Technology and Marketing Management of Sony Corporation

Technology and Marketing Management of Sony Corporation

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Technology and Marketing Management of Sony Corporation Company Description
Sony Corporation is a multinational corporation and it is one of the world's largest media conglomerates founded in Tokyo, Japan. One of its divisions Sony Electronics is one of the leading manufacturers of electronics, video, communications, and information technology products for both the consumer and professional markets.
Sony Corporation is the parent company of the Sony Group and is operating in business through its six operating segments: including Electronics, Games, Music, Pictures, Financial Services and Other. These make Sony one of the most comprehensive entertainment companies in the world. In the Electronics segment, Sony develops designs and manufactures electronic equipments. In the entertainment aspect, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc., the company develops, produces, manufactures and markets games like PlayStation, PlayStation 2.

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In the Music segment, Sony BMG Music Entertainment which known as second largest record company in the world, it produces recorded music and music videos, and also distributes compact discs (CDs), digital versatile discs (DVDs) and universal media discs (UMDs). Sony's Pictures segment includes production, acquisition and distribution of motion pictures, television broadcasting and online distribution. Sony's financial services include savings and loans. The Other segment includes both advertising agency business and an Internet-related service business.
Sony has recorded combined annual sales of as much as $67 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2005[1],, and it employs total of 151,400 people worldwide[2],. For the fiscal year ended March, 2005, Sony has made total sales of $18.4 billion in the U.S. As a semiconductor maker, Sony is among the Worldwide Top 20 Semiconductor Sales Leaders.

II. Sony's mySAP CRM

For the most types of business, the holidays are always the biggest selling season of the year. During any important selling season, for any type of business, it is very important that the companies keep their customers always informed of promotions, product introductions, and marketing messages to stimulate sales. This holiday season, Sony of Canada used what they called mySAP.

Customer Relationship Management uses their management ability to target select customers and start a series of marketing activities through e-mails and physical mailings. These included product highlights, promotional offerings, shipping deadline reminders for online purchases and a gift guide of product ideas. The campaign management tool has allowed Sony of Canada to analyze customer data and find out the target customers, then quickly perform a multichannel promotion for the holiday selling season. [3]

One of the Sony's goals is to build up customer relationship marketing and direct communication with their customers. Moreover, Sony is as well looking forward to capture the ‘voices' of each individual customer for better customer satisfaction and move forward in company's ability to communicate with them. mySAP CRM is one of the important tools that helps the Sony company to achieve that goal.

In addition to the mySAP CRM campaign management capabilities, Sony Corporation is now using mySAP CRM interaction center capabilities. The solution will then provide full function for all contact center operations, including inbound and outbound call processing, e-mail management, and activity management to track, monitor, and enhance customer contacts. [4] It supports various channels for customer communication, including telephony and Web.

Inside of the Sony Corporation, there are running teams that focus on analyzing customer buying behaviors, such as what people buy and how often they buy, their geographical location, and so forth. The company plans to use mySAP Business Intelligence to perform CRM analytics which will allow it to understand customer purchases and preferences at an even better level of detail to better target customers in future marketing promotions.

III. Building Customer Relationship
Marketers at Sony Corporation are looking for an alternative to tire the traditional marketing methods; they have found a new way to connect with consumers -- online courses. Sony Corporation is aiming to provide the best online service for its valuable customers; by doing so it enhances customers' total Sony experience.
Two years ago, Sony begins its first online tutorial program, the program provides tips and information on digital photography and since then the program has expanded into four different areas. The online tutorial program provides four courses for online visitors: personal computing, home entertainment, digital photography, and business solutions for the small business. [5] Visitors to the website can sign up for any of the program, each program will normally have four to five courses each month and include content on a specific topic with an expert in the field. The contents use in the program are common used in the industry and there is free of any kinds of Sony marketing messages, there will not be any sidebar that pops up throughout the course offering related Sony products.
Sony measures the success of the program based on the number of visits the program receive, register, enroll and change into sales and how many times a user returns for a new course[6]. Sony also surveys its customers after the courses to find out whether the content is helpful and whether they would recommend it to a friend.
The results of the tutorial programs have been outstanding. Sony has received a good rating of more than 90% from its customers[7], and those who take the course are not only more likely to buy the product they are learning about, they are more likely to buy a Sony product compare to those who have never attend the programs.

