How Computers Are Used in Marketing
Computers are an integral part of today's marketing world. From search engine marketing to graphic design, marketing professionals use computers in every aspect of their jobs. According to the January 2009 "Wall Street Journal" article entitled, "New Info Shoppers," 92 percent of consumers trust information they seek online rather than from a retail clerk in a brick-and-mortar store or other source. Furthermore, more than half of consumers reported that they research products online before making a purchase in an actual store, according to a May 2009 Verdict Research survey. Likewise, companies are using computers to boost their online marketing efforts and implement web strategies that strengthen their organization's brand and increase their visibility and influence in the marketplace.
Web content management systems are used to structure the content that appears on websites. Without computers, web content managers would be unable to make the changes and edits needed to update and maintain the web pages that appear on the World Wide Web. Using computers, web content managers and editors type and format text, upload images and insert hyperlinks to other websites and web pages. In addition to maintaining their own websites, marketers use external databases to import information into their websites, and conduct market research and competitive analysis for marketing campaigns and activities.
One of the primary responsibilities of marketers is to update and maintain marketing lists. These contact lists are often recorded in online databases that are housed on internal servers or through external providers. Databases such as customer relationship management (CRM) systems can be accessed on servers over the Internet. These online services are delivered virtually and do not require new hardware or infrastructure to be physically installed on a computer. All aspects of marketing -- sales, campaign management, customer service, distribution, email marketing and analytics -- can be maintained using computer automated services delivered through CRM or in-house databases.
Before releasing a new brochure, email invitation or promotional poster, marketers must first work with their graphic design department to determine the best format and layout for the marketing piece. Desktop publishing software is used to draw, position and color text, shapes, images and photographs on the computer in a matter of minutes. Resizing and editing tools shrink and enlarge images, as well as implement different techniques that hide flaws or enhance physical features. Computers also enable graphic designers to produce marketing materials that can be used on the web, on television or in video games.
Search engine marketing is essential in increasing companies' search engine rankings and driving web traffic to corporate websites. Marketers use computers to optimize their company's web pages with keywords and search phrases that increase the probability of Internet users finding their websites through web searches. These professionals also create short ads that appear as web banners or on search engines, and increase their websites' visibility through targeted, keyword-rich content. Computers enable marketers access to these search-engine and analytical tools, which allow them to track the performance of banner and search engine ads, as well as update keywords that appear on their web pages.