I want to pick up on Graham Hill’s comment to a prior post. That is, “technology is an enabler, not a driver of CRM success.” Again, I agree wholeheartedly. I’ve been preaching on this topic for so long it almost feels trite to say. As a former big consulting firm grad, I also love the comment Graham credited to PWC: “OO + NT = EOO (Old Organization + New Technology = Expensive Old Organization)."
This comment made me look back to some of the first reports that I wrote when I joined Forrester back in 2002. Here’s what I had to say then, “Too often, CRM initiatives are technology focused and lack the essential vision, strategy and tactical plan for success.” In early 2003, I published our ideas about how to develop what we called a CRM Value Plan.
My research moved on, but Graham is right. I still talk to far too many firms that allow technology to hijack their business efforts. Technology can be a potent enabler for marketing differentiation, but marketing strategy and business objectives must drive technology decisions, not the reverse. And when new technologies are required to enable marketing strategies, marketing must drive the business process.