Technology has gone through a huge revolution in the past century. It has changed the way of life of the world. In every aspect of life, people use technology. The business world is no exception. In all the spheres of business, technology plays a major role. One such part of the businesses is the marketing. This is a crucial function of the businesses that deal with production and distribution of goods and services (Babin and Zikmund 2015). Marketing research refers to the studies that are done to find out innovative and improved ways for marketing. Marketing research is conducted to identify and solve the problems of marketing (Brown and Churchill 2014). The report focuses on the impact of technology on the marketing research in today’s business.
Impact of technology on 4P’s of Marketing
In the competitive market for products and services, smarter and efficient ways of marketing is very essential. The revenue and profit of the manufacturing and service industry depends heavily on proper marketing. These days, all the companies are using latest technologies for marketing. Marketing research is done through Ad tracking, Brand awareness, Advertising research, brand name testing, distribution channel testing, customer satisfaction research, STP research, demand and sales forecasting, viral marketing through social media etc. (Armstrong et al. 2015).
The different sections of marketing are discussed below.
With the emergence of internet, the availability of goods and services has changed. People now have access to international products anytime and from anywhere through the various shopping websites, such as Amazon, ebay, etc., official websites of the retailers and smartphone apps. Hence, the retailers are also putting advertisements for their products in these sites and apps to reach out to a bigger customer base. The data from these platforms is collected and analyzed using various statistical tools. Technology has made the trend analysis easier (Papadopoulos and Heslop 2014).
Technology has made the comparison of prices easier. As the online retailers can now make individual profiles of the customers and track the consumption pattern, they can easily analyze the trend of demand for the particular goods or service and can set the price accordingly. Thus, demand and sales forecasting have become easier with the help of technology. The convenience of online payment through cards and netbanking has also helped in increase in the sales of the consumer products (Bl?zquez 2014).
Marketing and sales of products are not confined to specific places anymore. Internet has enabled the retailers to access a much wider customer base across the world, which was not possible earlier. The online markets have become more unbiased as there are now smaller producers along with giants. Hence, technological advancement has been beneficial for both the buyers and sellers. Marketing research has shown that with the advancement of technology, the retail industry of the world has grown multiple times in a short span of time (Zikmund et al. 2013).
This is the most important part of marketing. A company can have a hue hike in sales if the promotional strategies are proper. The impact of technology is maximum in this area. Advertising offline and online, personal selling, direct marketing, public relation, etc are promotional channels. Technology has made promotional activities in these channels much easier. The retailers use websites, digital channels such as, television, radio, emails, text messages, telecalling, popup ads in the websites, online brochures etc. for promotions. Thus, on one hand, it is an objective of the marketing research to find out further innovative technical solutions for promotion, on the other hand, technology has made the research work easier (Malhotra, Birks and Wills 2013).
Role of technology
In today’s world, marketing research is heavily dependent on technology. From data collection to prepare a report, technology is used everywhere. The marketing research is done by collecting the data from various digital channels used by the companies. The shopping behavior of the customers generates a pattern of demand. These data was collected and analyzed using various statistical tools by data analysis firms. Apart from data collection, coding, data entry, designing of questionnaire for survey, sampling, testing, experiments, comparisons and creating reports are all done by using software (Lin and Atkin 2014).
Pros and cons of technology
Various tools are available in the industry that makes that data analysis easier. Technology saves time and effort; however, the latest technology incurs a heavy cost. Many small firms cannot afford to have their own marketing research technology, and hence, they delegate the task to analysis firms. Lack of skilled people is another problem that the companies face. In many cases, the firms cannot own a new technology for research, and thus, the employees do not get necessary training to gain knowledge on it (Armstrong et al. 2015).
Latest technologies in marketing
The latest technologies that have become more prevalent in today’s business are Customer Relationship Management systems (CRMs) and Social Media Marketing.
Customer Relationship Management systems (CRMs)
The CRMs use the technology for organizing, synchronizing and automating business practices. This helps in identifying and targeting potential customers and generating leads for the marketing team. These technologies monitor and analyze the responses, clicks, deals, leads, sales, revenue data, and various activities, such as, video download, ad watch etc., which is helpful in marketing research. The technologies track the pattern through free downloads, web presentations, online videos and customer comments and reviews. Hence, the technology analyses not only quantitative data, but also qualitative data through the comments and reviews of the customer (Khodakarami and Chan 2014).
Social media marketing
Social media marketing is the method of gaining the data through website traffic tracking. This involves the peer recommendation and building brand awareness. The technology helps to create a buzz around a product. Word of mouth is more effective in this type of marketing. Through the usage of technology, the retailers can analyze the data generated from web traffic, and this helps in marketing research to find out innovative ways for effective promotions (Tuten and Solomon 2014).
It can be concluded that, technology has evolved the marketing research techniques. The methods and solutions have become more efficient and time and effort saving. Although it is cost incurring, the impact of technology is always positive on the marketing research. It has not only improved the research methods, but also introduced advanced ways for marketing.
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Khodakarami, F. and Chan, Y.E., 2014. Exploring the role of customer relationship management (CRM) systems in customer knowledge creation. Information & Management, 51(1), pp.27-42.
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Zikmund, W.G., Babin, B.J., Carr, J.C. and Griffin, M., 2013. Business research methods. Cengage Learning.