Monday, July 5, 2010

Do Definitions Tell You How To Create A Better Business?

When talking to people about what they think is involved in marketing, CRM, ecommerce, direct marketing, web development, web design and graphic design it is quite clear that most people have a confused and jumbled view about what they all are, what they cover, which is most important and which is easiest to understand. It is nearly always the case that someone understands what is meant by graphic design – not a surprise, perhaps, as it has been around the longest and has it’s roots in “old technology”. Not only that research has shown that only 7 to 11% of all communication is verbal, the rest being non-verbal as messages can be communicated through “graphical” factors such as gesture; body language or posture; facial expression and eye gaze, clothing, hairstyles, architecture, symbols and graphics. So definitely not a surprise – we are very visual. It is nearly always the case that people also believe they understand what is meant by web design – though many people blur it with web development. Again, probably not surprising, but, actually, probably not helpful either. Why not? Because if you don’t have a real ‘definition’ for something (definition = clarity and differentiation from other concepts) then you don’t know what you are buying. And, guess what, if you don’t know what you are buying you can be “ripped off”. So we thought we would be boringly helpful and using Wikipedia and a range of other sources definitions (only so we are not accused of slanting the evidence) try to explain what marketing, CRM, ecommerce, direct marketing, web development, web design and graphic design really are. We also thought we’d arrange them in what we regard as their order of importance to the success of your business – which is pretty much in reverse order to most people’s understanding of what they are and see if anyone can be bothered to read what could be “possibly the most boring and convoluted article ever” and challenge these views. 1. MARKETING: The most widely accepted definition of marketing on a global scale comes from the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) in the UK which is the largest marketing body in the world in terms of membership. The definition claims marketing to be the "management process of anticipating, identifying and satisfying customer requirements profitably". Thus, operative marketing involves the processes of market research, new product development, product life cycle management, pricing, channel management as well as promotion……… It is one of the company's management tools to ensure that products and services are developed according to market requirements, and that they are profitable. 2. CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT (CRM) includes the methodologies, technology and capabilities that help an enterprise manage customer relationships. The general purpose of CRM is to enable organizations to better manage their customers through the introduction of reliable systems, processes and procedures. Customer Relationship Management is a corporate level strategy which focuses on creating and maintaining lasting relationships with its customers. Although there are several commercial CRM software packages on the market which support CRM strategy, it is not a technology itself, rather, an holistic change in an organization's philosophy which places emphasis on the customer………. A successful CRM strategy cannot be implemented by simply installing and integrating a software package and will not happen over night. Changes must occur at all levels including policies and processes, front of house customer service, employee training, marketing, systems and information management; all aspects of the business must be reshaped to be customer driven. 3. ELECTRONIC COMMERCE, EC, e-commerce or ecommerce consists primarily of the distributing, buying, selling, marketing, and servicing of products or services over electronic systems such as the Internet and other computer networks.......... It can involve electronic funds transfer, supply chain management, e-marketing, online marketing, online transaction processing, electronic data interchange, automated inventory management systems, and automated data-collection systems. It typically uses electronic communications technology such as the Internet, extranets, e-mail, ebooks, databases, and mobile phones………. Internet marketing is a component of electronic commerce. Internet marketing can include information management, public relations, customer service, and sales. 4. DIRECT MARKETING is a discipline within marketing that involves the planned recording, analysis and tracking of individual customers' (business-to-business or consumer) responses and transactions for the purpose of developing and prolonging mutually profitable customer relationships………. DM uses non-addressable media as well as addressable ones. The important thing is that it seeks a response and it is this which the recipient, usually a marketer, bases their future actions, or contact strategy, on. In fact all DM is done through media, it's just that many, e.g. email, telemarketing, SMS, are "addressable". It usually is not taken to include face-to-face contact. Direct marketing is attractive to many marketers, because in many cases its effectiveness can be measured directly. 5. WEB DEVELOPMENT incorporates all areas of creating a web site for the World Wide Web. This includes web design (graphic design, XHTML, CSS, usability and semantics), programming, server administration, content management, marketing, testing and deployment. The term also refers to the "back end", that is, programming and server administration. There is usually more than one member that works on a given development team, each specialising in his or her own field. A web developer typically has more database, cgi, and engineering experience and develops the interface between the front and back end, undertaking programming tasks for a web site. This can include e-commerce applications or implementing a site search tool, for example. 6. WEB DESIGN is the design of web pages, websites and web applications using HTML, CSS and images. A web designer designs web pages. Usually a designer will produce a mock-up of a page in a graphics application (for example, Adobe Photoshop). Once you have approved the design, a designer can produce an HTML template, CSS files and all of the images needed to produce the web site. 7. GRAPHIC DESIGN is the applied art of arranging image and text to communicate a message. You can apply it in any media, such as print, digital media, motion pictures, animation, product decoration, packaging, and signs.

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