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Thursday, May 24, 2012

CRM... I think you meant CMR

Thoughts on Customer Managed Relationships

We are hesitant to admit it, but when it comes to marketing communications it's all about ME! Marketers are focusing more than ever on how to personalize communications to deliver relevant and timely messages. Unfortunately, too many are caught up in using inferential data to make educated guesses at what is best for their customers instead of just asking them. In a world of big data and automation at our finger tips, many marketing organizations make a critical mistake of trying to manage their customers, instead of realizing larger revenue gains by putting control back in their customers' hands . I believe the way to do this is through preference management, not using often misleading data such as web traffic, transaction history, or third party demographics.

"Good enough is never enough!"

Good customer service is no longer optional, it is expected. The “Me Generation” expects that organizations acknowledge their individuality and hold up their end of the bargain by honoring unique requests. I'll admit, implementing a robust preference management strategy is no small feat. In fact, research indicates that 47% of companies are not honoring customer preferences because they lack necessary technology, and another 25% do not because data silos do not allow for a single, actionable view of their customers. However, in our age of communication and technology it is possible, now more than ever, to honor our customers' preferences and create surprise and delight experiences based on how they want to be communicated with.

Aside from consumer expectations, global compliance regulation is forcing our hand on how we honor preferences and collect opt ins. Regions like the European Union already require opt in for marketing communications, and we have seen the first opt in requirement in the United States earlier this year when the FCC amended its TCPA, requiring express written consent for communication with a wireless phone number. As you are aware, this has huge implications for marketers considering the proliferation of mobile device usage and more consumers abandoning landlines for wireless phones.

"If not us then who, if not now then when?"

Act today to implement a preference management strategy. Stay ahead of compliance legislation and competitors by just asking your customers how they want to be communicated with. Shift from Customer Relationship Management to Customer Managed Relationships.

About the Author: 
Rob Tate is the Preference Management Evangelist for PossibleNOW and has extensive expertise in direct marketing compliance and consumer privacy. He helps enterprise clients architect appropriate multi-channel preference management strategies by leveraging professional services and cloud based technology. He has spoken in a number of industry and association forums and focuses on the high tech, communications, and financial services verticals.

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