Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Enter ebusiness

As we look at the world wide web, we find organizations at different ends of the spectrum. At one end we have brick and mortar companies which use the web as brochureware and at the other end we have companies which do business in the online space..

In general, the web has moved away from a static medium which has a meager capability of static information, simple transaction to a medium which encourages multichannel buying. But traditional marketers still perceive web as a supplementary channel and not so much a standalone channel which has the capability to address all aspects of the marketing mix. Some Marketers believe that the web cannot be used to:

1. Generate consumer insights
2. used for category expansion
3. Reinforce Imagery
4. Service customers through online as there will be no personal touch

The web is doing all is this and much more. Thanks to web 2.0, consumers self expression,a manifestation of their thoughts, are well captured. Just that it is an arduous task of sifting through voluminous data. Consumers expression about products, services etc can be captured through videos, photos and comments written in youtube,flickr and blogs respectively.

Web is utilized as a persuasion medium. Lets take for example the travel industry.First time customers for a specific travel product are well enticed through peer comments, Photos, videos and ratings. Websites of car manufactures are good example of how to build imagery and encourage multichannel buying.3D demo of cars gives a good perspective of the user for color choice, interiors and dashboard appearance. The other product literatures reduces information asymmetry thus giving the control to the user as far as purchase is concerned.

Banks are good example of how they have pioneered channel migration strategies.Avatars are used to give a personal touch to the experience.Personalization as feature is provided by default to give the user a perception of familiar territories..

Thought leaders in this space are modelling the movement to online as a mimic of the real life so that the transition is seamless for the users. iPhone's user experience won rave reviews because of this aspect.

As marketers, you have a business case.It is only fair to state that for your business to succeed, a strong ebusiness strategy is a must...