Improving the bottom line

December 11, 2002 Presentations Comments (0) 154

Improving the bottom line: A case study in direct marketing list management

Please note that this presentation is Dave Harkins’ work created in other partnerships or organizations and the design templates have not been changed. Additionally, this content may now be dated but can still be used as an idea starter for your specific needs.

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How to keep your job in marketing

September 12, 2002 Marketing Comments (0) 145

The notion that “Marketing isn’t Sales” is an old, but somewhat untrue statement in the real world. We marketers have learned the hard way that marketing’s number one priority is to drive revenue for the organization. I think we now realize that long-gone are the days when marketing produced pretty pictures, glossy brochures, gimmicky promotions and brand advertising that don’t drive short-term sales. Those days are but a memory for marketers–up in smoke like many of the firms that promoted such frivolity and spending with reckless abandon.

Today’s environment requires marketing that’s effective. And to be effective, marketing must improve the top-line with new sales, and the bottom-line by improving efficiencies in marketing operation. If marketing can’t do both–deliver a large number of qualified customers, in a cost effective manner–then doesn’t deliver tangible value to the organization.

In most organizations these days–regardless of if you’re selling to consumers or to businesses–marketing’s primary job is to support new sales in an anxious push for increased revenue. Certainly, driving new sales can generate new revenue. However, blindly focusing on acquisition can wreak havoc on an unprepared organization in terms of insufficient capacity to handle front-line sales or merchandising, sales fulfillment, customer service or technical support. Worst of all, with the organization concentrating on bringing in new customers in the front door, no one is watching the back door as existing customers stroll out. We would all agree, I think, that watching the back door is perhaps more important for long-term business success.

Balancing the organization’s desire for new customers with its desire for new revenue can be tricky. Somewhere, somehow, someone got the idea that new customers are better for producing revenue. While it may be true with some commodities, it’s largely an untrue generalization. The best source for new revenue is the existing customer…not the new ones. The challenge is that building business from existing customer is a relationship sell–something that’s longer term for the organization–and not something than usually can be leveraged to create an immediate impact on business revenue.

Relationship selling is what marketing is about, so changing a marketer’s mindset to focus...

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PRESENTATION: Piloting a CRM Initiative

July 23, 2002 Presentations Comments (0) 58

Piloting a CRM Initiative: Balancing People Process and Technology

Please note that this presentation is Dave Harkins’ work created in other partnerships or organizations and the design templates have not been changed. Additionally, this content may now be dated but can still be used as an idea starter for your specific needs.

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PRESENTATION: Developing a Continuity of Contact Program

July 22, 2002 Presentations Comments (0) 62

Developing a Continuity of Contact Program

Please note that this presentation is Dave Harkins’ work created in other partnerships or organizations and the design templates have not been changed. Additionally, this content may now be dated but can still be used as an idea starter for your specific needs.

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PRESENTATION: Updating your personal skill-set for CRM

May 21, 2002 Presentations Comments (0) 65

Updating your skill-set for CRM: How to achieve personal success

Please note that this presentation is Dave Harkins’ work created in other partnerships or organizations and the design templates have not been changed. Additionally, this content may now be dated but can still be used as an idea starter for your specific needs.

Updating Your Personal Skillset

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PRESENTATION: The Secret to Effective Data Stewardship

October 1, 2001 Presentations Comments (0) 67

The Secret to Effective Data Stewardship

Please note that this presentation is Dave Harkins’ work created in other partnerships or organizations and the design templates have not been changed. Additionally, this content may now be dated but can still be used as an idea starter for your specific needs. Continue Reading

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CRM: Management, Marketing or both?

September 1, 2001 Marketing Comments (0) 190

The acronym CRM is a confusing one. Many people say it stands for Customer Relationship Management, while others suggest Customer Relationship Marketing. Let’s take a look at how both of these acronyms are playing out.

Customer Relationship Management

In the mid-90’s while many of us were working on Marketing Information Systems (MkIS) to support focused customer strategies, most software and systems vendors were busy building and selling “Customer Relationship Management” software as a way to capitalize on the growing interest in the acronym “CRM.” Fueled primarily by this influx of CRM software and systems, most people began to accept that “CRM” stood for Customer Relationship Management, and began their attempts to manage relationships with customers. Most organizations taking this approach have found that their CRM initiatives have failed to live up to expectations–both financially and with stronger relationships with their customers.

CRM–as defined through systems and technology–relies heavily on customer data, information, buying patterns, and the like. It assumes we’re able to gain the data we need to do a better job of “managing” the customer’s needs, values and expectations with our business. However, customers don’t tell us everything and assuming they did, there are so many external factors that will influence a purchase decision or loyalty to the business, we could never hope to have databases large enough or powerful enough to allow us to manage relationships for any length of time with any sustainable success. We try anyway. As a result, most of us are data rich and information poor and have learned the hard way that CRM is not about systems and technology. High hopes that having more customer data would lead to more effective and targeted marketing programs that would lead to higher revenue for the company have been dashed. Simply capturing the data and trying to sell the customer more things doesn’t do a darn thing improve the relationship-a the fact that many have learned the hard way.

Customer Relationship Management is perhaps a misnomer. A better term for the systems and technology aspect might be Customer Information Management.

Customer Relationship Marketing

The term Customer Relationship Marketing–or the other CRM–seems...

