The Role of Computers in Marketing
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THE ROLE OF COMPUTERS IN MARKETING
Marketing is the process by which goods are sold and purchased. The aim of marketing is to acquire, retain, and satisfy customers. Modern marketing has evolved into a complex and diverse field. This field includes a wide variety of special functions such as advertising, mail-order business, public relations, retailing and merchandising, sales, market research, and pricing of goods.
Businesses, and particularly the marketing aspect of businesses, rely a great deal on the use of computers. Computers play a significant role in inventory control, processing and handling orders, communication between satellite companies in an organization, design and production of goods, manufacturing, product and market analysis, advertising, producing the company newsletter, and in some cases, complete control of company operations.
In todays extremely competitive business environment businesses are searching for ways to improve profitability and to maintain their position in the marketplace. As competition becomes more intense the formula for success becomes more difficult. Two particular things have greatly aided companies in their quests to accomplish these goals.
They are the innovative software products of CAD/CAM and, last but not least, the World Wide Web.
An important program has aided companies all over the world. Computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) is the integration of two technologies. It has often been called the new industrial revolution. In CAD, engineers and designers use specialized computer software to create models that represent characteristics of objects.
These models are analyzed by computer and redesigned as necessary. This allows companies needed flexibility in studying different and daring designs without the high costs of building and testing actual models, saving millions of dollars. In CAM, designers and engineers use computers for planning manufacturing processes, testing finished parts, controlling manufacturing operations, and managing entire plants. CAM is linked to CAD through a database that is shared by design and manufacturing engineers.
The major applications of CAD/CAM are mechanical design and electronic design. Computer-aided mechanical design is usually done with automated drafting programs that use interactive computer graphics. Information is entered into the computer to create basic elements such as circles, lines, and points. Elements can be rotated, mirrored, moved, and scaled, and users can zoom in on details. Computerized drafting is quicker and more accurate than manual drafting. It makes modifications much easier.
Desktop manufacturing enables a designer to construct a model directly from data which is stored in computer memory. These software programs help designers to consider both function and manufacturing consequences at early stages, when designs are easily modified.
More and more manufacturing businesses are integrating CAD/CAM with other aspects of production, including inventory tracking, scheduling, and marketing. This idea, known as computer-integrated manufacturing (CIM), speeds processing of orders, adds to effective materials management, and creates considerable cost savings.
In addition to designing and manufacturing a product, a company must be effectively able to advertise, market, and sell its product. Much of what passes for business is nothing more than making connections with other people. What if you could pass out your business card to thousands, maybe millions of potential clients and partners? You can, twenty four hours a day, inexpensively and simply on the World Wide Web. Firms communicate with their customers through various types of media. This media usually follows passive one-to-many communication where a firm reaches many current and potential customers through marketing efforts that allow limited forms of feedback on the part of the customer. For several years a revolution has been developing that is dramatically changing the traditional form of advertising and communication media. This revolution is the Internet, a massive global network of interconnected computer networks which has the potential to drastically change the way firms do business with their customers.
The World Wide Web is a hypertext based information service. It provides access to multimedia, complex documents, and databases. The Web is one of the most effective vehicles to provide information because of its visual impact and advanced features. It can be used as a complete presentation media for a companys corporate information or information on all of its products and services.
The recent growth of the World Wide Web (WWW) has opened