Last week’s article on how mobile technologies are changing marketing like most of my writings, was a continuance to my notion that marketing departments without technology savvy personnel are setting themselves for a fall.
brand savvy with Stha Magida & Mufaro Zhou
The advent of cheaper and efficient technologies to implement market research allows a business to continuously develop and improve all aspects of its service, market and product presentations. Market research has to be considered as an investment into your future. If you make the necessary adjustments to your product or service now, you will definitely save money in the long run.
Renowned inventor of modern management Peter Drucker is quoted as saying, “The purpose of a business is to create a customer.” That basically summarises why enterprises open shop every morning, furthermore, to sustain existing customers. Only the incompetent and directionless enterprises like a number of parastatals and local authorities in Zimbabwe appear to subscribe to the fact that a customer can be taken for granted, especially those operating in a seemingly monopolistic environment. In this highly competitive environment, a client is but a mobile entity highly priviledged to access alternatives. It is, therefore, imperative that a business continuously tracks customer needs and preferences in line with their product offering. In this modern day of technology, market research can no longer just be left to times of new business launches, product expansion, addressing product concerns or the need to introduce a new product. Market research is now so crucial due to the forever changing market environment, hence the need to conduct continual primary market research.
Technology is of late being exploited to gather certain amounts of marketing information continuously by companies throughout their daily operations. Marketing information is gathered even when a sale is made and recorded. When your company gets a customer complaint and records it, this too is information that should be used to your advantage. All this information must just be put to waste in this day of technology where a company can employ computerised customer relationship management systems to organise, synchronise and automate business practices subsequently assisting in decision-making. A business must harness the power of technology to get to know the customer better.
Third world countries still have a long way to go in technology investments and exploitation to gather information for marketing. Limited resources as the most common excuse is still not good enough to completely do nothing about routine information gathering as some of the available technologies are insignificantly priced. Most retailers just interact with a customer within their business premises, beyond that a customer is just but any other citizen. As you look beyond the technologically laggard countries, you will realise how much marketing information you surrender subconsciously to technology savvy enterprises.
With more and more hand-held devices containing global positioning system (GPS) technology, marketers can then use location information to reach customers while in a relevant place. This is the power of Uber in sending the nearest taxi to your current location.
Websites are also a huge source of customer information for marketers through quick surveys. Websites can also easily track a customer’s precise location on access, subsequently initiating a conversation. The frequent calls most of us get from Japanese second hand car dealers are simply because of information we subconsciously surrendered a long time ago through their websites. Information on customers accessing your website can be further analysed using Google Analytics to provide a single and accurate view of the customer, including other benefits such as how much traffic your new promotion is driving to your site. Modern websites go on to further suggest other items you might be interested in based on your other preferences.
Emails are also now such a common method of primary market research, with hotels and lodges in Zimbabwe soliciting for feedback after your stay with them. However, some traditional service providers still issue out paper printed feedback forms. Some banks have installed electronic devices next to tellers to quickly gather information on the quality of service at the time you accessed the banking hall.
This is just but limited technology being exploited by enterprises to gather information for marketing, with much more technology available in this fast-changing technological world.
Till next week, keep reading and remain tech-brand savvy.
Stha Magida is contactable on email@example.com. Her co-writer is contactable on firstname.lastname@example.org