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Literature Review

Discuss about the Comparative Analysis of Factors Marketing.

Currently, the technology has remained indispensable tool most companies are utilizing to enhance their competitive edge (Centeno & Hart, 2012). Besides human resource practices, most companies have tripled the efforts asserted to gain a deeper understanding of the current consumer behavior and provide products and services that completely tally with user’s expectations (Greg, 2007).  The objective to gain a significant market share has not been easy because of various factors that sharp across the internal and external metrics. With the advancements in technology, the marketing techniques are rapidly changing. Some of the justifications unfolded by several types of research for the change include the accessibility of a wide range of data, marketing formats and online places that have enhanced the integration of digital marketing channels (Centeno & Hart, 2012). The embrasure of social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter has redefined the current marketing approaches.

The marketing practices have been simplified to the level small and medium scale enterprises can afford some to reach the target markets. Technology, therefore, has positively shaped marketing and promotional techniques that have fostered the application of IMC that plays a critical role in ensuring that all the target population is timely reached (Chen et al., 2007). In gaining an in-depth understanding of the effects of technology on marketing communications, a literature review is performed. Furthermore, the report has extended to cover the relevance of marketing communications in creating competitive advantage in small and medium enterprises. For the assessment to be realistic, one company is selected among the SME’s in Singapore to reflect the unquantifiable contributions technology has played in keeping different companies competitive.

The tremendous change in the level of technological advancement has spurred interest in most scholars who have launched a mission of getting the full comprehension of the plight of technology in enhancing organizations success (Nagra et al., 2012). Currently, technology has facilitated the combined use of traditional types of marketing with online advertising to achieve efficient conveyance of brand messages to the prospective customers (Jarvinen et al., 2012).  Also, the degree of use of the contemporary Integrated Marketing Communication tool by companies has intensified as a result of the dynamic and revolutionary change in the commercialization and sales promotion practices (Centeno & Hart, 2012).

The internet, however, is mostly epitomized to convey marketing messages to the existing and prospective product users. Contrary to the ancient period when cinemas, shows, and exhibition were used to showcase companies products, Social media, emails, search engines, display advertising and the mobile advertising have currently emerged and proved to be effective when used by corporations to convey persuading and value messages to the public (Dinner et al., 2014).   Apparently, technological advancements have played a critical role in facilitating the multi-channel strategy of marketing and gives a broad access to potential consumers. Evidently, the cost of Internet marketing is cheaper compared to other methods hence the best for small sized businesses (Chen et al., 2007). Today, companies have accorded different objectives on the internet communications that include; creating awareness, generation of interest, disseminating the brand and company information and the gaining a greater consideration in the competitive market (Weinberg, 2009).  Unlike the traditional forms that primarily focused on the educational objective. At the initial stages, there was the use web marketing like the e-commerce, the affiliate marketing, and the search engines. As time moved, the email marketing was introduced and further the social media marketing where sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and the Digg are heavily used by companies to enhance the IMC approach (Rezvani et al., 2012). 

Dissemination of information concerning product features

In late 1996, there was the growing interest by businesses to apply IMC creating a comparative advantage. This need arose when companies desired to provide more than just advertising (Belch, 2014). The emergence of the IMC marketing tool in the 1990s signaled a new era in the marketing industry where it became a tool where every retailer and user turned a focus on it. Apparently, various changes have occurred from the introduction of IMC to date. The recent advancement in technology and the rapid proliferation has revolutionized the IMC to give it a better meaning (Belch, 2014).   This concept of Integrated Marketing in the modern business environment where competition for customers is the order of the day has involved the interconnectedness of various sophisticated tools just to ensure a company achieves marketing objectives (Bengtsson et al., 2007). With globalization in play, most companies no longer worry about geographical barriers and a company can operate at any market provided it can ethically compete with others to meet the ever-changing desires of the consumers (Greg, 2007). 

Apparently, a technological breakthrough has redefined the application of various marketing and promotional tools and enhanced coordination in the way they are applied (Pomirleanu, 2013). It has become a culture that during the planning process, the organization usually considers the workability of combining several forms of marketing and promotion for a common goal. For instance, during the launch of a new product, a joint use of promotional tools is important. They include; Advertising, personal selling, sales promotion, Internet marketing, direct marketing, publicity, print and broadcast media, out of home media, word of mouth, point purchase, events, and sponsorships and product placements are considered (Nagra et al., 2012).

