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Six Steps to Presidential CRM Success
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By Mark Kolier

Our new president demonstrated throughout his campaign, as well as during his first few weeks in office, that he is extremely conscious of the power of CRM. He may have a few more “customers’ than you or me, but his style of communicating with his constituency via Whitehouse blogs, YouTube videos and twitter is one that bears consideration. In fact, he has laid the foundation for good Customer Relationship Management. In reviewing President Obama’s inauguration speech I noted at least six examples where he exhibits his mastery of CRM. Let’s take a look at these Six Steps to Presidential CRM Success:

  1. Acknowledge the Situation. The beginning of his speech outlined the sacrifices all Americans have had to undertake and that we have remained ‘faithful to the ideals of our forebears, and true to our founding documents’. Marketers challenged with today’s economic uncertainty should not hesitate to acknowledge that customers are doing more with less and how their products and services can help them better manage the downturn.
  2. Use Customer Testimonials. The President also noted at length the history of our nation’s challenges, ‘Time and again these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life’. While actual testimonial quotes were not a part of the President’s speech noting what successes have occurred is an important part in practicing good CRM. Testimonials remain a powerful way to drive home value.
  3. Use Specific Language. ‘We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age.’ Being specific about what you are going to deliver is a key aspect of good CRM. Too often marketing is not simple enough for people to understand.
  4. List deliverables and guarantees. Politicians are not in the habit of offering guarantees and President is no different. ‘We'll work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat and roll back the specter of a warming planet.’ While that is no guarantee it does clearly outline the mission. ‘And for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that, "Our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken. You cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you." ’ Strong and to the point. Best practice stuff.
  5. Don’t Back Down. ‘We will not apologize for our way of life nor will we waiver in its defense.’ I really liked this statement as it really resonates with how most Americans/customers feel.
  6. Demonstrate your commitment. Show how your company will contribute to making the world a better place. More and more often companies discuss their commitment to environmental initiatives and practicing good corporate citizenry. ‘To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds’. Who would argue this point?

Regardless of your political affiliation or skepticism about political promises, connecting with your customers is in fact the basis for good CRM. President Obama knows this and has generated a tremendous amount of goodwill that will hopefully serve his administration well during the early stages of his presidency.

About CGSM
CGSM is a privately held direct-marketing agency specializing in the marketing strategy, creative design and production of on-line and off-line direct marketing campaigns. Its media neutral approach and production skills combined with a focus on improved targeting make it possible for CGSM to offer a unique approach to customer acquisition and retention. For more information please visit www.cgsm.com

Mark Kolier is the President and Founder of CGSM.
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