Call it what you want, but it’s just CRM

After reading Richard Madden’s article on ditching customer relationship management for product relationship management (MW 19 August), am I not right in thinking that CRM is all about understanding a customer’s relationship with your products and using this insight to communicate with them appropriately?

Admittedly, that does mean you have to know your consumer to communicate with them. As a result, for years we have been putting coupons in boxes, asking people to give opinions online, watching purchase behaviour and tailoring our responses – and products – to respond accordingly.

We’ve also been spending considerable time making best friends with our product development teams to try and accommodate the needs of the consumer.

So, isn’t “product relationship management” just the next step in trying to build customer knowledge as part of our natural journey towards marketing enlightenment? Doesn’t it just give us another means of capturing and finding out about our consumers’ behaviour and tailoring our message accordingly? And that, I do believe, is CRM.

Sue MacLure, head of eCRM, EHS 4D

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