Marketers Out Of Touch With Customers

    May 5, 2006

On the heels of the previous post, which has some saying “CRM is dead,” comes a very interesting article by Barney Beal.

Here are some points of note from the article, quoting a recent study from the CMO council. (All stats below were sourced from Barney’s excellent report.) According to the study:

  • Two thirds of respondents said they have no formal system for tracking marketing’s role in acquiring new customers
  • Over one third don’t have a model of their “best” customer or opportunity
  • Just under a third have no reliable data on profitability of key customers
  • Nearly 50% said someone other than marketers influences the “segmentation and targeting strategy”*

Now, those points noted, there is a huge reliance on existing “CRM” systems. This, however, is frought with some problems. 33% of the respondents cited their CRM systems as their primary information source. Yet the survey found that “40% of the respondents rated their customer data systems as ‘weak’ or ‘very weak’ in timeliness and depth; availability of useful data; reports and analytics; and relevance to marketing strategies.”

The whole article is here.

* – N.B. I still despise the terms “segmentation” and “targeting” in this context. The first to me seems like it refers to tearing the customer limb from limb. The second seems to indicate a viewpoint that the customer is prey that is to be stalked and bagged like a trophy elk. But I digress.

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Christopher Carfi, CEO and co-founder of Cerado, looks at sales, marketing, and the business experience from the customers point of view. He currently is focused on understanding how emerging social technologies such as blogs, wikis, and social networking are enabling the creation of new types of customer-driven communities. He is the author of the Social Customer Manifesto weblog, and has been occasionally told that he drives and snowboards just a little too quickly.