Reveries Revels in CRM
Reveries, an online magazine for marketing professionals, uncovered interesting tidbits about the public perception of CRM, after posting a survey on its Web site. The Westport, Conn.-based company released results this week, with one of the more humorous findings about confusion over the meaning of CRM -- not the technology but the abbreviation.
Nearly 200 marketing executives participated in the survey. The vast majority of the respondents had 10 or more years of experience in marketing. Surprisingly, many were ready to adopt change; 28 percent preferred to invest the majority of their budgets in CRM programs, while 22 percent selected traditional mass media advertising.
These findings, in particular, provide an interesting twist about the slowdown in the advertising market. Are fewer ad dollars a result of the economic slowdown or are they result of heated competition with CRM? "This result may indicate that the softness in the advertising market is not solely driven by the economy but also by a fundamental change in the structure of marketing," said Spencer Hapoienu, CEO of database marketing firm Insight Out of Chaos, which conducted the survey in partnership with Reveries.
Then again, the respondents had a difficult time agreeing on what CRM (customer-relationship management) even stands for. To be fair, 59 percent got it right. But the rest came up with wild meanings of CRM, including Customer-Relationship Marketing, Continuous-Retention Marketing and Cause-Related Marketing. Meanings aside, CRM broke down into two general activities: tracking customer behavior for marketing purposes; and developing systems to provide one-to-one customer service.
Not surprisingly, nearly everyone felt marketing folks should drive CRM programs. And more than half of the respondents reported that marketing typically leads the charge in CRM at their companies. Hapoienu chalked up a lot of the rhetoric to wishful thinking.
Despite leading the charge, many respondents pointed to IT as a reason for CRM's shortcomings. Inflexible systems, expensive consultants, inefficient use of data and slipshod suppliers were only a few of the pitfalls mentioned. "The most often mentioned lament was that data were not used, regardless of how extravagant or simple the systems or processes," said Hapoienu. And all of this has "driven a wedge between marketing and IT when it comes to the implementation of CRM solutions," he said.
Tom Kaneshige also writes for Line56.com