Eastern Business Systems "Marketeer": User Manual [PDF]

Chapter 2: System Overview

WHAT MARKETEER IS

MARKETEER is a computer software package which helps you establish, develop and maintain a U.K. Market - whether or not you actually have a base in the United Kingdom. Although primarily for those involved in trade-to-trade selling, it is equally useful to anybody who needs to maintain regular communication with a significant number of people, companies or organizations.

WHAT MARKETEER DOES

Firstly, MARKETEER helps you to partition the United Kingdom into a set of sales areas specially tailored to your operation and then to identify and record those qualities which define precisely your market within them. In so doing MARKETEER itself becomes a systematic model of those aspects of the United Kingdom which constitute your market.

Secondly, upon this framework, it enables you to build up the details of individual prospects as they emerge, and then to select, extract, organise and contact those relevant to each sales/marketing exercise. It thus helps you to identify, seek out and hit any specified target sector of your market on demand.

MARKETEER IS FRIENDLY

The design of the way in which MARKETEER converses with you has been handled as a completely separate task from the design of its internal functions. So while the skills of the systems analyst and the programmer were employed in producing the software, the layout and content of screen displays and printed reports were developed by an experienced technical communicator.

The result is that all MARKETEER'S operating instructions are carried on-screen. It employs English command words to control program functions It gives explicit instructions and error messages in plain English. It keeps you informed as to all your options at each user-response point. It displays messages letting you know what the computer is doing during all significant processing delays.

DIVIDING UP THE U.K.

MARKETEER allows you to define sales areas to suit your operation in terms of the standard Post Office postcodes. You simply mark out the sales areas you wish to use on a Bartholomew's postcode key map of the United Kingdom by drawing around sections of appropriate post area boundaries. Because they are based on population and transport criteria, post areas are ideal building bricks for sales areas.

To set up your sales areas on MARKETEER, you type in the two-letter codes shown on the map for each post area you wish to include in each of your sales areas. You may define up to 18 sales areas covering as much or as little of the United Kingdom as you wish. Each sales area may contain up to 100 post areas.

Once you have set up your sales areas, MARKETEER allows you to display them on your computer screen. You can display each sales area alone on an outline map of the United Kingdom, or if you have a colour monitor, you can show them all together, each in its own allocated colour. This facility is of great value when planning or reviewing your sales areas, and for confirming that you have specified them correctly. If several people are involved in the exercise, it is helpful to repeat the display on a video projector.

DEFINING YOUR MARKET

In setting up your sales areas you have already defined one aspect or dimension of your market - the geographic one.

But there are four other aspects or 'dimensions' to your 'market model'. These relate to the range of trading relationships which may exist between you and the corporate entities which make up your market; the various stages through which those relationships may evolve; the range of event-types through which you choose to classify your interaction with your prospects, and the range of products or services you supply.

Each dimension of the market model is represented within MARKETEER by a database-type 'key'. However, the way in which each of these keys is handled differs and is somewhat more involved than those in a general-purpose database. Each key can be given up to 18 possible 'values', each of which is represented by plain English words chosen by the user.

The number 18 has been determined ideal for providing sufficient variety while small enough to avert the confusion caused by the natural tendency to over-classify. MARKETEER is supplied with a full set of sample values for each key already installed. You are free to edit or replace these as you wish.

RECORDING PROSPECT DETAILS

The flesh on the bones of the market model is the name, address, telephone & telex numbers, name & title of contact, ad hoc comments, and key values which MARKETEER enables you to enter, update and hold for each prospect.

In addition to the keys already mentioned, there are other keys which rationalise the alphabetic placing of each prospect's name within your prospect lists; the geographic placing of his address within your sales areas; the kind of business he is in; and the dates of the latest actual and next planned interactions between you. It is the key values held for each prospect which facilitate the automatic selection, organization and extraction of the candidates for a targeted sales/marketing exercise.

The key which alone determines the sales area to which a prospect belongs is his postcode. So even if you re-define the boundaries of all your sales areas completely after having placed hundreds of prospects on-file, each prospect will fall automatically into his correct NEW sales area without any alteration being made to the details in his record.

A prospect's line of business is specified as a Government 4-digit Standard Industrial Classification number (SIC) which is also stored as a key value within his record.

Marketeer also allows you to maintain an automatically date stamped rolling diary of notes detailing the 12 most recent events which have occurred or are planned for each prospect.

The total collection of data which relates to a single prospect is called a 'prospect record'. The various parts of this record exist within the database as entries in a number of different disk files to permit the fast searching and sorting necessary for MARKETEER to perform its tasks efficiently. But to the user, they all appear together as a single entity.

RETRIEVING PROSPECT DETAILS

MARKETEER allows you to retrieve an individual prospect's record for display, amendment or deletion by entering his name, his postcode or his reference number. A reference number is a unique number which MARKETEER allocates to a prospect at the time his details are first entered. That same number is made available to a new prospect if and when the original prospect's record is ever deleted.

