In the early 90's, database-driven marketing was transformed into what we now call customer relationship management (CRM).
Over the years, the way vendors deal with current and potential customers has evolved and CRM has incorporated many of these changes. The rise of social media and the importance of mobile, for example, have led to the integration of these channels into modern CRMs.
But where does this central sales tool come from?
Centered on electronic mail. Some CRMs may become extensions of central communication channels, instead of incorporating these channels into the standard CRM.
Email, for example. Gmelius based in Switzerland, for example, is reinventing CRM with e-mail at the center, because e-mail remains the central communication tool of the sellers.
In Gmelius, emails that require action become task cards. Collaboration between teams can be managed from inboxes. With Google Calendar, notes and expiry dates can be attached to tasks, automatic inbox reminders help users track due dates, and messages can be connected to a CRM standard. Here is a typical screen shot:
Integration of CDP and business processes. Erik Hale, Global Business Leader for Business Process Management at BPM & # 39; Online Business / Business Process Automation Platform, explained that CRM "is evolving to become a more complete business solution ", partly by exploiting certain customer functionalities . Data Platform (CDP).
He stated that his company's CRM, for example, offers some of the features often associated with CDP, including the ability to manage unstructured data, orchestrate multiple channels in real time, and provide tools. data cleaning, such as deduplication. ]
But, he acknowledged, CDPs are more advanced in the way they handle data entry from a wide range of sources. CRMs will continue to develop their capabilities as a platform that is not "a mere [carnetd'adresses[large]" for sales, he said, until CRMs outperform CDP by absorbing their best features.
CDP as a superset. But Raviv Turner, CEO and co-founder of CaliberMind, a customer data platform (CDP), sees a more fundamental transformation of CRM's role in the customer journey, where CRMs become a sort of subset of CPM .
CRMs were born for B2B as a sales tool for maintaining individual relationships, and he finds that traditional versions retain such a role for sellers. This is part of the usual workflow of vendors and contains their work data.
But he predicts, their relative importance in B2B will change dramatically.
A large and growing share of B2B customers is now sold to the seller in advance. In other words, the IT manager who wants to buy new cloud services or the office manager who buys new furniture for branch offices has done extensive research on his online purchases before even contacting a vendor. They visited websites, downloaded white papers, checked expert reviews or buyers and reviewed comparative tables.
"Before, you pick up the phone and you're registered in [the results of the conversation] in Salesforce [CRM]," he said. "Now it's 8 to 10, maybe more, touches [between the brand and the customer] before Salesforce."
This means that marketing is now playing a much bigger role in the B2B sales cycle. And, Turner adds, this means that CDPs will play a bigger role and reduce CRM because they are designed to handle large-scale customization via Big Data.
Although this view supports CaliberMind's position and vision as a CDP, CDP has advantages over CRM.
Advantages of the CDP in terms of customer management. CDPs are designed to support one-to-many interactions, provide real-time data and collect data, supporting the omni-channel approach required for marketing to B2B and B2C buyers, particularly in the form of new channels such as smart cars and smart glasses. , the Internet of Things and interactive television really take off. In contrast, CRMs are intended to store data on individual sales transactions.
In addition to well-ordered structured data, CDPs are designed from the ground up to handle unstructured data, such as data from social or other channels, and to support very large data.
According to CDP founder David Raab, CRMs were created to replace the Roladex and contact cards of sales agents, as well as to help contact center agents. They were not the guardians of the main identity profiles used by many tools of an organization. and channels.
"Look [CDP] as a smart standard," Turner said, more optimized for customization and account-based marketing than prospect-driven CRMs, and better able to leverage the advantage of the new technology. IA, because the data is centralized and clean. He also noted that CDPs like his own also have built-in tools for data deduplication and cleanup, which customer relationship managers can not.
On the B2C side, it's not a problem, according to Turner. Consumer sales are now focused entirely on personalization, which favors CDP. He added that consumer-centric companies with marketing automation platforms with integrated or associated CRMs will eventually need a client data repository optimized for multi-channel performance.
Neither the CRM nor the CDP? Artificial intelligence will eventually change the CRM, predicts Turner, possibly leading to a tool combining both types of tools. He pointed out that Salesforce itself, the king of CRM, seems to be preparing for a new level of platform-wide customer identity, with its recent acquisitions of Datorama and MuleSoft and his launch of the 360 client. Similarly, Oracle recently launched what it describes as a "CDP-plus", called CX Unity .
Tony Kavanagh, CMO of CRM Insightly, told me that he viewed CRM as a tool for automating prospect management, opportunities, and relationships, possibly with CDP as a record main below.
But Patrick Salyer, general manager of SAP Data Customer Cloud and former CEO of the Gigya identity management platform (now owned by SAP), believes that both terms – CRM and CDP – are too restrictive.
CRMs are designed for use cases of sales, he said, as in Salesforce, while PDCs are largely a tool for marketers. (One of the CDP CDP definitions is that they should be used by non-technical marketers.)
Instead, Salyer promotes the idea of a client data cloud containing information about confidentiality consent and purchase history, as well as demographic, behavioral and demographic data. relational.
Whatever their name and whatever their number of distinct incarnations for use cases such as sales, it appears that the customer's profile – the history a customer's history with a brand and a seller – evolves to many other features, a greater ability to capture and use a wide variety of data, and support for a personalized and real-time engagement with users on all platforms.
This story was first published on MarTech Today. For more information on marketing technology, click here.
About the author
Barry Levine covers marketing technology for Third Door Media. Previously, he covered this space as a senior editor for VentureBeat, and he wrote on these technical topics, among others, for publications such as CMSWire and NewsFactor. He founded and managed the website / unit of PBS Thirteen / WNET; worked as a Senior Producer / Writer Online for Viacom; created a successful interactive game, PLAY IT BY EAR: The first CD game; founded and directed an independent film, CENTER SCREEN, based at Harvard and M.I.T .; and served for five years as a consultant to the M.I.T. Media Lab. You can find it on LinkedIn and Twitter on xBarryLevine.