Interactive Marketing, Its Role and Benefits

The extraordinary expansion of employing information and communication technologies (ICT) in the business domain around the world has presented businesses with a gargantuan assortment of preferences for taking full advantage of business functionality and competence. Previously, advertisement was viewed as a detached entity, it has transformed digitally by offering client an interactive communication through digital platforms. Stimulated in the latest years by the rapid expansion of the internet, ebusiness now presents organizations with opportunities to capture new markets, to expand and to diversify.

Alistair, I. (1998).Nevertheless, success in e business goings-on can only be achieved if business managers fully comprehend the approaches and the technologies that can harness its potential. Multimedia for instance, offers diverse means of communication and numerous touch points for your viewers. Unmistakably, it is not a single execution, but rather a move towards strengthening and enhancing the brand experience by using affluent media opportunities to make the brand memorandum all-encompassing and easy to recall. Alistair, I. (1998).

Introduction

Information systems and technological advances have greatly revolutionized the way things are done, especially on the global perspective. The last twenty years has experienced a massive paradigm shift in the way companies conduct business by incorporating modern technologies in order to garner a competitive edge on the vicious and unpredictable global economy. It is therefore imperative that in our contemporary society almost all organizations are inclined towards embracing automated systems irrespective of their scope of operation. Management of the information systems like the intranets and systemized functional software’s are so integral in acclimatizing the performance in a given organisation.

Lyn. (2000). In contemporary health centres for example a wide range of software is essentially employed to support activities that stretch from admission, to diagnostic and medical support services to the analysis of costs and care profiles of individual patients. This process amalgamates persons and paraphernalia in combating business anomalies. This report provides a holistic overview of the imperatives of interactive marketing in a company set up. What makes information systems, especially interactive marketing, a business preference is the fact that they have the capacity to support multiple functions and information consistent between different applications that can be stored. Lyn. (2000).

Interactive marketing is the evolutionary trend in marketing that has transcended from transaction-based effort to a tête-à-tête. This is therefore the ability to address the customer, keep hold of information, what the client says and address the customer, remember what the says and address the customer again in a way that exemplifies that the company recalls what the client has transmitted across the board.

Rorbert, K. (1997). Interactive Marketing has in this case been made possible by the internet technology. The capacity to recall what client conveys has been made easy by collecting information online. This can be affected when communications with clients are made easy using the speed internet. Amazon.com is an outstanding example of the use of interactive marketing, as clients record preferences and are shown book selections that match not only their preferences but recent purchases. Lyn. (2000).

Digital Marketing

Based on digital stratagem, digital marketing describes the elementary online channel opportunities for one’s company and the methods to measure and quantify marketing success. Online advertising, affiliate marketing/product syndication, social media, paid search, landing page development and mobile marketing are integral models of interactive marketing. Rorbert, K. (1997).

Digital marketing encompasses the practice of encouraging products and services using digital distribution channels to arrive at clients in a timely, appropriate, individual and money-making comportment. Whilst digital promotion does embraces many of the modus operandi and put into practices contained within the stratum of internet marketing, it transcends the barriers of marketing where diverse channels with which to reach people that do not require the use of internet. In a nut shell the digital marketing includes a whole host of elements such as mobile phone, sms; mms, display, banner ads and digital outdoor. Rorbert, K. (1997).

Example

Interactive specialists connote the fact that interactive marketing engages the audience with the brand. It’s an innovative distinct advertising model that submerges the customer with the brand, and it even lets the client restructure and marketplace in their very distinct way. Bazooka for instance is a marketing figure of speech for the ten best marketing practices, all rolled into an engaging little cube. It colors are fundamentally palette; they are unforgettable and easily recognizable and with a user friendly size. Rorbert, K. (1997).

Background

A head of business management function of e-commerce initiative should also be an employee of a company implementing the project even if most of the work is outsourced. This normally happens because being an employee of that company; he would bring everyone up to speed. The speed in which the work is done should be very fast and this can only be effective if the boss becomes a member of the third party. By being a collaborator he is also able to get new skills that can help him bring some positive changes in his firm. Lastly he may also act as a teacher to the employees. He may guide them on how the job is to be done.

