Internet technology has an expanded network base all over the world. This has enabled multinational corporations to market their goods and services without the need to move from one place to another. Internet marketing has improved customer relationship with businesses as it brings goods closer to the consumer.
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In fact, advancement in technology has stimulated growth of global economy as people spend less in the supply chain. It is also important to note that apart from gains in marketing, internet technology has enabled sale of goods from websites to consumers.
Different payment methods have been made available for use by buyers in order to make online purchases. However, security concerns have risen with severe repercussions to both consumers and corporations.
Hackers have managed to steal personal information from these websites as well as divert funds into their accounts. Moreover, customer information has been utilized in criminal activities, which include intimidation and fraud, among others.
Website security has been of great concern with several corporations reporting breaches. This includes companies like Sony, Apple and B2B platforms, among others.
This paper will explore internet technology, marketing and security concerns raised by Sony. It will also explore its internet marketing strategies, competitive advantage and security breaches as well as recommend possible solutions (Sony Corporation, 2011, p. 1).
Internet technology, marketing and Security
Internet technology has created a new age of commerce. Customers can now shop from their comfort. Moreover, they can research on viable products for usage through the internet.
Internet technology has the capability of bringing together sellers and buyers from different parts of the world through a single platform of communication. In addition, it makes it possible for buyers to pay for their goods and receive them at their convenience.
This has brought a new dimension to e-commerce. Marketing has been made easier for sellers and corporations with development in internet technology. Sellers also have been spared the cost of travelling abroad for marketing purposes.
Besides, customer’s questions can easily be attended to through live chats. However, despite these improvements, online marketing has had countless issues that threaten to demean its gains. Some of these include fake sellers, unreliable websites and security concerns.
Of great concern to both buyers and sellers are website breaches. This is mainly because hackers gain access to sensitive information about customers and these are tantamount to defamation, fraud, impersonation, among others.
Mcompanies like Sony have invested huge amounts of resources in security measures to protect their customers to no avail. Clearly, more needs to be done in order to stop this vice (Peckham, 2011, p. 1).
Sony is a multinational corporation that deals with electronic products such as desktops, laptops, televisions, play stations and movies, among others. The company has a B2B platform for selling of their products.
This involves securing customer information and payment details as they pay directly or through money brokers for their goods. The company has served the world market with quality products for decades and this has built its reputation as an excellent business conglomerate.
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Customers have therefore saved private information in its many platforms with confidence of protection. However, if occurrences in the recent past are anything to go by, then Sony needs to work towards improving their security measures (Kark, 2008, p. 1).
The company has several websites, some of which are aimed at networking and marketing to improve their image. Among the websites includes sony.net, sony.com and other subsidiaries that depend on a customer’s location.
Their website is highly visualized with information ranging from products, corporate, investors, news, support, customization, purchase information and innovation, among others. The website also gives information on initiatives made by Sony to protect the environment, improve customer relations and fortify security of customer information.
Sony also has a B2B platform in which customers can explore and buy its products online using their credit cards, through PayPal or via money brokers. In addition, it provides a network for gaming between customers throughout the world (Freed, 2011, p. 1).
The corporation’s website is well articulated with pages on product information. Sony manufactures a variety of products, which are included in its product information page.
These include game, audio, key device, video and other technological devices utilized by consumers as well as markets. The company also has a computer entertainment corporation, which manufactures and distributes entertainment devices such as PlayStation consoles, portables and computers systems.
This has revolutionized entertainment in the world 3D games. Product information page includes electronics such as camcorders, cameras, televisions, computers and tablets, audio phones, among others. It also includes a detailed visualized description of the products for easy understanding by customers (Sony Corporation, 2011, p. 1).
The corporation has a detailed contact information page in its website with a variety of contacts depending on customers’ requirements. Furthermore, it entails details of worldwide branch contacts with email, physical and telephone contacts.
It also has a form that customers can submit with inquires which are responded to as soon as practicable. The company’s contact information page is therefore furnished with information required for processing.
Customization of products for customers
The corporation has customized products for easier use by customers. This is aimed at providing an online support for information required by customers. Customization of products is also important in simplifying complex details of products to customers.
The website has capability to provide prices of products as required by customers. For instance, different customers require varied specifications in a given product such as a laptop.
For this reason, the website provides customization capability within the platform, which provides customers with required specifications with their prices. This is important in easing t workload of staff and requirements by each customer (PlayStation Network, 2011, p. 1).