However, the application of various marketing and promotional tools is not a guarantee of success. It can either be informative or just a winning strategy. The success and pretty impression can be achieved through other factors like quality and the alignment of the product or service with customers’ preferences. As time is always variable, so do customers. The fast changing needs are fashion and quality oriented rather than the convictions and promotional strategies applied by sales persons (Belch, 2014). Indeed, the marketers usually disseminate the information regarding the product to attract users. Afterward, the few who purchases and use the product will examine if the marketing message accorded to the product tally (Dinner et al., 2014).  The differences in quality at the disadvantage of the buyer can consequently result in reduced market share, derailed company reputation and the IMC strategy adopted will be futile. The available scholarly writings significantly advocate that marketing should reflect intent to inform, attract, persuade and maintain customers and it imperatively depends on product quality and promotional mix employed (Abid and Scheepers, 2011). The adoption of internet marketing as a medium of communication gives companies an opportunity to use advanced technological methods procedures and methods to enhance effective delivery of quality products to customers. Such changes significantly contribute to the creation of awareness and generating interest due to the ability to cross both the geographical and the national boundaries (Kraus et al., 2009).

Incorporation of relevant marketing communication channels


Dissemination of information concerning product features and establishing a strong brand and company image are important factors that organizations focus on as they formulate marketing strategies. However the management, in the past has failed to integrate and coordinate all the marketing and communication tools properly. They do not recognize the importance of a comprehensive understanding of the significance of installing marketing software programs that facilitate instant customer feedbacks (Fan & Tsai, 2014).   Incorporation of relevant marketing communication channels by the organization is a strategy that leads to a broad access to the target market (Abid and Scheepers, 2011). The increased use of the internet by billion groups of people in the world provides an opportunity for marketers to reach more customers in a short period. It is easy to make several advertisements concerning a product on the website portfolio through the interstitials and banners. Such programs are convenient, and the company is assured of elegant communications.

The internet is the best medium of a marketing channel that helps in availing all the information concerning the company and its products to the buyers (Kraus et al., 2009). Despite the positive outcomes resulting from the use of online marketing, there several limitations associated with it such as Firms incur high costs of starting a website, purchasing of the right software and hardware and the maintenance costs. The risk of losing customers who do not use the internet is a challenge that the management of organizations should continuously consider before establishing appropriate marketing strategies. Lastly, the vulnerability of the fraudulent activities is high on the internet (Chaffey & Patron, 2012). For example spamming in the websites of companies, where hackers steal confidential information of the enterprise. They use such data to change the features of a product and distract the perception of customers regarding brand identity and image.

The development of electronic commerce has facilitated online buying and selling of goods and services (Rezvani et al., 2012). It accelerates convenience and helps in providing a variety of property from which customers can make their selection (Fan & Tsai, 2014).  Another concept that has resulted from the technology advancement is the Web 2.0 that allows customers to participate in branding the image of a company in the form of content contribution and reading. Such developments ensure convenience and greater access to information by clients and also offers a wider product selection forum with lower prices (Jovanov & Conevska, 2011).

Technology changes have led to a significant improvement in the marketing field used by organizations. There is a simplification of the overall production process distribution and message delivery channels for goods and services to the customers (Ahmed et al., 2014). In gaining competitive advantage, firms should properly integrate all the marketing communication tools and align them with their goals and objectives. Hence, proper situation analysis, budgeting and evaluation tactics are the measures that can facilitate proper application of the developments discussed above.

Osim International is a retail and distribution company whose main products are massage chairs and fitness equipment. It was established by Ron Sim who is the current CEO of the company, and the main headquarter is situated in Singapore. The firm has an overwhelming performance as it is the leader in the healthcare products industry with a total of 827 retail outlets (Pentina et al., 2012). The strong performance is as a result of good market reception by the targeted audience. The vision of Osim International is to become a globally recognized leader in the distribution of healthy lifestyle products, while the mission is to inspire the well-being of the community by motivating people to focus on their health and challenge them to do their best to ensure the fitness of the body. The healthcare industry is competitive, and the customers prefer products whose features and new updates improve their health, well-being and enhances total fitness (Jovanov & Conevska, 2011).