In electronic commerce projects outsourcing is commonly applied due to the following reasons. First in an information technology firm, a company may outsource its whole information technology operation so that another outsourcing firm can provide the hosting and maintenance of its servers and ensures that the systems run smoothly. Outsourcing is also done when there is need for improvement in performance and reliability. This will lead to elimination of operational costs or errors. Outsourcing also accelerates business transformation in that the time in which the information reaches the customers will be fast. Again new skills through outsourcing are also acquired which is important in improving quality of services and allows the organization to focus on their core business. (Linda, 2005 P. 276)

Outsourcing is also done for quite a number of reasons like when a company wants to save money of free its resources for other activities.If resources like the technological experts are few then outsourcing may be done-so that the available employees can take part in other activities.

Lastly outsourcing is done when a company wants to share some of its risks with another company therefore it helps in risk management. This will guarantee a company which is facing some risk to access and acquire some relevant skills and knowledge which will improve the production quality. (Linda, 2005.p268). Many business companies have therefore engaged in outsourcing to cut down the cost of production especially when they are making losses. This has improved the quality of products or services and effectiveness in the work.

Organizations are now able to stay focused on their core areas as a result of outsourcing. There has been increase in innovation, improvement in customer satisfaction and improved speed of market acceptance. Before starting any electronic commerce business it is necessary to determine the costs associated with this business. There is a number of ways in which costs of starting an electronic commerce or business is determined. For example three major factors are considered.

One factor is the external environment factor. This includes pressure from outside competitors, buyers or suppliers. If the firm is to face stiff competition from the global market, then it will be needless to start the business. Other traders in electronic commerce should be checked. (Corper, 2002. p130). Another external factor is the role of the government in the establishment of the business. Electronic business requires a lot of capital so if the government is not able to assist in the provision of some of the requirements then the business would not progress. Technology support infrastructure is also another major external factor to be considered. This refers to how effective is the area. If it is poorly developed then the business may close down.

Apart from external factors, the other factor is the organization context. This deals with issues such as the technological knowledge of employees on information technology and their attitude towards the business. The chief executive officers’ characteristics or top management staff knowledge on it should be considered. If the CEO is not innovative then the business may not function. Financial reasons must also be considered. If there is an insufficient fund then the business cannot be started.

The last factor to be considered is the technological context. This includes level of knowledge in information and technology that may reduce productivity. Benefits are also considered whereby it should lead to decreased costs and increased efficiency. (Robert,1997.p326).

The following are some of the ways I would use to determine the cost associated with starting an electronic commerce. One way is by considering the salary cost of the employees. If the cost is high then a lot of capital required would be high. Other ways of determining the cost of starting an electronic commerce are the training cost, advertising fee, working capital and cost of the equipment. Advertising fee should also be checked. If one is to make sure that the business is known to a wider area, then a lot of cost would be incurred. If cost of training workers is high then starting the business would require a lot of money.

Discussion

The topic is centered on interactive marketing that hinges on Internet based collaboration tools. This project delves into comprehending the tools that businesses should incorporate to electronically communicate on a global scale to gain a competitive edge. New technology has brought a lot of changes in various fields and business being one of them. It is an imperative consciousness that information can be passed to clients without even watching the television, making phone calls or listening to radio. Meetings can now be conducted without people moving to the conference places just because of improvement in the computer software system. Yang, Y. (2004, September 17).

Concept map on internet based collaboration tools.

Internet based collaboration tools

Hypothesis

The hypothesis I have constructed is to find out the internet based collaboration interactive tools and their applications in the business world environment areas. The following questions I suggest will help me search for the information on the topic where by to add more lather or taste on the finding I am to exhaust all the relevant sources of information. Yang, Y. (2004, September 17). One is what are internet based collaboration tools? What are the meanings and application of the following ten internet collaboration tools, Desktop video conferencing, E-mail, listservs, newsgroups, BBSes, Muds (Moos), VRML chat system, phone and internet radio, Internet Relay Chat (IRC) and web conferencing.

I have tried to look at each other specifically with a view of identifying their applications. How can organisation adapt the various collaboration tools? What are the preparations required by originations attempting to use the various collaboration tools marketing their wears? What are other areas in which the internet collaboration tools are applied? By answering these questions successfully, I believe my research will contain the materials required.

