by Mikael Fries, VP Sales Excellence
Where does CRM come from?
The history of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is long with roots in the 1980s where early attempts were made to create digital Rolodexes and database marketing solutions. Later in the 1990’s various vendors started building more advanced contacts management solutions that later transformed into salesforce automation solutions by taking many of the database marketing functionalities and combining this with their advanced contacts management.
A CRM is not always a CRM
There are many types of CRM solutions. Naturally with different focus, like sales automation, campaign automation or customer complaints automation just to mention a few types. But sometime a CRM is not always a CRM. Some vendors are creative with their own marketing messaging claiming to have a CRM although the solution is really just a basic email marketing solution making it difficult for organizations to find the right solution. As an organization it is important to understand the differences between different types of CRM and to understand your own need before exploring the market because a CRM is not always a CRM. In this post, I will focus mainly on marketing automation, simply because it is the most commonly used CRM type for the hospitality industry.
Today in 2019, the CRM landscape is broader and offers more options than ever before. There are cloud based solutions, on-premise based solutions, industry specific solutions and more generic solutions. Despite this diversity of solutions, the industry is still lacking some key functionalities that I think are required to take on the challenges of today.
Most important, a next generation CRM should support highly personalized and relevant marketing campaigns based on the customers intent, behavior and needs.
Can I use a CRM to address operational problems?
Many organizations struggle with finding out the root cause of operational problems and to transform the problem into an action, like for example a marketing campaign to mitigate the situation. An example of this could be that you see an increasing amount of OTA bookings…what can you do to mitigate this?
Often management, operations and marketing are using different tools, making it very difficult for the marketing group to create a campaign addressing a problem the operation team identified, simply because they don’t look at the same data or not in the same way. To simplify and guide the marketing team to understand what campaigns to run in order to address the current need of the organization, a next generation CRM solution must provide an intuitive data driven campaign targeting and execution through a single workflow using the same data and views as the operations team.
In other words, a next generation CRM would need to provide a functionality that combines analytics and campaign management and support both management, operations and marketing through one single solution.
The overwhelmed customer
Today’s customers are overwhelmed. They are bombarded with countless offers and new data or information every day. Although studies show that around 70% of our customers are more likely to purchase something is, they are presented an offer that is personalized towards them and their needs, around 80% of all marketing campaigns have a very low degree of personalization. In order to cut through the marketing buzz, a next generation CRM would need to offer campaign capabilities that provides 1:1 personalization and attribute-based offerings by combining real-time intent and historic customer data.
Guidance is gold
But this is not all, another important part of a next generation solution, would be to provide more guidance. Not just providing data, but offering information, meaning data in a context to the end-user as well as helping your employees and guide them.
A next generation CRM should provide guidance through best practices campaigns that would allow new customers to jump-start their marketing and utilize and benefit from learnings and experience collected around what campaigns to run, what segmentation to use and provide a starting point for the marketing.
Serenata CRM is a next generation sales and marketing automation CRM platform for the hospitality industry and we are looking forward to share with you how Serenata is addressing todays modern challenges and what makes Serenata truly unique in the market and qualifies us as the next generation CRM.
Serenata CRM is a worldwide leading provider of guest communication and CRM solutions for the hotel industry. Founded in 1996, Serenata CRM has many years of experience in the hospitality business and is a subsidiary of NextGuest Technologies, which also includes HeBS Digital as a specialist in digital marketing. Through the cooperation of both companies, Serenata CRM offers comprehensive CRM and e-marketing solutions for the hotel industry. A special focus is placed on attracting new guests by integrating all digital channels. With the integration of guest information from Property Management Systems (PMS), Central reservation Systems (CRS), websites and other systems, Serenata CRM Suite offers a 360° guest profile view. With Serenata CRM Suite, guests are contacted by a targeted, dynamic and relevant communication before, during and after their stay with the aim of long-term guest loyalty.