Adventures in Mobile Marketing

Good CRM Teams

Like the beginning line in War & Peace: “Happy families are all the same, but unhappy families are different in their own way.” Same with CRM teams. I’ve seen more than a dozen flawed CRM teams, but the structure of a happy team is relatively consistent.

So these teams have the following responsibilities:
- send out one-off campaigns from marketing groups
- manage automated, triggered messages
- manage creative email content (but not branding, or guidelines)
- advise internally on best email practices
- provide analysis on customer behavior
- create new CRM-oriented marketing campaigns

And this is how they get it done, most effectively:
- CRM lead
- Campaign Manager
- Database manager

Resources available, but split with other departments:
- Data warehouse engineers
- Creative and graphic artists
- Statistical analysts

For new development, or new branding, there may be new folks integrated or expanded within the groups. Each role has these responsibilities:

CRM Lead: Besides the regular stuff you’d read here, one of the more hidden and important activities is to acquire more data. Not just acquisitions of list buys, but internally. So many companies I’ve been at didn’t even know the data they had internally that they could leverage. So being an evangelist for the customer datamart is a huge aspect of this job. Also, to do that you need to understand the structure and abilities of your datamart. A CRM team will fail if the leader does not understand this, and can’t communicate it to superiors and peers in the company. Usually, direct mail people have been the most successful converts into the CRM/email marketing role. If you don’t come from an IT or database background, it can be a tough row to hoe.

Campaign Manager: Also going to avoid the obvious and go in for the odd responsibility: determine the ROI for each campaign, and use that as the lever to get some campaigns in the calendar, and punt others. I’ve seen so many managers buckle under pressure from marketers, when all they have to do is have the marketers prove the viability of the campaign. It’s not about “XBox being hot”, it’s about, “will this XBox service warranty get a better open rate than MS Golf?” Sure, there are other variables, but a Manager who stuck to their guns on ROI will have less stress, and a happier department. Because essentially everybody looks at the ROI at the end of the quarter, and not the justifications.

Database Manager: For an effective system, there will be a lot of activity on this database and it requires someone full time. Nobody will give it the TLC that the group requires. I am a fan of the internal database (but external email send system). Because there are so many data acquisitions going on with an active CRM Lead, the DB Manager will work closely on getting that data in timely. The IT schedule has operational responsibilities, where as a Marketing Database manager can work more on the marketer’s schedule. Also, as anyone who works with Marketing and IT can attest- marketers require a lot of back and forth on data pulls and analysis.

Other Resources:
- I have never worked in a CRM group that had creative inside, and dedicated, to it, so I can’t speak to that. It sounds great, but in reality I doubt companies could provide the environment creative needs to keep someone happy. Creative groups are just a world apart, similar to programmer groups.
- IT maintenance isn’t required full time, more just occasionally when a disk fails, etc. so I haven’t worked somewhere where a group had a dedicated IT person.
- DBAs. I’ve worked places with DBAs in our group, but I thought it was overkill. If the DB Manager is worth their salt, they have a system they can work on, or escalate if need requires, but doesn’t require a full time DBA.
- Analyst. Usually these folks are either in marketing, or in marketing research. I did work with a statistical modeller at one site, and she just came over occasionally. She wasn’t full-time with our group. It’s occasional work like IT, and I have a suspicion they are too expensive to justify full time in CRM only.

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Written on Tuesday, 09. October 2007 at 11:29 In the category Basics, strategy. Follow the comments via RSS here: RSS-Feed. Read the Comments. Trackbacks- Trackback on this post. Share on FriendFeed

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