Merkle CEO: Uncertain economy, technology to boost CRM use

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Economic instability and advancements in digital communications have combined to create a "perfect storm" for CRM to play a larger role in companies' marketing strategies, according to David Williams, chairman and CEO of Merkle, in a keynote address at his company's CRM Executive Summit in Miami on June 8.

 

Williams told attendees that “in many ways, the crisis has done a lot for CRM.” However, he added that marketers face a range of CRM-related challenges, including growing customer control of content, a fragmented media landscape, and changes in consumers' purchasing preferences.

 

Williams said digitization is a key for marketers to move from “CRM 1.0 to CRM 2.0,” adding that strategy, front office activity and media-driven work are also important for CRM growth. He added that Merkle's clients are increasingly focused on digital integration.

 

“A competitive advantage exists in how a marketer can deploy and shift from mass to targeted media,” he said.

 

Forrester Research predicted earlier this year that companies will embrace mobile and software-as-a-service CRM platforms in 2010, but struggle to integrate customer data.

 

In the past year, Merkle has formed a mobile marketing group and a standalone unit to measure media buying. It also bought loyalty consultancy Metzner Schneider in March.

 

The company has also made a number of key personnel moves in recent months, appointing Mark Weninger its first chief creative officer and naming Craig Dempster CMO this year.

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