A hammer’s no use on walnuts

Lucy Barrett is quite correct in her observation that very few companies are actually managing to squeeze any return out of their (often quite sizeable) investment in CRM (MW February 7). However, she misses one vital point; investment has to be commensurate with opportunity, but opportunity can vary widely from one sector or company to another.

CRM is not a “one size fits all” solution, in spite of what the software providers might say. At a basic level, the complexity or importance of the purchase decision to the customer should dictate the level and type of relationship a company wants to have with them. For many companies, a simple relationship mailing programme can be far more effective – albeit far less impressive when presenting to the board – than full-scale multichannel management.

I would also advise any company to discriminate within its customer base; most sectors will demonstrate some approximation of Pareto’s curve in terms of customer profitability and so considering how to manage non-profitable customers can be as important as managing your most profitable.

There is a real danger that we spend so much time getting the technology right that we forget about the consumer and the qualitative benefits of CRM in building emotional affinity. Poorly conceived and inappropriate CRM programmes can cost more than wasted investment; they can also cost you the loyalty of valuable customers and prospects.

Dennis Kerslake

Managing director

141

London W2

Latest from Marketing Week

NOT REGISTERED? IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here