In this article, I will explain the connection between marketing and digital technology and how important this is for students and their future businesses. At Commercial and Trade School of Split, Croatia, we are teaching our students how to prepare a marketing plan. The four Ps of marketing –Product, Price, Place and Promotion – are often referred to as the marketing mix. These are the key elements involved in marketing a good or service, and they interact significantly with each other. In time, the 4 Ps were extended to 7 Ps – People, Processes, and Physical evidence. Contemporary marketing includes digital technology in all 7 Ps, and I teach my students how to accomplish it.
The consumer society is picky today. Students need to design a good product to sell. After choosing a product, it is necessary to focus on price formation. Global competitiveness should be taken into account, but also the target group. For example, a certain segment of consumers is ready to set aside a larger amount of money for a luxury product. All of this points to the contemporary promotion of the marketing mix. We have to teach our students how to implement digital marketing in their marketing plans. Online promotion is unavoidable whether it is a matter of local or global promotion. For example, international marketing is a challenge. It involves crossing many boundaries and understanding a number of cultural differences. However, marketing strategies for entering the international market today are mostly applied from the armchair at home with a simple use of a laptop. Running a global company from a laptop is a matter of creative thinking. The goal is to reach as many customers as possible, so the beginning of every market appearance is to create a good marketing plan. First of all, students need to determine the target market. Researching competitors through digital marketing can give a clear picture of the potential market. Digital marketing involves research using analytical tools such as Google Market Finder, which works on the principle of keyword search and demand for a particular product. This indicates geographic areas that are rich in keyword searches. Bing’s Keyword Research tool helps us learn all about the competition in a particular geographic area, and the web analytics tool provides insight into clients in different geographic locations who have visited our website. Students are aware that with the help of digital tools, a global customer base of a designed product is easily created. Within the subject of Marketing, students are also learning that adapting e-commerce to the international market includes not only translations into foreign languages, but also so-called localization. Localization refers to “local feel”, adapting to the needs of local clients and local advertising. It is necessary to explore the social networks of a certain local area and spread the word about the product faster by advertising on social networks, for example by using Business Meta Suite on Facebook. Teacher creates a Facebook page for their subject and the students are encouraged to promote it using digital marketing tools. The picture at the top shows a Facebook page created for the subject of Business Communication (Poslovne komunikacije in Croatian) that students are using for digital educational purposes. Display advertising improves the visibility of our page to a market segment that we are not yet familiar with. For visitors who have already visited our website, re-targeting should be used, for example via an e-mail newsletter, to encourage them to return. Referring to the 4Ps of marketing mix, next is a place. Place includes creating a website with an integrated payment system. Online business includes the return of goods, which takes us beyond the 4P marketing mix and points to the already well-known extension of the same to 7P. The importance of customer service is very often crucial when shopping online. Students should also take into account the time after the sale, return of goods and support after the purchase, because that time is crucial for business since then they are trying to win over the customer. People are important for this, but physical evidence is also involved in the marketing mix in terms of computer equipment, publications and signaling in general. A modern, clear website, easy to use provides business efficiency and that is the technology that students should learn about. Finally, the ordering process itself should be “user friendly”. The information must be easily accessible because the key to business is good communication. Of course, it is on us teachers to pass on the knowledge and to improve it every day with new technologies to keep up with the times.
Abou the author: Ivana Prezzi graduated in Management at the University of Economics in Zagreb in 1999. In the past, she worked both in several companies and as an entrepreneur. Today, she is a teacher who enjoys passing on her knowledge to students and working with them. She teaches Economics at The Commercial and Trade School of Split, Croatia, Europe.