Customer Realtionship Management Systems"Investing in expensive, state of the art CRM systems will not necessarily guarantee success. In order to fully capitalise, marketers must stop relying on 'one size fits all' messages
When it comes to CRM or customer insight, marketers have invested millions of pounds to learn more about their customers and understand them as individuals. Technology now enables us to build a dynamic view of individuals so we can see and analyse what they buy and how and why they buy it, at a single glance.
Exciting stuff that has surely revolutionised communications from the top down? Yes and no.
Yes, because without doubt the clever analysis people now have more data and speedier technology than ever before. What's more the capabilities of digital print now mean that creative, copy, offers and response mechanisms can all be personalised cost-effectively to give customers a truly individual brand experience.
However, despite all these advances, many brands have until recently been content to sit back, satisfied in the knowledge that their CRM solution is the best money can buy, while all the time pushing out a 'one size fits all' message to customers and prospects. In short, many companies have failed to leverage the value of customer insight in real marketing terms at all.
At last though it seems the tide is now starting to turn. The move against mass mailing, combined with an industry wide focus on customer retention, has challenged many direct marketing managers to consider how to increase return on investment through relevant and engaging messaging. Using today's variable print and content management software and a fast growing school of knowledge, brands are at last taking a data-led approach to communications that start by identifying key differentials and build campaigns using a top down approach.
If a product appeals to both over-50s and under-30s with different lifestages and lifestyles, buying motivation is unlikely to be the same and the core components of a mailing such as imagery, headlines and tone of voice are being adapted to suit.
Of course, there's still real scope for advancement and as an industry we have to get better at what we do. Internet channels have raised the bar using content such as fully personalised sound and film but in today's direct marketing environment the concept of moving from mass media to 'my media' is at last coming of age."
Precision Marketing - May 2008