The use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has become more integrated into aspects of life. In marketing, ICT means all forms of media used to handle and convey messages. Types of media include the Internet, cable television or a mobile phone. ICT continues to gain an edge over other non-computerized promotional materials such as brochures, posters or billboards because of some advantages it has in promotional messaging.
Using media such as the Internet allows businesses to break through geographical barriers and promote products and services faster. Advertising a product on a website can extend an offer to potential customers in any part of the world. However, this assumes the potential customer has access to the Internet. Using emails also is cost-effective. Sending emails to potential customers is faster and comes with minimal cost as opposed to having brochures printed and distributed through sales agents.
Online promotion is cost-effective. By sending emails to customers or suggesting a product to friends on social media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter, a business may end up spending far less than it would through conventional promotional approaches such as placing an ad in a newspaper, distributing brochures or bulk mailing to target consumers. Alternatively, a business also can save money by sending bulk short message service (SMS) and multimedia messaging service (MMS) data to customers.
ICT pathways such as the Internet, SMS and MMS enable a business to reach specific consumers. For example, an email promoting a product can be sent to thousands within a target audience at once. The focus can be greater than using billboards or newspapers where an audience that isn't targeted might see the message, but ignore it. A website also enables a business to reach out to a target audience through search engines. Search engines can guide interested consumers to the website to learn about products or services offered by a business.
The Internet and mobile phones are highly interactive promotional tools compared to advertising done with brochures or billboards. Advertising products on a website could allow consumers to comment and offer valuable reviews of products and services. Additionally, emails, SMS and MMS allow businesses to send out custom-made multimedia messages or alerts to a target audience that can facilitate direct responses.
Anytime, Anywhere Marketing
The portability of ICT forms such as a mobile phone or laptop allows a business to promote products or services 24 hours a day from anywhere in the world. This means goods or services can be advertised when your target audience may not have the time to go through a newspaper or a brochure. Promotional messages also can be tailored to fit their needs of customers at particular locations. For example, when it rains during a soccer match, an entrepreneur could send bulk messages to promote rain gear that is for sale within that time and particular locale.