OPINION: Marketing Society - Internet’s boom affects the core of all commerce

Will marketing pass the net test? For those of you who are blissfully unaware, it’s A-Level time again. Households all over the country are full of tension as a generation of would-be undergraduates try to get their required grades.

Will marketing pass the net test? For those of you who are

blissfully unaware, it’s A-Level time again. Households all over the

country are full of tension as a generation of would-be undergraduates

try to get their required grades.



But will marketing pass the test? Here is the question that probably

won’t appear in the A-Level papers - ’Marketers fail to grasp the

potential impact of technology on consumers, discuss’.



Take the thing of the moment - the internet. Philip Crawford, of Oracle,

speaking at this year’s Institute of Directors convention, said: ’UK

businesses still don’t seem to have grasped the full role of the

internet in transforming business models, slashing costs and creating a

new global digital economy’.



Indeed Jan Leschly, in his excellent Marketing Society annual lecture a

few weeks ago, raised the issue of how companies could embrace the true

potential of the net when so many directors were distant from it and see

it as the preserve of a younger generation of managers.



The failure to grasp the potential of technology is not something new;

we have all heard the quotes about how IBM only saw computers as being

central mainframes and not on users’ desks, or the one about how the

telephone would not catch on as the Post Office had messenger boys.



I wonder if, even a few years ago, many people could have envisaged that

mobile phones would have lost their aspirational chic image and become

the ubiquitous ’must have’ functional item next to a car or credit

card?



Herein lies the problem: is it of any use complaining about today’s

marketing departments not being visionary enough when history contains

so many previous generations of managers getting it so wrong?



If consumers are willing to embrace the new technology, where does it

leave boards of directors or their marketing departments?



For the Luddites who still believe that PCs are things that secretaries

type letters on, someone ought to tell them that they are living in some

dark age - and they probably belong there. On the other hand, for those

that believe that such a proliferation of technology and computing power

in homes can be harnessed, the world is their oyster.



Whereas e-commerce has been talked about for the past few years, we are

now starting to see the first real mass-market uses for it to start to

develop. Amazon.com is an obvious example but it is by no means the end

of the story. The more consumers have real purchasing experience of

buying via the net and the more that there is on offer, the more the

trend will accelerate.



Marketers need only to look back at the fundamental changes brought

about in the food distribution chain by the arrival of supermarkets to

start to even partly envisage the potential for change that will be

brought about by the development of e-commerce on some of the current

retail distribution models in existence.



So are all you marketing people out there ready for the test of how to

exploit the opportunities provided by the net - and how will you win

over your board?



Best of luck - let’s hope you get the desired grade.



Discussion

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now

Latest

John Lewis walks consumers through its history to celebrate 150 years of business
Waitrose boosts content strategy with 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose' C4 tie-up
Hottest virals: Cute puppies star in Pedigree ad, plus Idris Elba and Fruyo
Amnesty International burns candles to illuminate new hope
Toyota achieves the impossible by calming angry Roman drivers
Tom of Finland's 'homoerotic' drawings made into stamps
YouTube reveals user habits to appeal to 'older' marketers
Ex-M&S marketing chief Steven Sharp consulting at WPP
Wolff Olins reveals new CEO after Apple poaches Karl Heiselman
Glasgow offers £30,000 prize to best digital idea for 2014 Commonwealth Games
Google's revenues surge but shares drop as it grapples with transition to mobile
Facebook beats Twitter to most 'marketing friendly' social media site crown, says DMA
Fableists believe children like Finn should be outdoors enjoying life
Homebase, Baileys and Camelot join the line-up at Media360
MasterCard renews Rugby World Cup sponsorship to push cashless message
Lynx unleashes £9m 'Peace invasion' campaign
Social Brands 100 Youth: Pizza Hut most social youth brand in UK
Cheryl Cole is wild and arresting in new L'Oreal work
Morrisons told not to show alcohol ads during YouTube nursery rhymes
O2 head of brand Shadi Halliwell departs after 23 years at company in restructure
Tesco hit by further sales decline as it turns to digital Clubcard and social network
Branding guru Wally Olins dies aged 83
Duracell short film captures epic Transatlantic voyage
Ash runs Tinder experiment to show smokers are less desirable to opposite sex
British Airways teams up with Gerry Cottle Jnr for summer of rooftop film screenings
Arklu says 'girls can be superheroes too' with doll design competition
Coke enters squash market with Oasis Mighty Drops
Virgin Galactic signs up Land Rover as space flight sponsor
Motorola marketer Andrew Morley departs as Google gears up for sale to Lenovo
US Airways apologises after tweeting obscene image at a customer