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Reading The Signs of The Times

Nov 9, 2007
Several decades ago, Mohandas K. Gandhi warned against what he called the seven social sins: politics without principle, wealth without work, commerce without morality, pleasure without conscience, education without character, science without humanity, and worship without sacrifice.

Gandhi's social sins point to the crucial relationship between our ethics and our public life. That relationship has proven in the 21st Century to be the main subject in scholarly debates and the primary focus of constant questioning regarding the future course of human interaction, in relation to the latest technological advancements. In the vast global marketplace, people have to redefine themselves according to their needs and classify their wants/desires along a streamline of corporate offers. Incorporating ethos, dignity and self-awareness in this new technological era has become more than a challenge for today's consumers. At the same time, corporate actors begin to steadily realize that their survival depends heavily on recognizing this battlefield and to act proactively so as to come up with innovative flexible channels to service their targets. Redefining these new competent and knowledge markets has become for firms a must that needs to be carefully planned before attempting to indulge consumer minds.

According to the business strategists, market analysis requires a thorough understanding of the organization's own capabilities, the capabilities of current and future competitors, the consumption patterns of potential customers, and the economic, physical, and technological environment in which these elements will interact. Having in mind that the organization's objective is to provide superior customer value, the firm must know how consumers determine value, its own and its competitors' capabilities with respect to customer value creation, and the relevant economic, physical, regulatory, and technological environments. Firms have to know all the elements before attempting to target any market.

But defining a market is not a definite and unchangeable decision. As an example, the Coca-Cola Company marketers initially viewed the U.S. cola soft drink market as homogeneous, thus offered one flavor and communicated one message. Today, Coca-Cola has changed its view of the market it wishes to target and has expanded its product line to include new flavors, with varying caffeine and sugar content, while it uses different communication strategies for each market segment. But even if it is easy to comprehend how production or consumption patterns have changed over the years due to market dynamics, how have the distribution channels been affected? How have markets altered the circulation models used by firms to reach them?

In today's information-based global economy of interconnected networks, sellers have to come up with innovative ideas, simplify the processes and increase consumption patterns. The amazing outcome of the Internet as a distribution channel was its enormous diffusion from the old traditional markets to the new adaptive areas, as a necessary technological advancement, and received as manna from heaven. Today, rural on-line markers are capable of defining their virtual environment and differentiate between corporations' offers. But judging from the psychological drawbacks, along with issues on safety and privacy, the new challenges that the multipurpose distribution channels face have to be addressed soon so as to better serve the global market.
About the Author
Jonathon Hardcastle writes articles on many topics including Business, Finance , and Shopping
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