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Welcome to the Merkle Consulting Group blog - Connecting CRM

For our first post, I wanted to set the stage by laying out why we're opening this dialogue.  We believe that a customer-centric approach that is adopted across the enterprise creates better experiences and outcomes for organizations and their customers. The challenge is that most companies not only don't reach their full potential, many outright fail at their marketing, management and connection efforts.  We believe that we can help organizations get it right.

We're not going to spend a lot of effort seeking to convince you of the merits of being customer focused.  Nor will we focus on making the case that new technologies and advances in customer data are changing the competitive landscape. As we enter the third decade of CRM, you’re most likely already equipped with that perspective and insight. 

Instead, we're going to cover ways that you and your organization can get, keep and grow more valuable customers spanning an array of explorations on:

  1. What to do (i.e, strategy and goals)
  2. Ways do it (i.e., operating model)
  3. How to get it done in a complex organization (i.e., change that sticks)

We're out to take the marketing discipline beyond the four walls of the marketing department (i.e.., connecting CRM) and into the rest of your organization including sales, service, stores, web sites, mobile, etc.

For ground-setting, we offer some definitions. 

When we refer to CRM, we mean customer relationship marketing. CRM is the creation and deployment of data-driven customer insight to acquire, keep and grow the organization's customer base (portfolio) as an asset. Ultimately, this is done through customized interactions delivered through customer relationship management in a contact center or a retail branch, for example. 

Also, we distinguish between addressable media, which is an outbound one-way means to deliver a message (brand-to-consumer), and channel, which is an inbound vehicle, providing for a two-way dialogue between the customer and the organization.  While media and channel are converging as traditional media is increasingly becoming two-way, we feel the distinction continues to have merit for the near term.

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