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Marketing In the New Age of Information Technology - Essay Example

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The business world around marketing is changing, but marketing seems not to have noticed. The age of technology has transcended from automating company processes to customer interaction" (Arnold, 2002). There has been considerable discussion over the past few years about the extent to which the discipline of marketing is, or is not, changing…
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Download file to see previous pages The total concept of marketing - branding and promotion, customer segmentation and product positioning has become a totally different ball game in the new technology scenario. As an example of the change, in 2004, six out of the 10 hotel web-site hits came through the use of an online search engine; this makes search engine optimization and pay-per-click advertising key to the successful marketing of a hotel (FHRAI).
"Increasing occupancy rates and revenue by improving customer experience is the aim of modern hospitality organizations. To achieve these results, hotel managers need to have a deep knowledge of customers' needs, behaviour, and preferences and be aware of the ways in which the services delivered create value for the customers and then stimulate their retention and loyalty" (Minghetti, 2003). Almost every organization is considering customer relationship management (CRM) as the new paradigm in marketing, where the customer, and not the process, is at the heart of the marketing initiative (Grnroos, 1994). However, a more fundamental question that needs to be answered is: to what extent are developments within Information and Communications Technology (ICT) changing how marketing is or can be done This paper attempts to answer this question.
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The customer needs the service or product to be provided on time, appropriately and at a fair price; the traditional 4P's (McCarthy, 1978). While information technology is of tremendous use has placed capability in the hands of the marketer it has also given marvelous tools to the customers through which they can evaluate the products available, compare features and price and make a decision that is purely individual and difficult to influence by traditional methods. The first priority, then, obviously is to be on the information grid (Internet) and look for ways to improve customer value through a competitive edge. The market segmentation has thus come down to a 'segment of one' and the emergence of one-to-one marketing strategies (Berry, 1994). But is this all Is it enough to be an effective marketing organization
Understanding the customer and the best way to communicate and build profit is at the heart of all marketing efforts. Enhanced customer satisfaction and retention lead to increased customer loyalty, occupancy rates and revenue per available customer (Dub & Renaghan, 1999a, 1999b). "Managing customer value by creating quality and service that customers can see now is considered a critical component of companies' strategic marketing. Customer value is what builds loyalty" (ibid, p. 79). However, most hotels use information technology only for administrative purposes and have not realised the full possibilities for generating customer value (Minghetti, 2003).
The effects of ICT on marketing are not only potentially dramatic they can be catastrophic to managers who choose to ignore the new technology. Marketing is increasingly becoming reliant on understanding and knowing about new concepts and skills that have become essential to stay ahead in the modern marketplace - or marketspace! The customer expects to be able to access a virtual audio-visual tour that give them the complete feel of the facility before deciding where to holiday. Face-to-face marketing, using ICT to provide ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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