Upgrade to Customer Journey Management

Upgrading from CRM to Customer Journey Management, Phil Hussey makes the case why businesses should empower marketers with a CJM platform that can finally deliver on the promise of true 1:1 customer engagement.

For the last 20+ years, CRM practitioners have labored to implement relevant, timely, and channel appropriate communications. Progress has been sporadic, and it never really felt like we had all the information or the computing power to implement true 1:1 communications for all customer engagements. Most efforts targeted segments or certain facets of the customer’s engagement, but end to end implementation at an enterprise level was nearly impossible. With the onset of Customer Journey Management (CJM), that is no longer the case.

Building on many of the tenets of CRM, CJM takes a fresh approach to tracking and managing customer journeys that heralds a new era of highly actionable, personalized engagements and more importantly the higher KPI’s marketers seek. The process begins with Customer Journey Mapping, which has evolved into its own cottage industry. From a marketing perspective, it is essential to begin your mapping with data analysis of existing customer engagement patterns to identify the key journeys and the moments of truth where they most often break. By beginning with the data, you will build the means to identify discrete steps along customer journeys on an ongoing basis, providing the platform for real-time intervention. However, it is not enough to just map the journey; the key to success comes in the form of actively managing the journeys for maximum gain.

As you develop strategies to optimize the journeys, marketing technology is now in a much better place to enable implementations that provide the ability to both spot journeys and to take real-time action with messaging, content, and offers. By measuring improvements in engagement and ultimate conversion, you will see the immediate benefits. CJM surpasses CRM on almost every level, tapping into the power of real-time decision making across all channels, resulting in 1:1 “people based Marketing.” CRM traditionally struggled to succeed due to massive implementations and an all or nothing approach, which resulted in failure rates of anywhere from 50% to 70%. The real beauty to CJM is the ability to start small, with proof of concept pilots. Then you can tackle additional journeys one by one or in batches, depending on the urgency and bandwidth.

So why upgrade now? It’s well established from Harvard Business Review and Forrester studies that higher customer experience ratings correlate with more loyal, profitable consumers and increased sales. Further, your competitors are likely leveraging these practices to increase conversion rates and insulate their customers from considering other buying options. This means the cost of not implementing a CJM solution is at best, the short term opportunity cost for continued underperformance and at worst, a long term problem to attract and retain high-value customers from the companies who embrace CJM by taking action today.

Thankfully, the investment to get started today is more than reasonable, with the upside of realizing immediate benefits to justify further investment.

About the Author

Phil Hussey, CEO Iris Concise, North America

Phil’s passion is to make advanced direct marketing simpler, more accessible, and more successful for a wider range of marketers. Previously, he was Senior VP/Relationship Manager at industry giant Rapp Collins. He also spent 13 years on the client side, developing and managing loyalty programs for Marriott and Walt Disney World. Key client experience includes IKEA, Famous Footwear, Toys “R” Us, Hyatt, Continental Airlines, DIRECTV, and SunTrust Bank. Phil holds an MBA from the George Washington University.