COMMERCIAL DATA BASES
Specialized research firms develop ongoing commercial databases, which contain information on population traits, the business environment, economic forecasts, industry and companies performance, and other items. The research firms sell access to their databases to clients. Generally, databases are available in printed form, on computer disks, CD-ROMs, or tapes; and as online downloads from the Internet.Among the best-known database services are ABI/Inform, ProQuest, InfoTrac Web, Dow Jones Interactive, and Lexis-Nexis.
DATABASE MARKETING – Data-base marketing may be defined as a computerized technique that compiles, sorts, and stores relevant information about customers and potential customers; uses that information to highlight opportunities and prioritize market segments; and enables the firm to profitably tailor marketing efforts for specific customers or customer groups.
Data-base marketing works like this:
1. It creates a bank of information about individual customers.
2. It uses that information to analyze buying and inquiry patterns, thereby creating the ability to target goods and services more accurately.
3. It can be used to promote the benefits of brand loyalty to customers at risk from competition.
4. It can fuel sales growth by identifying customers most apt to buy new goods and services.
5. It can increase sales effectiveness.
6. It can support low-cost alternatives to traditional sales methods, which can be of strategic importance in markets where margins are being eroded.
Worldwide, millions of organizations now use some form of MIS. Progressive firms (and divisions within the same firm) are transmitting and sharing marketing information with each other-quickly and inexpensively. One-half of Fortune 1000 companies and one-half of large retailers are actively engaged in database marketing. These are among the firms with well-structured marketing information systems:
1. 3M, whose best-known products are Post-it Notes and Scotch tape, operate in more than 60 countries. It recently introduced a $30 million online information system and all its senior executives get their information from the online database.
2. British-based retailer Marks & Spencer uses information generated from customer credit cards to better tailor its marketing efforts. It recently revamped its process for supplying products to stores after studying its customer database.
3. Louise’s Trattoria, a 13-unit chain of Italian restaurants in Los Angeles, reviewed the information from computer-scanned customer receipts that were electronically stored in the firm’s data warehouse. It learned that its customers were more interested in “California Italian” (as opposed to traditional Italian) foods, healthful menu items, and that its patronage was skewed more female. It then revised its strategy accordingly.
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