CRM – the bedrock of bigger thinking

Dynamics 365

The businesses that are growing despite the stuttering economy and uncertainty all have one thing in common – customer insight. And they’re not afraid to use it.

It’s not surprising but many businesses looking at their competitors might think that they have a better management team, bigger budgets to spend or an easier product to sell.  Yet we know that the most exciting business growth comes from customer insight because without it, products would be misfired, resource wasted, leads burned and opportunities lost.

Don’t be mistaken – many of the businesses that you are perhaps comparing your own with are probably working hard at the foundations. The hidden hero of customer insight is the structure where it’s all pulled into so that patterns can be detected and opportunities spotted. Without that, none of the forward-thinking innovations would be possible.

Following the DMA Awards last December, we were reminded of why insight is so important.

Ikea’s strategy to boost family card swipes happened because they knew usage rates from their data. The insight led them to the opportunity and that led them to their campaign which then went on to revive a stagnant customer loyalty programme and increase revenue. We can guess that they are continually monitoring that data now and looking for more insights for future initiatives.

When Royal London wanted to increase over 50s life cover sales and market share through paid search, it targeted individuals, not keywords. To do that, they needed to know enough about their existing over 50s customers. Their outstanding campaign results meant they also needed to continue that level of individuality on the customer journey that followed.

Virgin Trains could never have run their public transport customer survey through multi-channel marketing automation without efficient and thorough insight analysis guiding them to their next move.

A CRM strategy  can help your business gather the insight and analysis you need to drive business change and growth. CRM is not the result, it’s the strategy to get it. It’s the structure that holds up the award-winning campaigns, initiatives and results so that they’re effectiveness can be forecast and their results analysed.

It’s the engine that keeps the business running as a unit, not as a collection of silos. It’s where staff can singlehandedly spot an opportunity to pass on to other departments. It’s where insights surface in the most unexpected places.

It’s not just where technology can increase the efficiency of every team member and every department. It’s not just a repository for segmentation and delivery. It’s not just a boon for compliance, GDPR and data security. It’s not just a place to organise and see the sales pipeline.

It’s where ideas can come from.

And like all good things, there is a way of doing things that will bring better results and that will challenge you to examine the reasons for wanting it.

So, in your rush to get to those business headlines, remember the role that CRM plays in getting you there and give it the time and focus it needs to bring it into play effectively.

Want to know more about building a CRM strategy and what CRM can do for your business? Watch our Webinar Series ‘Your 8 steps to CRM Implementation Success’ and start scoping your CRM business case now.

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