Adoption of digital technology yields a win-win for marketers and customers
The rise of digital technology has provided brands with the opportunity to deliver products and services efficiently and improve convenience for their customers. But brands have to adapt to this development correctly in order to enjoy its benefits.
The opportunity for and benefits from digital technologies primarily emanate from the global digital age, which was in turn predicated on the penetration of the World Wide Web. This means that brands have a wider potential audience base (beyond their traditional, local markets) but that their communication and transactions also require a digital form.
However, some brands (and their marketers) have been slow to tap into the full potential of the medium. Some may be hindered by the overall technological enablement of their markets or their customers’ slow rate of digital/smart mobile adoption. However, in many cases it is the decision makers, especially in developing markets, that have been slow—or just overly cautious—in recognizing and adapting to the new possibilities. While markets like Nigeria are catching up, many businesses in the developing world are yet to tap into the currently attainable levels of digital technology integration, which could be benefitting their brands. They are still far from capitalizing on the relationships and impact of marketing activities built around digital and service technology—the ‘digital technology marketing’—that is seen in mature markets.
Below are three of the most important benefits derived from digital technology strategy, each of which can provide substantial value to brands that integrate them well:
1. Service efficiency
TThe benefits of being able to share in knowledge and transact seamlessly with customers has given this channel of adoption huge marks for its success in modern-day business practice. It is an effective method of business collaboration and knowledge transfer. This benefit is more important to brands with large customer bases and to whom timely delivery of information or services is vital—brands in the transportation and retail sectors come readily to mind.
2. Customer convenience
When customers are involved in decision making, the process can be aided by accessibility of information, ease of use, and the ranking of search aids, all of which will benefit both the customers and the businesses they patronize. The ranking of search-aids is facilitated by SEO, SMO, and Google ranking activities, among other factors. Customers also have the opportunity to compare products and make decisions easily. For example, www.costameno.it is a website which compares products from over 1000 websites, listing up to 800,000 products divided into 2922 categories.
3. Brand presence and leadership
The increasing use of internet technology in modern-day practice has also stemmed from its usefulness as a ubiquitous means of accessibility to larger consumer markets and from the need for building relationships. Early brand adoption of leading technological ideas provides for a sense of leadership and sophistication, while the adoption of a broad range of already-existing technology platforms provides brand presence in the digital market.
If brands are able to increase their efficiency, customer service, and convenience—as well as achieving improved brand perception—by the adoption of digital technologies, the benefits will accrue for the brands as well as for their customers. Many firms have recognized these benefits, and a recent poll (see table below) highlights the opportunities and priorities that organizations are pursuing in order to expand their digital sophistication and realize the win-win. Analytics and mobile top the latest list.