Every day both small and big companies find ways of using technology to give them selves’ competitive advantage. These businesses device ways to bit their competitors through creating well planned competitive advantage techniques. They try to provide a service or a product in a way that customer’s value and this puts them ahead of their competitors. However, you have to note that technology alone will not make you different and gain competitive advantage; you must also know how to use it so that you execute your plans well. Since this technology is spreading very first, every one can gain access to it, but what will make you different is the way you use it.
To benefit from technology, you have to get enough training or hire an experienced person to do the work for you. Most organizations they hold marketing seminars to educate their employees on how to embrace new marketing tools provided by emerging technology. It is very important to keep your staff up-to-date so that you reduce on costs of hiring professionals and increase on production.
So let’s see the use of technology in marketing:
(1). Helps companies gain competitive advantage: If a company learns how to embrace new technology, it will deliver its service and products to its clients very first which will make the consumer happy and gain more trust in that company. In this case, when a company uses technology to speed up its services or production, it wins the customers trust hence getting ahead of competition. By the time your competitors will be employing that technology, you as business, you will have the biggest share of the market.
Example 1: Let’s take a simple example of Reddit.com and Digg.com. In the begging, Digg.com was the best news and article bookmarking website and it was among the top most visited sites on internet. As Digg.com twisted its technology many users were no happy and they could not do the things they liked most. So came Reddit.com, with Reddit users could do all they wanted with no restrictions. However for Reddit to stay natural and filter spammers from over taking the network, they employed a technology which could filter accounts that seemed to be spam, if you’re account was suspected of doing self promotion, Reddit would not delete your account or block it as Digg was doing. So what the technology did, it would pull all your bookmarks out of the search results and you continue with your self promotion but get no results. The use of this technology attracted many Digg users to Reddit and now Reddit is ahead of Digg and it keeps on getting better.
Who benefited from this technology: Both companies had the technology, but Digg misused its technology by then and users were not happy so they went to Reddit who used the same technology but in a better way. This is a good example to show you that you must know how to use technology to gain competitive advantage. The customer is the one who matters, do what makes them happy and spend less on advertising.
Example 2: Way back in time , shipping companies like FedEx, used to put up a toll free number 800 which you could call to track your shipment. You could call and listen to some background music until a correspondent gets to you. After the emerging of internet technology, FedEx changed this system, it created a database which could be access remotely via their website, so instead of customers calling the ‘’800’’ number, they could just login their shipment number in the website of FedEx, and track their goods. This was a win-win situation for both FedEx and its consumers. FedEx was saving money on hiring phone representatives and it was delivering the service to the customer in time. The customer was saved from that annoying background music, all they had to do is visit the website of FedEx at [ www.fedex.com ] and track their shipment. This made FedEx a favorite shipping company and it won lots of customers not until when other shipping companies copied the technology .
What do you learn from this?
Some times before you dish out money to advertise on bill boards, social networks and Google Adwords. Make sure that your technology is well deployed. Invest in quality technological tools, and then your consumer database will grow by word of mouth. It is common, people talk, and they will always tell their friends about some thing good or bad. So be good on the first time. This will save you money on marketing and increase your RIO.
(2). Use technology to strengthen your brand name: A brand name is so important, if well promoted and it delivers what it says, consumers will always remember that brand. Lets look at some prominent brands like Coca Cola, Google, Pepsi, Facebook, BBC, CNN, MacDonald, Puma, Nike and many more. All these brands are big and they deliver quality. What is funny, most of these top brands are competitors of each other, but each of them has lots of customers. This rings a bell, that competition is healthy for business, So even though your company is still small, keep on embracing new emerging technologies and provide a better service.
So how do you use technology to create a strong brand name: Use social networks: After creating a great product, you will need to build a fan base. People who will feel proud of that product. And the best place for this is ‘’Facebook’’. As of now it has over 900 million users, but each of these users has a specific interest. So as a business, you will need to create a business page and promote it targeting people of a specific interest. The trick with social networks, is that you have to update your page with interesting data that will appeal to your fans, so on a daily basis, facebook will show these updates via fan’s data feed and this will increase on your brand awareness because one of your fan clicks the ‘’like button’’ that data will be seen by their friends and you will even get more fans for your brand. This type of marketing does not bring instant results but in the long run, it will become one of your biggest sources of clients.