Magazine article Marketing


Magazine article Marketing


Article excerpt

We need to broaden our vision

Ben Richardson

When in marketing are we going to learn that customer relationship management is not just throwing DM at customers?

CRM should be a conversation between consumers and the companies with which they choose to do business. It is also far more than a clever new database for the marketing department; it involves all the areas of contact a customer has with a company.

Maybe the current myopic view of a world centred on marketing is why board-level commercial roles are not going to marketers (Marketing, June 21).

For years marketing has assumed that internally it owns the dialogue with the customer when in reality it has often been a monologue. The people who talk with, not at, customers are all around us: sales, operations, retail, customer services, engineers. And who are these new commercial roles going to? Undertaken properly, CRM brings all that knowledge and experience together. But again this is riot just a database. Of course data plays a part, but very much at the tactical end.

Before that, a com an needs to review its culture, processes, and, most importantly the people it employs. Identify the path to enable the brand and then look at systems that allow you to follow it.

So is this bad news for marketers? Absolutely not. John Stubbs, chief executive of the Marketing Council and the Chartered Institute of Marketing, accurately describes the way forward: "Marketing has to define firms' needs and provide solutions."

CRM is a great opportunity for marketers to lea n more about the company around them, make a real difference and en sure that next time the commercial direct or role is up for grabs, it is they who are in pole position.

The technology is in place to evaluate our work, so let's use it

Roger Luxton

I find it peculiar that companies spend so much on their marketing and yet so few follow up with concrete evaluation to see if the investment justified their campaigns.

Marketers seem to have the luxury of creating campaigns, launching them and then forgetting about them, mainly because it has always been so difficult to quantify results.

Now technology exists to allow marketers to easily analyse whether a campaign was a success. This is a basic necessity for firms that keep running the same campaigns because they always have done.

If you've thought in the past that there may be a better way for your company to market itself, then now you can gauge whether you're right. If you want to know how many and what type of people responded in a certain way, you can.

The time for guessing is over. Now you can quantify your campaigns, tweak them on the back of previous results and hone them to perfection.

Spar should look at local needs

Monica Lucas

So Spar has turned to national TV advertising in a bid to build its positioning at the heart of local communities, has it? We are somewhat doubtful whether this is precisely what is required.

Through a long experience of studying retail success, we have determined that retailers will only succeed if they are perceived as superior relative to their possible competitors in at least one -- and preferably two or three -- of three core domains.

The first is product and service offer, which includes price, value, range, quality and store ambience. The second factor is accessibility -- being in the right locations for their target customers, being open at the right times, being easy to shop, being in stock of required items and being a reliable source of merchandise. …

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