Customer information at purchase
During purchase in the corporation’s website, customers are taken to a secure page where they provide their personal information and credit card detail for payment purposes. Moreover, the company works to shield them form hackers who linger around to collect customer information.
Customers provide their private details like real names, age, sex, credit card information, and sometimes email, mobile and physical address, among others.
This information is sensitive and requires utmost privacy because they can be used to defraud customers. The company has invested in security software aimed at protecting customer information, although this is sometimes breached as was witnessed recently (Sony Corporation, 2011, p. 1).
Corporation’s Internet marketing strategies
The company has put in place several internet-marketing strategies aimed at improving their presence in the world. Sony has put in place several internet-marketing strategies.
These include web promotion, search optimization techniques, email marketing, through affiliate resellers, through articles, videos, audios, listing in new stories and interaction with customers. Moreover, the company has built a consumer friendly website which improves its presence among customers.
In essence, the three main internet-marketing strategies employed by Sony include use of affiliate resellers like eBay, web promotions and advertisements through other media such as television, radio and sponsorships.
Resellers such as eBay market Sony products. This increases the number of traffic in Sony websites, as potential buyers look for credible manufactures with quality products. Over the years, Sony has had a great presence in consumer and reseller markets, this improves their image and internet traffic. Another strategy has been through website promotions, which are observable in most websites like fifa.com, among others.
Thelps in increasing their traffic and hence sales. Another strategy used by Sony is thorough media like in television. Whenever Sony markets their product in media, they ensure that their website is well displayed on it. This enables viewers to access its website and make orders as appropriate (PlayStation Network, 2011, p. 1).
Competitive advantage provided by the website
Sony website has enabled it to attract more customers as they grow in confidence over its services. The website’s ability to customize consumer needs makes it more attractive than others make and hence improves the company’s competitive advantage.
Another element of the website that improves competitive advantage is the quality of products and services offered. Moreover, the website offers other services such as online gaming, which attracts more customers to it. This, together with those mentioned above improves the company’s competitive advantage.
Corporation’s privacy/security policy and response to breach
Security concerns have been rife in internet marketing. This has forced the company into making strategic plans for new security measures. Customer’s details are very sensitive as they can be used to compromise their privacy. Moreover, their emails can be collected for spam messages.
This is done through SCEA and ESRB privacy licenses, which ensure online protection for customer information. SCEA is a credible licensee, which ensures maximum privacy to those participating in online entertainment games.
The latter, ESRB, is a third party privacy online, which ensures that consumer’s online privacy is protected from external breach. Sony announced a breach of security in its websites with stolen information fro its SOE accounts as well as those of out dated databases. Moreover, its customers had also received information of hacking in May.
These activities led them into upgrading their systems against future attacks. It conducted investigation in consultation with other security firms and made rigorous enhancement to its overall security. This was done to improve customer protection and data security (Peckham, 2011, p. 1).
Sony tried to upgrade its security measures in order to protect customer information. This was positive and a step towards the right direction. This was not conclusive since more attacks have been witnessed.
In fact, the year 2011 has witnessed multiple attacks on its website. Thereof rein order to improve their website and customer information security, Sony needs to perform an overhaul in their security measures to ensure that such activities are never witnessed (Kark, 2008, p. 1).
Recommendations and Rationale
In order to avoid future attacks, Sony should refrain from going after its hackers as this increases the number of potential attacks. In the process, this may make it a target for more attacks.
Some hacking groups see new security measures as challenges to their knowledge. Another thing that Sony should do is to come out and tell customers what was compromised during the attacks, this will improve its customer relation and trust for future dealings.
It should also make an overhaul of its security measures and establish weaknesses for further improvements. Moreover, it should enlighten customers on how to use their websites safely without compromising information (Freed, 2011, p. 1).
Freed, A. M. (2011). Sony Stock Hammered in Wake of Security Breaches. Infosecisland. Web.
Kark, K. (2008). Security breach management: Planning and preparation. Searchsecurity. Web.
Peckham, M. (2011). Sony’s PlayStation Network Disaster: What Happens Next? Web.
Sony Corporation, (2011). Sony online entertainment announces theft of data from its systems: Breach Believed to Stem From Initial Criminal Hack of SOE. Sony. Web.
Sony Corporation, (2011). Sony online entertainment restores game services. Sony. Web.