Technological Darwinism Maximizing ROI (1,583 words)
Everyone is talking these days about how to know their customers better. They want to be like Nordstrom and have a personal relationship with each customer, one customer at a time.
In the past, the thought of this would have driven IT professionals mad. Today, while it's still largely a dream, the ability to connect all databases in an enterprise to an organic and intuitive computer armed with the ability to deliver personalized marketing messages to individual customers at the exact right time is becoming more of a reality.
Some transitions still need to take place and some technology hurdles overcome. But the battleground is heating up, and only the strong will survive. In short, a "technological Darwinism" is taking place. Will you be fit enough to survive?
Database marketing is supremely accountable
As a marketer, you can measure with great accuracy the response of the audience to each promotion. Such measurement leads to knowledge about the effectiveness of offers and packages; the importance of timing; and the response of different segments of the customer base to myriad products, packages and offers. It enables you to determine which audience segments are the best responders, thus enabling you to continually improve the effectiveness and profitability of marketing strategies with each campaign.
To take advantage of the information in a database, however, you need to ensure you're collecting the right information from the beginning. Then once you have the data, you'll need sophisticated technology to analyze it. Many firms offer powerful tools for both data capture and analysis. For the most part, these tools are easy to use, yet they mirror the functionality of high-end customer relationship management (CRM) systems.
Anyone who's been following the stream of information issued by CRM and customer interaction (CI) solution providers this year knows that analytic-applications vendors are quickly merging with CRM and CI providers. These mergers, even before they hit the wire, are for the most part old news. In the business-to-business (b-to-b) world, it's as if two speeding trains—sales automation and database marketing—are heading for the same station at 100 mph. Each has its own set of experiences and knowledge, and each has large budgets with which to develop software.