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Technology: What Is Its True Value Contribution to CRM?

What do you think of when you are asked the question, "How does technology enhance your efforts to better deliver customer-centric initiatives and manage the associated relationships?" I ask this because without putting it into perspective, you really can’t even begin to determine the value of technology to your customer relationship marketing (CRM) efforts.  

To properly address the value of technology in our efforts to develop and maintain relationships with our patients, payors, and high-value HCPs (NP/PAs, Physicians, Pharmacists, etc), we need to understand what technology means. There are any number of definitions, influenced by time, era, geography, and industry. If we consider the overall influence of technology, we may define it in the broadest sense as that mix of material and immaterial elements that are applied to a process, environment, or situation where the ultimate goal is to achieve some level of incremental (output) value that exceeds the cost of the inputs.

Regardless of how you wish to define it, it is safe to assume that no business adopts technology at any level with the objective of losing money. To this end, the key consideration here is, "Technology should deliver value."

So, back to the question we started with. What elements of "technology" are contributing value to your organizational CRM initiatives? At its very foundation, we would think of our enhanced ability to connect with the right customer with the right message at the right time. The net result of this is to simply strengthen our relationships by demonstrating that we have listened and responded with content that meets their needs. At a higher, aggregated level, we need to consider the (technological) impact on our ability to collect, segment, define, and message unique segments of our client universe, and most importantly, measure the incremental lift of each touch relative to achieving our goal.

If we are neither meeting a minimal set of objectives at the individual level, nor enhancing our understanding of the unique and collective impact of each communication tactic, channel, cadence, or message, then "technology is likely not adding value" to our organizational efforts to better understand and communicate with our customers. In order to harness the value that technology offers, you must have an outlined set of strategic objectives and actively measure the impact technology is having on advancing your relationships toward those objectives.

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