IV. Sony Ecommerce Program

In recent times, Sony Electronics start a major e-Commerce program to create a customizable, world class Internet platform for the direct sales of electronic products and solutions. The focus of the project included immediate goals for increasing direct sales in new and established markets as well as long term, strategic goals to increase customer relationships at all points of the customer lifecycle. Both business-to-business (B2B) and business–to-consumer (B2C) markets were targeted. [8]

This e-Commerce program represented a new direction for Sony Electronics. With 60% of their direct sales are online, the program involved reaching new segments in a number of markets, including small to medium sized businesses, government, and education. Sony has group a team to manage and support the program. Other from the complexity of the program itself, the project has another challenge, which is the company has set a very tight deadline to keep pace with the program.

The success of the program has to share with Catapult System, Catapult led the e-Commerce program team to clearly identify the idea for the final application. The Catapult System has helped Sony Corporation to complete this important goal in a timely manner, the success allows Sony to move confidently into defining the application details on schedule. [9]

Results
Sony can finally begin a totally new e-Commerce solution that fully met the business and technical requirement of the company.

The solution allowed Sony to:
• Simplify B2B sales by creating useful direct sales channel
• Reduce cost of order by allowing customers to place orders online themselves (B2C)
• Customers can now get customize product online.
• Allow customers to manage their own account.
• Improve customer relationships by collecting customer's opinion from the Call Center. [10]

V. Corporate Social Responsibility

Local Involvement
Sony is building up a positive relationship with the communities, in which they operate. Through out each division, Sony is encouraging its employees to play an active role in their communities through its employee volunteer activity support system. [11]

Support for Education Programs (United States)
A division of the Sony Corporation. Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. is supporting the Sony Pictures Media Arts Program, which is operate in the form of partnership with the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) and the Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department. [12] This program have focus on workshops that cover drawing, painting, animation and media arts which are teach by CalArts faculty, former students and current students. The workshops are offer in 5 different community centers throughout Los Angeles for students from aged 10 ~ 14. In the year of 2005, the division of Sony pictures Entertainment has donated new equipment and materials to support this program. [13] Sony Corporation of America is offering various programs on regular bases to support the local communities' around the country.

Community Upliftment Program (South Africa)
Sony South Africa Pty. Ltd. has started a program call Community Upliftment Program (CUP) to support the South Africa community. They started the program by adopting 2 schools based in Alexandra, a community with a high unemployment rate; the program was focused on improving the learning environment for children. [14] Each month CUP would choice and support 1 project that is related to arts and culture, science and technology, education or the environment. This program has also taken up HIV/AIDS as an important theme, as South Africa has a high prevalence of HIV/AIDS - a situation that has left many children orphans, many of whom are also infected with the virus. [15] The CUP also works with the school governing bodies to provide food packages and medicine to patients and their families each month, as well as to implement education programs

VI. Reference and Footnotes

1. http://www.google.com/finance?cid=33095
2. http://www.google.com/finance?cid=33095
3. http://www.softwin.ro/content.php?page=bisbmscasestudiessony&lang=1
4. http://www.sap.com/canada/solutions/pdf/CS_Sony_of_Canada.pdf
5. http://searchcrm.techtarget.com/originalContent/0,289142,sid11_gci1190460,00.html
6. http://searchcrm.techtarget.com/originalContent/0,289142,sid11_gci1190460,00.html
7. http://searchcrm.techtarget.com/originalContent/0,289142,sid11_gci1190460,00.html
8. http://www.catapultsystems.com/clients/casestudies/Sony+Electronics+Case+Study.htm
9. http://www.catapultsystems.com/clients/casestudies/Sony+Electronics+Case+Study.htm
10. http://www.catapultsystems.com/clients/casestudies/Sony+Electronics+Case+Study.htm
11. http://www.sony.net/SonyInfo/Environment/index.html
12. http://www.sony.net/SonyInfo/Environment/people/community/activities/index.html
13. http://www.sony.net/SonyInfo/Environment/people/community/activities/index.html
14. http://www.sony.net/SonyInfo/Environment/environment/index.html
15. http://www.sony.net/SonyInfo/Environment/environment/index.html
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