Customer relationship management (CRM) provides business returns based on its ability to generate more customers, retain current customers and increase the value of customers. CRM represents the most viable model for business improvement.

Without impacting the marketing budget, a consumer goods production company increased the number of its marketing programs a hundredfold. The result of this added "complexity" was a profit increase of 200 percent. The addition of a CRM-ready data warehouse and the analytical tools and business processes that go with it allowed for more focused marketing execution. To attain results like this, marketing programs must include a strong customer understanding and orientation. An element of the customer that is often neglected due to the somewhat complex nature of its calculation is customer profitability or customer lifetime value (CLV). This becomes one of the most highly used customer attributes for marketing programs. CLV, if carefully calculated with widespread organizational buy-in, becomes the first metric to turn to for all customer planning and touches.

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