The last phase of a succesful marketing process is implementation. Even though our goal in this work is actually to make a marketing strategy proposal which is not supposed to contain any implementation steps, implementation belongs here because it naturally rounds the STP process off. We would like to emphasize that implementation appears in the background of any phases of planning as we have to project goals which are except for other things achievable by means and methods which are feasible.
As Kotler states: „because many surprises occur during the implementation of marketing plans, the marketing department must engage in constant marketing control. Marketing control is the process of measuring and evaluating the results of marketing strategies and plans and taking corrective action to ensure the achievement of marketing objectives.“31 And he continues with another claim towards implementation: „Implementation is dificult - it is easier to think up good marketing strategies than it is to carry them out. Many managers think that 'doing things right' (implementation) is as important as, or even more important than, 'doing the right things (strategy). The fact is that successful marketing implementation depends on how well the company blends its people, organisational structure, decision and reward systems, and company culture into a cohesive action programme that supports its strategies.“32
Resource: Alsbury, A., Jay, R. Quick Answers to Marketing Questions, p. 27 This work however should touch implementation only in its border parts, so we will restrain from filling this chapter with more details. We have succeeded in outlining the importance of implementation.
4 CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT
This chapter will provide a knowledge base for further use of CRM concept in practice. We would like to mention approaches to this method, existing experience, benefits and problems in order to choose its correct place in marketing strategy proposal. As we mentioned before, CRM may support different strategies, whether it be product, price, place or promotion oriented strategy.
4.1 General Description
Success of any of the above mentioned strategies a company would like to choose will greatly depend on how well this company knows its customers and how forthcoming will it be. Kotler calls such companies „outstanding“ and defines them as those which „analyse customer complaint, enquiry, warranty and service data. They observe customers using their own and competing productsa and train salespoeple to be on the lookout for unfulfilled customer needs.“33 CRM is a method suggesting how to manage all these activities with the prospect of gaining relevant information.
CRM originates from different parts of direct marketing and nowadays represents a modern approach to managing a company´s relationship with customers. Its first basis is database marketing which originally served as a suppporting medium for direct marketing in generall with the aim of collecting and providing as much data on as many customers as possible. It has accompanied direct marketing through all stages: mail orders service, enlarged marketing communication pointing out feedback and also in the period of creating long-term relationships and increasing loyalty of customers. Kotler still sees database marketing not only as a basis for CRM, but identifies it with the narrow meaning of CRM. „In this definition, it involves managing detailed information about individual customers and carefully managing customer contacts in order to maximise customer loyalty.“34 Its second source is relationship marketing whose main idea is according to De Pelsmacker et al., „a linkage between customer´s satisfaction, his/her loyalty and profitability“35. Thus we can say togehter with Kotler: „Relationship marketing is the process of creating, maintaining and enhancing strong, value-laden, relationships with customers and other stakeholders.“36This clearly shows that relationship marketing and CRM are, in Kotler´s opinion, very close to each other.
Since the time of introducing CRM concept many studies have been written and still CRM is a topic for discussion of many scholars. Neither the definition nor impact of CRM on company´s performance have so far been clearly put down. While Kotler sees CRM in its broader meaning as is „the overall process of building and maintaining profitable customer relationships by delivering superior customer value and satisfaction“ “37 orientated only towards profitable customers. Buttle describes CRM rather in the sense of network marketing as „the core business strategy that integrates internal processes and functions, and external networks, to create and deliver value to targeted customers at a profit. It is grounded on high-quality customer data and enabled by IT.“38 Both however understood this in a rather similar functional and processional mode. On the other hand Harry Wessling from Cap Gemini Ernst & Young describes CRM more on the institutional level „CRM is a comprehensive organisational unit superior in the hierarchy of a company to such departments as marketing, sales, human resources, controlling etc.“39 CRM is therefore to be understood as a new organisational unit in charge of tracking interactions.40 In CRM all three commonly used levels of processes can be found: strategical, tactical as well as operational. At the tactical level, Buttle asserts, CRM possesses the role of intelligent data mining of customer data, other see it similarly (Peppers and Rogers41 1995, Kotler Marketing management) At the strategical level detecst Buttle CRM as „ a top-down perspective… which views CRM as a core customer-centric business stretegy that aims at winning and keeping profitable customers.“42 The main advantage of CRM, as McGarry asserts, is that, „a CRM strategy, supported by the appropriate technology, allows a company to buid up a repository fo information about its customers, which enables that company to understand the customers that it does business with and to deliver services and products which meet and exceed those requirements now and into the future.“43 According to a study (Sin, Tse, Yim) whose findigs should „validate the long-held belief that CRM is a critical success factor for business performance“ the results were surprisingly clear since their authors found out that „the favorable impact of CRM on parketing performace is larger than that on financial performace“. This finding led the scholars to a claim that „managers… can effectively boost their marketing performace (trust and customer satisfaction) through proper implementation of CRM.“