At its core, Connected CRM is about pulling customer strategy throughout a company’s organization and infrastructure, operationally linking strategy with financial management and experience delivery platforms. Here is how we are conceptually illustrating this concept and a few thoughts on what the different layers mean.
Customer Strategy is the process of identifying target customers and planning experiences to optimize the value of customer interactions. Identifying customers starts with market segmentation along the lines of needs and value. In the past, needs based segmentations might have fallen short in terms of actionabilty, the ability to find segments in the market. Advances in market research techniques have enabled companies like Merkle to work around this pitfall and the result are segmentations (like MetLife’s own Life Insurance Segmentation) being built directly into Display, Search, TV, Print and Direct Mail purchasing platforms. These segmentations are powerful in this context because they combine both value (tells us who to target and how much to spend) and needs (what the product and customer experience should be).
One of the most critical elements of CCRM is the ability to understand which investments are generating results with target customers and then to rapidly adjust spending across execution platforms. Nailing this requires two competencies: the ability to accurately measure the impact of marketing programs and the ability to programmatically reallocate resources to the highest potential opportunities.
Accurately measuring impact involves implementing technologies and processes to capture and link the entire stream of customer interactions as well as impression level data. Together these information flows provide for portfolio-level (top down or Media Mix) and customer-level (bottom up) views of marketing effectiveness. These two views are then reconciled and reported at media and customer segment levels. Results are fed into directly into budgeting and forecasting tools and provide direction to marketing execution teams. In most organizations implementing this approach will involve creation of new planning processes and, often, new roles.
The Experience Delivery component of CCRM involves targeted, segment-specific execution across distribution channel (agents, affinities, call center, etc) and media. At this point, segments definitions and value scores have been defined and propagated across the company’s infrastructure and organization. Budgets have been set and allocated to distribution and media channels. This in turn allows companies to push their value and segment definitions directly into external media buying platforms. Segments are bid against according to value and served tailored content that aligns with the customer need and company strategy. Prospect and customer segment scores are then fed into fulfillment channels (web, phone, agent, etc) which deliver consistent and segment-specific experiences. Finally, a closed loop is created when outcomes are fed back into the core CRM database and are pushed into attribution, forecasting and budgeting platforms. Reporting on this process is done by segment and distribution/media channel.
What do you think? Are you asking the ‘what’s next’ question? Have you tried to tackle any of these issues. I’d love to hear from you: firstname.lastname@example.org