The management of an organisation’s interaction with the existing as well as the potential customers is termed as customer relationship management. The use of the internet to manage the customer relationship of organisations is becoming increasingly popular. Gathering information regarding the customer database can be undertaken through the aid of internet marketing or database marketing. The prime objective for this marketing is to focus on gathering data regarding the demands and requirements of the existing and the potential customers for the firm. The article by O'Leary, Rao and Perry (2004), which focuses on improving the customer relationship through internet marketing is reviewed and analysed in this study. Furthermore, the action research approach has been implemented in the paper which is evaluated in this study as well. The content along with the methodology and the findings of the research is undertaken in this paper for the better evaluation of the article.
The article by O'Leary, Rao and Perry (2004), focuses on the development and improvement of the scope of customer relationship management through opting for internet marketing. Internet marketing provides an opportunity for companies to focus on the data or information generated through the behavioral patterns demonstrated by consumers. The paper had been segregated into three major parts, a preliminary framework which is loosely based on the literature outlined in the paper. In addition to that, the methodology and the findings from the research are categorised into the other two significant parts of the study. The article considers an Australian database company in order to be able to evaluate concepts effectively. According to the studies, it is demonstrated that the implementation or the incorporation of the database and internet marketing into the organisation results in the enhancement of the outcomes of the organisation in terms of customer relationship management (O'Leary, Rao and Perry, 2004). Furthermore, the collaboration between the IT and the marketing teams of the company has been taken into account for the purpose of the research.
It has been previously mentioned in this regards that the methodology implemented for undertaking the research had been identified as the action research approach. The benefits of action research are well-known and one of the major advantages has been identified to be the promotion of collaboration. It has been noted in this context that the action research has aided in collaboration between the participants and the team leader. Hence, the effectiveness is clearly demonstrated for choosing this particular methodology. Furthermore, the analytical nature of the methodology influences the diagnosis of the challenges or weaknesses in an organisation, which has been observed in this case as well (Harmeling et al. 2017).
Figure 1 highlights the fundamental principle involved in the research methodology, which involves continuous planning, actions, reflections and observations. Two action cycle had been implemented for the research undertaken for the improvement of customer relationship management (Mathews et al. 2016). The action cycles had been concerned with the implementation of database marketing within a Australian Internet portal. In addition to that, the planning involved the development of a prototype of the integrated database and internet marketing systems within the organisation. The formation of a project team had been undertaken, which was followed by the formulation of the initial plans and actions for implementation. Furthermore, the outcomes derived were measured against the expectations. The final stage as identified in the action cycle is the reflection, which focused on the evaluation of the efficacy of the problems recognised.
Figure 2 highlights the findings from the research of O'Leary, Rao and Perry (2004), identifying a feedback loop which connects the strategic outputs with the inputs provided for the research. The findings were based on the formerly formulated research questions, which are previously mentioned. The presence of secondary and primary data is confirmed through the research. However, it was found that primary data can be attributed to the formation of a complete customer database profile with the aid of internet marketing. Furthermore, it was noted that the incorporation of permission-based email communications have been identified to be a major part of Internet marketing strategy for organisations (Ziemba, Jankowski and Wątróbski, 2018). It may be mentioned in this context that the research objectives had ascertained other relevant information regarding the support and collaboration of the organisational top management, the IT and marketing teams as well as positive influence of the organisational culture.
The factors influencing the active data collection have found to be Web stickiness, trust in a Web-based environment and more. Additionally, the strategies to be implemented for the improvement of the database marketing for the better customer relationship management have been noted to be customer retention, customer segmentation, forging customer loyalty and the use of one-to-one marketing (Ziemba, Jankowski and Wątróbski, 2018). Furthermore, stealth marketing and affiliate marketing have also been identified as potential factors responsible for forging better customer relationship management. The literature discussed in the article discusses the use of standard data warehousing techniques and procedures to be implemented in the integration of the data. This is verified through the research, which establishes that the appropriate e-commerce elements can be considered as an outbound element responsible for affecting the database marketing (Sheth, 2017). In addition to that, data analysis techniques as well as the role of AI have been taken into account in this context. It may be mentioned in this regards that the data gathered from the primary and secondary sources from internet have been noted to have an improved quality. This has proved beneficial in highlighting the requirements of the customer as well as catering to the custom-made solutions for the customers.
The identification of the customers requires the technical proficiency of an organisation (Ziemba, Jankowski and Wątróbski, 2018). Furthermore, the second stage entails the differentiation of the customers through the data gathered from the primary and secondary sources. These phases have been regarded as prime steps in evaluating the overall output of the research. The research has been noted to have major implications for policy-makers through the ethical considerations taken into account while conducting the research over the internet.
The issues identified in this article have been presented in the form research questions which may be addressed through the research. The research issues or the questions identified to serve as a basis for the research include the gathering of customer data through active and passive sources from the internet for undertaking customer relationship management (O'Leary, Rao and Perry, 2004). Additionally, the integration of the data gathered from the internet into the database marketing processes for the company is to be undertaken through the research. Furthermore, the scope for improving the customer relationship management taking the gathered information into consideration is discussed in this regards as well. The research provides particular insight into the theory-deficient field related to the integration of database and internet marketing in Australian organisations.
This study primarily reflects on the research undertaken by scholars regarding the integration of adequate database and internet marketing for undertaking efficient customer relationship management. The research had been performed on an Australian internet portal company to address the issues considered for the research. Certain strategies have been identified in this regards for promoting adequate customer relationship management, which includes customer segmentation and customer retention along with many other strategies. Furthermore, the action research approach has been regarded as an appropriate methodology for carrying out the research. Lastly, permission-based email communications have been noted to be an ideal internet marketing strategy for major organisations.