At last week’s Digital Marketing Summit, Forrester’s Dave Frankland (right) led a discussion about customer intelligence, that area many of us have been calling database marketing or CRM. So, it’s great to see him follow up that appearance with a column in this week’s Ad Age on the same topic.
But while some claim that the age of the left-brain marketer has arrived, too often we see customer data buried in the direct-marketing department, manipulated and modeled by propeller-heads to create a campaign file. And yet, in a small number of firms, we find customer intelligence elevated into a strategic command center for the business. In these firms, customer knowledge drives decisions across the enterprise — from marketing planning and strategy to product development, and from risk analysis and staffing to business operations and corporate strategy. And most of these firms point to a broad range of benefits, including improvements in customer acquisition, retention and satisfaction to increased revenue, profitability and customer lifetime value.
What defines these leading firms? They treat customer data as a strategic asset, put the customer at the center of all decision making and use data-driven insight to tailor all customer communications. It sounds simple, but can you name five companies that do it? Our research shows that fewer than 15% of firms have a strategic customer-intelligence operation. These firms leverage customer intelligence broadly throughout the organization, they value customer knowledge as a corporate asset and they frequently have an evangelist in the C-suite. They continually demonstrate that customer intelligence drives overall business growth.
For those of you who missed the Summit, Dave has graciously made his slides available:
You can read his full AdAge article here.