CRM Special Report: Just 1 Question with Derek Vest
Target Marketing: What are the top three challenges facing marketers when it comes to integrating a CRM strategy into their existing business?
Derek Vest, director, Dialogue Marketing, Maritz Loyalty Marketing: 1. Getting their internal IT departments to understand how quickly the competitive marketplace is moving. Many IT departments put marketing requests at the bottom of the priority list, leaving marketers unable to fully implement a customer-oriented marketing plan. Ultimately there are two options when it comes to implementing a CRM marketing strategy:
Option 1: Prioritize the project in the IT department with support from the highest levels of the organization; or
Option 2: Outsource the consolidation of data, ideally to a firm that focuses on strategies for leveraging that data into actionable marketing programs. ROI increases derived from more effective consumer communications will pay for the additional cost.
2. Moving marketing-practitioner thinking from the art of, to the science of, marketing. If you are a marketing practitioner that loathes statistical analysis you better don the crash helmet and dive in—not to understand how to perform the analysis, but what you can get out of it.
Successfully leveraging all of the data generated in a CRM strategy requires advanced data analysis techniques. But what does that analysis give you? A good deal of knowledge to drive marketing dollar ROI—the right offer to make to each individual consumer; the right message timing for each individual consumer; the most profitable
customers; the least profitable customers … the list goes on and on.
3. Knowing how to start, and how to use the data. The hardest part of integrating CRM strategy into marketing is understanding that you can start the marketing efforts with limited data. True one-to-one communications are the goal, not the starting line. Begin by compiling the consumer data into a single source, append that source with data from multiple commercial sources, then incorporate feedback opportunities into each consumer- communications initiative you undertake. Surveys can be a great way to “grow” data from the best source—the consumer.
Once you have the data, be savvy in its use. Don’t fall in love with your data-gathering accomplishments and report the data back to the consumer. Learn from it. Derive insights from it, and use those insights to more effectively target offers and tailor graphics and copy to benefit the consumer.