Iain LovattMove over CRM, the future is CIM

The evolution of digital technology now means companies have access to more data than ever before. If understood and analysed, this data gives invaluable insight about customers. However, due to the large quantities of data, marketers are often unable to extract the right information to target effectively.

Moreover, in the current climate businesses can not sustain a mass marketing approach as it absorbs huge marketing budget. The economic downturn has made it clear to business the problems surrounding bad business customers. These organisations, instead of providing profit and opportunities, actually become a burden.

Marketing has no choice but to embrace personalised, targeted communications to ensure business survival. To do this, companies need to invest in detailed analysis on the information they hold on customers.

Over the years, many organisations thought they had overcome this challenge by purchasing customer relationship management software, believing that it would provide a solution. But over time, businesses have realised that CRM alone cannot manage the multitude of data pools they now own. Not only does CRM fail to address the challenge of data storage, it is unable to provide a single customer view for every customer – a crucial element for the analysis involved in developing highly targeted communications.

Marketing must drive revenue through smarter activity powered by the data held on customers.

I believe the answer to the challenges lies in customer information management (CIM). It not only provides the basis for leveraging data storage programs, but more importantly it can be the basis for measuring and understanding marketing success. It does so by bridging the gap between data storage and customer valuation, showing businesses how to use customer data to make decisions that will enhance customer profitability and loyalty.

The current climate means that marketing must drive revenue through smarter activity powered by the data held on customers. A single customer view using data Iain Lovatt

Executive chairman, Blue Sheepcollected at all touchpoints can deliver more than simple uplift in sales. It can be the difference between creating a relationship based on relevance and understanding and a transaction based on irrelevant offers and price promotions.

The recession has made many organisations realise that change is required. It will be those that are able adapt quickly that will survive. Those that hesitate might not be so lucky.

Iain Lovatt
Executive chairman, Blue Sheep

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