Tuesday, February 17, 2015

CMOs: 3 steps to integrate big data analytics into CRM

As a CMO, how you integrate big data analytics into your customer relationship management systems could spell the difference between success and failure in today's data-driven marketing era. As a graduate student in the Northwestern Medill Integrated Marketing Communications program, I have found two articles that can help you learn more about CRM analytics and its impact on building a comprehensive understanding of your customers’ needs and preferences. 

The article “The Future of CRM Analytics is AlreadyHere points out the importance of applying analytics to customer relationship management efforts.In order to gain a 360-degree view of the customer, many companies have blended customer data, operational and transactional data and data analytics to develop comprehensive understanding of their customers. The integration of data analytics and CRM has proved success- the complete views of customers resulting from the integration have enabled these companies to generate meaningful insights about marketing campaigns and put them at a better positioned to identify and act on cross-sell and upsell opportunities.

source: http://crmsolutions.crmnext.com/

In the article “Five Reasons Why CRM Analytics are Essential for Success, Marianne Cotter explains five reasons companies should integrate data analytics into CRM and use data and CRM analytics to tailor the customer experience for improved engagement and better profits. The five reasons she points out include better customer understanding, better understanding of the customer-facing operations, decision support, predictive modeling and benchmarking.
Based on these two articles and my graduate learning in the Northwestern Medill IMC program, here are three action items I recommend you consider:
  • Adopt real-time and predictive analytics - be aware of real time tools and utilize them to process data in real time to connect with customers more immediately and deliver highly personalized experience. Tie predictive analytics with CRM to learn more about customers' buying behavior.
  • Create expert team -recruit people with complementary skills who can bridge big data analytics with CRM. Have people with analytical skills who can understand structured and unstructured data working with business managers and IT people in a team.
  • Cultivate interaction - besides monitoring customers and conducting big-data analytics on social media, interact with your customers by providing them more customized opportunities.

As a CMO in today’s data-driven economy, you really need to start thinking about harnessing the power of big data and integrating data analytics into CRM to facilitate smarter sales and better customer engagement. I recommend you look at these three action items and use them when develop a future strategy for big data and CRM.

Xinwei Zhang is a M.S. candidate of integrated marketing communication at Medill School, Northwestern University, specializing in Marketing Analytics. She is going to graduate in December 2015. With dual bachelor degrees in Psychology and Consumer Economics, she is passionate about analyzing consumer behavior and synthesizing data to actionable insights, stories and marketing solutions.
Any questions and comments? Contact me on Twitter or LinkedIn.


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