Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Marketing Technology

Internet applications
With the Internet playing an ever increasing role in reaching customers and sharing information about customers, particularly as companies want to understand their customers better and develop new ways of partnering with customers using the range of interaction tools.

More particularly, the Internet is providing a key route for information, comment and feedback from customers to the supplier and between customers about the supplier.


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Focus areas
Our focus on Internet Applications is on helping share information over the web, whether it is through websites aimed at customers, or using the Internet to build knowledge and information within your business. We develop:

Web applications
Market knowledge databases
On-line communities such as social networking groups
IT Tools for marketing
In addition we can provide IT tools to support your marketing, for instance GIS, project management, competitive intelligence gathering or data analysis tools. See some examples of what we can do.


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Websites
A website is practically a prerequisite for even the smallest businesses. Customers will look to your site so they can find out more about your company and check you out before they buy. The quality of your website must reflect the quality of your business and it must offer more than just the text in your brochure, and it must be kept up-to-date and relevant. We can provide professional websites that show your business in the best light online, but with a range of tools that make it easy for you to keep information up-to-date. Alternatively we have DIY one-click website solutions that provide fast, easy, low-cost feature-rich sites (see Notanant)


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Web-applications
With the drive towards second generation Internet web-sites (Web 2.0), it is becoming more important that sites are functional, interactive and not just informational. We develop a range of practical, easy-to-use, distributed web-applications for managing on-line services, from information publishing, to private shared address books, to distributed information systems to subscription based services.

Our web-applications are designed with the Internet in mind and are not merely copies of internal systems. They are standards based and are often available both as PC-based and WAP-based systems without the need for modifying the data.

Our flagship web-application is Notanant which can be used to manage any form of website with members.


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Customer and market knowledge databases
To support the use of information and analysis as a marketing tool, there is a need to build databases to hold information, so that they can be analysed easily and allow for information to be shared and sorted, for instance to support customer knowledge activities.

We develop bespoke market knowledge databases for the collection and dissemination of customer and competitor knowledge. Typically these are web-based systems based around a browser interface and industry standard applications. This allows us to collect and disseminate information through a wide variety of devices allowing for access and use outside the office environment. A demonstration will be available shortly from this site.

One specialist design is self-maintaining databases. For these type of databases, customers have access to and can manage and update their own information. This has the benefit of reducing the chances of data entry error, whilst allowing customers to tell you information from their perspective.


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On-line communities and web-sites
Web-site development and e-commerce need to be in place as another arm of your channels of distribution. The most effective web-sites are those that provide customers with a space to communicate and share information among themselves and with your employees.

These on-line communities can be an extension of your loyalty programmes or customer feedback programmes, or they can just be autonomous in their own right. Some companies worry that by providing a forum for customers to talk to each, problems will be highlighted. But the evidence suggests that open and honest communication is the single most effective way of generating loyalty, particularly if you are taking steps to fix problems.

We have in-house skills in all the major web-technologies and can help you generate your own on-line community. FieldShare was entirely developed in-house including the database and discussion forum elements.


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IT tools for marketing
In addition to bespoke software development (for example our Questionnaire Wizard), we are also able to configure and supply specialist tools for marketing project management and automated competitive intelligence gathering. In addition we can advise on the selection of data analysis tools for the statistical analysis of market research and database data and can provide training if necessary.

One example are Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is simply a mechanism for plotting database information on maps. Much existing business-to-business information contains geographic components and it can be incredibly useful to look at customers and orders by geography both to help with sales management and to provide key analysis to support marketing through seminars for instance.

For instance, if you knew that nearly half of corporate businesses have their headquarters in London and the South East, this would help you focus your marketing to look at solutions local to this area.

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