific, potential customers at a relatively low cost. Compared to other media investments such as direct mail or printed newsletters, e-mail is less expensive. The delivery time for an e-mail message is short (i.e., seconds or minutes) as compared to a mailed advertisement (i.e., one or more days). An advertiser is able to "push" the message to its audience, as opposed to website-based advertising, which relies on a customer to visit that website. Over half of Internet users check or send e-mail on a typical day.

Mobile marketing
Mobile marketing refers to marketing on or with a mobile device, such as a mobile phone. Marketing on a mobile phone has become increasingly popular ever since the rise of SMS (Short Message Service) in the early 2000s. SMS has become a legitimate advertising channel in some parts of the world. This is because unlike email over the public internet, the carriers who police their own

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networks have set guidelines and best practices for the mobile media industry (including mobile advertising). Over the past few years mobile short codes have been increasingly popular as a new channel to communicate to the mobile consumer. Brands have begun to treat the mobile shortcode as a mobile domain name allowing the consumer to text message the brand at an event, in store and off any traditional media. Short codes can also be used to run raffles and other market campaigns. Mobile marketing via MMS MMS mobile marketing can contain a timed slideshow of images, text, audio and video. This mobile content is delivered via MMS (Multimedia Message Service). Mobile marketing via Bluetooth Most of these businesses offer "hotspot" systems which consist of some kind of content-management system with a Bluetooth distribution function. This technology has the advantages that it is permission-based, has higher transfer speeds and is also a radio-based technology and can therefore not be billed (i.e. is free of charge). Location-based services Location-based services (LBS) are offered by some cell phone networks as a way to send custom advertising and other information to cell-phone subscribers based on their current location. Telemarketing Telemarketing is a method of direct marketing in which a salesperson solicits to prospective customers to buy products or services, either over the phone or through a subsequent face to face or Web conferencing appointment scheduled during the call. Telemarketing can also include recorded sales pitches programmed to be played over the phone via automatic dialing. Telemarketing may be done from a company office, from a call centre, or from home. It may involve either a live operator or a recorded message, in which case it is known as "automated telemarketing" using voice broadcasting. "Robocalling" is a form of voice broadcasting which is most frequently associated with political messages. An effective telemarketing process often involves two or more calls. The first call (or series of calls) determines the customers needs. The final call (or series of calls) motivates the customer to make a purchase.

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Discussion Questions 1 The Internet is primarily thought of as a means of advertising and selling products. What are the opportunities for use of the Internet in other marketing functions? 2 The World Wide Web represents a pull medium for marketing rather than a push-medium. Discuss. 3 Explain the main benefits that a company selling fast-moving consumer goods could derive by creating a web site. 4 Internet technology is used by companies in three main contexts. Distinguish between the following types and explain their significance to marketers. (a) intranet (b) extranet (c) Internet 5 Imagine you are explaining the difference between the World Wide Web and the Internet to a marketing manager. How would you explain these two terms? 6 Distinguish between Internet Marketing and e-marketing.

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