This is my last article in my article series of marketing career options. In my last article, I discussed the public relations and social media department and how they go hand in hand.
Today, we will take a look at a typical Customer Relationship Management (CRM) department of an enterprise. In this article, we will take a brief look at the world of CRM, a CRM tool and the CRM Manager role.
"Customer relationship management (CRM) is a term that refers to practices, strategies and technologies that companies use to manage and analyze customer interactions and data throughout the customer lifecycle, with the goal of improving business relationships with customers, assisting in customer retention and driving sales growth." (Source)
Enterprises need CRM systems to aid them with future management decisions in marketing, production, budgeting, sales initiatives etc. An enterprise’s CRM system can give its sales staff (customer facing staff) information regarding the customer, purchase history, buying preferences etc. CRM may be used to target and maximize value of a specific customer segment.
CRM may be used to drive commerce/other revenue. Churn Rate, Revenue per Subscriber, Customer Lifetime Value are examples of some basic metrics used by analysts to predict customer behavior. The idea is to direct marketing resources towards the most likely customers.
Is Customer Loyalty Program an example of CRM driven marketing?
A very common implementation of CRM driven marketing is the Customer Loyalty Program used by retail stores, hotel chains, airlines etc.
"A loyalty program is a rewards program offered by a company to customers who frequently make purchases. A loyalty program may give a customer free merchandise, rewards, coupons, or even advance released products." (Source)
Using the customer loyalty program, companies can target its marketing efforts towards those customers.
CRM professionals use third party CRM systems to help track all sales activity — every lead, opportunity, and customer — to be able to sell to the right people, armed with their personal marketing data and social insights. One of the household names of CRM solutions is Salesforce which is a sales analytics and forecasting tool. Salesforce (https://www.salesforce.com/crm/) boasts of some big brand clientele like Facebook, Coke, and Harvard.
Working as a CRM Professional
Let’s look at the CRM Manager role in an organization. This person is responsible for managing the organization’s CRM efforts to ensure the efficient use of marketing resources towards its customers. Some of the duties of the CRM Manager include planning and delivering CRM strategies across the company to aid customer retention; determining the right CRM platform (like Salesforce) structure and architecture to allow seamless integration within the company and also be able to document the key points of the customer lifecycle. Last but not least, the CRM Manager will be developing testing strategies for all aspects of the CRM to ensure that the organization’s approach is the most effective approach. (Source)
To conclude, I would like to mention that if you are looking at a marketing analyst job description that requires you to use Salesforce regularly, analyze customer data and interface with the sales department, you can consider yourself a CRM professional. As you have seen from this article, the concept of managing customer relations is not new. It has been used in the past in loyalty programs, what is new though, is the utilization of that concept in the world of ecommerce. With this, I conclude my article series regarding career options in marketing, hope you enjoyed them.
Rinki is a marketing professional with over 10 years of corporate and freelance experience.
She currently works on marketing contracts with Houston area businesses. She has served in non-profit, healthcare, oil and gas, real estate, technology, education and consumer goods industries.
She recently earned her MBA from the University of Houston, BAUER School of Business with a focus in Marketing Analysis and Business Consulting.
She also has her Associates in Graphic Design from the Art Institute of Houston and Masters in English Literature from Gujarat University, Ahmedabad, India.
She currently serves on two non-profit boards. She is Membership Officer with Prospanica-Houston chapter and Director of Special Events-Marketing with American Marketing Association-Houston chapter. Though Rinki is a now a committed Houstonian, she was born and raised in India.
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