CRM Special Report--The Five Tenets of a Good CRM Strategy (1,9
The last five years in business have been a wild ride. The market placed a high premium on cutting-edge ideas, as emphasis shifted away from the less glamorous fundamentals of business strategy and effective execution.
In the process, many start-up companies with brilliant concepts learned a lesson—the hard way—about the importance of sound business strategies and delivering on promises. Meanwhile, companies with clear vision, core strategies and strong business fundamentals are surviving the mayhem and continuing to capitalize on marketplace opportunities.
Clear-cut performance matters now more than ever. And delivering that performance depends on having the right strategy and the ability to execute properly. Programs that can't deliver measurable results will be the first to go as organizations experiencing limited resources and heightened shareholder demands tighten their belts.
Your existing customer base is one of your most valuable assets and should be guarded, protected and nourished to generate revenue growth for your company through retention, referrals and sales of new or additional products.
In the current economy, most companies are pressured for growth. As marketers, you can't afford to give competitors a chance to grow through acquisition of new customers. Managing and growing relationships with your most valuable customers is more critical now than ever. And as corporate resources become more limited, marketing campaigns aimed at new customers must become more targeted and cost-effective.
There's no cookie-cutter solution to ensure great results. Specific customer relationship management (CRM) tactics must be situational to be successful—that is, they must be the right solution, for the right challenge, at the right time. There are, however, several universal tenets of successful CRM that are particularly relevant in a slowing economy.
Tenet #1: A Knowledge-Based CRM Strategy Is Critical.
An effective CRM strategy has at its core the understanding that you can't successfully be all things to all customers. It's critical to develop a CRM strategy for your organization that's based on intimate knowledge of your customers—who your most valuable customers are; their demonstrated and anticipated needs and preferences; what drives their satisfaction; and what impacts their purchasing decisions. This strategy can be leveraged as the foundation for developing cost-effective programs and tactics, ensuring your efforts are focused and your return on investment maximized.