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Connected CRM: Implementing a Data-Driven, Customer-Centric Business Strategy by David S. Williams

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Chapter 1 History

There's Never Been a Better Time to Be a Marketer

Thinking back over my 25 years of leading a marketing services organization, I can't remember a better time to be a marketer. How did we get to this place of unprecedented opportunity? Today's leaders have always talked about some form of one-to-one marketing, target marketing, database marketing, direct marketing, customer-centric marketing, or customer relationship marketing (CRM). Whatever you call it, we've always known the importance of using customer data to create and manage lasting relationships. However, execution-wise, much to our chagrin, we were limited in our ability to make it real. We lacked the capabilities to utilize the massive quantity and diversity of available data in order to cultivate individual relationships across disparate customer segments, multiple channels and media, and divergent organizational silos. But now, marketers can achieve mastery over customer engagement and create lasting competitive differentiation for their organizations.

In the past quarter-century, those in the field of marketing have made tremendous progress in using analytics and information to create effective media targeting strategies and maximize media reach and efficiency. The use of data has had a meaningful impact on marketing and, in fact, led to the extension of the entire subindustry of direct marketing. From 1990 to 2010, that industry experienced immense growth, primarily as a result of the highly targetable ...

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