Role of Analytics in CRM – Clifford Patrao Director/Partner, Global Business Services IBM India Pvt Ltd

Clifford Patrao Director/Partner, Global Business Services IBM India Pvt Ltd

CRM & Analytics have been across different type of industries for long time. Analytics has always been meant for enriching customer experience and to maintain good customer relationship. In 2012 we did a global CEO study, where we interacted with close to 70 CEOs from 64 countries. We asked them which is the best information which can give you the most correct insight about business, most of them answered that would like to know about information related to customers to get business insights.

What has really changed in analytics and CRM recently is the emerging empowered customers. Consumers are now dictating the relationship that they have with the business. Business is no longer focusing on the push marketing where push the message across the customers. Now, it’s the other way around and customers are telling us what they want and what promises and kept and not kept in a particular product/service provided.  

What’s interesting is that almost a large part of customers don’t believe in ads and ads are not the only and most trusted source of information. They are now relying more on the information coming through friends, family and social media in terms of understanding the brand.We have social consumers today and these consumers are always connected. There was a time when we had a window of opportunities to connect with the customers. Today customers are always connected to each other. Statistics shows that consumers will be spending 100 billion dollars in personal devices and this will in turn increase the number of connected consumers. We have empowered consumers & connected consumers and both of these factors are driving the need for the organization to look at CRM differently.

These social and empowered consumers are providing a wide range of challenges & opportunities to all the organizations. We did a study called social CRM study across various countries where consumers chatted on social media to connect with business executives to understand what they think about this social media trend.

Here are a few very interesting observation from the study:

  1. Most of the consumers have very strong opinions about a particular brand/product on social media.
  2. 5% of all the consumers are adaptors who are very active on social media, 75% of the consumers are casual participants and remaining 20% of them are silent observers. So a very small percent of people are very active on social media while most of them have to be activated to share their opinions.
  3. People use social media to connect with their friends & family and not to connect with business/brands. They in fact are more interested to know about jobs in companies but not about product and services.
  4. Consumers want something tangible like discount coupons for sharing their views and opinion about product/services.
  5. It’s the brand pull that creates the pull on social media.

CRM strategies have changed over a period of time. Many of our clients have struggled to align and implement the CRM strategies within their companies; the focus is on how do we get back to customer, how we can find the required information and business results.

At a New York conference in 2012, Mr. Jon Iwata, Senior VP, Marketing & Communication for IBM worldwide said that time has come for us to look at customers as individuals and we have to create a system for customer engagement to create maximum value at every touch point for a brand. We need to ensure to align our culture with our brand.

Analytics is something which is helping businesses to deal with the challenges and opportunities associated with the CRM. We need to look at customer holistically. We used to have customer’s demographic and transaction data, now we have customer’s interaction data whether the customer is interacting with us or not and with this we get behavioral information too. All this information can help us to look at the customer holistically and understand the needs of the customer. First of all companies need to make a perfect strategy to get the required data and then the companies have to protect this data as it should be confidential. The next step is to know how we will use this data.

Here are some trends that will impact the market in near future:

  • Predictive analysis:

A statistician when asked if he can figure out a customer need before the customer can figure out the need himself. By doing predictive analysis, we can predict what customer would want in future.

  • Sentiment Analysis:

Companies are using analytics in various ways, we can use it for sentiment analysis when we launch a product/service. We can also get to understand the positive and negative customer sentiments by this. Organizations have to start taking customer as an individual and then provide the best solution for his/her needs. The relationship of CRM & analytics is interesting and the analytical trends keep on changing continuously.

The above article is an excerpt from the speech delivered by Clifford Patrao, Director/Partner, Global Business Services IBM India Pvt Ltd at AIMA’s World Marketing Congress which was held in February 2013.

Watch the video here:

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