The core of any sales and marketing information system to be the central repository of data. They contain solid information on all customers and potential customers, as well as data related to marketing activities, including research and advertising campaigns. For the sake of brevity, this paper uses the generic term customer database. To what extent this is based on simple or represented by a number of integrated systems, depend on specific companies, but the information should be viewed in their entirety. In addition, to gain maximum advantage from the exploitation of such information is necessary for each system to provide clear and documented data on target markets and customers.
All applications for sales and marketing database uses information about customers, but there are some typical functions of this system:
– Establishing a list of potential customers;
– Eliminate duplication and address checking;
– Shaping the motivations and behavioral inclinations;
– Bottom-up segmentation of the market;
– Complete history of clients;
– Reporting – providing information on customers, sales, marketing and market impact.
The main advantage of a comprehensive database relating to customers is that it provides an overview of the business relationship with a client or customer group. This overview allows a deeper understanding of consumer behavior and market in general, providing a starting point, among others, in marketing research, especially in studying the market. For this very important activity, studying the market, have created special systems can substantially reduce time and costs of such research.
The main feature of the market analysis systems is the possibility of handling large volumes of information from various sources, internal and external, in order to develop models of market segments or business conduct. Analysis reports can be quickly generated, shaped and saved for future use, and business plans are scenarios – refined and exquisite.
An analysis system must have three basic functions: the ability to absorb information, the ability to manipulate and analyze the information according to user’s desire and ability to report the results of all tests.
The most frequent problems related to the implementation and use of market analysis systems are:
– Choosing the right information is crucial to the ultimate success of the system;
– If users are not fully familiar with the related data structures, they may draw some erroneous or lacking in content analysis;
– Possible, the system functions should be developed so that independent information and data structures underlying the system.
The main advantage of market analysis applications is the increased ability of users to understand in detail the market is operating. Thereafter, the information conveyed through the system can be used to assist policy development process of market and product range, both activities affect the organization’s performance in general.
According to a recent study by the firm Price Waterhouse, about a third of the offerings of its kind available in the UK, and facilities include analysis and market segmentation, for review and processing of flexible multi-dimensional information for various purposes, from planning and targeting, to reporting. Many of these deals contain statistical analysis and modeling functions (tabular combined regression analysis, forecasting), as well as generating reports, customized reports that enable the composition, storage and save them for future use. Most products also offer a range of standard reports that can not be changed by the user.
In the past, companies wishing to use information systems for sales and marketing had few real alternatives to the develop proprietary software. In the past 10 years offer standard software has increased dramatically, from 30 products in 1980, several hundred today. Companies wishing to use information systems must choose between standard solutions offer almost giddy (none of which were perfect for their needs) and custom projects. For each of these there are advantages and disadvantages, is at the discretion of the company the option for a particular system.
Most organizations opt for standard applications, mainly as a result of the offer diversified, some wrongly believes that the only and most important problem is to choose the most suitable product. In fact, as essential is the choice of provider.
This evolving new market is dominated by small software companies, recently established. Of these, 80% occurred after 1990, most of distributing their products. A recent study by Price Waterhouse firm reveals that 60% of software companies have also provided more than 20 employees. This can influence the honor commitments to customers or timeliness.
Choosing the best provider of systems is, therefore, very important for the buyer. He must be convinced not only that the product has the features needed, but that the supplier will be able to provide resources, assistance, techniques and support the daily use throughout the information system.
Sales and marketing information systems are used in very different businesses and practical application methods are equally diverse. Fig. 3 shows the use of these information systems in economic sectors.
they want to buy, and system vendors have struggled with limited resources, to give new meanings systems to achieve new technical media and understand complex customer requirements.
Despite the multiple problems that arise, information systems and there will still exist. Firm Price Waterhouse found that over 70% of the firms and suppliers reaffirms the interest of potential customers to purchase informational systems, despite the economic downturn. At present, information systems are the main tool to ensure market competitiveness, and maintaining profitable customer relationships.
An important advantage of firms operating in information systems concerns the possibility to benefit from the latest market news. The software is much stronger and more flexible equipment and software and hardware costs have decreased substantially due to tough competition on the market. Companies now have a complete vision of how information systems can support sales and marketing activity, can also receive assistance and expert advice. The final result obtained by the firms acquiring information systems is the high value of money invested and opportunities to deploy systems more flexible, powerful, personnel requirements to meet sales and marketing, not only now but in the future.