Having accessed a prospect by name, you may scan forwards or backwards alphabetically through your 'file' from that prospect. If you access him by postcode, you may scan forwards or backwards in postcode order to geographically adjacent prospects. If you access a prospect by reference number, you may scan forwards or backwards through your 'file' in reference number order.

Furthermore, MARKETEER allows you to link up various prospect entries by means of cross-referencing chains. Thus, once you have recalled the details of a certain prospect onto the screen, you can then scan along a cross-reference chain recalling in turn all other prospects with whom your first prospect has some kind of special relationship.

MARKETEER'S referencing system is designed so that its 'database' storage extends beyond its computer media out into a system of physical drop files housed in conventional filing cabinets. This allows correspondence and other paper-borne information to be included as part of MARKETEER'S database.

MARKET STATISTICS

So that you may constantly monitor the state of your market, MARKETEER provides reports on various market statistics which can be displayed or printed.

Each statistics report lists all the possible values for one aspect or dimension of your market as represented by the appropriate key. Against each value is shown the number of prospects currently on file holding that value. Next to that is shown the same thing expressed as a percentage of all the prospects currently on file. For example, the report could show the geographic statistics of your market as the number and percentage of prospects located in each sales area.

As an alternative to the 'tabular' statistics reports, the same information is also displayed as high-resolution graphics bar charts. Furthermore, the 'prospect population' and 'total population' of each sales area are shown as 'percentage' bar charts which appear as part of the sales area map displays mentioned earlier.

SETTING UP A TARGET

You may choose to direct a particular sales/marketing campaign at your entire prospective market. However, it is more usual to aim such a campaign at a specific sector of your market - for example, a sector you wish to open up for the first time, or one you wish to re-vitalise because of falling sales. Such a sector is referred to as a TARGET.

By definition, a target comprises prospects whose business profiles or classifications make them specially suited to your campaign. A prospect's classification is determined by the values he holds for each key. To enable MARKETEER to identify and select these ideal prospects from all those it has on file, you need to specify a 'target profile'. A target profile consists of a limited set of values for each key.

A target profile thus admits to the target group only those prospects who are in certain lines of business; who have only certain potential trading relationships with you; who are currently only at certain stages of 'development'; whom you last contacted only in certain situations; who are in the market for only certain of your products, and who reside only in a certain area. Of course, you only apply as many of these restrictions as you need for a given target: you don't have to use all of them.

The lines of business included in a target profile are specified as a set of SIC numbers. Each classification included may be specified as a 1, 2, 3 or 4 digit number depending on how narrow or how wide you want the classification to be.

Any exchange between you and a prospect is called an 'event'. The dates of the latest and next planned events for each prospect are held as key values in his record. MARKETEER always uses 'today' as the point of reference from which it views events. The market model thus in effect moves through time along with you, giving you a view of all the events within your market relative to the present. This makes time itself a selection key which you can use to help specify a target profile.

The time element of a target profile is one of a choice of 9 different 'time windows' whose structures are determined by whether an included prospect's latest or next planned event be past, present or future; and whether or not that past or future be bounded by a cut-off time. This allows you, for example, to restrict your target group to prospects you have contacted within the past month, or those you are scheduled to visit within the next fortnight.

As it seeks out and extracts the prospects who fit your target profile, MARKETEER, according to your request, will present them in alphabetic order, reference number order, alphabetic order within post area, alphabetic order within post district, alphabetic order within post sector, or in straight postcode order.

CONTACTING YOUR TARGET

MARKETEER provides you with a diversity of media through which you can make and maintain effective contact with the target groups within your market.

As well as their obvious use for addressing mail pieces as mentioned earlier, MARKETEER'S mailing labels can be used to produce instant up to date profiled card indices which can be used independently of the computer. You make them simply by sticking the labels onto blank index cards. These indices can help a rep quickly find and update details of his prospects.

COMMUNICATIONS

In addition to the automatic electronic mail facility mentioned earlier, Marketeer also includes an intelligent communication terminal function with a facility for automatically logging on to chosen electronic mail and other Value Added Network Services such as public databases and electronic billboards.

In addition to normal keyboard to screen communication over the telephone network, Marketeer's terminal also allows you to send a chosen letter or message from the Letter Library and to receive up to 40 incoming messages into a Received Messages Library in which they may be viewed or printed off-line later.

OPERATING INSTRUCTIONS

All operating instructions for MARKETEER are carried on-board, ie; you can display full instructions telling you how to proceed from any point in the program simply by typing 'HELP' or by pressing the HELP function key. Furthermore, a half screen of explanatory text covering each item on each of MARKETEER'S selection menus is displayed by scanning up and down the menu to the desired item using the vertical cursor control keys.

In view of this, the remainder of this book - except from the short chapter on CONFIGURATION - is devoted not to showing you how to operate MARKETEER, but rather on how you may best and most effectively apply it to your sales/marketing task.

EVENT RECORDING

The date of every phone call, letter and telex expedited by MARKETEER is automatically recorded in the recipient's prospect record. It is also printed - along with other relevant information - on session reports for mailshots, telesales sessions and telex shots. In the case of telexes and phone calls, the time of the call or transmission is also recorded.