Osim International uses celebrity marketing, where the Hong Kong superstars create awareness of the existing and new company products. Such marketing approach leads to increase in sales and also high return on investment. It also focuses on profitability by making sure that they bring in new customers and keep the existing ones by offering a wide selection of healthy lifestyle products mainly the massage chairs (Gassmann & Keupp, 2007). In pricing their products, the company bases their decision on the substitute products offered by their primary competitors such as Ottawa and Otto. Despite the competitive pricing in the industry, customers still prefer products from Osim due to the high quality and creation of customer value. Building good reputations and loyal clienteles aids in ensuring that there is accelerated growth of business operations. The way marketing personnel convey their messages to the public should be monitored through the active application of the modern marketing tools. Therefore it is necessary for the Osim International to adapt to the technological changes in the business environment which will, in turn, lead to gaining a high competitive advantage in the healthcare industry (Diamond, 2008). The healthcare industry in the modern world is highly competitive, and the customers prefer products and services whose features and new updates improve their health, well-being and ensures fitness (Jovanov & Conevska, 2011). The adoption of online marketing can give rise to a superior product differentiation. To achieve a greater competitive advantage, the managers of Osim International should improve their marketing efforts in the following ways; carrying out an online assessment of their target audience, developing a proper marketing plan and facilitating branding and public relations promotions (Chen et al., 2007).

The enterprise should ensure there is the intensive use of the electronic commerce through the firm’s website which promotes the online buying and selling of products both locally and internationally (Chaffey & Patron, 2012). The maximum use of the modern internet advertising forms can help reach more target audience. As a result, the Osim brand and image enhances due to creation value and awareness of the available products. The achievement of the stakeholder’s interests in the e-commerce is a benefit facilitated by the developments in the modern technology (Diamond, 2008).

Osim International should put more efforts on establishing new technological methods of production and distribution channels that can enhance the relationship between the company, its employees, customers and other businesses in the industry. Such bond is important as it facilitates the formulation of collaborations, partnerships, alliances or amalgamations (Gassmann, & Keupp, 2007). Advancement in the methods and procedures of marketing gives it an opportunity to vary the promotional mix elements through the electronic forums like the e-mail, bulletin boards and the Web. The implementation of the current marketing channels facilitates efficient conveyance of product quality and features to the public. The social media network interactions facilitate engagement of customers through the online games and contests (Ahmed et al., 2014). There is a frequent communication between the Osim marketing personnel and the users thus building a strong bond between the firms and their clients. The internet is the branding medium that leads to easy access to the target audience through the banners, pop-ups, and links. Online personal selling and promotion help corporate communicators to boost their brand identity and sales and therefore to give them a greater position to outdo the competitors (Cronin-Gilmore, 2012).


Small and medium-sized enterprises often develop communication plans that are cost effective and which focuses on the needs of the desired audience. To achieve their goals and objectives, they should integrate all the marketing communication channels (Dlodlo & Dhurup, 2013).  The application of a variety of communication tools leads to an in-depth definition and consistency of the messages conveyed to the prospective buyers. The enforcement of the marketing communication mix in Osim International leads to the accountability of all the parties involved. The concept of viral marketing is emerging in the small and medium-sized enterprises. It leads to the establishment of appropriate promotion campaigns (Abed and Sahar, 2010). This trend aims at different marketing methods like the mass marketing, one-to-one marketing, and direct marketing with the goal of ensuring convenience and efficient delivery of promotional objectives.

Conclusion

In conclusion, technology has positively and negatively impacted the marketing communication channels in different organizations.  Therefore, firms should develop marketing strategies and measures that facilitate customer loyalty and satisfaction. Such step gives a company to have a significantly high competitive edge in the industry in which it carries out its business activities. As a result, meaningful product features and benefits are delivered to clients and promotion of the brand name and image of an organization. Incorporation of integrated marketing communications lead to the reassurance of timely reminders, current data and available special offers to buyers and also facilitate repeat purchase in the industry. Adopting internet marketing can result in better target marketing which leads in better competitive advantages.

References

Abid, A.R. and Scheepers, H. (2011). Experienced Benefits and Barriers of e-Business Technology Adoption by SME suppliers.  BIMA Publishing Communications of the   IBIMA

Abed, A. and Sahar, M., (2010). The Impact of Social Networking Websites to Facilitate the Effectiveness of Viral Marketing: International Journal of Advanced Computer Science       and Applications, Vol. 1, No.6

Ahmed, M. U., Kristal, M. M., & Pagell, M. (2014). Impact of operational and marketing  capabilities on firm performance: Evidence from economic growth and downturns.       International Journal of Production Economics, 154, 59–71.

Belch, G.E., (2014). Advertising: An integrated marketing communication perspective. McGraw  Hill. p 31.

