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There are five main objectives for pharmaceutical companies using the CRM approach (Hodge, p. 53). They are:
Effective management of franchises and product lifecycles
Interface, access and influence of the customer experience
Effective management of customer interactions with the company (customer care)
Optimization of product position in each market segment
Development of information architecture that supports CRM and knowledge management
CRM methodology in the pharmaceutical industry also creates a standard information exchange to optimize cross-functional knowledge sharing. It develops its own memory instead of a few borrowed minds. This encourages companies to share information at the local level, where it can have the most effect (Hodge, p. 53).
The current view of CRM is that it is the core activity of e-business. The technology area associated most often with CRM is personalization. Personalization focuses on tailoring the presentation of a web site to individuals or classes of customers based on profile information, demographics or prior transactions. The goal is to market and sell one-to-one and to enhance the user experience so the customer returns to the merchant's web site (Anderson, 2000, p. 448). A list of personalization vendors and their products is listed below.
ATG's Dynamo suite utilizes artificial intelligence techniques to personalize the online relationship between the merchant and the consumer. The core of the application is the Java-based Dynamo Personalization Server. The Dynamo applications provide tools for store front customization, transaction support, and targeted promotions. ATG's Ad Station manages customer profiles, tracks customer behavior, and delivers targeted advertisements for large-scale sites and ad networks. It can track and report customer behavior in real time. The reports can be exported into spreadsheets for further analysis (Anderson, 2000, p. 449).
Brightware's Advice Agent for customer assistance is an example of case-based personalization software that is applied to interactive e-business events. Advice Agent provides assistance to customers by learning their needs and showing them relevant information and solutions. It uses an automated web dialog to provide the personalized advice and targeted content (Anderson, 2000, p. 449).
This is one of the leading vendors in rules-based e-business applications. Its one-to-one Command Center is integrated into Broad Vision's One-to-One Enterprise and three vertical versions: Financial, Knowledge, and Commerce. It allows sellers to develop business rules that evaluate user information gathered during previous interactions and use it to target products and services during subsequent interactions (Anderson, 2000, p. 449).
This network, acquired by Microsoft in April 1998, provides personalization technology based on collaborative-filtering techniques. Additionally, it allows users to see a log that indicates how their data has been used, to change profile information, and to request data not to be used in the future on those sites that used Firefly personalization technology (Anderson, 2000, pp. 449-450).
Net Perception's Realtime Recommendation Engine infers customer preferences from observed behavior and suggests items for purchases. For example, it can make inferences between the length of time one spends reading a news article and one's level of interest in that article. Other user actions that may indicate interest level in an item are book marking, printing, saving, scrolling, and making a purchase decision. The Realtime Recommendation Engine resides on a web server and interacts with other applications that create or use customer data through API calls. In addition to making complementary recommendations, the product also provides cross-sell table support (Anderson, 2000, p. 450).
Vignette provides many Internet-based relationship management tools. Its enterprise products include Story Server, which offers a capability to present content appropriate at each stage of the customer lifecycle: from initial visitor to long-term customer. This capability is delivered through the component called Lifecycle Personalization. The software can use behavior data to infer a visitor's interests and update navigation and content accordingly (Anderson, 2000, p. 450). Vignette is working with more than 80 technology companies including Adobe, Microsoft, National Semiconductor, CNET, Net Perceptions and SUN Microsystems. It is also working with major content providers including News Internet Services, Preview Travel, Tribune Media Services and Ziff-Davis. It is developing the XML-based ICE protocol that describes content syndication relationships between web servers and provides for automatic, controlled exchange management of online assets between business partners (Anderson, 2000, p. 451).
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