INDIANAPOLIS, Feb. 24 — ProVim, a company based just north of Indianapolis in Fishers, Indiana, has developed new software specifically to help motorsports companies manage their databases, build their customer/fan bases, and engage with them better.
ProVim’s ProQueue motorsports event software, called ProQ for short, brings several different applications under the umbrella of each client’s central database. Contacts don’t have to be imported or exported from one software program to another one to perform many common tasks, and lists can be generated easily from the business’s database. Event management, newsletters, invoicing, estimates, pledges, donations, to-do lists and calendars can all be utilized within the software.
In the case of event management, the software can supply and store driver and team registrations, liability releases and even data on individual cars. Pre-event ticket sales, on-site sales and at-the-gate sales can be handled through ProQ. As a business continues to build its database, its customers’ contact information, including social media addresses, past purchases and geographic areas, is included for seamless outreach.
ProQ allows individual drivers, teams, both large and small businesses, track promoters, clubs and sanctioning bodies and other motorsports companies to have a virtual IT department without the expenses of a physical one. At $50 a month for two users, it’s less expensive than the price of most residential cable TV subscriptions.
The ProQ software is cloud-based, so it can be used anywhere there is an Internet connection, including hot spots on cell phones. A user can work at the track, in a hotel or airport, at home, or anywhere else where he can go online. That is especially appealing to sanctioning bodies that stage races at numerous locations.
Many of the tasks that software is asked to perform involve forms. The way ProQ handles forms is integral to its benefits.
After a company’s contacts are imported or entered into the software, ProQ can generate code for a form that is added to the client’s Web site. The code displays the Web form, grabbing any data the client wants. This data can include things like survey feedback, drivers’ medical histories, in-case-of-emergency contacts, and liability waivers. When a driver, customer or fan fills out the form online, it automatically sends the information straight into the company’s ProQ database. The whole process is completed on the company’s Web site through ProQ, eliminating the need to send the customer to other software for fulfillment. And at the end, the customer’s contact information is all in the company’s ProQ database.
It’s all mobile-friendly too, so receipts or invoices can be called up on a smart phone and shown on the spot.
“No other software is available that does everything that ours does,” said Jay Heid, ProQ’s founder and motorsports manager.
“Many racing teams, tracks, clubs, sanctioning bodies and motorsports-based small businesses have a Web site and are active in some form of social media, but as a sport we are way behind in managing our information well,” he pointed out. “With ProQ, you aren’t juggling numerous Excel files or e-mail lists hand-written on yellow legal pads. You can sort your database into lists and reach out to your contacts in any way you wish.
“It’s all contact-based, because we interact with people, not companies,” he explained. “Each contact’s address can be located through Google Earth directly from the software. It is set up to include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Google + handles too, making reaching out to your database through social media easier.”
The ProQ software also offers an easy way to produce e-mailed newsletters. At a penny per e-mail address, it’s half the price of other e-mailed newsletter providers. ProQ’s e-mailing system is set up as a proper e-mail campaign engine and is fully compliant with current Can-Spam rules, which makes it less likely for bulk e-mails to end up in the recipients’ spam folders.
The ProQ software also aids continuity.
“Many smaller sanctioning bodies, clubs and tracks depend on volunteers or part-time employees to maintain their databases from year to year,” Heid pointed out. “When a new person agrees to be in charge of that aspect of the organization, he’s often handed a box of printouts done in Excel and wished ‘Good luck!’ With ProQ, the organization’s database stays current and intact from year to year.
“The same applies to a company’s staff,” he added. “The ProQ software offers a note system and tasks can be assigned through it. If a staff member is ill or resigns, another member of your team can fill in and pick up right where the other person left off.”
When a company signs up for the software, ProQ assigns it an integration manager to help it transfer its data to the new software. Free training is also included.
“We fully understand that there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution when it comes to running and growing your business,” Heid said. “As part of our service we provide a knowledgeable motorsports integration manager to customize the software to your needs, and train your team how to use it.”
Each company’s database remains its proprietary property and cannot be accessed or used by any other company, including the staff at ProQ, without its permission.
Various companies, clubs and other organizations are already successfully using the new software for out-of-state seminar registrations, membership management, donation management, social-media outreach and even mail merge for the distribution of a print magazine.
Restart Communications, the first motorsports public relations firm to embrace the new ProQ software, sees it as a way for tracks, sanctioning bodies and clubs, teams, drivers and PR firms to step up their marketing and public relations efforts.
“The competition for sponsorship dollars is tighter than ever, and the days of a driver getting away with just telling a potential sponsor ‘I have a lot of fans’ are over,” said Restart’s Linda Mansfield. “I see the ProQ software as an affordable way for smaller organizations to start building a real database and then use it as a selling point to justify sponsorship dollars. It’s not just about how many championships a driver or team has won; the quality of a proven fan base is important too.
“For example, a driver could run his T-shirt business through ProQ, and capture all his customers’ contact data, including his social media data, into his database. Then he has an easy way to interact with his fans through newsletters and social media, and can even narrow that down by geographical areas when he’s in a certain state to race.
“The event-management aspect makes a lot of sense for drivers and teams as well as promoters,” she added. “Big teams and big companies aren’t the only ones that can be hosting events and having hospitality areas. A small team or a driver could run fund-raising parties through the ProQ software. They could also use it as a tool to set up autograph sessions, driver appearances and dinners. Then, when approaching a potential sponsor, they have actual data to prove who expressed an interest in their team or came to their special event, including how far they traveled and how much they spent on driver merchandise.
“Other professional and semi-pro sports teams have IT departments and/or marketing departments that collect data constantly to support their cases,” she added. “I’m not saying it doesn’t take work and that there won’t be a learning curve, but with ProQ, even small motorsports entities can go about their outreach efforts much more professionally. Knowing exactly who your fan base is and having a way to reach your fans easily and inexpensively offers all sorts of possibilities.
“Like it or not, Amazon has changed marketing forever,” she concluded. “Motorsports at all levels needs to understand that its fan/customer base is truly its greatest asset, and start interacting with it better and smarter.”
For more information on ProQ, contact Heid by e-mailing him at GetFaster@ProQMotorsports.com or calling (317) 299-RACE. The company’s Web site is at ProQMotorsports.com.