By Vadim Golik
Abstract: The use of information technologies in the economy improves operational efficiency of companies. The Internet became an essential tool for successful trading in local and international markets. A new concept of e-business will have significant impact on the future economic development of the country. The establishment of the Ministry of e-business would be a big step towards innovative development of the state.
Effective business is based on the philosophy of marketing concept penetrating into all branches and management systems of the company and acting as the basis for creating its integral competitive and positive public image. This is a key management target for any business. However, in some cases, marketing concepts are considered and implemented only within the Marketing Department, which brings unsatisfactory results for the whole company.
That is why before using any innovations or modernization we should evaluate the effectiveness of the company’s management and the concept of relationship marketing.
However, we cannot ignore the increasingly larger role of information technologies, e-business, and Internet marketing in the improvement of business efficiency in national and international markets.
The proposed concept of using e-business and online marketing for companies is based on the following ideas:
1. Development, operation, and corporate site performance evaluation for every company in the country, regardless of its type of ownership. The site provides information in local and foreign languages, depending on the target markets. It includes accurate data about the goods and services (text, graphics, video) showing the benefits of this company, compared to the competitors. The information also includes payment methods, delivery terms, and the draft of the agreement.
Companies open online shops for wholesale and (or) retail customers offering various payment methods (bank transfers, credit cards or cash).
It should be noted that the given sites should have international domains ending with .com (or .net, .coand other names), national domains, like .us, .ae, co.za etc. (if the company operates or wants to operate in the foreign market), and other domains, depending on the target market.
The human factor also plays an important role in promoting the company’s products, so it is essential to hire e-business (e-commerce, internet marketing) specialists. If universities have respective faculties and schools, it will help solve this problem to some extent.
A marketing manager promotes products and the company’s sites by using both traditional marketing methods and information technologies (online advertising, SEO, posting information to trading platforms and electronic auctions, participating in affiliate programs, publishing press releases (articles, videos, photos) on various electronic PR resources, promoting via social networks, etc.).
Thus, the company’s offers (articles, videos, photos) will be published on numerous web sites around the world. In this regard, we should highlight the importance of affiliate programs for intermediaries, who can sell the company’s products and services and get some profit.
With the help of Internet technologies, marketing specialists can research foreign markets, contact local marketing agencies, and find customers by using trading platforms, specialized catalogs, print media, etc.
One of the key criteria to assess effectiveness of the company’s management is the response time when it comes to clients’ requests, the quality of the response, the ability to show the client all advantages of the goods, flexible pricing, payment methods, and implementation of other stimulation methods.
Companies are encouraged to attract intermediaries and provide them with ready-made promotional materials, ready-made sites, online shops, and marketing support. In today’s world, companies fight not only for clients, but also for intermediaries, who may help manufacturers deliver the right information to the target audience and therefore attract target customers (to a greater or lesser extent).
Logistics issues should also be effectively addressed by establishing proper relations with product delivery services (national postal service, DHL, FedEx, etc.).
That is why we should once again emphasize the idea mentioned above: each national enterprise must have its own corporate website, design, and regularly updated content to better inform the target audience and create a positive image of a successful and innovative company. Therefore, special attention should be paid to the time and quality of responses to requests from potential customers.
Companies operating in foreign markets should support the highest professional level of their websites in terms of the content, design, and interaction with potential and existing customers.
In the eyes of foreign customers, the image of the whole state is formed thereupon. In this regard, we should pay close attention to these issues and the problems in this field. The image of the state is based on the relations between overseas customers and local companies (both large and small). To this extent, the main goal is to further form and maintain the image of an innovative country. This is one of the key targets for the country’s development.
