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Information & Communication Technology (ICT)

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INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY (ICT)

THE ROLE OF ICT IN INTERNATIONAL MARKETING

Information and Communications Technology (ICT) according to Fathi Al Riyami (2013), provides businesses with avenues that allow them to remain competitive in local and global economies. Typically the ICT components have included email, phones, mobile devices, fax machines, and video communication, yet the list keeps growing with the advancement of technology and the increased availability of disruptive technology in the vast international market.

Organizations use websites to compete in global market as a means to provide information about their products or services. In addition, merging innovative technologies such as virtual environments, social media and other online tools allows companies to list their products online and enables them to communicate, display and promote their products and services to customers in real time with customized engagement capabilities. With the use of innovative and disruptive technologies it is possible to reach out to different demographics through the use of trendy platforms and media. Such advanced setup can facilitate connections between the business and new markets.

Businesses that rely on information, exposure and international trade stand to gain from innovative technology through increased customer engagement, clients receiving better product knowledge, increased sales, better customer service, reduced costs, and increased productivity.

THE INTERNET

The Internet or simply the Net according to Koledoye (2001) is a global collection of many different types of computers and computer networks that are interconnected together. The Internet can also be defined as a global interconnected network of networks, hence the name Inter-network or Internet.

In a general term, the Net is a prowling collection of computer networks that spans the globe connecting governments, military, educational and commercial institutions, as well as private citizens to a wide range of computer services, resources and information, thus reducing the whole world to a global village.

Benefits of Internet

Reach

The nature of the internet means businesses now have a truly global reach. While traditional media costs limit this kind of reach to huge multinationals, eMarketing opens up new avenues for smaller businesses, on a much smaller budget, to access potential consumers from all over the world.

Scope

Internet marketing allows the marketer to reach consumers in a wide range of ways and enables them to offer a wide range of products and services. eMarketing includes, among other things, information management, public relations, customer service and sales. With the range of new technologies becoming available all the time, this scope can only grow.

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Interactivity

Whereas traditional marketing is largely about getting a brand’s message out there, eMarketing facilitates conversations between companies and consumers. With a two way communication channel, companies can feed off of the responses of their consumers, making them more dynamic and adaptive.

Immediacy

Internet marketing is able to, in ways never before imagined, provide an immediate impact. Imagine you’re reading your favourite magazine. You see a double-page advert for some new product or service, maybe BMW’s latest luxury sedan or Apple’s latest iPod offering. With traditional media, it’s not that easy for you, the consumer, to take the step from hearing about a product to actual acquisition. With eMarketing, it’s easy to make that step as simple as possible, meaning that within a few short clicks you could have booked a test drive or ordered the iPod. And all of this can happen regardless of normal office hours. Effectively, Internet marketing makes business hours 24 hours per day, 7 days per week for every week of the year. By closing the gap between providing information and eliciting a consumer reaction, the consumer’s buying cycle is speeded up.

Demographics and targeting

Generally speaking, the demographics of the Internet are a marketer’s dream. Internet users, considered as a group, have greater buying power and could perhaps be considered as a population group skewed towards the middle-classes. Buying power is not all though. The nature of the Internet is such that its users will tend to organize themselves into far more focused groupings. Savvy marketers who know where to look can quite easily find access to the niche markets they wish to target. Marketing messages are most effective when they are presented directly to the audience most likely to be interested. The Internet creates the perfect environment for niche marketing to targeted groups.

ELECTRONIC OR INTERNET MARKETING

In its simplest form, Agbonifoh, et al (2007) wrote that internet marketing is the use of internet in creating the link between organizations and their markets. When viewed as an aspect of electronic marketing, it then can also be seen as the transfer of goods or services from seller to buyer that involves one or more electronic methods or media.

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Just as the Web is a source of information, it is also the arena for individuals and organisations to market their goods and services. Just as every kind of information is available, every kind of product, service or interest is marketed. Flowers, books and computer software are early success stories.

Internet marketing is the process of building and maintaining customer relationships through online activities to facilitate the exchange of ideas, products, and services that satisfy the goals of both buyers and sellers. In other words internet marketing comes into being once organisations starts to use the internet as a medium and as a market for connecting with the market either for marketing communication or for actually consummating sales or for pursuing objectives that will bring organisations and their markets in closer intimacy. Thus, an organization that identifies that its products (e.g. books, clothing, music, services etc) can be used to satisfy consumers who are adequately exposed to the use of internet, can decide to make its offerings available to these groups using the internet as a mode for communicating about the product, receiving payment and in some cases delivering the product.

Today in Nigeria, many consumers have imbibed the internet culture; as a result both Nigerian and foreign organizations are now using the internet to serve these consumers. Thus, it is now possible to undertake banking transactions without leaving ones home or office. Recently, some Nigerian universities started reaching their numerous customers especially the students through the internet in delivering some services. The internet as a mode of consummating exchange relation has therefore come to stay.

ETHICS AND INTERNET ABUSE

Ethics is the moral principles that govern or influence a person’s behaviour. Moral is concerned with principles of right and wrong behaviour. Internet Ethics are some norms or moral principles which you need to keep in mind while using internet. As technology is developing, computer has become an inseparable part of our lives.

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While making use of the internet, there are certain ethical issues to observe and moral values to susfam. Some of these issues which constitute crimes against cyber laws are:

1. Do not use internet to harm others.

2. Do not use bad language on the internet while using any service like email, chatting, etc.

3. Do not try to fool others by giving a wrong identity.

4. Avoid forwarding e mails to unknown persons.

5. Do not steal anyone’s information. It is a crime under copyright laws.

6. Do not hack anyone else’s account.

7. If you need to gain access to a file which is not your own, seek permission from the owner.

8. You should avoid displaying pornography on the internet.

9. Avoid sending viruses and spam emails to the people.

10. Respect privacy of others and as you want others to respect yours.

All the above mentioned norms should be strictly followed. Internet is an open medium of knowledge for the people. Use it properly and in a healthy way.

SUMMARY

Information and Communications Technology (ICT) provides businesses with avenues that allow them to remain competitive in local and global economies. ICT components have included email, phones, mobile devices, fax machines, and video communication, yet the list keeps growing with the advancement of technology and the increased availability of disruptive technology in the vast international market.

The Internet or simply the Net is a global collection of many different types of computers and computer networks that are interconnected together. Internet marketing is the use of internet in creating the link between organizations and their markets. Internet Ethics are some norms or moral principles which you need to keep in mind while using internet. As the technology is developing, computer has become an inseparable part of our lives. But while making use of computer, we should follow some ethics and some moral values.

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