The use of modern computer software technology has made people to communicate easily using the different kinds of internet collaboration tools. These tools have moved people from the manual or traditional way of communication to modern way of communication electronically. Apart from being used by students in education environment there are quite a number of areas they are applied or used. The following are the internet collaboration tools discussed in this research paper and their applications in business sector with a perspective of gain competitive edge on the entire global environment. Yang, Y. (2004, September 17).

Desktop Video conferencing (DVC) as an example of internet collaboration tools. The Desktop Video Conferencing (DVC) is a set of interaction on the telecommunication system which uses video and sound to interact at the same time. Sound and pictures of people in discussion or conferences are featured to those involved and participating. It is normally used in communication system using computer-based technology by merging both the voice and video in a format that an interaction can take place. The DVC acknowledges the use of camera in order to send the video from and to the desktop environment where the user is either required to participate in a conference or meeting. Yang, Y. (2004, September 17).

In this system of communication, a method of receiving and sending the audio information is also provided by the computer. The components used in the desktop video conferencing are the camera, some types of application software and a desktop or laptop computer just from what the name suggests. Connecting to a colleagues’ desktop video machine is done by providing an internet protocol (IP) address.

After entering this IP address, there is a system that will echo back the video and sound provided as required by the user. If this is not achieved by seeing some pictures and some sounds heard then this means that there is a problem with the connections of the desktop video system or may be the local network is experiencing some problems. The local network problems normally do arise as a result of continuous changing of the IP address whenever one connects to the network. (Shinji, 2005, p.49)

The audio and video system is currently being used or applied in broadcasting stations. In education world, students have been able to use the technology to improve their research skills especially when preparing for conferences. Those doing or practicing graphing gain a lot since they are able to create pictures, come up with graphs on white boards for use in video conferencing. In summary this model is integral in the sense that it helps to determine the clients preferences. However, for this system to be used in the marketing world requires effective and careful planning and preparation

It has also been an imperative business application that has helped exponentially, people from different places can have meetings on short notice. This saves time and money that could be wasted in traveling especially during such meetings. The technology like VOIP (Voice Over-Internet Protocol) is normally used together with desktop video conferencing to provide face to face business meetings especially where the offices are widely spaced. Employees can also use it to work from home their homes.

Another internet collaboration tool is web conferencing. It is where online meetings are made involving two or more people or participants together conducted on a dedicated website using an internet browser. These participants conduct their meetings using the web via an audio bridge. The person overseeing the conference or meeting sets up a new meeting tool then invites his colleagues to accompany the meeting by sending them an email having the meeting’s time, date, password, URL and login instructions. All these require internet connection and that is why it is a collaboration tool because it uses the internet.

Just like modern business which has embraced web conferencing, it has also been applied in universities especially from developed countries like United States. Students can participate in academic discussions with other participants by use of computer microphones while some of them do interact via video. Symposiums can be made possible among students from different universities by the use of web conferencing without them coming together.Top government officials also conduct their meeting via the web. The major area it is commonly found is in business field across different places where it has been found to be cheap.

This has been made possible since quiet a number of tools have been collaborated with web conferencing to add conveniences. Such tools include screen sharing capabilities. Full screen view is used as the presenter may choose to send a portion of his own picture. Other tools include multiple presenters. This works when delegations of duties are used where one can stand in for somebody in meetings. Drawing and annotation tools are also used when presenting a document or the web page to colleagues. Live meetings can now be conducted by the use of web conferencing surely what a change in information technology. (Lyn, 200, p.241).

Another internet tool is known as the internet relay chat (IRC). It is a form of a real time internet chat that is used when communication is to be carried among many people. Mostly designed for group discussions forums and it allow data transfer via private message. The system is a little bit hard to use but the IRC administrators and operators normally manage the servers. To connect to the Internet Relay Chat an IRC client is very important for fast connection. The client will simply give some commands, like turning PRIVMSG into MSG and this will allow the user to talk freely. The client also converts some of the unprocessed data or raw information into window. (Ahmed, 2002, p.346).

There are a number of search engines available to help the user of internet relay chat to capture or obtain whatever they need. They include the back end or the spider/crawler. This is important when crawling IRC servers to index the information being sent across them. The second part is the front bend search which provides the user with a clue on how to search databases of indexed data to get information they are seeking to obtain. (Jones 1996, 98-102)

Email is one of the most important internet collaboration tools. It is the official means of communication where mails are sent via the internet. Most companies use mails as a means of communication. When opening email, an email account is opened by employees or they sign up to open an account. This account is created for them automatically whenever they enroll for a course at the university. It is for communication purposes from the company chain or from the clients and there preferences.

