Marketing professionals use computer technology to plan, manage and monitor campaigns. By analyzing and manipulating data on computers, they can increase the precision of marketing campaigns, personalize customer and prospect communications, and improve customer relationship management. Computer technology also makes it easier for marketing professionals to collaborate with colleagues, agencies and suppliers.
With computers, marketing teams store, analyze and manage large volumes of data on prospects and customers. Understanding the demographics, purchasing histories and product preferences of different groups and individuals enables marketers to target products and campaigns with greater precision and to personalize communications.
With cloud resources, marketers can quickly increase computing capacity when they need it. By purchasing additional computing capacity from a cloud service provider, rather than investing in fixed systems, marketers can handle peaks in demand. Increasing website capacity to handle large numbers of campaign responses, for example, ensures that customers do not experience long waiting times. Marketers also use cloud computing to provide the additional capacity for test marketing and to manage large-scale email campaigns.
Marketing automation is now an essential element in lead management, the process of converting sales leads to customers. Marketing automation identifies a prospect’s level of interest or intent to buy based on the response to a series of emails. The team can then follow up with detailed information or a sales call, depending on the response.
Computer technology gives marketers the opportunity to build dialog and strengthen relationships with customers and prospects. Marketers must respond to consumers’ growing use of the Internet and social media. By monitoring discussions on social networks and product review sites, marketers can gain insight into consumer attitudes and take the opportunity to respond and build dialog.
Field sales teams and distributors require access to marketing support material, such as brochures, presentations, product data sheets, and advertising or email templates. By storing digital versions of campaign material in a secure Web portal and providing access to authorized users, marketers can simplify distribution of support material and increase control over its use.
Using desktop video or Web-conferencing tools, marketers can collaborate with colleagues in sales and product development or account teams in advertising agencies and public relations consultancies. Collaboration tools can speed product development by making it easy for teams to meet and take decisions, rather than trying to arrange face-to-face meetings. Agency teams can discuss or review campaign proposals and changes to ensure they meet deadlines.