Software solutions have evolved in such a manner that they have kept pace with the changing marketing world and requirements. While there were options that helped document storage and management in the 1990’s, software options that helped customers track changes and share them across users were more popular in the early 2000’s. Predictive data analysis software options started to become popular in around 2005 and the evolution has brought us to a time where we can get real time data that can be aggregated in seconds. The future holds much more!

future of marketing software
At the beginning of the century, marketing software allowed people to track some data and share it with their colleagues and clients. This is something that became possible with the increasing penetration that the internet was witnessing. However, even at this time large file transfers were not easy to do and this required physical transfer of disk drives and CD’s. At this time some sophisticated analysis tools for market research had surfaced like SPSS and SAS. Most of the other tools available in the market for marketers were in house tools developed for specific purposes. Microsoft Office started to become the most commonly accepted norm for datasheets, presentations and documents.

Towards the middle of the first decade of the 21st century, software options that allowed marketers to create marketing plans, annual budgets, tax returns, product costing and more started to surface. At this time there were also integrated software options that helped marketers in conducting email marketing. This software option allowed users to choose options and program the software in such a way as to use various content options and emails from databases for effective email campaigns.

More recently, there are various kinds of marketing software that can help marketers look at the efficiency of their campaigns. These software options have exploded with a higher number of internet marketers. Today there are special software options that help in tracking affiliate programs. There are also various options that can be used to manage multi level membership programs. Automation is now possible to such an extent that once the software is set up, only supervisory level attention is required. Today there are software tools that can help you crunch data in real time and this is true for surveys that are carried out on the internet and other areas as well. There are tools for arriving at the right keywords for search engine optimization, creating Pay Per Click ads, finding profitable niches, link building tools and more.

With so much of the marketer’s tactical work taken care of, the only aspect that seems to be left is the actual decision of what action should be taken. This is also something that we can expect the next generation marketing software to do. Tomorrow there will be software that will predict future scores, suggest future course of action, liaison with another software tool and shoot mails or make changes in the marketing program automatically.

Latest Trends in Business Intelligence Tools

business intelligence trendsBusiness intelligence is becoming more important as organizations move from the “information age” to the “knowledge age”. Today, the focus is not on the information, but on what is done with the data you have at hand. Trends in the BI space include a growing need to have cloud based solutions, a need to integrate data accross departments, access the information on the go, and optionally act on the data automatically. Here we briefly discuss the latest trends we are seeing in many business intelligence software tools.

The latest trends in the business intelligence tools industry include:
- Self service – This is a trend that is emerging from a belief that business intelligence can be best used when it percolates the real user of the data. It obviates the need of a separate business intelligence department or the involvement of IT personnel who may otherwise not understand the business needs as well as the end user of the data.

- Integration – While integration of data has been a key focus for a few years now, the manner in which all data and delivery platforms are being merged has never occurred before. Consolidation of data occurs from various sources like sales, primary customer research, customer feedback and online reports and is delivered offline, online and via messages and alerts on mobile smart phones.

- Software as a Service – Offline business intelligence tools that sit on the server of a company have become passé. The new trend is for a solution provider to host an application on the cloud and allow access to its members. Data is uploaded and analyzed online negating the need for buying and installing any kind of software tool.

- Dashboards – This feature of business tools has allowed data to be presented in a dynamic manner without the need of any programming. In addition to the fact that the application is web based, the data can be seen in real time.

- Social Computing – Today most organizations are only beginning toanalyze the learnings from online conversation.Technologies such as social mining and social intelligence are used to understand customer’s opinions on products and services.

- Business Rules Engine – Business intelligence engines allow for analysis of streams of data, computing trends and outliers concerning business processes. Business rules engines allow to use this output to make faster response and automates decision making in a way that helps the business react to threats in profitability, customer attrition, marketing effectiveness, and much more.

- Mobile access – Wireless access to data and information is possible now with mobile devices that can be used to upload sales data, stock requirement and also to receive updates and reports on performance.

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