Why most ‘CRM’ systems are not really what they claim to be!


On the surface CRM systems give the appearance of covering most things you might need when you are looking for technology to help you manage relationships with customers.

But the reality is that they have been designed to only deliver the basics.

Yes, they manage what they call ‘contacts’ but these are usually only matched together using email addresses. The much bigger and key role of identity resolution is left unresolved.

Customers in fact have many different identifiers like mobile phone numbers, cookie IDs, postal addresses, account numbers etc and there are usually multiple versions of each relating to a single customer. All versions of these personal identifiers need to be stored so that customers reaching you through multiple channels can be properly identified.

Next CRM systems only include a part of your customer data. Your customers browse your website, they visit specific pages, they arrive there via different forms of on-line advertising, and all this vital information needs to be included in your single customer view.

CRM systems may report sales at a company or salesman level but they don’t look at longer term customer value, or how different channels and different customer recruitment propositions bring different types of customers with different kinds of customer needs.

CRM systems may undertake bulk email campaigns, but these are not usually synchronised with other channels such as post or SMS; also given that they don’t generate any added value customer knowledge such as probability of response or likelihood of attrition, the selections they make can only be via quite simplistic filters.

CRM systems were born out of the need to enable sales forces to record their activities and results; they were not designed to ingest data from multiple online and offline sources, and deliver a complete customer view.

Over the last five years or so a new breed of technology, Customer Data Platforms or CDPs, have been developed to allow you to properly relate to customers, and to make all aspects of your marketing accountable so that for instance an online order can now be linked back to the several online and offline contacts that preceded it.

If you would like to find out why you might need a CDP as well as a CRM, please see our presentation:


UniFida logo

UniFida is the trading name of Marketing Planning Services Ltd, a London based technology and data science company set up in 2014. Our overall aim is to help organisations build more customer value at less marketing cost.

Our technology focus has been to develop UniFida. Our data science business comes both from existing users of UniFida, and from clients looking to us to solve their more complex data related marketing questions.

Marketing is changing at an explosive speed, and our ambition is to help our clients stay empowered and ahead in this challenging environment.


Predicting the future value of your customers

Did you know that by the time you on-board a customer you will be able to accurately predict their future value?


From which it becomes clear that the decisions you make at the customer recruitment stage will determine that key metric of future customer value.

These are typically decisions about the recruitment channel and tactic you use, the types of customer you are targeting, and the nature of the proposition you are making to them.

Now you should also take into consideration the fact that a large number of customers that businesses recruit will yield negative value after the costs of recruitment have been deducted, whilst others will be strongly positive.

So, what as a marketer, should you do about this? First stop focusing on cost per acquisition; it’s the wrong metric to be guided by.

Next, we suggest that you should take a multivariate approach so that you consider all the factors together that define customer groups in order to focus on the ones that will bring you value.

We have recently been helping a substantial life insurance broker do this and the result has been transformational; for instance, they can now balance factors like the risk of attrition against the amount of monthly premium paid. They have found that a substantial number of their marketing tactics are yielding negative customer value and have had to be abandoned.

If you would like to discuss how to target your customer recruitment for longer term value then please contact us.

If you would like to read a case study about how we did it then please read our post:

 


UniFida logo

UniFida is the trading name of Marketing Planning Services Ltd, a London based technology and data science company set up in 2014. Our overall aim is to help organisations build more customer value at less marketing cost.

Our technology focus has been to develop UniFida. Our data science business comes both from existing users of UniFida, and from clients looking to us to solve their more complex data related marketing questions.

Marketing is changing at an explosive speed, and our ambition is to help our clients stay empowered and ahead in this challenging environment.