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Short-circuit CRM troubles with a solid foundation

July 1, 2001 Marketing Comments (0) 178

Adopting a customer-centered marketing strategy sounds simple. Focusing on the customer’s needs, values, and expectations, and subsequently providing value for the customer, is a goal to which many companies aspire, but far too few deliver. The key to successful implementation of a customer-centered strategy comes with the realization that technology alone cannot solve any problem without the people and processes in place to make it actionable. The reality is most companies don’t have an integrated infrastructure-technology, people and process-in place to support such an initiative.

Nearly every company focuses on the technology component of the infrastructure and assigns the people and process portions to a lesser level of importance. Technology rarely prevents a customer-centered initiative from being successful. More often than not, human behavior and organizational process are the inhibitors to success.

So, how can you ensure success with such an initiative?

Start by asking yourself the following questions:

  • Have your employees proven themselves willing change the way they work, if necessary, to provide better service to the customer?
  • Is your entire company well-trained in the art of customer service, and is everyone customer-focused-regardless of their contact frequency with the customer?
  • Do you have all the data about your customers that you need?
  • Are your systems capable of supporting your goals and objectives, in line with your customer’s expectations?

If you have found that you can’t answer “yes” to each of these questions, you are not alone. Nevertheless, you have taken the first step in recognizing and accepting your company’s shortfall, as it relates to your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) capabilities. To get back on track, keep in mind the three dimensions of CRM: technology, human behavior, and organizational process.

Technology: Data, Systems, and Information.

If you are going to be effective in implementing a CRM strategy, you’re going to need many different data sets. Data not just about your customers and their purchase patterns, but also data about your products and services, your prospective customers, your competitors, the market, the economy and perhaps the regulatory environment. Next, quality technical capabilities are a must. To be most effective in accomplishing your strategies, you will need to be able to...

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Playing Games with Wireless Advertising

June 6, 2001 Innovation, Technology Comments (0) 176

I read an interesting article the other day about wireless advertising. The article featured a firm called Mobliss (now PressOK Entertainment) that is fast becoming what some industry experts believe to be one of the leaders in the delivery of wireless advertising. They may very well be on to something.

Mobliss founders have developed a pretty unique business model that delivers advertising, with permission, to those looking to “save time or to kill time.” Mobliss, which views itself as a media company, has bet on the “kill time” approach to engaging the consumer. Through the use of gaming and entertainment-oriented content, Mobliss can deliver promotional messages with to wireless devices. These promotions can also be targeted, relevant and location-based. The firm has partnered with gaming and entertainment providers-Group Lotto and Tribune Media Services, among them– for branded content.

It works by offering a variety of message opportunities–from contextual advertising to mobile alerts–to those accessing the Mobliss servers. One example is their recent partnership with 1-800 Contacts where users, after playing the word unscramble game, Jumble, are presented with an opportunity to call 1-800 Contacts to order contact lenses. In this case, the campaign is even integrated into the game, with the word “vision” as one of the jumbled words. Like other web-based marketing programs, Mobliss promotions can be tracked and are measurable in a variety of ways.

As I read this article, I couldn’t imagine anyone sitting around playing games on their cell phones while killing time. I then remembered; the day prior I was sitting in the airport waiting to pick up a friend and found myself, for the first time, playing a game on my cell phone. The difference is that my game is loaded on the phone and doesn’t cost anything to play. To take advantage of these other games or entertainment, it requires a connection to a server, and that means I’m paying for the call and the data transfer. Call me cheap-make that “frugal”-but, I’d never do it as long as the wireless pricing models are as they are today. That does not mean, however, that...

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Preparing for trouble with CRM

June 1, 2001 Marketing Comments (0) 174

It goes without saying that Customer Relationship Marketing (CRM) is one of the most prevalent and important initiatives undertaken by corporations both large and small. Yet, industry experts claim that nearly five out of every ten CRM initiatives fail. What’s the difference between those that succeed and those that fail? What does it take to successfully implement CRM?

My observations from successful CRM initiatives suggest that success can be, in part attributed to the ability to strategically manage the various aspects of CRM within the context of your organizations broader business direction. Based on our experiences, we suggest organizations consider the following points when developing and deploying a CRM initiative:

  • Create a strategic CRM vision. Buying the latest and greatest CRM software application or developing the slickest e-commerce site will not solve your CRM challenges. While technology certainly plays a major role in supporting the success of CRM, CRM is really a strategic initiative. It’s a way of doing business, not just a way of managing information. As such, a CRM initiative will be most successful if an organization has a clear vision for how it wants to deliver value to its customers.

A strong CRM vision is critical because it helps ensure that the decisions made in selecting technology will be made on the basis of the goals of the company and not be driven-or limited-by the functionality or capability that a particular software application may provide. Remember that technology should support the vision of CRM, not drive it.

  • Avoid the cookie-cutter technology approach to CRM. Every business has a unique way in which it deals with its customers, and while there are many technological CRM solutions that designed for your particular industry, virtually all will need customization to address your specific organizational needs to build loyalty with your customers. The goal with CRM is to differentiate your business from your competitors. If everyone uses the same technology or software application without customization, there’s no significant competitive differentiation and you’ve gained little from your investment. Make sure the application purchased meets the needs of the organization.
  • Manage the number of...

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