Measuring CRM success - show me the evidence
A while back, I had the pleasure of speaking on behalf of the UK and Ireland branches of The Chartered Institute of Marketing. As the world’s largest organisation for professional marketers they aim to develop and represent the marketing profession.
The talks have been focused on CRM-related topics and, obviously, how it helps marketers to communicate, collaborate & compete. As is constant in most of my presentations, while CRM can be viewed as a set of tools, the real value (challenge?) is understanding and working with these tools as a means to achieve strategic goals - specifically whose outcomes optimise profitability, revenue and customer satisfaction.
However, the common perception within business, is that investments in CRM deliver little measurable feedback. While people intuitively believe that better management of customer relationships should improve business performance, they are still asking "where’s the evidence?"
Some recent research I've uncovered speaks to this "show me the evidence" challenge and it's formed the basis of the ideas that I am sharing with audiences. While the material is still evolving, the ideas suggest measuring dimensions of success across a customer lifecycle - acquisition, maintenance & termination. Further, these dimensions are tied to the concept of "customer equity" in each of the lifecycle stages - helping to derive value returned, when looking at common characteristics of CRM initiatives.
Deriving value in this fashion - representing CRM benefits in a comprehensive way, capturing both REVENUE (e.g. improved sales performance) and COST SAVINGS (e.g. integrated servicing across multiple channels), allows marketers to express a solid return on investment (ROI) when measuring (or indeed, generating) a business case for CRM initiatives.
If you'd like to hear more, either keep a watch for future posts here or follow me @talkcrm). I will be pursuing the concepts further over coming months, with an aim to derive a framework for measuring CRM success, helping our business partners & their customers alike.