2. Development, operation, and performance evaluation of the state (private) online shop, where companies of various types of ownership present all of their products. This will help focus major attention on the promotion of a single online shop in the local – and more importantly – in the global market. In this regard, this will have a synergetic effect, when money necessary for the promotion will be collected from the companies, banks, and the government. If this project turns out effective, it will also attract serious foreign investors. The actions described in the first paragraph can also be applied to this project (i.e. creating an online resource in various languages, online and offline promotion, etc.). It should be noted that substantial support for promoting the resource in business markets can be provided by local and foreign marketing agencies, as well as by participation in conferences, trade fairs, etc. In addition, this project also involves the assessment of the company’s management system: how quickly managers respond to clients’ requests, how satisfying these responses are, etc. Some answers to these questions can be received with the help of software used within the project. This way we can receive timely information regarding the companies’ specialists, get the managers’ efficiency rating, etc.
It should be mentioned that selling the goods (services) produced by foreign companies via this online shop would be also possible and rather promising. This online shop (supermarket) serves as a trading platform for selling foreign goods (services) depending on the efficiency assessment of sales of each and every foreign product.
An important problem in this field is logistics (transportation, storage, etc.).
However, improving business organization is a must.
There are plenty of good reasons to pay close attention to training relevant specialists (programmers, engineers, marketing managers and sales managers (foreign trade, e-business), designers and architects).
3. Development, operation, and efficiency assessment of the state (private) trading platform for business customers. The process is the same as specified above, but the main target is to gain profit by attracting corporate clients. The platform lists all products of domestic enterprises (as well as foreign companies). The platform managers promote this Internet resource in overseas markets. The participants are producers, wholesale and retail intermediaries, end-buyers or consumers. Participants’ goods to be sold or bought are advertised in various languages. The platform’s domain names are registered in various domain areas and always have an international domain name.
Software tools offer the opportunity to monitor the timeliness of the company’s personnel’s response to customers’ requests and evaluate the work of managers (for example, of public enterprises). This will to some extent help increase the efficiency of their work. However, the quality of employees’ work largely depends on the effectiveness of their stimulation by the company management.
Promotion of the company’s products via spreading information on various trading platforms becomes extremely important. It helps establish new contacts with intermediaries, buyers, and consumers from different countries, which will smooth the way for local companies to various foreign markets.
4. Development, operation, and efficiency assessment of the state (private) electronic exchange. Special emphasis is placed on the speed of clients’ registration on the exchange. A routine procedure would discourage foreign clients, who may purchase similar products in foreign markets with fewer hassles. The clients will agree to pass this procedure only if their interest in the product’s purchase is very high, and they find it profitable. Thus, routine procedures create additional barriers for the product’s promotion in the foreign markets, and informational technologies will be of no use in such cases. Of course, it refers to logistics, the payment methods, communication skills, and the competence of the company’s employees. The exchange should be multilingual, and the domain names should be registered in various domain areas (as well as in the international .com area, as it is required), customers support should be available 24 hours a day, while the service should be smart and competent. Employee monitoring should be based on the evaluation of the response time, surveys, etc.
In order to expand market coverage, increase the number of clients and their profit, local companies should actively trade on various electronic platforms (both local and foreign).
5. Development, operation, and efficiency assessment of the state (private) electronic auction for both individual customers and b2b clients. Companies may put up for auction the remains of unsold products, new products, and services. The arrangements for this project’s implementation are largely similar to the measures specified in previous sections.
Companies are advised to pay attention to foreign electronic auctions.
6. Investments in effective projects. Constant search and analysis of new ideas in the field of electronic and traditional business based on the creation of a suitable resource for submitting proposals requiring investments, as well as requests from potential investors. It also includes analysis of ideas for venture investors published on foreign sites.
Creation of a website for product engineers, designers, architects, and artists, as well as support and analysis of their communication with various companies (producers).
7. Information gathering, its analysis and assessment of e-business development and the rate of information technologies’ utilization by the country’s organizations of different types of ownership. Identification of the problems in this field. Development and implementation of reasonable proposals based thereupon and aimed at increasing the effectiveness of the use of information technologies by enterprises, including corporate administration, marketing research, products’ promotion in the foreign and domestic markets, cooperation with government authorities, etc.
