Monday, May 21, 2012
The major technology enablers for relationship marketing have been the Internet and enterprise-wide management information systems. The former allowed businesses, for the first time, to get low cost interactions with customers. The second allowed for a firm to generate a single view of a customer across all functional areas of a firm. Both of these systems together allowed for customized communication with a single customer for very large firms. The growth of enterprise-wide systems was fueled by fears of mass destruction of information systems as they dealt with the impact of the Y2K problem. As companies upgraded their information infrastructure, they looked for solutions that would add value to their operations by reducing costs internally and by improving relationships with suppliers. However, early version of these systems did not focus on interaction with its customers. The shift in interest to CRM software applications took hold in the late 1990s. In 2001, CRM spending was nearly $10 billion with nearly half of that spent on marketing applications including call centers and web sites. In addition, though most IT executives expect to increase spending in CRM technology in the next year, only 7 percent of the spending will go into improving and profiling customers. In all these big businessess looking over the bloom, there are small businesses such as vets even looking at relationship marketing for providing a take off to their business. Revenue, Retention and Referrals from relationship marketing are there to address these concerns of small businesses like animal hospitals and take them to the next level!