It has been interesting to see so much focus on customer relationship management (CRM) over the past year in titles such as Marketing Week. But, while most articles acknowledge the technical difficulties of implementing a CRM project, many fail to address the greatest hurdle of all, that of cultural resistance.
People pay lip service to the idea of sharing information. In big companies, however, different departments can be very territorial about their data. Back-office transaction systems contain a wealth of transaction data, while front office systems contain valuable interaction data. If you can tie this customer data together, and use it to analyse your customer base, you can achieve a real competitive advantage. This competitive edge needn’t stop with your existing customers.
Once you understand your customer groupings thoroughly, you can match these profiles to prospective customers, select those with the best profiles, target them with the most appropriate offerings and predict their likely behaviour. Instead of the one-size-fits-all approach of today’s CRM solutions, highly targeted or even one-to-one marketing becomes a real possibility.
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