Companies need to take a “quantum leap” from analysing data within their traditional CRM systems to using social media ‘big data’ to better determine their sales pipelines, according to Professor Janek Ratnatunga is the CEO of the Institute of Certified Management Accountants, Australia.
Professor Ratnatunga notes that while many companies use CRM systems to track every interaction they have with a business or individual, and manage their accounts, he believes many companies are not using all the data at their disposal to its full advantage – including data on social networks.
CRM systems are organised to classify potential customers as ‘leads’, ‘prospects’ and ‘customers’, and to expose them to regular marketing messages.
But Professor Ratnatunga says that in most companies these messages aren’t targeted to individual needs, which reduces the perceived value the client sees in the product or service and leads to messages being ignored.
He believes the solution lies in analysing ‘big data’ within the public space, such as website wiki-pages, blogs and social media, as these social networks allow customers to have ‘global conversations’ about a company by expressing their opinions and expectations about a product or service to a wide circle.
Companies can analyse this data to better tailor marketing messages to each client, provide a higher level of customer experience, and if necessary manage company reputation when negative feedback is circulated.
Professor Ratnatunga says “CRM systems, combined with big data, brings a promise of big transformations that can affect organisation in delivering CRM strategies: such as accurate and up-to-date profiling of target customers; predicting customer reactions toward marketing messages on product and service offerings; and, creating personalised messages that create emotional attachment to the product or service offering.”
“Adopting social networks into a company’s CRM and developing a Social CRM has become a ‘must’ strategy for any organisation today to understand their customers better,” says Professor Ratnatunga.