Direct marketing company Harte-Hanks surveyed 464 North American companies involved in manufacturing, wholesale/retail, services, finance/insurance/real estate, and transportation/utilities and found that many (44 percent) don't use pure return on investment (ROI) to evaluate their customer relationship management (CRM) systems. Instead, they commonly con-sider some customer-centric metrics that contribute to the venture's overall success.
The survey identifies IT departments and managers as the main decision makers in CRM implementation-52 percent say IT manages their CRM development and main-tenance budgets-although senior managers are gaining in budget responsibility among companies planning CRM initiatives within the next 12 months. Nearly 80 percent report that they treat CRM development and imple-mentation as a corporate initiative and not as a depart-ment-specific project.
According to the report, the main requirement of a CRM system is to offer users a "clean and complete profile of clients and prospects." Sixty-eight percent say they want to see the connections between specific marketing programs and revenue streams from specific clients. Only 19 percent report the need for a client's product-purchase history, a finding that might have been very different if pharma companies had been singled out for the research.