For long Businesses and Organisations have been Customer oriented. They have moved from product and service mindset to Customer Satisfaction and Customer Delight mind set. The Customer expectation defined the marketing and business strategies of the Organisations. Organisations have begun to listen and tune in with the markets and customers to improve its product delivery and gain Customer relationship and loyalty. However in the new environment of the digital economy, they have to re learn all lessons with respect to the Customer behaviour. The challenge for the Organisations today is not only to tune into the markets and customers but to anticipate and estimate the Customer behaviour in the digital market place and be ready to service the customers in the new environment.
For all businesses, migrating to the new Net Economy is a necessity. Those Companies that have successfully managed to tune into the Customer on the internet have managed to be successful. Take the case of Dominos, Wal Mart, Amazon and EBay etc. What differentiates these businesses is that they have managed to grow their business models to suit the Customers who are using technology. Customer centric business models have been the hallmark of their success. The key differentiator can be said to be a combination of technology as well as Customer Centric business focus.
The key to E Business model is in understanding the Customer needs in the light of the new environment. Internet has changed a lot of dimensions for the individual users. Technology has changed the power equation from product and service to information and speed of information. In the new age of internet and online buying / selling, customers are not looking at the best product or service alone. In the virtual market where the competition, products and services are many, the information and the speed of information has become the key differentiator.
Take the case of couriers. The availability of Track and trace of a consignment that is provided by companies like DHL, FEDEX and UPS gives the power of information to the Customer enabling him to take key decisions with the help of the information on hand. Depending upon the urgency or the need of the hour, he can work with the courier company to change the delivery mode, uplift the consignment on urgent basis and meet with the delivery deadline of his customer. For flower exporters, fruit and perishable article exporters, such information can help deal with make or break situations.
E Marketing is significantly different from the traditional marketing. E Marketing with the help of technology and data warehousing is able to get to know and address the Customer on an individualized basis rather than one generic advertisement meant for the larger public. The companies are able to reach, recognize and customize the products and solutions to the specific individual customer.
Todayâ€™s technology savvy customer is different from the traditional buyer. His buying behaviour as well as expectations are different. His demands are largely driven and enabled by the E Business technology with speed and information being critical to the buying process. The influencers and the buying process too have changed. Social media networks have emerged as the major influencers aiding the buyerâ€™s decision making process and online financial transactions mechanism too have changed the buyerâ€™s preferences and methods of buying. Understanding the new Customer behaviour and building a E Business as well as Marketing Strategy in this new environment is the challenge for every Marketing Manager.