Put the "M" in CRM

In the past 10 years, many marketers have embraced Customer Relationship Management (CRM) as if it is the answer to all of their marketing challenges. Why not- the promise of a powerful collection of customer data that could be analyzed to identify selling opportunities and key customers that should be the focus of retention efforts, just to name two applications, is too great to resist. Reality has not always matched the promise, as many companies spent millions on CRM infrastructure but have been unable to harness the resources and make them work effectively.

How bad has the CRM experience been? A recent study done by the CMO Council found that only 16% of the firms surveyed rated themselves as effective or extremely good at executing CRM. Only 6% claimed to have excellent knowledge of their customers based on the demographic, behavioral, and transactional data they had captured. Not exactly a glowing report for a concept that many experts believed would fundamentally change the practice of marketing.

Clearly, there is work to be done to put the "Management" in Customer Relationship Management. It can be a daunting task to pull together customer data from sources scattered throughout a business. However, the high stakes associated with knowing as much about customers as possible means CRM efforts are too critical to abandon. Link

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