Computers And Marketing
Marketing is the process by which goods are sold and purchased. The aim of
marketing is to acquire, retain, and satisfy customers. Modern marketing has
evolved into a complex and diverse field. This field includes a wide variety of
special functions such as advertising, mail-order business, public relations,
retailing and merchandising, sales, market research, and pricing of goods.
Businesses, and particularly the marketing aspect of businesses, rely a
great deal on the use of computers. Computers play a significant role in
inventory control, processing and handling orders, communication between
satelite companies in an organization, design and production of goods,
manufacturing, product and market analysis, advertising, producing the company
newsletter, and in some cases, complete control of company operations.
In today’s extremely competitive business environment businesses are
searching for ways to improve profitability and to maintain their position in
the marketplace. As competition becomes more intense the formula for success
becomes more difficult. Two particular things have greatly aided companies in
their quests to accomplish these goals. They are the innovative software
products of CAD/CAM and, last but not least, the World Wide Web.
An important program has aided companies all over the world. Computer-
aided design and computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) is the integration of
two technologies. It has often been called the new industrial revolution. In
CAD, engineers and designers use specialized computer software to create models
that represent characteristics of objects. These models are analyzed by computer
and redesigned as necessary. This allows companies needed flexibility in
studying different and daring designs without the high costs of building and
testing actual models, saving millions of dollars. In CAM, designers and
engineers use computers for planning manufacturing processes, testing finished
parts, controlling manufacturing operations, and managing entire plants. CAM is
linked to CAD through a database that is shared by design and manufacturing
The major applications of CAD/CAM are mechanical design and electronic
design. Computer-aided mechanical design is usually done with automated drafting
programs that use interactive computer graphics. Information is entered into
the computer to create basic elements such as circles, lines, and points.
Elements can be rotated, mirrored, moved, and scaled, and users can zoom in on
details. Computerized drafting is quicker and more accurate than manual
drafting. It makes modifications much easier.
Desktop manufacturing enables a designer to construct a model directly from
data which is stored in computer memory. These software programs help designers
to consider both function and manufacturing consequences at early stages, when
designs are easily modified.
More and more manufacturing businesses are integrating CAD/CAM with other
aspects of production, including inventory tracking, scheduling, and marketing.
This idea, known as computer-integrated manufacturing (CIM), speeds processing
of orders, adds to effective materials management, and creates considerable cost
In addition to designing and manufacturing a product, a company must be
effectively able to advertise, market, and sell its product. Much of what
passes for business is nothing more than making connections with other people.
What if you could passout your business card to thousands, maybe millions of
potential clients and partners? You can, twenty four hours a day, inexpensively
and simply on the World Wide Web. Firms communicate with their customers
through various types of media. This media usually follows passive one-to-many
communication where a firm reaches many current and potential customers through
marketing efforts that allow limited forms of feedback on the part of the
customer. For several years a revolution has been developing that is
dramatically changing the traditional form of advertising and communication
media. This revolution is the Internet, a massive global network of
interconnected computer networks which has the potential to drastically change
the way firms do business with their customers.
The World Wide Web is a hypertext based information service. It provides
access to multimedia, complex documents, and databases. The Web is one of the
most effective vehicles to provide information because of its visual impact and
advanced features. It can be used as a complete presentation media for a
company’s corporate information or information on all of its products and
The recent growth of the world wide web (WWW) has opened up new markets and
shattered boundaries to selling to a worldwide audience. For marketers the
world wide web can be used to creat a client base, for product and market
analysis, rapid information access, wide scale information dissemination, rapid
communication, cost-effective document transfers, expert advise and help,
recruiting new employees, peer communi-cations, and new business opportunities.
The usefullness of the Internet or WWW depends directly on the products or
services of each business. There are different benefits depending upon the type
of business and whether you are a supplier, retailer, or distributor. Lets
examine these in more detail.
