When time is short and certainty is needed there is no substitute for data. Removing subjectivity and opinion from strategy enables the business to establish what scope and scale of growth is possible and where to focus. Collecting and correlating data to provide both a big picture and a sharp focus is necessary to form the basis of any effective marketing strategy and plan.
Most companies ‘have’ CRM but few harness its true power, seeing it as a software system rather than a machine for insights. Used effectively and in conjunction with market industry information, macro data sets, trend analysis and a creative approach (both in data and marketing terms) CRM can provide the keys to growth in many ways.
Clearly customers are critical to growth; understanding your current customers purchasing habits, opinions and preferences can help steer your business. Using the latest analysis we can begin to understand customer behaviour driving potential not only of future sales, but product development, service level requirements and new customer acquisition.
Retention of core customers during accelerated growth is essential, depending on your sector, visible accelerated growth can ring alarm bells for some customers. Your approach to CRM can monitor and respond to this unease. Where needed it can work in reverse and help you lose those customers who no longer fit your strategy or drag down your resources. Nothing affects growth as quickly as a poorly performing, unprofitable customer who is over-utilising your precious resources.
Critically CRM also helps us respond to changes when the numbers don’t always work in our favour, the sensible management of data can help us predict blips or issues before they become catastrophes; realigning marketing outputs as appropriate to change. Too often a marketing plan is slavishly followed despite everything else changing, flexibility is a critical factor in growth.
In the absence of a rich data picture, any strategy or plan is likely founded on opinion and is therefore already weakened. Given most businesses heading to a financial event are on fixed and often constrained timescales, a mistake made here can negatively affect an event timing by years.
REAL WORLD EXAMPLE – A client approaching an investment needed a firm picture of the scope and scale of the market for their products. Following an investigation by us it was found that there was a huge amount
of valuable data already inside the company but not known by sales or marketing. We correlated with external market data and industry trend data to create not just a compelling story for investors but also a foundation for the refinement of the sales and marketing growth strategy.
Any future investor will pay great attention to market scale and opportunity so it makes financial and strategic sense to do this work early and get the benefit in marketing effectiveness. Ultimately, data affords management certainty in a way that is critical for companies growing to a deadline.
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A clear value proposition is critical to uniting your company around a common cause. It provides a compelling customer benefit and forms the basis of everything you do.