CAREERS: Comment

There's no escaping technology. As employers we don't need staff to

have a PhD in IT, but we do need a general awareness of technology.

We're all committed to the technological revolution but we need people

to staff it.



It's vital to invest in technology training for our people. We need them

to know how to use technology and interpret the results gathered to

maximise the success of marketing campaigns.



Field marketing has been particularly quick to grasp the benefits of

this new technology and also recognise the need to invest, thereby

making the best use of it.



Training has always been a priority to field marketers given the variety

of the discipline. The introduction of handheld computer devices has

revolutionised the collating of inventory data and checking

campaigns.



The main reason for this is the speed and accuracy of delivery. Allowing

field marketers to keep a close eye on the success of an in-store

campaign and to spot trends as soon as they occur is something that was

virtually impossible five years ago.



While investing in technology and staff training may appear costly in

the short term, the longer term benefits more than offset these initial

costs.



It should be remembered that technology is, at the end of the day, an

enabler. People write the software, people input the raw data and people

ultimately interpret that information.



If you haven't made the appropriate investment in enabling your staff to

work with new technology and provide them with the analytical skills

that go with it you will struggle to compete.



Indeed, understanding technology in field marketing is now as important

as understanding the retail marketplace and the client's brand. So

whatever marketing discipline you are in, turn on and tune in to the

technology revolution or risk dropping out of the marketplace

altogether.



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