Employees normally have their own passwords so that the employees can access the web. Web mail is often the most convenient and commonly used. Employees and clients are able to check the mails or compose the mail whenever they want to retrieve or pass some information. Nowadays queries are being posted by the lecturers using the company email as an official means of communication. Other useful information can also be communicated via the email.

Listserv on the other hand is another internet collaboration tool used when bulk mailing or group mailing is to be done. The system provides the public or private mailing lists where one can send a mail to all members of a group or to a chosen member of the group. The massages can also be retrieved in the archives within the listervs.

Deans of faculties in universities, head of departments and even directors of companies may opt to use the VIP mail request form to send bulk information on announcements to the university community or company employees.

Internet telephone and audio conferencing or the iphone and internet radio as commonly known is also an internet collaboration tool. It is a multimedia and the internet enabled system that allows one to make a call by simply pointing his finger at a name or address book. It is mostly used when making calls. Discussions are also being made by people since it offers a one-to one or group conferencing. This has greatly promoted electronic commerce especially in the United States and Japan whereby the electronic business operators offer their voices over the internet service. They use the internet radio system to broadcast or make advertisements. The iphone and internet radio apart from making calls, it is also found in music industry. This is an improvement in an entertainment or music industry. Of late Iphone videos have also been produced to reach every one at every point. (Yang 2004, p.220).

Multi User Dimensions (MUDs) and Object-Oriented Muds (MOOs) is another example of internet collaborations tools. They have improved the business environment where market learning and interactions has been integrated with the world web in the provision of the graphics. The Mud technology is very much applicable in business in many ways. Students can now have an opportunity to connect and retrieve information from the Muds. Though this system is hard to use, it is important for educators or they need to learn how to use it before they can be able to evaluate the effectiveness in an education setting for example in a business environment. (Alistair, 1998, p.26).

VRML is another internet collaboration tool and it stands for Virtual Reality Model. Those experienced in elements of cartography and drawing of images have used this system to a greater extent. It refers to an online programming language for creating three dimensional programs. Virtual reality model is specifically produced to allow people to move through or around the three dimensional world placed on the world web. It also provides criteria in which colors of objects, their shapes and lighting factors can be defined. In educational setup it can be used by geographers to create a three dimensional landscapes in such a way that the colors of features like for example vegetation it is represented by a green color and blue color for water or rivers.

This adds some virtual impression to the information being passed. Those who are doing graphics can also present their work through the use of virtual reality model to look more attractive. In short, virtual reality model is an internet collaboration tool that specifically refers to a technique of creating three dimensional objects- with appropriate color, shape, size and texture.

The other two internet collaboration tools are news groups and BBSes. They are normally used nowadays saves the cost and time for publishing newsletters, and circulars that may be used to pass information. People can now access newspapers in the internets without buying the paper. These can now be read in the web sites and is targeting low cost customers.

In conclusion, recording to my finding/research I can say that the use of the modern technology through the computer software has led to a big change in the communication systems and learning environment. As an individual the research has built in me a self directed learning where I have come to learn about many tools that people to electronically communicate. Unlike in the past where videos, radios televisions and mobile phones are used to pass information, with my findings learning can take place even without the tutor. Group meetings or discussions can also be held without face to face contact. People can also carry their important meetings using the web conferencing where both the sound and the pictures of the speaker appear when the meeting is going on at the same time.

Otherwise the research has been of great help to me since I have developed a potential to face challenges, became creative and innovative in doing well elaborate activity or research activity I can now obtain information from library, journal and even the web in detail. I have seriously gained a lot of knowledge in using library catalogue to search for books and journals. If university educators and students can employ the use of these various collaboration tools I have discussed above then a brighter youth of tomorrow will create wonderful changes in the information technology environment.

Proposal

When creating an ecommerce website, one should take into consideration what his business is about. This should lead one into getting a domain name. A domain name should be got by the company and should focus on what it markets or what the company is about. For example if a company sells paintings then its domain name could be www.mypainting.co.uk. Then one should obtain web space from hosting companies. Web space is space on a computer owned by a hosting company. Most hosting companies rent web space to companies that need it at a certain fee per year. Photos and images concerning the company are posted and linked. The domain name is registered online and this is done by the same hosting company.