These problems can be solved once the Institute of E-business is established. It will:
– Carry out analytical work in this area.
– Assess the domestic market in the field of e-business and the use of information technologies.
– Develop measures aimed at creating comfortable business environment, which will increase the number of Internet-companies, companies engaged in software development, organizations using high-end technologies, etc. It will increase the companies’ profit and the government income.
– Gather, process and analyze information about each of the foreign markets and, based on this information, provide effective solutions for every company.
– Elaborate measures in the field of e-commerce and Internet-marketing.
– Assess if companies have enough employees specializing in e-commerce and coordinate mutually beneficial communication between the corresponding departments and enterprises (possibly, by finding sponsors for this specialty).
– Conduct anonymous marketing surveys among the companies’ staff and management to identify problems, evaluate temporary financial expenses connected with bureaucratic procedures inside the company, and its relations with government agencies, develop proposals for their elimination and improve the company’s optimization. To do that, the Institute of E-business should implement the corresponding proposals.
– Develop measures for switching each company into electronic documentation, encouraging software implementation, etc. with detailed economic feasibility.
– Develop the Electronic Government project that suggests optimization of work of government authorities through the use of information systems in internal relations and communications with the community. It will help define the functions of each government employee and their personal responsibilities. It also suggests the development of public services portal, etc., the development and implementation of information and analytical expert systems while conducting public tenders, the development and improvement of an electronic portal in the field of public purchasing, as well as calculation of socio-economic benefits from these implementations.
– Develop the action plan for promoting electronic projects among the population and increasing the awareness of population in this field.
– Develop measures aimed at increasing the number of Internet users, speed of Internet connection, quality of providers’ services, cost reduction, and increase in general Internet usage among population by opening information centers.
– Cooperate with companies and offer them effective development projects.
– Develop a national rating electronic system for all companies that will show the real time rating of all enterprises (profit and other indicators, their changes, charts, best and worst enterprises, etc.). It will enable managers to receive quick and topical information about the economy. The database will be updated in real timevia acquiring relevant information required for the analysis from various institutions (banks, etc.). It will help develop and quickly implement individual problem-solving solutions to address specific problems of enterprises.
– Other measures.
In addition, it is advisable to establish an innovative e-business investment fund, which will provide funds to the institutes. The funds will be used for project development, implementation and development of organization and management in enterprises, training and retraining of qualified personnel, etc.
8. Government support for owners of local Internet resources and their desire to promote products in the foreign markets.
9. Development of necessary measures to increase the inflow of tourists to the country. Promotion of relevant Internet-projects in the tourism industry to attract foreign Internet users. The use of social networks, thematic sites, forums, etc. Apparently, the inflow of tourists to the country may significantly increase if the offered service is unique and the idea is original. For example, the implementation of a project with unique architecture and design, which will be interesting for many people. Of course, it is not an easy thing to do. One must be able to think out-of-the-box. In addition, we should significantly improve the quality of general and food service, etc. by creating and implementing high standards of service, which will be up to date and meet the consumers’ needs.
It is important to highlight the necessity of mandatory inclusion of such courses as marketing science, e-business, modern management methods into programs of state exams for almost all economic specialties of higher education institutions. It will increase the level of expertise of the specialists in this field.
Cooperation among designers, architects, design engineers, marketing managers, and businessmen will help create high-quality and popular products that can be effectively offered worldwide, due to the use of information technologies.
One of the key success factors is managers’ clear advertising of the products’ benefits compared to the competitors.The most important aspect is to see the value of the product through the eyes of the consumers.
The concept of using e-business and online marketing, which was specified above, will smooth the way for further building and maintaining the image of an innovative country based on effective information, design, and marketing presentation of companies’ electronic resources, employees’ timely and quality response to the requests of local and foreign customers and buyers, as well as mutually beneficial interactions with them.
The establishment of the Ministry of E-business is a reasonable step towards innovative development of the state.
By Vadim Golik
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