RESAEARCH AND DATABASE DEVELOPMENT
Database marketing is the most effective way to customize the marketing mix to suit target market. This helps not only in customizing the offering but also its delivery. Given the developments in the area of information technology (Softwares like geographical information system – GIS), today it is possible to deliver the right product with the right message, at the right time to the right person. This presupposes the creation of customer’s purchase and other related information. It also includes the development of a database of potential customers. Database marketing, therefore, is an interactive approach to marketing that uses all communication tools and media vehicles through research to reach to the target market. It is also the basis of all relationship marketing efforts of the company. The information stored in the database is used to develop customer loyalty and to identify all potential buyers for any new product or service. It also helps in identifying the most cost effective media and delivery vehicles.
Characteristics of a Good Database:
Although each firm may decide to develop its own database, there are certain characteristics that help enrich it. These are:
a. Each customer or prospect should be treated as an individual entity and hence a separate record for him/her should exist in the marketing database. Market segments are an agglomeration of such individual customers.
b. Each such marketing record should contain all the relevant information and access details like name, address, telephone numbers, frequency of product use, experience with the product, industry and decision making units for organizational customer, response to any earlier direct marketing campaign, and soon.
c. This information should be available to all departments and employees of the company involved in the direct marketing programme to enable them to be customer friendly.
d. The aim of the organization should be to replace routine usage surveys with this database.
e. Information technology tools should be used to strengthen this database and also develop corporate responses to the customer. These tools can also be used to identify opportunities and threats in the customer environment and craft appropriate responses which will help the marketer to exploit opportunities and neutralize threats. The use of thesetools should also help in optimum resource utilization. Increasingly, firms are realizing the importance of database in targeting and creating competitive advantage. Today several organizations are also using this database for their customer relationship management programmes. Cross- selling can also be effectively managed through database marketing. This is especially true for firms operating in several products/businesses that require the same database. Citibank, for example, uses its credit card customers database to market several other financial products, including banking services. Once again, information technology has further augmented these strengths. Database management, therefore, is a key to the development of an effective direct marketing programme.
R.Yuvarani M.Phil Scholar periyar University Salem-11