Bengtsson, M. Boter, H., and Vanyushyn, V. (2007).  Integrating the Internet and Marketing Operations.  Journal:  International Small Business Journal, Issn02662426, Volume 25,  Issue 1, pg. no. 27

Centeno, E., & Hart, S. (2012). The use of communication activities in the development of small  to medium-sized enterprise brands. Marketing Intelligence & Planning, 30(2), 250–265.

Chaffey, D., & Patron, M. (2012). From web analytics to digital marketing optimization:   Increasing the commercial value of digital analytics. Journal of Direct, Data and Digital           Marketing Practice, 14(1), 30–45. Available from            https://www.palgravejournals.com/dddmp

Cronin-Gilmore, J. (2012).Exploring marketing strategies in small businesses: Journal of Marketing Development and Competitiveness, 6(1), 96–107. Retrieved from  https://www.na-businesspress.com/JMDC/Cronin-GilmoreJ_Web6_1_.pd

Chen, C.W., Shen, C.C. and Chiu, W.Y., (2007).  Marketing communication strategies in support of product launch: an empirical study of Taiwanese high-tech firm. Industrial Marketing          Management, pg.no. 1046-56.

Diamond, S.  (2008). “Web Marketing for Small Businesses: 7 Steps to Explosive Business  Growth”, Sourcebooks Inc., Illinois

Dinner, I. M., Van Heerde, H. J., & Neslin, S. A. (2014).  Driving online and offline sales: The Cross-channel effects of traditional, online display, and paid search advertising. Journal    of Marketing Research, 51(5), 527–545.

Dlodlo, N., & Dhurup, M. (2013). Drivers of e-marketing adoption among small and medium Enterprises (SMEs) and variations with age of business owners. Mediterranean Journal of         Social Sciences, 4(14), 53–66.

Dlodlo, N., & Mafini, C. (2014). The relationship between Internet marketing paybacks and firm Productivity: Perspectives from Zimbabwean SMEs. Mediterranean Journal of Social      Sciences, 5(8), 21–31.

Fan, W., & Tsai, M. (2014). Factors driving website success: the key role of Internet  customization and the influence of website design quality and Internet marketing  strategy. Total Quality Management & Business Excellence, 21(11), 1141–1159.

Gassmann, O., & Keupp,   M.M.,   (2007).The competitive advantage of early and rapidly internationalizing SMEs in the biotechnology industry: a knowledge-based view, Journal          of World Business 42 (3), 350–366.

Greg, B. M.  (2007). The  role  of  exigencies  in  marketing:  a  rhetorical  analysis  of  Three Online social networks, thesis presented to the graduate school of Clemson university.    , pg. no. 99.

Jarvinen, J., Tollinen, A., Karjaluoto, H., & Jayawardhena, C. (2012). Digital and social mediaMarketing usage in B2B industrial section. Marketing Management Journal, 2(2), 102   117.

Jovanov, T. & Conevska B. (2011).Comparative Analysis of Factors from Marketing and Legal Perspective   and Policies That Affect SMEs   in Macedonia and EU, Conference  Proceedings form the First International Conference-Researching Economic   Development and Entrepreneurship in Transitional Economies, Faculty of Economics,  University of Banja, p. 743.

Kraus S., Harms R., and Fink M. (2009). Entrepreneurial Marketing:  Moving beyond Marketing  in New Ventures, Int. J. Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management, Special Issue,p.12

Nagra, G. K., Kumari, S., Gopal, R., & Manjrekar, P. (2012). Impact of Integrated Marketing       Communication on different customer segments, effects on consumer decision making process. International Journal of Applied Services Marketing Perspectives 1 (1), 56-61.

Pentina, I., Koh, A.C., & Le, T.T. (2012). Adoption of social networks marketing by SMEs: Exploring the role of social influences and experience in technology acceptance.  International Journal of Internet Marketing and Advertising, 7(1), 65–82.

Pomirleanu, N., Schibrowsky, J. A., Peltier, J., & Nill, A. (2013). A review of Internet marketing  research over the past 20 years and future research direction. Journal of Research in   Interactive Marketing, 7(3), 166–181.

Rezvani, S., Salehi, M., Eghtebasi, S., Abadi, A.H., & Dehkordi, G.J. (2012). A conceptual analysis of the key success of business in terms of Internet marketing. Interdisciplinary Journal of Contemporary Research in Business, 4(1), 811–816.

Weinberg, T. (2009). The new Community Rules: Marketing on the Social Web. O‘Reilly Media Inc. Sebastopol, CA, USA. 20.

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