CRM is not just a load of hyp

Customer relationship marketing or true one-to-one marketing is easier for a start-up, as Martha Rogers comments in “Why intimacy is vital to customer relationships” (MW November 12). Her case is already proven by the continuing success of direct banks and insurers.

But I disagree with Alan Mitchell’s observation that, apart from retailing giants and start-ups, implementation of CRM is pure hype. Over the past two decades, I’ve worked with a number of businesses in a range of sectors to implement data-driven CRM programmes which are increasingly seen as the backbone of an integrated approach to customer and prospect communications.

The good news is that you don’t need to be a “giant” or a start-up to make CRM work. There are now a select group of expert companies that focus on both advising clients in developing their one-to-one requirements and delivering and managing their CRM solutions at all levels.

However, CRM consultancy and services are not going to change the fact that the one-to-one, customer-centric philosophy within client companies needs to be embraced at a higher level than the enthused sales and marketing departments – the corporate boardroom, for example.

Tesco is to be applauded for appearing to have done that and doubtless inspiring others to invest in the one-to-one future.

Geoff Downer

General Manager

Swetenhams Marketing Services

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