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This paper entails an evaluation of how businesses incorporate digital and physical channels in their marketing processes. As a result of the high rate of technological innovation, firms within the retail sector are increasingly incorporating emerging technologies such as the internet in addition to physical channels in their marketing processes.
Growth in marketing practices has presented the customers with a wide range of channels to select from. As a result, consumers can move from one channel to another with minimal effort depending on their preferences. However, it is not all market segments which can incorporate digital channels.
This arises from the fact that some products are not digital. Additionally, physical channels are vital in that they enable the creation of a strong relationship with the customers. Physical channels also give the customer a unique customer experience.
Marketing has undergone significant transformation during the 21st century. One of the areas where this transformation has been experienced relates to marketing channels. Business firms have shifted from single-channel structure to multiple marketing channels.
One of the factors that have contributed to these changes relates to the high rate of technological innovation especially the growth in Information Communication Technology. In an effort to attain competitive advantage, businesses are integrating the internet in their marketing practices. The consumers have also embraced technology in their buying process.
By integrating digital and physical methods of accessing the market, there is a high probability of firms attaining a high competitive advantage relative to their competitors. For example, through digital marketing, businesses are able to access a large market. This arises from the fact that the firms become dimensionless with regard to geographical location and time (Huang & Mak, 2003, p. 7).
Through digital marketing, geographical boundaries are eliminated. This means that firms are able to access a wider market. The resultant effect is that the firms are able to increase their customer base considering the rate at which consumers are incorporating technology in their purchasing process. Digital space also contributes towards creation of a strong customer relationship.
This arises from the fact that there are a wide range of digital technologies that businesses can use to interact with the customers. By using physical means to reach the market, firms are able to address the needs of all customer categories. The result is that a strong bond with the customers is established.
This arises from the fact that not all customer categories have incorporated the technology in their consumption, for example the elderly.
Considering the numerous channels that are available in the market today, consumers can effortlessly move from one channel to another. Consumers have a wide range of channels to select from depending on their perception and communication needs.
The large number of choices enables consumers to migrate between the channels without being mindful of any boundaries (Hauser & Keillor, 2007, p. 131). Consumers are dynamic in their purchasing patterns. As a result, they select the channel that best suits them depending on the situation.
It is not all market segments that enjoy shopping using both channels. This is mainly so with regard to services. When purchasing some services, the physical presence of customers is necessary. The physical presence also contributes towards the customer attaining a unique experience.
Despite the high rate of innovation in information technology, physical goods cannot be transferred online. It is only digital products which can be transferred to the customers through the internet.
Different companies have incorporated the both digital and physical channels in their operation. Examples of such companies include TNT Express and Duetsche Post. These companies are mainly involved in the transfer of parcels. In an effort to expand their market coverage and become the best parcel distribution companies, these companies have integrated both traditional and digital channels (Crew & Kleindorfer, 2011, p. 300).
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The business environment has become very dynamic. As a result, it is paramount for firms to develop their competitive advantage in order to survive in the long run as going concern entity. One of the ways through which they can achieve this is by enhancing their marketing practices by integrating both physical and digital channels.
Conn: Praeger. Huang, G. & Mak, K. (2003). Internet applications in product design and manufacturing. Berlin: Springer.
Crew, M. & Kleindorfer, P. (2011). Reinventing the postal sector in an electronic age. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing.
Hauser, W. & Keillor, B. (2007). Interactive and multichannel marketing. Westport.