Driving your organization forward along its customer-centric path often places a series of opportunities/ challenges/burdens at your feet. Among these are: defining processes, obtaining organizational consensus, managing organizational change, evaluating and selecting tools and technologies, and building business cases to justify the desired investments. In this column, I would like to focus on the last of these and discuss the typical justifications used to obtain the funding required to purchase various analytic CRM tools, including: databases; extract, transform and load (ETL); data cleansing; business intelligence/reporting; management relationship marketing (MRM); campaign management; analytics/data mining; and real-time tools.

When faced with the challenge of developing a business case for investments in tools and technologies, most people leverage a combination of strategic benefits and quantifiable benefits to accomplish the deed. Strategic benefits are important as they often provide the context for the investment. However, in an increasingly ROI-conscious culture, strategic benefits rarely are sufficient to get most projects approved. This is the role of the quantifiable benefit. That revenue enhancement or cost savings that is most appropriately associated with some investment in tools and technologies is designed to make process more effective and efficient.

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