It has been interesting to see so much focus on Customer Relationship Management (CRM) over the past year in titles such as Marketing Week. However, the hype seems to be exceeding what many companies are actually doing to understand and manage customers.
In my observations of a large number of companies, it seems that there are too many which, despite advances in technology, have made no progress in their use of customer data in the past ten years. It’s surprising to find companies that make no effort to clean their data, or which don’t have a single database but collections of product or channel databases. Also, it is surprising to find companies that waste money getting information from their customers which then sits unused, or which churn out reams of analysis which forgets the customer, and focuses instead on products and channels.
Only by applying clear thinking to exploit data can companies hope to understand their customers and develop true customer focused strategies. All the hype about terms like CRM is meaningless unless companies tackle the data basics.
Head of consultancy
MarkIT Information Services