Another year and another successful Technology for Marketing and Advertising (TFM&A) event here in London. It is the UK's biggest event for marketing professionals and, over the two day event, some 12,000 attendees came along to sample what's new for marketing and related disciplines.The Sage CRM team, in conjunction with Sage UK and 6 UK Business Partners, helped launch Sage CRM 7.2 at the event, showcasing the new mobile and social CRM features in particular.
The show also offered me a chance to meet with Neal Davey of mycustomer.com, speaking not only about the new release but also the focus of Sage's strategy as it relates to Sage CRM. I know Neal went away more informed on Sage's strategic futures and positive about what this means for our SMB customers
Reflecting more generally on the show, a couple of the themes come to mind:
It was as busy a show as ever, with organisers indicating similar traffic to last year, despite continued challenging economic times.
Early indications suggest a "higher seniority" (registrant's job titles) than in previous years.
Both correlate with my impressions from seminar attendances and on-stand conversations. There really does seem to be an increasing emphasis in our customer base on formalising the importance & structure of marketing programs and its accompanying spend.
Interestingly, during my "eMarketing & CRM" seminar, an informal "show of hands" indicated only 40% of attendees having any formal CRM system, with a similar percentage having an eMarketing solution. Less than 5% had CRM and eMarketing integrated together.
This suggests to me that as marketing programs do become more formalised (defined stages within a demand creation process) and under the "measurement microscope" (checkpoints, KPIs, etc.), the need for customer relationship management processes and the accompanying tools to support these processes is absolutely essential.
CRM is not just for one team or just for a period of time --- it's for everyone, every day, in every business. It's part of your business strategy.