Unit 41 Contemporary Issues in Marketing Management-Btechnd
|Programme||BTEC Higher National Diploma in Business|
|Unit Number and Title||Unit 41 Contemporary Issues in Marketing Management|
|QFC Level||Level 5|
|Credit value||15 credits|
Core purpose of this Unit 41 Contemporary Issues in Marketing Management Solution report is basically to analyse, discuss and interpret various contemporary issues which are faced by business organisation in the process of marketing management (Gentry, 2014). Marketing management can be defined as a business function or area within a business which is focused on practical implementation of marketing techniques and the management of an organization’s marketing resources and activities (Lin, 2014). On other hand relationship marketing can be defined as a form of marketing which is developed on the basis of direct marketing campaigns, and the focus remains on understanding customer requirements, their satisfaction factors etc. Relationship marketing is much different form the typical focus on increasing sales transactions. With changing times, there has been tremendous focus on the concept of relationship marketing and its impact on marketing management. This report will analyse various aspects such as understanding the importance of relationship marketing in a contemporary business context, importance of applying extending marketing mix in the service sector, and then finally examination of reasons related to emphasis on ethics and social responsibility as part of marketing management process (Zeng et al, 2003).
1.1 Concept of knowledge management and its role in relationship marketing
Over last few years knowledge management (KM) has acquired an important position in the overall business strategy of enterprises across the world. KM in context of an organisation can be defined as a process where organisational knowledge is acquired, developed, discussed and shared within the boundaries of an organisation. KM to a large extent can be considered as an approach which is multidisciplinary in nature can covers various business functions of an organisation and ultimately enables the organisation in achieving its goal in productive and effective way. Thus through an effective KM, an organisation can ensure that all the information related to its customer can be converted into knowledge which can be created, acquired, captured, shared and used in an effective manner, so that knowledge of organisation about its customer increases more. It can be said that KM in a way makes an organisation intelligent and help them in understanding the requirement of their customers which is one of the core fundamental of the relationship marketing (Hsu & Chi, 2014).
As discussed in above section, that relations marking is majorly focused on customer retention, satisfying them with services etc. In order to achieve this organisation and especially its marketing principles, sales and market research team needs to gather sufficient knowledge about their customer. This management of knowledge can be effective only when a proper KM framework is implemented. That is why with increasing focus on relationship marketing, there has been equal focus on the concept of knowledge management as well since both of them are closely associated with each other, and to large extent complement it each other.
1.2 ICT and ways it supports customer relationship management (CRM)
Similar to knowledge management role in relationship marketing, today event information and communication technologies (ICT) are playing an important role in improvement of customer relationship management (CRM). CRM can be defined as process or a concept where organisations focus on management of various aspects related to its customer. Identification of a potential customer, converting it into a customer and till the time customer moves away from the company, CRM concepts are applied to boost the overall customer experience with the organisation. In improving the customer experience ICT has played major role. Today concepts of CRM are being implemented in organisations through various ICT tools and applications. For example banks telecom companies like Vodafone have dedicated CRM software applications which helps them to service its customer, and also target new customers, today’s CRM applications such as Siebel CRM, Zoho CRM are highly robust in nature, which means they can track each and every activities of a customer in context of the organisation (Drnevich & Croson, 2013).Thus, when a customer calls up a Vodafone call centre, then even before tele operator picks the call, he/she is aware of the customer name, and his complete information such as bill plan etc. Which means that by the time call connects, tele operator is already in a comfortable position to answer some of the basic queries form the customer, and in any other case has all the relevant information readily available. Thus by integration of CRM applications with present communication technologies organisations such as Vodafone are reaping benefits in terms of high rate of customer satisfaction etc.
1.3 Benefits of customer relationship management in Vodafone
Even though ICT has played major role in the integration of CRM concepts in the organisations such as Vodafone, however it is also important to analyse the various benefits which CRM has bought to Vodafone. Today due to use of CRM applications, Vodafone has every possible information relations to its customer, and accordingly it can up-sell any particular voice or data plan to its customer. More importantly, CRM applications provide capability to the business to analyse the trend such as monthly bill of a customer, or data usage of the customer, and accordingly it provides a trend analysis for that particular customer. Such aspects have helped Vodafone to tailor-made voice and data plans and launch frequently in the market. It can be said that CRM has enabled Vodafone to become more flexible in addressing its customer demand, complain etc. CRM has also enabled Vodafone in effective retention of its existing customers. At times when a customer might indicate his willingness to switch from Vodafone to any-other company, then Vodafone can offer him a plan which fulfils his requirement to large extent. CRM also helps the company to keep a check on customers who are loyal and have been associated with the company since long, and reward them accordingly. Another important benefit which CRM has bought to Vodafone is its impact on the marketing and sales of the company. With CRM marketing and sales team get real time information and accordingly they can target a potential customer, or they can upsell their services to an already existing customer. Thus it can be said that CRM to large extent has impact on multiple areas in the business, which improves overall business efficiency and performance.
1.4 Recommendations for the improvement in customer relationship management for Vodafone
In above section it was discussed about KM and impact on relationship marketing, and then it was further discussed about ICT and its impact on CRM, and then how CRM is benefitting Vodafone. Even though CRM strategy has helped the organisation to a large extent, but there are still numerous aspects where there can be improvement s in the CRM strategy of Vodafone. Firstly, CRM Strategy of Vodafone is majorly push in nature, which means CRM strategy is such that it is Vodafone which pushes numerous types of information etc. towards its customer. Ideally CRM strategy should enable a two-way communication where both customer as well the company are closely integrated with each other and have a two way communication, where even customer has opinion about the services offered by the company. Currently, Vodafone keeps flooding SMS to its customer especially in pre-paid connections with various offers etc. This-some customer might find as intrusive in nature. That is why it is important for the company to rectify this strategy (Mithas et al, 2012).
Another important recommendation for the improvement of the CRM in Vodafone is deploying the CRM application on the cloud. Today cloud computing has removed the need of maintaining an entire hardware facility within the company premises.
Thus as an organisation Vodafone can move its CRM strategy towards cloud. Which means information related to customers will be available at any point of time, irrespective of the fact that what time of a day it is, this provides flexibility to even sales and marketing team, who can access the readily information related to customers on handheld devices, such changes will ensure that CRM in Vodafone is comprehensive in nature, and presents the complete picture of the available customer information.