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Marketing and the Virtual Market Place

How can IPT use technology such as Internet, CRM tools, and databases to develop long lasting profitable customers? Think not only in the present, but also in the future, keeping in mind potential partnerships and regional to national expansion. Consider both retail and commercial markets. IPT has been experiencing rapid growth in the market place. It is offering products like flavored popcorn, Snack sized pretzels and cookies and new products.

It has an existing distributor’s network which can be utilized for new products or extended products. Company is looking for new market opportunities to expand its business and operations. The market is growing. It will attract number of competitors. The existing players are always threat to business as they can play around marketing mix and other strategic tools. Suppliers of raw material or distributors may also think of operating in the same industry as they are part of it and they already have industry knowledge.

In such competitive environment company needs to change with time and technology and utilize the benefits of tools like internet, CRM and database. Internet: Internet can offer an easy and cheaper option to reach customers and stakeholders for various strategic purposes. Internet can be used as a

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platform to inform customers about range of things like company’s history, products its offers, companies operations, company profile, about various interesting facts and details about popcorn and other food item which company sells.

It can help in achieving management objectives and goals to explore new market opportunities with existing products i. e. Flavored popcorn, Snack sized pretzels and cookies and new products i. e. shoofly pie, horehound candy, and various jams and jellies which company will sell once the contract with Amish food manufacturer. It will be a platform to get instant customer feedbacks. The e-commerce section can be added to the same which will offer another opportunity to the consumer to order and track their orders with the internet interface. CRM tools:

Various customer relationship management (CRM) tools can support the company in various ways like collecting and storing customer information and details on consumer behavior, managing customer relationship by wishing customer on special occasions like festival and their personal occasions like birthdays and anniversaries, deciding on various promotional and advertisement strategies and many others. Tools like interactive voice response can help customer to help themselves about various routine queries. It will also reduce the cost of people for the company. Databases

Databases can be used for various purposes. Database will offer company a tool by which company can maintain the history of customer and their buying patterns. Information stored in database will help in forecasting sales on the basis of sale of particular product in a particular period. This will also provide distribution of the buying behavior of consumer in particular region. Demographic profiling of the consumer will be possible with accurate database management systems. Billing and other issues can also be handled with it. Figure: Internet, CRM tools and Database

In other words all the above mentioned three terms can be used with integration of each other. Internet can be used as one of the interface through which company is in contact with its consumer and providing details on his buying behavior. CRM tools like interactive voice response (IVR) and computer telephony integration (CTI) can be integrated with database and internet. It will help the company’s representative to serve the customer better for his information needs. Company is planning to expand its market. These tools can be more effective when company is serving larger market with more products.

Company can make strategies based on the information it collects through various CRM tools and internet. Company can build up strong brand image among consumer with its effective use of technological platforms like internet, CRM tools and database management systems.

Reference: Black, Gregory S. (2005) Is eBay for Everyone? an Assessment of Consumer Demographics. SAM Advanced Management Journal. Volume: 70. Issue: 1. Publication Year: 2005. Page Number: 50+. Zeithmal and Bitner, (2000) Services Marketing, Integrating Customer Focus Across The Firms, 2nd edition, McGraw-Hill: New York

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