Thursday, November 27, 2014

Misunderstanding CRM and Big Data

Listening to @peter_w_ryan, @markhillary and Alexey Minkevich talking about #CRM and #BigData at the Institute of Directors, sponsored by IBA Group.

Peter cites an Ovum survey showing that Customer Satisfaction is now the number one concern of management, and argues for what Ovum calls Intelligent CRM. (CA announced something under this label back in October 2000. Other products are available.)

Mark says that CRM and Big Data are widely misunderstood, which is certainly true. My own opinion is the first misunderstanding is to think CRM is about managing THE relationship with THE customer, and I completely agree with Clayton Christensen (via Sloan) that this isn't enough. What we really need to focus on is the job the customers are trying to get done when they use your product or service.

Who is good at CRM? Peter cites an example of a professor of marketing who got a personalized service at a certain chain of hotels and has been talking about it ever since. (That's a pretty good coup for the hotel, if we take the story at face value.) Mark cites the video game market, where both the console manufacturers and the large game publishers are able to collect and analyse huge quantities of consumer behaviour.

Is CRM with Big Data merely a new way of taking advantage of customers? Although most people seem oblivious to the privacy and trust risks, the Wall Street Journal this week suggested that the consumer is becoming more savvy and less susceptible to exploitative loyalty schemes and promotions. This might help to explain why Tesco, once a master of the science of retail, now seems to be faltering.

If there is a sustainable business model based on CRM and Big Data, it must surely involve using these technologies to engage intelligently, authentically and ethically with customers, rather than imagining that these technologies can provide a quick fix for stupid organizations to take advantage of compliant customers.

Related Blogs

Customer Orientation (May 2009)

The Science of Retail (April 2012)

Other Articles

Martha Mangelsdorf, Understanding your customer isn't enough (Sloan Review May 2009)

Shelly Banjo and Sara Germano, The End of the Impulse Shopper (Wall Street Journal 25 November 2014)

Intelligent CRM

AI-CRM "An intelligent CRM system with atuo-learning-tunning engine (sic), Aichain offers the most widely used open source business intelligence software in the world." Last updated March 2013

CA rolling out customer relationship management software (ComputerWorld October 2000)

IBA Group "maintains its focus on IT outsourcing that has become a strategy for many organizations seeking to improve their business processes"

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