“Get closer to your customer – or else”; “If we don’t take care of our customers, somebody else will”; “With us you’re number one”. Phrases, phrases, and more phrases. Not a single word in the marketing world has been more abused than the term ‘customer satisfaction’. It’s hip to deliver satisfaction; it fills conference rooms, goes down darn well at cocktail parties, and is the favourite topic in any marketing magazine.
It’s been on the international scene for quite a while – and with good reason. Locally, however, it lagged far behind. Every now and then it came up again, but never gaining momentum.Read More»
For some years now I have been a very close observer of the CRM market – hype and all. Yet the more I read and see, the less I believe. To me CRM is like AIDS: nobody seems to be genuinely interested in the truth anymore; lies, politics and – above all – profits drive an insane PR machine that feeds on people and their tragedies in order to survive.Read More»
“These targeting, tracking, and personalization schemes are mechanistic answers to psychological questions. Customers are human beings, first and foremost, quirky and elusive and unpredictable. That’s why, in a lot of cases, all the data mining and click-tracking analysis in the world doesn’t work as well as simply asking customers what they want.” Wow! This is the first time ever someone told the truth about 1-1 and CRM in such length and in such detail. The sad thing, though, is that nothing is going to change.
True CRM and 1-1 marketing can only succeed in an organisation willing to change its attitude towards itself, its customers and society. But as only a minority of managers and staff have the capacity – physical, mental and spiritual – to initiate and drive such far-reaching change, never mind the authority to implement and mentor it, most organisations will continue to fall for the hype and throw lots of good money after bad.Read More»
“Once technology rolls over you, you’re not part of the steamroller, you’re part of the road”. These words by US marketing consultant James Rosenfield might sound quite harsh when he warns of the potential threat technology poses when neglected by today’s managers. But with an ever increasing pace of technological development, even the most hardsotten in the marketing community have to face the facts and open up to the many advantages and benefits information technology has to offer.Read More»
I visited the Land of Confusion, searched for the holy grail, opened ancient tombs — even talked to dinosaurs — and came back with some interesting observations.
- Why is true Database Marketing virtually unknown in South Africa?
- Is it just a more sophisticated form of Direct Mail?
- Does it mean everything’s direct?
- Will traditional Advertising disappear?
- Is a database all you need to make it work?
- Does the customer really benefit?
- And how will it affect you?
I think that over the years I have developed a reputation for providing sound advice and insight as far as all matters TCM and CRM are concerned. I have developed various websites on this topic, created the first DBM/RM discussion list on the Net, spoken at various national and international conferences, written countless articles and been quoted in a number of high profile marketing publications. So please assume for a moment that I know what I am talking about, and follow me to the land of Sonork.
So you’re doing CRM, I heard? Or are interested in it? Then let me tell you: don’t believe a word out there! I just returned from ZD Events ‘CRM 99 Conference’ in San Francisco, and have the news for you that the guys in the USA – with very few exceptions – are way off track. In fact, they seem to have misunderstood the entire idea behind CRM, and therefore developed a narrow and short-sighted view of it that will soon be reflected in their business performance. Mark my words!Read More»
As you may know, I ran an e-mail discussion list on Database Marketing and Relationship Management with more than 300 subscribers from all over the world and all walks of life. I also attend conferences as a speaker, read on- and offline magazines, am on other mailing lists and newsletters – the works. In other words, I pretty much know what’s out there, and what not.
It’s the ‘not’ that worries me, because as far as DBM/RM is concerned, there seems to be very little in this world that is shrouded in more secrecy than this subject. Hardly anybody wants to share his experience, his strategy and procedures with the outside world. The cards are kept close to the chest — with little real info revealed — simply because it is regarded as a significant competitive advantage, and obviously companies want to hang onto it for as long as humanly possible.Read More»
I have just returned from yet another conference on loyalty, this time amongst high net-value customers, in Johannesburg. I begin to wonder why people are still flocking to these events, spending big money on being presented with … the obvious. All the tools are out there, ready-made or in need of some customization. All the knowledge is out there, too, plentiful. Yet companies, and particularly those attending the conferences, seem to look for a quick fix, this magical formula up there in marketing heaven.
Luckily, this latest conference made it patently obvious that this magical formula just doesn’t exist. Regardless of topic presented, the one message that came through again and again was: all that really matters is you! You, You and …. You!Read More»
First it was just a mere observation, but I wasn’t quite sure if my perception was right or not. Now I know! Wherever you look or listen, even among the experts, Database Marketing is equalled with some kind of Direct Marketing, and more often than not, this is equalled with direct mail. Weird, because these ‘practitioners’ place limits upon themselves where they aren’t any. Needless to say they will never benefit from the real power of Database Marketing, which, as you may have guessed now, extends far beyond direct marketing and direct mail.
But how come? The answer is easy. Whereas maintaining a mailing list and doing some queries is easy stuff and can be done largely without any human interference, anything that goes beyond a piece of communication to the customer or prospect involves a lot more than just a database extraction and some mail merge.Read More»