You are on page 1of 7

Critically debate the role of Technology as an enabler in modern


The explosive growth in digital technology has fundamentally changed the way we live,
communicate, share information, learn, ship and access entertainment. Marketing evolved and
changed a lot because of the technology. According to John Ellet marketing has evolved in five
different forms. This evolution started with the printing press (1.0), through the broadcast
technologies of radio and television (2.0), PCs and the Internet (3.0), mobile technology and social
media (4.0), and marketing clouds (5.0). It will begin to tie the engagement channels from previous
years into meaningful omni-channel experiences based on the uniqueness of individual customers.
In the modern marketing includes new kinds of concepts. Customers are not just consumers
anymore, they are individuals. It becomes essential to build a strong relationship between
organisations and clients as they have to establish a sense of loyalty in within their customers. For
these reasons organisations have to reach out to their customers through a set of new marketings
tools like Social media, mobile apps and email. According to a report published by Texas Tech
University, brands who engage on social media channels enjoy higher loyalty from their customers.
Another study published by Convince&Convert found that 53% of Americans who follow brands
on social networking sites are more loyal to those brands. The focus of an organisations efforts is
not on creating transactions, but rather on satisfying and retaining customers, based on developing a
relationship with the customer over time. In Modern Marketing the customer is viewed as a partner
who will help the organisation in achieve its goals.
This paper examines how technology is an enabler in the modern marketing through different
situations and examples. We analyse the advantages and disadvantages of technology in the modern
marketing such as Big Data. We also investigate how technology has affected companies in order to
build a strong relationship with customers and reducing cost. Lastly we examine the positive and
negative effects that technology brought to customers.

Big Data:
In marketing, one of the most important thing is to know your customers and he organisation that
knows deeper its consumers can achieve their goals more effectively and efficiently than its
competitors. In the modern marketing, organisations have to focus upon a small group of
individuals segmentation- and the advent of technology has permitted to develop some instruments
to achieve a better knowledge about buyers. For this reason we can assert that one of the first
advantage of technology is making the marketing process focussed especially through Big Data. Big
Data generally includes data sets with size surpasses the capacity of extensively used software tools
to manage, capture, and process data in a quick time (Snijders,Matzat and Reips,2012). In the field
of marketing, Big Data helps marketers to gain enough depth of customer understanding and
discover the target buyers. To be more exact, with the assist of technology, abundant amount of data
about the consumer phenomenon is captured in real time. The buyers are classified by marketers

into small groups according to their nationality, age, work profile, gender or by their most
fascinated topics by data analysis tools. The perfect segmentation enables the companies to hold
successful marketing promotions, improve websites click-through rates and promote consumer
engagement with their brand. Obviously, technology plays a significant role in meeting the demands
of the target consumers in modern marketing. This is shown by the following example: financial
services provider USAA produced an in-house customer database which contains the collected
customer information and the history purchasing records of its 7 million buyers worldwide. The
marketers in USAA try to meet the special needs of individual buyers by analysing the database.
For instance, the retired customers would receive the emails from USAA about the estate planning
while the parents, who have a baby receives the booklets on financing education. With to the help of
the data analysis tools, USAA successfully retains 97 percent of the customers and the buyer
household possess average 5 USAA products. (Armstrong,Kotler and He,2013) In conclusion, the
technology enables marketers to tailor the offers and make the marketing process more targeted.

Cons of Big Data:

On the contrary, big data analysis rely on data collection. Therefore, if the data collected is
incomplete and analysed incorrectly then it may cause failure of marketing strategy. The exclusive
resource condition of Big Data lead to the result between failure and benefit (Mithas et al., 2013).
While using of any information must remain critical thinking, people cant believe everything from
the Big Data in order to avoid the situation which is Information dictatorship. It is quite difficult to
use Big Data to predict the future. It seems that the bigger hurdle of Big Data is its interpretation.
For instance, the significant failure case of Big Data is Google Flu Trends (GFT). The fail of this
project is the opaque collection of original data. If Google Flu Trends was as transparent as
possible, the investigators would gain more obvious indication from the original data (Lazer, 2014).

Social-media in Modern Marketing:

Unfortunately knowing customers in depth is not enough. In modern marketing another essential
step for a brand is to build a strong relationship with its customers. Giving marketers more
approaches to build a relationship with the customers is a further advantage of Technology on
modern marketing. Hulbert and Harrigan acclaimed that technology has revolutionised the way of
communication between marketers and clients.(Hulbert and Harrigan,2015) Brands are able to
establish associations and interactions with clients while exchanges and transactions over the
internet became normal cases(Anil 2015).This especially results in brand loyalty, repetitive
buying and other unpredictable value for companies. Nowadays, with the development of the
Internet, the majority of companies use social media and other digital marketing methods to build a
strong relationship and loyalty with the customers. With the help of the Internet, customer surveys
and feedback can be done through email, websites and other social media channels. Specifically, the
companies could promote their services or products by online advertising, applications or video
sharing tools. In fact companies can take advantage of online media, which can promote products
faster, better and more directly to attract the target consumer groups. Companies could use social
media such as Facebook and Twitter to push ads directly to their consumers. For example customers
may receive the emails or phone calls to interact with the marketers and give feedback towards the
products or services. Furthermore, due to the spread of the social network, the marketers have the
opportunities to discover the target people and build strong relationships with them online. For
instance, Aveeno, which is a hair care products and skin care manufacture, turned an artistic work

