Recent developments in the field of information technology (IT) have led commentators to announce the arrival of a third age of computing in which the computers themselves are being overshadowed by the communications capabilities they provide for individuals and companies. This emphasis on communication places IT at the centre of the marketing agenda as never before, and it is allowing computers to move from tools which support the planning, execution and control of marketing strategies to become integral to the external and internal relationships which marketers must manage. Although the marketing implications of emerging electronic or virtual markets are being discussed, the implications for the management of the marketing mix are often being overlooked. Already many innovative companies are taking advantage of the new generation of technologies to enhance or re‐engineer key elements of the marketing mix, giving marketing a leading role in introducing companies to the revolutionary world of third age computing.
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