CRM, GDPR and ABM (Account Based Marketing) – IGNORE, REPLACE OR RESCUE?

Some market observers state that up to 60% of CRM CUSTOMER database projects and 70% of GDPR projects may have been implemented poorly. Human or system failings? Can these projects be rescued?

Why should you make the effort? Well, many directors and marketing teams are now struggling with the combination of constrained customer communications and simultaneous regulatory risks. Finance directors see inefficiencies, and marketing directors get a poor return on system investments – long after the software vendors have sold their solutions. IT resources can remain too stretched just managing operations to tackle these issues alone.

  • Is it odd that so many management teams fail to plan well – or do people still operate in departmental silos and fail to integrate their needs with other colleagues, hence only seeing limited and/or narrow benefits? 

Nobody wants to be left with under-populated systems, islands of unused data, and blockages to incorporating new exciting open data sets about your customer profiles, markets and demographics, and supply chains.

Worse still, nobody wants to see sales teams revert to inefficient means and old ways of generating leads, where some individuals hold on to hidden personalised spreadsheets where information is NOT shared. Unless there is a legitimate interest under GDPR, using old data sets may also fall foul of regulations. This is not a healthy culture and yet these characteristics can be found across many hard-driven sales teams where each member is striving to meet their own KPI targets. 

Without proper coordination and targeting, nor will any amount of LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or other social media mechanisms help convert ‘likes’ into meaningful business.  And any talk of moves to ABM, or Account Based Marketing, where profiles, preferences and behaviours can be tracked will just not happen. 

  • Does it matter? – of course it does. Every leader wants more business or for a Charity, improved fund raising. Managers want happier customers, staff, volunteers and beneficiaries. No Finance Director is happy to see IT spending money on poorly implemented CRM systems that give no or little payback, or worse think that buying a new CRM system before they have given the existing one a proper chance is logical. And if new GDPR controls are not adhered to under Privacy by Design, with good Data Subject Access planned for, trouble will be looming. 

Problems like this start right under your feet – so reflecting with honesty and admitting you failed to plan or implement well should give a message that the time has come to make a change in approach – top down, side to side, and bottom up. 

Plan well. Optimise operations. Have courage. Face your mistakes. Get teams working together.

  • It is advisable to run cross functional group workshops to bring teams back together and highlight the root causes of failure, so you can rescue CRM or GDPR projects. 

Wouldn’t most finance directors prefer to see their teams try again to make past systems investments work better?

It is well known that adopting new systems can take a long time to implement and be costly, whilst the existing ones, properly implemented, could yet succeed. Don’t give up too soon.

Peter McCann

Charities – merge, collaborate, survive

People joining hands in front of a jigsaw piece being added to a picture
Essential to join forces and survive

Charities – Merger Acquisition and/or Collaboration for Survival?

A major issue emerging for some Charities in 2019 is the sudden collapse in revenues, despite previous operational successes and great community outcomes. 

A second one is the maturing and implementation of GDPR data controls as everyone becomes even more aware of recent data breaches and fines. Communications of sensitive information, about care plans and beneficiaries, from staff and volunteers to marketing agencies, the NHS and Social Services are often fraught with dangers.  

Revenue collapse? A continuing squeeze on local authority and CCG funding, combined with previously ‘friendly’ grant bodies being swamped with requests, and turning down applications, can create unexpected cash flow shortfalls. Changing gear to try to tap into Private Sector businesses for support is sensible but not an overnight cure. The nationals often have made prior inroads. 

Data and GDPR controls? Initial attempts initiated for the June 2018 threshold need freshly analysed and with staff changeovers, controls must be checked. 

Market sizing and optimal structures? With over 160,000 Charities active, and most with revenues of less than £500,00 and employees less than 20, is there therefore a need for some to merge and join forces, and in the process reduce overheads whilst presenting a more sustainable image? 

Founders and CEOs will have had great pride in their ‘independent’ journeys, and it will be a humbling yet courageous step to lower the white flag and accept that a merger and collaboration may be inevitable. 

But practical problems lie ahead. 

  1. who takes control? 
  2. what is the new service delivery model going to be? 
  3. how do new processes actually flow?
  4. what balance sheet assets remain and can reserved funds be pooled 
  5. how can sensitive data on different systems be merged and rationalised? 
  6. can locality differences be resolved – and most of all 
  7. how can teams be managed so that services to beneficiaries are maintained for their protection during any merger or acquisition.

Managing and optimising People, Processes, Technology and Information is never an easy task. 

There is need to integrate the leadership and resources, to accelerate financial payback and get implementation benefits faster. Meanwhile of course, protecting those you look after.

The problem? – two cultures, teams, sets of processes and systems, and two sets of data on staff, volunteers, contracting bodies, grant bodies and beneficiaries – but just one set of rules on GDPR and compliance to be followed. 

Pressure will grow from grant bodies, contracting agencies and trustees, to get it done and present a new operation as being sustainable – so what we at DataWise Intelligence do is to help you and your accountants and solicitors (who will be laying out the financial and legal hurdles to be overcome) map out the practical steps needed to be taken on integrating teams, systems, data and of course marketing and communications planning, and fund raising.

With many years’ experience as managers and some of us as trustees, we have spent several man years designing our new Optimiser4 service. This integration methodology model will help any Charity CEOs and Trustees address the key issues in a holistic, integrated yet pragmatic way. Furthermore, our legal and GDPR team can map out what can and cannot be done with any information you currently hold or use. 

Mergers and acquisitions are great on paper but do need to be well planned and followed through carefully. An initial set of interviews with a Chair and CEO can let us provide you with an Action Blueprint laying out scope and possible priorities – all provided for a low fixed cost. 

One place, one common understanding, one set of creative ideas provided at a low and fair initial cost set to reflect the austerity environment.

See us at 

GDPR and Charities – Opportunity or Constraint?

General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) – is it all bad news?

Peter McCann CEO of DataWise Intelligence  says “Not so. Charities with a more positive approach to compliance can seize an opportunity to outperform commercial businesses in the important area of data protection”. 

Many charities have made a good start towards GDPR compliance, but is there more to be had from a positive approach rather than changing our procedures around data protection simply out of fear? See my article published within The Boiling Frog Blog by clicking here

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