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CRM Starts with a CRM Plan

With so many companies pursuing Relationship Marketing/CRM with similar vigour, the question of winning arises. What will differentiate your company in this era of vendor and product proliferation and similar technology adoption?

Relationship Marketing is new territory. Many companies have plans for selected components of what they typically call CRM. But few companies yet have a clear and compelling relationship marketing vision and cohesive plans to capture the potential.

First, do you have a relationship marketing plan? You have a strategic plan and a marketing plan and a financial plan. Do you have a comprehensive relationship marketing plan?

Next, imagine you take away the front page your company so that no company name is evident and you drop the plan on the sidewalk. If someone picked it up, would it be immediately clear that the plan was yours? If not, competition has not been fully considered.

Does your plan fully integrate the various programs and initiatives at work in your company? Are responsibilities clear? Is there executive leadership for the initiative? Is it as clear to the customer why they would this relationship as it is to you? Issues such as these can weaken CRM before it ever begins to take off.