Tuesday, November 29, 2005
Wobblies invest in technology
This is an interesting piece on the use of ICT as enabler- by the Australian Rugby Union- courtesy of The Australian.
The ARU is hoping a customer relationship management system will help it target its steadfast supporters and build loyalty and participation.
The CRM system is expected to cut costs as well.
Merging about 40 customer databases has fundamentally changed how the organisation will market big events such as Bledisloe Cup fixtures and the Rugby World Cup in 2007, which will be held in France.
"The multiple letters sent to customers made us look amateur and were a waste of resources," ARU marketing general manager Shane Harmon said.
Instead of concentrating on above-the-line advertising, about half of tickets will be offered directly to known supporters.
"Direct marketing doesn't lie, in the past we marketed to the entire database, now we only market to those who usually respond, so we have higher response rates," he said.
Previously, it was difficult to track return on the investment in a marketing campaign, he said.
Now the ARU spends about a quarter of what it used to by marketing directly to rugby supporters, he said. "We have been able to divert the money to branding, as we do not have such a sales-heavy message."
Details of about 470,000 customers are now in one database.
"The problem for the ARU is that we have a wide range of interaction with customers," he said. "We deal with them through many touch points.
"There was no way of seeing a holistic view of our customers."
One of the main problems was that many customers were listed on several databases, he said.
"We found some customers had about 14 relationships with the ARU since the amalgamation of the databases.
"Many of these customers were not tapped, because they sat in separate silos. We have now been able to develop tailored programs," Mr Harmon said.
The ARU is expecting to spend about $2 million on its five-year strategic plan.
It has spent about $600,000 on licence fees and project management for the first phase, which is rolling out campaign management to the marketing team and Super 14 franchises.
Mr Harmon expects the rest of the functionality, involving player registration, club administration, sponsorship and ticketing, to be rolled out in the next year.
The internet will play a vital role in the organisation's transformation.
Email addresses have been collected from about half of the rugby supporters on its database.
"We have only had limited membership products on the site, next year we will be linking to World Cup 2007 offers," he said.
The ARU had to create content and offers on the site to draw supporters back on a regular basis, Mr Harmon said.
The ARU anticipated that more than 70 per cent of information or offers would be sent electronically by 2007, he said.
I have always thought that South African rugby and cricket use the most unimaginative marketing to advertise their sporting events.
I love technology and I think we can do well to sort some of our problems with tech wize applications- some however will take olde school guts determination and talent
....Probably because he most likely knows who I am...
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