Home  › Marketing › Strategies

CRM: Everyone's Doing It

  |  August 17, 2005   |  Comments

CRM is no longer a specialized skill set for the direct response elite.

CRM (define) has historically been house under the auspices of direct response or "relationship marketing" agencies. As the mass-media landscape continues to splinter and become more bidirectional, CRM will no longer be a specialized skill set reserved for the direct response elite. Instead, it's a tool for marketers and agencies alike.

CRM typically includes a host of elements, including customer service, call-center infrastructure, sales force automation, marketing automation and analytics, order management, Web self-service, field service, online sales, and price management.

As companies become more intensely focused on return on investment (ROI) and profitability, many CRM elements are being studied to identify improvements that can be made across the enterprise. According to KowledgeStorm, an online lead-generation company for the technology industry, CRM spending is the fifth most important IT spending priority for companies surveyed, behind data security, project management, business intelligence, and cost cutting.

What does a well-oiled CRM machine allow marketers to do?

CIO Insight polled over 200 IT executives about CRM applications' potential benefits. It found the top eight benefits (in order) were increase customer satisfaction; provide a single, 360-degree customer view; increase revenue or profit per customer; automate sales processes; improve sales forecast quality; analyze marketing campaign effectiveness; increase cross-selling; and add new customers.

Not surprisingly, CRM budgets are expected to increase rather dramatically over the next 12 to 18 months. According to AMR Research, the average global company increase for customer relationship management budgets in 2005 was 2.3 percent; it's forecast at 8.2 percent in 2006. Small and midsize businesses (fewer than 5,000 employees) will exhibit the greatest growth. They've been slower to the game and have a smaller base to grow from.

What does this have to do with digital marketing and its relevance to your business? Though it hasn't been spelled out, implicit in all successful CRM applications is reliable, plentiful data. Sophisticated Internet marketers have harvested this type of data for years and triangulated it with call-center activity, email activity, in-store activity, and so forth. There's been a significant hole in the data when we look at more traditional marketing and media expenditures, such as TV, radio, and magazines. With these, we've been forced to use sophisticated models instead of actual data. That's changing fast.

Nowhere is this change more apparent than in television. Powerful set-top boxes and DVRs provide interactive computing capabilities. Many of these activities were once reserved for the Internet, such as transactional commerce, inventory management, real-time search, and Web browsing. Now, they're offered by cable and satellite providers.

Whether you use a set-top box or a media-center PC, companies such as Intel and Microsoft are architecting a world where the 10-foot experience becomes nearly synonymous with the three-foot (computer) one, and the remote control is the new mouse. With all this interactivity comes terabytes of data generated on a daily basis. This can feed the CRM engine to maximize marketing ROI and profitability.

Radio is even getting into the CRM game with a few new products scheduled to hit the shelves this holiday season. Satellite radio receivers will have built-in hard drives and powerful computing chips that will allow DVR-like functionality, as well as one-click ordering of products and services. The Web is the feedback loop when a consumer places a device in the "sync cradle." One can only imagine the amount of data we can capture as it relates to media consumption and consumer behavior. Again, this can be fed into the insatiable CRM engine.

The Internet's monopoly on analytics is ending. I'm not sure we're collectively ready for it. This data-rich media landscape will be a key piece of the CRM puzzle in the future and will validate all the attention spent on CRM today.

It's trendy, it's hip, it's CRM. Everybody's doing it. Are you?

ClickZ Live Toronto On the heels of a fantastic event in New York City, ClickZ Live is taking the fun and learning to Toronto, June 23-25. With over 15 years' experience delivering industry-leading events, ClickZ Live offers an action-packed, educationally-focused agenda covering all aspects of digital marketing. Register today!

ClickZ Live San Francisco Want to learn more? Join us at ClickZ Live San Francisco, Aug 10-12!
Educating marketers for over 15 years, ClickZ Live brings together industry thought leaders from the largest brands and agencies to deliver the most advanced, educational digital marketing agenda. Register today and save $500!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Cohen Before joining Universal McCann Interactive, David Cohen was North America media director at Zentropy Partners. At UM Interactive, he plays a pivotal role in integrating interactive media into clients' overall marketing and media plans. David oversees all interactive media strategy, including planning, buying and analysis operations in the New York office. Current client responsibilities include: Wendy's International, Johnson & Johnson, Sony Electronics, Marriott International and Bacardi. David is active in many industry organizations and speaks frequently at seminars and lectures for the Advertising Club of New York and the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A's).

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

Get the ClickZ Marketing newsletter delivered to you. Subscribe today!

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

Featured White Papers

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Digital Commerce
This Magic Quadrant examines leading digital commerce platforms that enable organizations to build digital commerce sites. These commerce platforms facilitate purchasing transactions over the Web, and support the creation and continuing development of an online relationship with a consumer.

Paid Search in the Mobile Era

Paid Search in the Mobile Era
Google reports that paid search ads are currently driving 40+ million calls per month. Cost per click is increasing, paid search budgets are growing, and mobile continues to dominate. It's time to revamp old search strategies, reimagine stale best practices, and add new layers data to your analytics.

WEBINARS

Resources

Jobs

    • GREAT Campaign Project Coordinator
      GREAT Campaign Project Coordinator (British Consulate-General, New York) - New YorkThe GREAT Britain Campaign is seeking an energetic and creative...
    • Paid Search Senior Account Manager
      Paid Search Senior Account Manager (Hanapin Marketing) - BloomingtonHanapin Marketing is hiring a strategic Paid Search Senior Account Manager...
    • Paid Search Account Manager
      Paid Search Account Manager (Hanapin Marketing) - BloomingtonHanapin Marketing is hiring an experienced Paid Search Account Manager to...