into a fascinating advertising video and posted on the YouTube. Then, this video reverberated
quickly and had 121346 views within a month, which is a great number in that time. Obviously, this
online advertising got numerous consumers to promote their new products via strong word of
mouth (Armstrong,Kotler and He,2013). Becoming part of the conversation between consumers is
infinitely more powerful than handing down information via traditional advertising ( Gary
Armstrong and Philip Kotler, 2013. Pag 46) By way of conclusion, the technologies, such as
Internet or mobile phone, which enable marketers to communicate with customers in better and
more efficient ways. Customers are not just consumers but they become a part of the brand, in fact
they also play a significant role in the brand.
Loss of percentage of the Brand value and negative comments:
In modern marketing a big role is released by companies to consumers. They are seen like a way to
achieve some important goals such as to bring new customers by the word of mouth. As we
analysed before, in order to increase a strong relationship and a sense of loyalty and like a
consequence profits, brands try to establish communication with their clients on the social media
but unfortunately technology can be a double-edged sword. The good news is that contents can
travel quickly, the bad news is that intentional or unintentional lies and disinformation about a brand
may have to be reeled in occasionally. For a company receive and failing to respond to the negative
comments proposed by the clients these days can have consequences. Moreover with the advent of
new technologies there is always the danger for a company to lose a percentage of its brand value.
This means that because of the Internet people are constantly connected and they can post and write
whatever they want. Under this thought we can remember a famous example that affected a brand
in a negative way. In 2009 two employees of Dominos Pizza posted a video on YouTube preparing
sandwiches for delivery while putting cheese up his nose, nasal mucus on the sandwiches, and
violating other health-code standards. In just two days the video was seen by more than a million
times on YouTube and discussion about Dominos had spread throughout Twitter. Later this episode
an online research firm called YouGove confirmed that the perception about Dominos brand quality
went from positive to negative in two days. Another national study conducted by HCD Research
testified that Dominos lost 65% of respondents after viewing the offensive video. This episode
testify the power of Internet and its possible negative effects for a brand. ( Forbes, http://
At the same time a company could also be affected by negative comments in fact everyday a huge
number of companies suffered from the catastrophic consequence of failing to response negative
comments and sometimes it makes things much worse for small companies and newly-established
firm. And in some extreme cases, companies suffered from vicious comments faked by competitors.
In 20122013, an online rumour about Master Kong, a Chinese noodle brand, resulted in a boycott
by Chinese consumers, which estimated to have caused a loss of $2.4 billion (Sexton. D, 2015).
How to deal with negative comments and how to avoid losing control of the whole brand, its
literally a prickly challenge for all the companies, no matter whether its a huge one or a small one.

Customers and technology:

Technology has not affected just the collection of data and it has not revolutionised just the way to
reach the customers but also it has decreased significantly the costs. For example, it reduced the

advertising cost. Compared with the traditional way of publicity, the cost of network is much lower
than TV advertising, or ads on journal and newspapers. For example, companies can use social
media such as Facebook or Twitter to push ads directly to their consumers freely. Some companies
hire water army to improve products praise in order to improve sales; designing popular events to
promote products in order to attract consumers to concern more about productions is another
method implemented frequently in recently year. And the cost is much lower than a 5 minutes
advertisement on television. Besides, the interactiveness of social media help to increase publicity
effectively around the brand when compared with traditional media such as TV commercials, email communications and etc. (Karen & Young,2015). Moreover, compared with traditional
advertising methods, with the same promotional costs, new media is more effective. Wanda is the
leader of Chinese department store. Faced with the impact of new media, its CEO Wang Jianlin
announced that Wanda will move half of its traditional media publicity expenses to new media.
Therefore, Wanda started its online store, in conjunction with the currently most popular video
streaming site pre-movie adverts, mobile APP interactivity, Sina microblogging promotion and
other new media advertising methods. By the end of 2014, new media has brought to Wanda net
profit growth of 6.5%.
Xuli 2015
Technology has affected also the customers life. Technology has had a tremendous impact on the
way consumers interact with companies. Customers have both traditional and modern channels to
acquire information from companies, including direct mail, television, Internet, e-mail, mobile
phones and social media. People want choices and they want information fast. Shoppers also expect
seamless movement between channels. Customers today can place orders and get technical help
right from their own homes and this brings a new set of advantages. Consumers are empowered to
evaluate a retailers product against their competitors using any feature or metric they want.
Consumers use online communities based around shared interests to exchange knowledge of
products and services provided by companies. For customers consumer knowledge is knowledge
possessed by consumers. On the Internet they are building a knowledge sharing culture where
stories, advices and opinions are shared. Consumers value the potential to communicate with each
other that the Internet offers them (Emerald Group Publishing, c2005). Furthermore people can
make purchase everyday at any time through E-commerce, saving their time and money. By a
research conducted from the Statistics Portal its estimated that in 2018 the sales on the Ecommerce will reach more than 2.30 trillion U.S. dollars.

