schedule, marketing activities, app

Marketing Planning and Reporting Software

Industry: Automotive
Country: Poland
Scope of work: Business analysis, Web development, QA, Maintenance
Technology stack: .NET, Vue js, MsSQL

Introduction

Marketing Planning and Reporting Modernization

A leading Japanese carmaker, known for its innovation and making exceptional cars, was looking for a strategic restructure. The company needed to modernize its approach to planning, reporting, and monitoring marketing operations within the Polish dealership network. 

With an impressive number of over 30 dealerships, the client’s way of handling their dealer network was becoming increasingly complex and time-consuming. Thus, they recognized the need for a more streamlined approach and were in search of planning software solutions. They needed a tool to simplify and consolidate the company’s organization of marketing projects. 

Specializing in custom digital business solutions ideally positioned us to address the client’s needs. Our goal was to move away from outdated and confusing methods by introducing modern, easy-to-use systems. In this project, we focused on a business process automation solution that would effectively manage the client’s processes. This approach aimed to implement a new standard in how the company planned and executed its promotional strategies.

Challenge

Streamlining Marketing Operations with Technology

Each dealership operated independently while adhering to marketing plans and guidelines set by the main office. The headquarters would issue instructions to traditional channels like billboards, brochures, events, radio and printed literature ads, etc. Each dealer would then prepare reports on activities and budget spending. 

This job was mired in complexities. It required creating and managing multiple Excel files, constant back-and-forth communication through emails and phone calls, and an overwhelming amount of manual coordination. This process was lengthy and prone to errors. It lacked flexibility in adapting to market changes. Plus, it was difficult to retrieve data-based insights to make informed decisions when necessary.

The client was expecting a solution that was technologically advanced as well as user-friendly. It needed to accommodate the diverse needs of their network while aligning with the company’s innovative ethos.

The company’s management needed a way to oversee and coordinate these efforts centrally. The dealers, on the other hand, were urging for a better system to access and report on their individual marketing expenses. The company had to have a robust information exchange system to handle heavy evidence files, which is essential for verifying marketing activities. These records could include anything from invoice scans and images to audio files and videos, serving as proof of budget spending. 

The challenge was clear – to move away from these scattered, manual processes to an integrated, automated, and user-friendly business system. However, to achieve this, we first had to structure the information. This meant drafting plans and extracting relevant data from a myriad of emails and saved files.

Solution

To address the client’s marketing challenges, we developed a web platform that centralized all the information in one place. The solution made planning and tracking marketing activities much simpler and more efficient for each dealership and the head office. All authorized employees can access the platform online 24/7. 

Design and Development of Marketing Planning and Reporting Software

We developed custom software based on the client’s existing legacy system – Excel files. It allows teams to plan marketing activities, distribute them throughout the network, and effectively track and report on these tasks. 

Our responsive web application ensures seamless functionality across PCs, tablets, and mobile devices. It’s secure and has a large capacity for storing big evidence files. This setup enabled team members to use the system easily on any device in any location.

The solution was structured into three modules:

  • Dealer module – all dealers can access information specific to their location, streamlining managing and reporting activities.
  • Admin module – admins can change the system configuration, add an unlimited number of users, change permissions, and manage marketing planning. It also gives a comprehensive overview of all dealership data. 
  • Analytic module – this element generates reports and manages data on marketing budgets. 

Key Features of Marketing Planning and Reporting Software

On logging in, the dashboard shows the most recent spending and the uncompleted tasks. Users also see plan summary charts that compare the minimum, planned, and spent funds in a given period.

To maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of the marketing management software, we’ve packed it with the following functionalities:

Cascade budget planning 💰

It allows for detailed and layered financial planning for marketing activities. Admin users can easily allocate and track funds.

Marketing plan guidelines creator 📝

Admin users can create advanced planning templates/clone existing ones and modify them on the fly. 

Commenting 💬

This feature allows admins to add comments/notes within the system for the dealer teams to view and follow. 

Plans management 📊

Admins can categorize and edit marketing plans, as well as approve and archive them. They also assign plans to selected dealers and manage special projects. 

Marketing project reporting 📈

It enables real-time tracking of marketing project progress, ensuring that all activities are on schedule and aligned with the overall marketing strategy.

Evidence file upload 📁

Users can upload various types of files, such as invoice scans, images, audio files, and videos. 

Group billing for dealers 💳

It facilitates the financial processes for joint dealer activities, streamlining billing and expense tracking.

Document library 📚

It stores all marketing campaign documents in one centralized place. Users can find important files and information with just a few clicks. 

Progress tracking 🧭

It shows insights into how well marketing plans are being followed. Users can monitor and adjust strategies as needed.

Automatic plan verification

This feature automatically checks marketing plans to ensure they meet set criteria and guidelines. The system highlights data that needs the admin’s attention based on predefined rules and notes. 

Email alerts 📧

Sends timely email notifications to relevant team members, keeping everyone updated on important changes and developments.

Report generation 📉

It gives an in-depth view of marketing spending and plan implementation across the network in easy-to-understand and analyze tables and charts.

Advanced filtering 🔍

Admins can categorize and label plans while users select categories and activities for budgeting. Data can be filtered by categories, activities, financial years, quarters, months, and specific dealers.

Exporting reports 📤

Admin users can export reports as CSV and PDF files.

Packed with these features, the platform enables clear, structured communication and leaves no room for guesswork. 

Cooperation

Efficient Project Management and Communication

During the duration of the project, as well as during the support and maintenance periods, we adopted a reporting system. This kept the client up to date with all the communication and stored all the documents in one place. We had a project manager assigned on our side to make sure everything went smoothly and solved any problems quickly.

The client selected a responsible person from their team to deliver the necessary information and data. They would also agree on details, assess results, and accept project stages.

Before launching the client’s marketing planning software, we tested it thoroughly to ensure it worked perfectly. We also held detailed online training for the employees at the dealerships. Once the system was in place, we continued to offer support and maintenance to keep it running smoothly.

Business Impact

Revolutionizing Operations with Advanced Marketing Planning and Reporting Software

Our new custom-made system changed our client and its dealerships’ approach to managing marketing strategies. Introducing a unified platform significantly reduced the administrative burden previously hindering the processes.

The new planning and budgeting software improved accuracy in marketing planning and expense tracking, ensuring all data was precise and reliable. This is crucial for making better decisions and improving marketing strategies across the entire network. 

Automatic generation of reports and updates means the teams spend less time on data entry and more on analyzing results. Automated alerts and notifications keep everyone informed, with no need for constant checking. Also, the system automatically synchronizes data across different departments, reducing the need for manual coordination. These automated features free up valuable time, allowing the marketing teams to focus more on strategic planning and less on routine tasks. 

A key aspect of this transformation is the organization of marketing work. The internal control system provides a clearly defined platform for data exchange and communication. It streamlines workflows and fosters more efficient teamwork. When everyone works on the same data, it dramatically reduces the likelihood of errors and improves the consistency of information across the network.

Additionally, the application was designed with future growth in mind. It allows for adding new modules and functionalities as the needs of the dealership network expand. We continue to support this client in continuous maintenance and server support, ensuring the smooth operation of the digital system.