Finding new clients and new client bases is not always an easy task. This
process involves a careful market analysis, product marketing and consumer base
testing. The Internet is a ready base of several million people from all walks
of life. One can easily find new customers and clients from this massive group,
provided that your presence on the internet is known. If you could keep your
customer informed of every reason why they should do business with you, your
business would definitely increase. Making business information available is
one of the most inportant ways to serve your customers. Before people decide to
become customers, they want to know about your company, what you do and what you
can do for them. This can be accomplished easily and inexpensively on the World
Many users also do product analyses and comparisons and report their
findings via the World Wide Web. Quite frequently one can find others who may
be familiar with a product that you are currently testing. A company can get
first hand reports on the functionality of such products before spending a great
deal of money. Also, the large base of Internet users is a principle area for
the distribution of surveys for an analysis of the market for a new product of
service ideas. These surveys can reach millions of people and potential clients
with very little effort on the part of the surveyors. Once a product is already
marketed, you can examine the level of satisfaction that users have received
from the product. Getting customer feedback can lead to new and improved
products. Feedback will let you know what customers think of your product faster,
easier and much less expensively than any other market you may reach. For the
cost of a page or two of Web programming, you can have a crystal ball into where
to position your product or service in the marketplace.
Accessing information over the Internet is much faster on most occasions
than transmissions and transfers via fax or postal courier services. You can
access information and data from countries around the world and make interactive
connections to remote computer systems just about anywhere in the world.
Electronic mail has also proved to be an effective solution to the problem of
telephone tag. Contacting others through email has provided a unique method of
communication which has the speed of telephone conversations, yet still provides
the advantages of postal mail. Email can be sent from just about anywhere that
there is an Internet service or access so that businessmen or travelers can keep
in touch with up to the minute details of the office.
Another benefit of the World Wide Web is wide scale information circulation.
You can place documents on the Internet and instantly make them accessible to
millions of users around the world. Hypertext documents provide an effective
technique by which to present information to subscribers, clients or the general
public. Creating World Wide Web documents and registering your site with larger
Web sites improves the availability of the documents to a client base larger,
and cheaper, than the circulation of many major newspapers and/or television
medias. You may not be able to use the mail, phone system and regulation
systems in all of your potential international markets. With the World Wide Web,
however, you can open up a dialogue with international markets as easily as with
the company accross the street.
The Web is also more cost-effective than conventional advertising.
Transferring on-line documents via the Internet takes a minimal amount of time,
saving a great deal of money over postal or courier services which can also
suffer late deliveries, losses or damage. If a document transfer fails on the
Internet, you can always try again since the cost of the transfer is exactly the
same. Current or potential clients are not lost due to late or absent documents.
Beyond product and market analysis, there are a great number of experts on
the Internet who make their presence widely known and easily accessable. Quite
often you can get free advice and help with problems you might have from the
same people you may otherwise pay highly for their consulting services to large
organizations, magazines, and other periodicals. Researchers and business
executives alike have attested to the fact that much of their communications
over the Internet are with others in their line of research or field of work.
Communicating with peers allows the sharing of ideas, problems and solutions
among themselves. Often people find that others in their field have already
created solutions for problems similar to their own. They are able to obtain
advice on their own situations and create a solution based upon this shared
Many businessmen and conpanies are continuously on the look-out for new and
innovative ideas as viable business ventures. Internet users are continuously
coming up with such new ideas because of the available research the Internet
offers and also because of the cooperative atmosphere that surrounds the
internet. In addition, the Internet has many job lists and resumes online for
prospective employers. New resumes are constantly posted to the Web to inform
companies of the availability of new skills.
As competition intensifies in the business world, consumers are faced with
more and more products and services to choose from. The future of business is
being decided right now in the minds and wallets of customers. The successful
business and marketing approach utilizes everything possible to insure that the
choice the customer makes is to choose their product or service. Computer
technology is by far the most important and impressive means by which to insure
a company’s success. Computers play a significant role in every aspect of a
company’s survival, from product design and manufacturing, creating client
databases, inventory control , market analysis, advertising and sales, and even
total company operations.