In conversation with Dr. Mathew Parackal, Senior Lecturer, Department of Marketing, University of Otago.
What is the role of technology in the transformation of the mind?
With the availability of ultra-fast broadband and the establishment of 4/5G cellular network, marketplaces have become ubiquitous – accessible 24/7, from anywhere. In addition, the standardisation of Internet protocol enables browser technology to deliver datagrams to remote locations in real-time. The establishment of networking and browser technology has changed the way we function. For example, communication in the present environment takes place via two-way channels. The traditional communication models (e.g. Shannon-Weaver model) cannot be applied on to two-way communication channels.
Another example is the digital footprints we leave behind that produce Big Data to provide market insights. With rich and current data readily available, the traditional use of sampling theory to gain market insight is almost redundant. You can see there is a lot of learning that is needed to communicate and analyses information effectively, which starts with a shift in mindset. Once you believe in the ‘connected world’, then acquiring the knowledge and learning tools will be a breeze.
What are the new digital marketing trends?
I can Google and give you a list of trends, but they can get outdated just as quickly as I found them. I think as marketers keeping track of new digital marketing trends is somewhat short-sighted – good for magazines and techies but not for marketers. It will only turn you into a consumer of technology and make you dependent on third-party solutions.
With a renewed mindset, you can be the creator of technology/content/solutions – that is what we teach at Otago. As a (digital) marketer, you need to come up with a digital strategy that defines the technologies for providing unique solutions that the competition cannot imitate.
Technologies need to treated as part of the tactics and not the strategy. What is essential is to have a full grasp of marketing within the context of the connected world. Some of the questions you must be able to answer include:
1) How do you communicate in the connected world?
2) How can you generate meaningful analytics?
3) How do you establish and maintain relationships within a virtual environment?
If you can answer these questions, then the technologies needed to enhance marketing efficiency within the digital world will become evident to you. My advice is to master the area or discipline (marketing) rather than focussing on learning tools. The latter will organically happen by prioritising the former.
Are courses available at the University of Otago, and how is it useful for Indian students?
At the University of Otago, our focus is to turn you into creators of technologies or content. Our courses are designed to give students confidence in the area of studies, be it, digital marketing or sales management. We create learning environments that equip them with the experience and skill to excel in their career as marketers. I believe the experience and skill that Indian students will get from our course will be priceless to work in New Zealand. You can review some of the student learning experience we provide students at the University of Otago at https://wakelet.com/wake/dc7e1819-1038-4ba3-9018-1874f76dd4cd
How businesses in New Zealand are transforming its communication through a digital format?
Like in most other economies, digital communication is becoming the primary channel of communication in New Zealand. According to the NZ Advertising industry, in 2019, digital communication accounted for 45.36% of the advertisement spent. The growth in digital communication is warranting the development of communication models that can be implemented in the digital world. Our research at Otago has been focusing on developing communication models for using digital media.
Moreover, COVID19 has fast-tracked the digital transformation for both consumers and businesses. In New Zealand, the growth in online grocery shopping suggests consumers are embracing this form of shopping. We are seeing megastores shutting their brick & mortar outlets. For example, the Warehouse is closing 92 stores across the country in favour of their online portal. We are witnessing Universities in New Zealand and around the world embracing digital mode of course delivery. Students coming to Otago will have the opportunity to be part of our research that is establishing the rules of the connected world.