ENVIRONMENTAL TECHNOLOGICAL FACTORS AND ITS EFFECT ON MARKETING An organization’s success is influenced by factors operating in it’s internal and external environment; an organization can increase it’s success by adopting strategies which manipulate these factors to it’s advantage. A successful organization will not only understand existing factors but also forecast change, so that it can take advantage of change within the environments in which it operates. As group 5 members, we shall discuss on Technology and its effect on marketing.
The technological environment refers to new technologies, which create new product and market opportunities. Technological developments are the most manageable uncontrollable force faced by marketers. Organizations need to be aware of new technologies in order to turn these advances into opportunities and a competitive edge. Technology has a tremendous effect on life-styles, consumption patterns, and the economy. Advances in technology can start new industries, radically alter or destroy existing industries, and stimulate entirely separate markets.
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The rapid rate at which technology changes has forced organizations to quickly adapt in terms of how they develop, price, distribute, and promote their products. Unsurprisingly technological advances have greatly changed the manner in which businesses operate. Organizations use technology in many ways. Many marketing managers are already aware of the four Ps and how pleasing customers has become a major priority in marketing today. With increases in technology, however, customer approval is more important than ever before, and all aspects of business are rapidly advancing to conform to expectations of today’s varied consumers.
Technology factors include everything that affects your product, its market, or information-gathering efforts of your market that come as a result of changes in technology. This would include the Internet, wireless communications, handheld electronic devices, and anything else technology-driven that is affecting your product or service. Technological factors include technological aspects such as R activity, automation, technology incentives and the rate of technological change. They can determine barriers to entry, minimum efficient production level and influence outsourcing decisions.
Furthermore, technological shifts can affect costs, quality, and lead to innovation. PRODUCT Technological advancement has enable innovation and development of new products with advanced features and functionality in the market. The effect of this on production is that today’s products are tested and engineered to be of the highest quality and also accommodate many customer needs. With the increased availability of information on a variety of different products, today’s consumers are more educated than ever before, demanding products that are made from the safest materials and production methods that are safer for the environment.
Increased consumer demands for hybrid vehicles and cleaner fuel alternatives have also prompted further government regulations, incentives for vehicles that benefit the environment, and also increased government funding for research into other forms of fuel. Customers too have a bigger say in the kind of products in the market through surveys and direct communication from them regarding products through the internet, usage for example In terms of marketing management, it means being able to listen to the customers and not only what they like and dislike but what their needs are and how they can be met.
One great example of how businesses have adapted to customers can be seen in the auto industry. Today’s vehicles come standard with such things as mp3 players, navigational systems, Bluetooth capability, and even added cup holders and grocery bag hooks. Also, cars are now equipped with more added safety features than ever before. The pace of technological change is so fast that the average life of a computer chip is approximately 6 months. Technology is utilised by all age groups, children are exposed to technology from birth and a new generation of technology savvy pensioners known as “silver surfers” have emerged.
Technology will continue to evolve and impact on consumer habits and expectations, organisations that ignore this fact face extinction. Technology factors are the scientific advances, which influence the competitive position of the enterprise. Maintaining awareness of new technologies decreases the probability of becoming obsolete and promotes innovation. Advancements in technology can impact the transformation plan in many ways. New technology as cited in Develop Vision and Strategy (n. d. can change the demand for a product, render current manufacturing processes obsolete, reduce costs to undercut competitors, produce new products and a host of other possibilities. PRICE The internet has offered consumers the ability to not only rate a large number of products, but also easily provide their own reviews, opinions, and input into the most popular products. Fuel and the price of gas in today’s economy is also another aspect that has greatly influenced the auto industry, and a number of other industries as well.
While sales of larger SUVs and trucks are declining, more people are interested in smaller, compact cars that offer better fuel economy. Another advantage that technology has offered auto dealers and consumers alike is price comparison shopping and referrals. Now, when a customer is looking for a new vehicle, they can go online, research certain models, compare prices, and easily get a referral to a local dealership that offers the best price. For the dealers, this has lead to increased competitiveness and greater cost cutting, as well as no haggle pricing on the part of some companies.
With more and more people turning to the internet not only to shop, but also to do product research prior to buying, price comparison is becoming increasingly important. In fact, in a recent survey, it was determined that 58 percent of online shoppers felt that all ecommerce sites should offer a price comparison service that enabled them to make the best choices on the spot. Marketing management is shifting faster than ever before, and customer input and approval is valued much more today than ever before.
PLACE The technological advances achieved in the past few decades have brought about a revolution in the business world, affecting nearly all aspects of working life. People can reach others throughout the world in a matter of seconds, with cost being increasingly irrelevant. Employees no longer need to be physically with their clients and co-workers; instead they can communicate effectively at home, at a distant office, across the world, and even in their car or on an airplane.
With technology’s penetration into every business function executives have seen first-hand how it gives them access to well-organized, quality information they can use to make better decisions, and how it fundamentally supports the day-to-day running of their business. Technology infrastructure such as the internet and other information exchange systems including telephone Technology systems incorporating a multitude of software which help them manage their business.
Technology hardware such as mobile phones, Blackberries, laptops, desktops, Bluetooth devices, photocopiers and fax machines which transmit and record information. For example the Internet is having a profound impact on the marketing mix strategy of organizations. Consumers can now shop 24 hours a day from their homes, work, Internet cafe’s and via 3G phones and 3G cards. Some employees have instant access to e-mails through Blackberrys but this can be a double edged sword, as studies have shown that this access can cause work to encroach on their personal time outside work.
Technological factors: Modern and fast technology which can make the marketing business more efficient, gives more choices on how to send, receive and store information. Technology has created a society which expects instant results. This technological revolution has increased the rate at which information is exchanged between stakeholders. A faster exchange of information can benefit businesses as they are able to react quickly to changes within their operating environment.
However an ability to react quickly also creates extra pressure as businesses are expected to deliver on their promises within ever decreasing timescales.. PROMOTION Technological Factors, How Do They Affect Marketing? It is impossible to exclude technological factors when you are considering marketing. It is so deeply entrenched into everybody’s lives that marketing is heavily influenced by it, whether it is in the production of the most basic form of publicity, such as creating leaflets and business cards, to the most complex advertising promotion ever created.
Marketing is an eclectic mix of different elements that can be mixed and matched to create the desired effect: Sales. It doesn’t matter whether you are a multi-billion dollar corporation or a one man band starting something new, you need marketing strategies if you are to be successful Every area of your potential market has to be examined and assessed to see how the issues of marketing can best be addressed. You have to decide who your ‘target audience’ is and make sure that whatever promotions and advertising you do is getting to the right people.
For this, you may return to technology to discover the demography of a particular area. Put the name of a town, or even an area within a town, into any search engine, and you will be given a wealth of information from how much the houses cost, to what kind of education the people who live there may have, to what kinds of salaries they probably earn, where they send their children to school, what their eating and drinking habits are, what newspapers they read, what groceries they buy…
The list is endless. This is brilliant technology because it saves you so much time when it comes to researching your market, and gives you a heads up on how you should best make your approach so that the product or service that you are selling is a huge success.