There are 2.8 Billion users accessing the Internet today, which account to almost 40% of the whole world population. This explosion in the number of the Internet users was due to infrastructural factors, such as the introduction of broadband technologies and their wide availability and, somehow, affordability. The Internet has broken all concept of media and become the mainstream platform for consumers to communicate and purchase. As a result, its role in marketing has shifted from being a media channel to a strategic marketing platform.
The importance on Web 2.0 as a new marketing channel is that it has a strong influence on consumers and how it should be incorporated into companies strategies as whole, not just the marketing plan. A model that ensures seamless transition and successful implantation of Marketing 2.0 tools, which is the application of Web 2.0 technologies in marketing.
The proposed model aims to introduce a clear path through which companies would be able to implement Marketing 2.0 strategies. To be able to do so, first, we’ll have to understand what Marketing 2.0 means. Implement Marketing 2.0 Model involves defining Web 2.0 and discussing its relation with marketing. Then, we will discuss the factors illustrated in the proposed model by analysing the hypothesis we’ve developed on each factor.
How to implement a Marketing 2.0 Model: Strategies for Closer Customer Relationships
In order to survive in today’s market environment, it has became essential for marketers to reorganise their businesses and make a good use of the Web 2.0 technology and social media. The merge between Web 2.0 technology and marketing practice would result in the adaption on what is known as marketing 2.0. Marketing 2.0 is defined as the usage of Web 2.0 technology and the interactive capabilities it provides for the purpose of opening interactive communication channels between consumers and businesses.
In order to fully grasp the concept, we need to understand what Web 2.0 means. Web 2.0 is defined as the new generation of websites and web services that capitalise on the collaboration of the users of these services. Taking into confederation how fast and rapid the software industry is moving, it is highly anticipated to see changes in the leadership in Web 2.0 service providers.
We need to understand what Web 2.0 means. Web 2.0 is defined as the new generation of websites and web services that capitalise on the collaboration of the users of these services. Taking into confederation how fast and rapid the software industry is moving, it is highly anticipated to see changes in the leadership in Web 2.0 service providers. This article will help in transforming marketing plans and strategies from its traditional approach into, what we would like to call, marketing 2.0 approach smoothly. The factors included in the article model doesn’t cover every related aspect, however, they cover the most important ones.
Web 2.0 Technologies: Definitions of Web 2.0
Web 2.0 technologies have changed the way people interact with each other, which resulted in more interactive communications between consumers. The Web is a platform, harnessing of the Collective Intelligence, Data is the Next Intel Inside, End of the Software Release Cycle, Lightweight Programming Models, Rich User Experiences. Web 2.0 is a set of economic, social, and technology trends that collectively form the basis for the next generation of the Internet a more mature, distinctive medium characterised by user participation, openness, and network effects. So, Web 2.0 is the new generation of websites and web services that capitalise on the collaboration of the users of these services.
Web 2.0 applications uses a collection of technologies that was developed late in the 90‘s. These applications allow a large number of users to publish collaboratively, for example, blogs, wikis. The version number in Web 2.0 is commonly used to represent software updates. In Web 2.0 the version number represents an improved form of the World Wide Web. To better understand the concept of Web 2.0 we should discuss the differences between Web 2.0 and it’s predecessor, Web 1.0.
How to implement a Marketing 2.0 Model: Applications
The wide range of online applications made it difficult to distinguish between Web 2.0 applications and others that are not Web 2.0 applications. However, the definition of Web 2.0 technologies makes it easier to do so as it encapsulates Web 2.0 applications and web services within the following categories:
1. Blogs: the word blogs is an abbreviation for Web Logs, which are journals published online by users. Users use different type of contents to enrich their blogs, such as audio and video files. For example, Blogger. Blogs are growing rapidly and gaining popularity faster than other Web 2.0 applications.
2. Social Networks: a platform through which users create profiles that could be accessed by other members of the same network. In this model, users can communicate and share content with each other. For example, Facebook. It’s work mentioning that the scope and the content of social networks and not usually the same.
3. Sharing Communities: applications, or web sites, that allow users to share a specific type of content. For example, YouTube allows users to register and create profiles in order to share videos and comments on these shared videos.
