Magazine article Marketing

CRM Should Locus on Retention

Magazine article Marketing

CRM Should Locus on Retention

Article excerpt

Chris Ogilvie-Taylor, managing and strategy director, Marsden Grant International, London W1

Drayton Bird's comments on the disaster of what is passed off as customer relationship marketing (Marketing, August 2) must have had a coterie of marketing directors breaking sweat, and legions of over-claiming software suppliers swiftly downgrading their sales forecasts.

CRM is a culture and corporate strategy, not a set of spanners, and is driven by deep information, not buzzwords or platitudes.

'Your next best customer is your last customer is a maxim that most sales and marketing departments would do well to heed, instead of chasing their tails in pursuit of expensively acquired, and declining, new business.

On average, I receive 50 unsolicited calls and mailings for every one customer-care call from an existing supplier. And I rarely hear from senior people in those suppliers. The rookies are delegated to what is, probably, the most important relationship-building exercise going.

And because they've not been trained, it doesn't work. Retention has become a distraction for many marketers, rather than a focus. The good stand out a mile, but the bad pervade, and in the information age, that's really not on.

And the final proof that customers take second place? A mailing received, as a customer, from my international calls broker informing me of a price increase. The postscript on the letter reads: "Sales lines are open 8am to 9pm. Customer service from 9am to 5pm." I rest my case.

Politics is a high-risk game and its players must be very careful

Ken MacKenzie, European sales director, Pentel, Swindon, Wiltshire

Your feature, 'Brands: the new politics' (Marketing, July 26), raises the crossover in values between a country's politics and its corporate brands. A potentially powerful and positive enhancement both ways, but how narrow is the line between brilliance and disaster? …

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