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October 29, 2014
Finding 'X' in the CRM Equation
 
When the concept of customer relationship management (CRM) first became reality more than 20 years ago, there were relatively few variables at work. The concept of building databases from point-of-sale interactions, phone inquiries, and word-of-mouth endorsements was something that simply added up. In short order, the benefits multiplied as greater customer intelligence equated to tangible increases in lead generation. Only now, the equation has changed.

Basic Factors in Customer Experience Management
With the growth of social media in general and the mobile market in particular, today’s customers have the power to know more about the companies they do business with than the companies know about them. Key decisions are being made well ahead of the first human contact in person or by phone. The limitations of traditional CRM thinking simply don’t account for this missing “X” factor. Yet, unlike solving quadratic equations, the solutions don’t need to be overly tasking. Here are a few of the basics:
  1. Integration in place of repetition. The proliferation of mobile technology has made users quick to make snap decisions, deleting messages they don’t want on one hand, while eagerly acting on the ones they do want on the other. Successful e-commerce strategy and post-campaign analytics rely on automated integration across all mobile devices at systematically acceptable times and places to get the message across and back again.
  2. Past behavior, predictive content. CRM standbys such as search histories and purchase patterns are vital, but they are no longer standalone. Great site content may not be as important as “select” site content for specific audiences on different social media forums or even personalized, dynamic content given an identifiable range of posting behavior.
  3. Conversation without complexity. Few people are going to be impressed by language chosen for its degree of difficulty. Customer experience management (CXM) and associated mobile intelligence conversations shouldn’t be exercises in mastering vernacular; rather, they should seek to enlighten prospects to the possibilities.
  4. Quality information over quantity. Most CRM platforms perform data collection and analysis well, but fall short of translating that information into leads, and ultimately, sales. The missing “X” here is simply a matter of defining the methods individual companies should pursue to better communicate with their customers. The good news is you can put your own brand on this part of the equation.
  5. The common denominator is social media. You can’t be all things to all people in all places at the same time. Or, can you? Perhaps not, but the value of drawing data from multichannel sources like email, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and beyond has been unmistakably proven. It’s become a platform for the next generation in CXM.
If you are an industry professional, these are some of the things you should be asking about even though you may not know it yet. In a way, your high school algebra teacher had it right, only in this case, learning how to find “X” is something you can actually use in the real world. The key factor is adopting a mobile marketing strategy for a determinable future of exponential growth.

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Originally from Toledo, Ohio, Gerald Northup has written professionally in the fields of advertising, marketing, social media, and corporate communications since the early ’90s. For a look at his blog posts and social media articles, as well as TV, radio, print, and website samples from his online portfolio, visit gnorthup1979.wix.com/44words.

Jerry is also a talented guitarist, an avid tennis player, and a lifelong student of linguistics.
 
gnorthup1979@gmail.com

www.4wordsbyjerry.com
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