4. Forums: web sites that are dedicated for the discussion of a specialised subject. You can find an online forum for every special interest group nowadays, where members exchange and share their ideas with each other.
5. Content Aggregators: web sites they allow users to control the look and the content for each one by personalising their portal. This has been made possible through RSS technology, which stands for Real Simple Syndication or sometimes called Rich Sites Summery.
Web 2.0 technology for customer service, marketing, sales
One of the most important factors affecting the spread of Web 2.0 technologies is the easiness in their applications development and maintainability. Thanks to advancements in development tools, users with little or non- application development background can now participate in Web 2.0 service development. This has been made possible by the development of tools that are intuitive and easy to use.
Implement Marketing 2.0 Model: Application Selection
Having a wide range of alternatives confuses decision makers when they are selecting a Web 2.0 application to invest in. It is very critical to select the technology that maximises the business value the most. The chosen application should be able to close gaps in the customer experience and facilitate sophisticated customer segmentation based on click stream transparency and rich web analytics. This could be achieved by selecting the most valuable application for the customers that represent the market the company is targeting.
Marketing 2.0 Data Management: The Challenge
The amount of data a business expects to receive in case it chooses to facilitate Web 2.0 as channels to communicate with customers is overwhelming. Each day, we create as much as 2.5 Quintillion bytes of data. This is translated as 1 followed by 18 zeros. Of course, not all of them are related to Web 2.0, but it still a lot. For example, there are 12 terabyte of new tweets daily according to IBM. In addition to that, the retrieved information is not in a structured at all. It comes in different format and it’s the business responsibility to make sense out of it.
How to implement a Marketing 2.0 Model: The Solution
Implement Marketing 2.0 Model in order to manage information related to customers, a company should have a data management plan that includes having Customer Relationship Management, CRM, capabilities. In order for this plan to succeed it should have the following specifications and capabilities:
- Data Collection
- Data Monitoring
- Data Analysis
- Data Filtering
- Data Classification
- Data Indexing
- Data Retrieval
- Data Interpretation
When a plan is in place, execution becomes easier: integrating data, initiating pilot projects, and creating new tools and training efforts occur in the context of a clear vision for driving business value a vision that’s unlikely to run into funding problems or organisational opposition. Over time, of course, the initial plan will get adjusted. Indeed, one key benefit of big data and analytics is that you can learn things about your business that you simply could not see before.
How to implement a Marketing 2.0 Model: The Result
Being able to interact with the customers in two ways communication channels has many advantages. Although it introduces many challenges such as the ones mentioned above.
Most of these challenges could be resolved by implementing a data management plan that includes the implementation of a social CRM or CRM system. Furthermore, such a plan requires long-term commitment and large initial investment.
Adopting Web 2.0 Principles
Implementing the technologies is not enough! A more important stage in moving toward Marketing 2.0 is adopting the principles of Web 2.0. The new approach empower the customers, this fact worries many managers and executive decision makers. The most important thing for most of the managers is the control issue according to the same research.
Internet users are ready for Web 2.0 concept much better than companies who think about taking advantage of the concept. Organisational culture, risk of losing control over content and simultaneously increasing the power of customers make companies reluctant to the new tools, although decision makers are aware of potential Web 2.0 benefits. The disadvantages of losing control and increasing the power of customers in fact happens no matter whether companies directly would benefit from Web 2.0.
Intermediary sites, self service portals and independent blogs are just a few examples where the information about company, coming from its clients may appear and be popularised. Companies gradually try to accustom to new conditions and leverage the new trends, however the research shows it is very hard what is underlined by saying that “as the three layers of the new media communicative ecology – the social, content and technology – are co-evolving, the Web 2.0 is not only a valuable conceptual aid, but also an important practical imperative touching not only marketing but the whole organisation.
In how to implement a Marketing 2.0 Model, a company may choose to use more than one Web 2.0 application to implement Marketing 2.0 strategy, it’s actually encouraged. However, another important issue companies should focus on when implementing Marketing 2.0 strategy is to synchronise their marketing efforts among the different Web 2.0 applications the company chose to use. Implementing Marketing 2.0 strategy would have negative impact on the companies adopting it if their marketing campaigns appeared to be out of sync and are not timed correctly.