Is to increase the speed of carrying out business transactions. Most companies choose to create their own websites by following the following easy steps.

While designing a website, several factors should be taken into consideration. Since most websites are designed for clients/ users it should be designed to be user friendly. The speed of accessing this website should be fast. This can be achieved by reducing the size of files, avoiding big graphics and images. Speed can also be improved by use of cascading style sheets and much of it should be put into hypertext makeup language. (Html)The web pages designed should match the pages used in advertising in the media. The technical element of writing using Java script should also be taken into account.

Navigation should be made easy by consistently arranging files according to their importance and making them clear. Web accessibility is important and it should cater for people with mild problems like colour blindness, poor eyesight, blindness. There should be tools that fit all clients. Those that are physically impaired deaf & blind should have navigation tools that make accessibility easy.

It is advisable to set computer resolutions at a minimum of 640×480 pixels and a maximum of 1280×1024 pixels. Colour used should match. It should not be overcrowded. Headlines should be highlighted to increase visibility. Fonts of adequate size should be used so that the users should not strain to read. The language of expression should be easy to understand and should not be offensive. When implementing an e-commerce website, human factor should be considered. Though most companies consider minimizing the costs involved in making a website, they fail to recognize usability of the website by the end user. It should be marketable and accepted by the end user. It should increase efficiency of user interface design. The experience earned by the user is the major key to achieving its acceptability. Every company should have a webmaster that will update the website on the latest information on a regular basis.

To make the banks website popular, the use of emails, posters and flyers to advertise should be embedded on the site. The bank should also consider user experience and what their comments are about it. Post sales support should be offered. A company can also offer incentives like free shipping and also discounts to increase its sales. One should display his phone number for easy phone orders. Questions asked frequently should be taken into consideration. Email addresses of the company should also be provided for easy contact by the clients.

Websites should be secured by having passwords. This can be got by clients after they call the company’s customer care service. Hackers provide a major threat to the existence and efficiency of websites. Some hackers may post error messages as part of dirty campaigns to scare away clients. Since websites are open to anyone other companies could provide the same service or products at lower prices reducing their profits. Breeching of security of clients should not be done though most of them cannot pass their credit card details. Most companies have used so much money to protect their websites from corporate espionage and hackers.

A domain name that focuses on the company deals with is very important. People accessing the website do not have to go through a hard time looking for what they want. An example is you tube. Its domain name you tube has helped with marketing because it is designed for airing anyone’s views. This name is memorable and personal to some level. It focuses on you; the user.

On the positive side, ecommerce has increased sales for most companies because placing orders is fast. Information is easily accessible to clients. The society has become more informed due to increased awareness. Literacy levels have increased because of the eagerness of many to learn more from the websites. Suppliers and customers of the company have more information and can get their services and goods fast. Operation capital of most companies especially in marketing and advertising has been reduced.

In addition the internet has also some detriments. Many a client can’t come to terms with trusting it. They find it risky transacting business with a company that they have not seen. Accessing Internet in third world countries is low due to poor infrastructure, poverty and illiteracy. In some countries, some information is censured and sometimes companies are fined. This increases their operation costs. Some websites foster sale of illicit drugs and lead to increase of suicide tendencies among young people. In my opinion, ecommerce is good since it has increased the volume and pace of trading globally.

Conclusion

Electronic-commerce has changed lives and its effect on the pace at which businesses are conducted all over the world today. Consequently, electronic commerce has its own pros and cons. Essentially; e-commerce is about the use of the internet to conduct business which includes purchasing and selling of goods and services. Ahmed, K. (2002). It has also been used in marketing, advertisement, and public relations between people, companies, corporations and organizations. It creates awareness and provides free information to clients. It has increased awareness and has endowed better judgment to clients.

The world wide website (WWW) has been used to connect the producer, supplier, consumer and the government. E-commerce is an integral infrastructure that any other banking system should inaugurate. The centrality of this project is to explore the appraisal considerations that encompass the integration of e-commerce websites in banking systems. Ahmed, K. (2002).

Reference

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