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Customer Data 360: Perspectives from Marketing Leaders

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In the fast-paced landscape of today’s business environment, organizations are constantly evolving to meet the ever-changing needs of their customers. However, the traditional Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems that once served as the backbone for managing customer data and interactions are now struggling to keep up. Recently, Perficient hosted a roundtable discussion with marketing leaders from some of the top organizations from various industries. During this event, we dove into the challenges organizations face with their CRM systems and explored the need for a modern customer data strategy.

The Overgrown CRM:

Many organizations find themselves outgrowing their CRM platforms, realizing that the one-size-fits-all approach no longer suffices for the complexities of modern customer data management. As CRM software expanded into vast data management platforms encompassing marketing, sales, and service, it lost its initial focus. The result is a cumbersome system that fails to cater to the specific needs of its core users – a classic case of trying to do too much.

Key Insights from Marketing Leaders

Our focus group with marketing leaders revealed crucial insights into the evolving landscape of customer data management.

  1. Prioritizing Existing Customers:
    • In light of technological advancements and rising customer acquisition costs, organizations are shifting their focus towards existing customers.
    • This shift necessitates a reevaluation of how customer data is managed, moving beyond the traditional CRM model.
  2. Identifying Priorities for Successful Implementation:
    • Successful Customer Data 360 implementation hinges on identifying and prioritizing key areas of focus.
    • Organizations grapple with a wealth of data and struggle to determine where to start; a strategic approach is crucial.
  3. High Value Use Cases for Buy-In:
    • Gaining upper-level buy-in is a common challenge, but focusing on high-value use cases can justify project costs.
    • Organizations are finding success by demonstrating tangible benefits in specific areas before scaling up.
  4. Product vs. Project Approach:
    • Adopting a Product vs. Project approach has proven to be successful.
    • Organizations are recognizing the need for continuous, iterative improvements over time rather than one-off projects.
  5. Acquiring Executive Buy-In:
    • To secure executive support, organizations should focus on small, product-driven iterations that deliver quick successes.
    • Proving the value of a Customer Data 360 strategy through tangible outcomes is essential for garnering support.
  6. Alignment with Business Goals:
    • Alignment with executive business goals is critical to providing downstream value for customer 360 initiatives.
    • Listening to customer feedback and aligning strategies accordingly ensures that the initiatives remain relevant and effective.

As organizations navigate the complexities of the modern business landscape, the era of all-encompassing CRM systems is giving way to a more nuanced and strategic approach to customer data management. By heeding the insights from marketing leaders and adopting a modern customer data strategy, organizations can ensure that they are not only meeting the needs of their customers but also staying ahead in a rapidly evolving marketplace. The key lies in agility, alignment with business goals, and a relentless focus on delivering value throughout the entire customer journey. It’s time to move beyond the CRM era and embrace a more dynamic and responsive approach to customer data.

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Bridget Mess

Bridget Mess is a Marketing Manager for Perficient’s Data + Intelligence pillar. She has over five years of writing and content creation experience and resides in St. Louis, Missouri.

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