Customers privacy and securety:

Although consumers have experienced enormous benefits because of advances in technology, these
development have led to an increase in concerns for privacy and security. Customers are often not
fully aware of the extent to which companies collect, utilise, and share data (Singer, 2012). For
example in 2012 the New York Times publicised an article How companies learn your secrets in
this story, an irate father visited a Target store in Minneapolis demanding to meet with the manager
because of a maternity-specific mailer that his teen daughter received. The father started She is still
in high school, and you are sending her coupons for baby clothes and cribs? Are you trying to
encourage her to get pregnant? father was unaware at the time about his teen daughter was, in fact,
pregnant (Duhigg 2012). Customers are unaware ofbthe fact that they are being constantly
monitered. By using cookies, Internet marketing businesses are able to watch where and when the

consumer visits Web sites, how long the consumer stays, and what type of transactions the
consumer conducts. Furthermore usually some customers private information are transferred from
a business to other business without notice or acknowledgement from the company. For instance,
various Internet companies sell, publish, distribute and share their customer databases, which
contain customer private information such as postal and mail address (Duhigg, 2012).

In this paper we proposed to analyze how technology is an enabler in modern marketing and
through different examples we tried to understand the positive and negative effects of technology
and their weights. In order to explain the role of technology we can assert that technology has
brought incredible benefits to the companies in fact they can make a better segmentation through
the Big Data. For instance, they can study the general customer characteristics, such as personality
and life style characteristics and demographic and socioeconomic characteristics and situation
specific customer characteristics such as product usage and purchase patterns, attitudes toward the
product and its consumption (Wind and Yoram, 1978). They can build a strong relationship with
customers and reach them easier through different tools like Social-media, e-mail and mobile apps,
moreover they can significantly reduce cost. For instance, Amazon was a pioneer in this field, it
started to sell books online and in few years it become the biggest retailer on the E-commerce.
Amazon personalizes the shopping experience to each users building a strong relationship and a
sense of loyalty in its customers. Furthermore, technology has also affected the life of customer,
they can make purchase easier, they can save time and money and they can collect different
information about companies and products. For example, Tesco opened a virtual grocery store in a
South Korea subway station, where users shop by scanning QR codes on their smartphones. In this
way people save time because they dont need to go to the supermarket to do shopping.
Unfortunately technology has brought also some negative effects, for instance we saw how
Dominos Pizza was affected in a negative way by a video shared by two employees. Richard
Levick, president of Levick Strategic Communications, gave an F to Dominos response for the first
24 hours, in fact, according to him a company have to respond in less than 24 hours to a viral crises,
Dominos Pizza responded just 48 hours later. In order to avoid these kind of crises a company
should always imagine its nightmare scenarios, track the blogosphere and other social media and it
should have always a quick response.


Cusumano, MA 2013, 'Technology Strategy and Management: The Apple-Samsung

Lawsuits', Communications Of The ACM, 56, 1, pp. 28-31

Erevelles, S, Fukawa, N, & Swayne, L 2015, 'Big Data consumer analytics and the transformation
of marketing', Journal Of Business Research
Singer, Natasha (2012) Congress to Examine Data Sellers, New York Times, July 24

Fosso Wamba, S, Akter, S, Edwards, A, Chopin, G, & Gnanzou, D 2015, 'How big data can make
big impact: Findings from a systematic review and a longitudinal case study', International Journal
Of Production Economics, 165, pp. 234-246

Lazer, D 2014, 'Mistaken Analysis', MIT Technology Review, p. 10

Duhigg, Charles (2012), how companies learn your secrets, New York Times, Febbraury 16
Wind, Yoram. Issues and Advances in Segmentation Research. Journal of Marketing Research 15.3 (1978)


Sexton. D (2015) Managing Brands in a Prickly Digital World, Journal of Advertising Research, 55,
Chris. A (2009) Revenge is the best served cold - on YouTube: How a broken guitar became a
smash hit, The Sunday Times, Retrieved October 18, 2015, from
Anonymity (2009) A man and his guitar, National Financial Post, Retrieved October 18, 2015,
h t t p : / / w w w. f i n a n c i a l p o s t . c o m / s c r i p t s / s t o r y. h t m l ? i d = f 9 0 6 5 7 2 0 - c 5 5 a - 4 6 1 2 - 8 4 e b e168fd37ed1f&k=15437
American Express. American Express 2014 Global Customer Service Barometer. Retrieved
October 18, 2015, from

Anil Bilgihan 2015 The effect of website features in online relationship marketing. Electronic
Commerce Research and Applications, Volume 14, Issue 4, JulyAugust 2015, Pages 222232