Customer Relationship Marketing in the CRM Realm

In the space I work in, the middle market, CRM does not mean Customer Relationship Marketing. In fact, marketing is more often than not the forgotten child.

Having worked primarily in the middle market, I've not been as exposed to well defined marketing machines. But, when I have, they are almost always working with different systems than than peers in sales and service.

In these cases, I fail to see how you can say that your marketing is based on a customer relationship? Having many functional customer relationships means many possible marketing outcomes…and total customer confusion, lowered customer value, and minimal customer loyalty.

A company which is functionally isolated, where units, product groups are departments do not communicate in a planned way, has what are called silos. Each silo operates with their own set of procedures and objectives since they don't know what the others are doing.

Many years as a CRM consultant has reinforced my belief that an effective is more than a technical checklist. It's also more than a software and feature focused project manager with all the special accreditations and certifications. You can be super efficient at the latest implementation methodologies, but if you've missed the boat as a consultant for your client, what value have you really delivered?

Integrating Marketing with your business

Having an effective marketing strategy is a key any business' success. As a part of the CRM strategy, customer relationship marketing is one of the supporting pieces. Knowing your customer is critical in order to construct the products and messages need to keep them loyal. Collecting this knowledge spans the organization, not just the marketing department. So, functional silos within your organization can create problems when each has their own set of messages and objectives.

If you're not a believer in extending customer loyalty because all customers eventually defect, you probably would agree that current value and some other definition of potential value can be enhanced. To do either requires that a cohesive and comprehensive strategy be constructed that provides for the consistent and timely collection of data needed to market effectively.

How to Get Started In Customer Relationship Marketing

If you want to get the most out of your marketing efforts, there are some basic fundamental truth to be aware of. Since decisions are made based on the information being collected about your customers, you need to have the basics in place:

  • Maintain customer demographic information
  • Track interactions with your customer; such as web visits, emails, phone calls, newsletter responses, etc.
  • Log responses to marketing campaigns
  • Track sales or other business monetization methods over time

The Benefits of Customer Relationship Marketing

Mileage will vary with each company as the all will make their own competitive decisions. Theories abound, like demographics are the key to everything or analyzing customer activity will reveal all. No matter how you decide to implement your strategy, there are 3 key benefits you should strive for as you analyze the incoming information.

  • Knowing what you will say in the future
  • Knowing which customers you will say it to
  • Knowing when you need to say it

Marketing is an investment, like many things. And when you invest you expect the highest possible return. So, to throw all of your money in one direction all at the same time is a guaranteed path to failure. You will have wasted your resources and you will come away not knowing your customer any better.

Using a customer relationship marketing strategy can certainly enhance your business by focusing the right message, on the right customer, at the right time. This makes them more likely to respond the sending a one size fits all message and tells you that you're on you're way to a better two-way relationship.

Wouldn't everyone like to find out when a customer is about to jump ship and act quickly to change the situation? That is what effective relationship marketing looks like

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