Marketing 2.0 is a two ways communication channel. Therefore, an effective communication strategy is critical for the success of Marketing 2.0 implementation. Having such a strategy will allow the company to maintain and manage its current customers. Meanwhile, it also allows the company to expand its customer base by creating new customers. What seems to scare marketers the most is that they would have to allow customers to communicate to each other if they choose to adopt theses technologies.
Integrating Social CRM (SCRM) or CRM Into Your Marketing 2.0 Strategy
Having the technological infrastructure, applications and data repository, implemented correctly, and adopting Web 2.0 principles completely, wouldn’t result in a successful implementation of Marketing 2.0 platform unless the marketing strategy support it completely. A CRM allows your organisation to become more customer-centric by informing the total customer experience – from strategic lifecycle management and marketing mix optimization, to comprehensive program development and the optimization of individual campaigns. Marketing is defined as the processes used to create, communicate, and deliver value to customers, and to manage customer relationship in a beneficial way for both of the customer and the organisation.
This actually shows the importance of the communication with consumers for marketers, as well as the importance of the customer relationship management. Understanding how customers make their decisions is a key to a successful marketing strategy.
The consumer decision journey is a framework developed by Court et al. to identify the point of time at which interaction with customers would result in influencing their decision. The Consumer decision journey spawn through four phases:
- Consumer considers an initial set of brands, based on brand perceptions and exposure to recent touch points.
- Consumers add or subtract brands as they evaluate what they want.
- Ultimately, the consumer selects a brand at the moment of purchase.
- After purchasing a product or service, the consumer builds expectations based on experiences to inform the next decision journey.
The Consumer Decision Journey
This model provides a clear, realistic understanding of what’s really going on. The customer is going through a process when trying to purchase a product. And eventually, turn into a loyal customer that would promote and advocate to the products or the brands they liked. They can do that by sharing their experience online with other potential customers. Taking this into consideration shows the importance of building new marketing strategy that capitalise on Web 2.0 technologies with the target of touching customers at the points of time that has the most influence on their purchase decision. The proposed Marketing 2.0 strategy should incorporate all of the technological infrastructure and Web 2.0 readiness, data repository and management plan, Web 2.0 principles, and a new marketing strategy that capitalises on the new capabilities. Use CRM software solutions to automate interactions through phone, email, chat and so on.
How to implement a Marketing 2.0 Model: Conclusion:
In conclusion, Web 2.0 technology has changed the way people interact with each other, which resulted in more interactive communications between consumers. As a result of that, it has became critical for marketers to capitalise on the new communication channels and adapt to Marketing 2.0 as a technology and to update their strategy accordingly. The proposed model will provide an efficient smooth transition for marketers to do so. This includes choosing the proper Web 2.0 platform to implement and adapt its principles, manage data efficiently, and update their marketing strategy and plans accordingly. Only by doing this, marketers can be confident that they can influence their customers at the most important touch point throughout the consumer decision journey, which would result in creating a loyal customer.
In how to implement a Marketing 2.0 Model it is very critical to select the technology that maximises the business value the most. The chosen application should be able to close gaps in the customer experience and facilitate sophisticated customer segmentation based on click stream transparency and rich web analytics. This could be achieved by selecting the most valuable application for the customers that represent the market the company is targeting. Being able to interact with the customers in two ways communication channels has many advantages. Although it introduces many challenges such as the ones mentioned above. Most of these challenges could be resolved by implementing a data management plan that includes the implementation of a CRM system. In addition, Marketing 2.0 is a two way communication channel and, therefore, an effective communication strategy is critical for the success of Marketing 2.0 implementation The proposed Marketing 2.0 strategy should incorporate all of the technological infrastructure and Web 2.0 readiness, data repository and management plan, Web 2.0 principles, and a new marketing strategy that capitalises on the new capabilities.
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For more information view the presentation below.
Kaplan, A.M. and M. Haenlein, Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of Social Media. Business horizons, 2010. 53(1): p. 59-68.41
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