October 02, 2018

On CRM: A New And Simplified CRM For B2C Small Businesses Leverages 200 Million Consumer Records (Forbes) »

According to Toby Scammell, the founder of Womply, most small companies are being left out of the CRM party – a $40 billion party that’s been growing in corporate America at a 16 percent annual clip.

“Small businesses, especially mom-and-pop shops, can’t use traditional CRM systems,” he wrote last week on Medium. “Unlike other businesses, these types of companies don’t know who their customers are and can’t easily collect customer information. Therefore, they can’t use CRM, and they miss out on tremendous benefits as a result.”

The problem, he notes, is that many of the most popular CRM systems are too complicated and collecting data, particularly in a physical store environment, is too difficult for most merchants. He’s right about that. I have clients – particularly retailers – who have tried VIP programs, loyalty clubs, newsletter lists or just a simple “what’s your email address” query at the register with mixed results.

So Womply, a company that already provides reputation management, marketing and business intelligence services and boasts more than 150,000 small business customers, this past week released a CRM product targeted directly at the B2C small business owner. The idea is to provide those businesses with easy access to data on more than 200 million consumers that’s being updated behind the scenes using “millions of data points” according to a company press release.

Scammell says that the company aims to fix a few core problems that these businesses have. “They don’t know who their customers are, beyond a handful of regulars, they struggle to collect and append contact information, transactions, and communications history to customer records and they have difficulty segmenting customers for marketing campaigns,” he writes.

Womply CRM aims to be simple. There’s no installation or setup required. There’s no complex calendaring, opportunity management, forecasting, service tickets or most other features that most other CRMs provide and for which most small businesses never even take advantage.

Instead, when you sign up you get a ready-to-use CRM system complete with 200 million customer records. The system only comes with just three main functions: the ability to create and/or update those already existing records, the ability to append those records with transactional data from the company’s systems as well as from outside sources and then the ability to use that data to send targeted marketing messages.

Yes, it’s a purchase of data but it seems more than that. Instead of a spreadsheet it’s data that’s already housed in an easy-to-use CRM and marketing system and the data is being continuously updated. That’s it.  And you know what? Based on my experience with most of our smaller clients who use maybe 20 percent of their existing CRM systems…that’s probably enough.

I was a former senior manager at KPMG and since 1994 the owner of the Marks Group PC, a 10-person customer relationship management consulting firm based outside Philadelphia. I’ve written six small-business management books, most recently “The Manufacturer’s Book of Lists” and “In God We Trust, Everyone Else Pays Cash: Simple Lessons From Smart Business People.” Besides Forbes, I formerly wrote for The Washington Post and the New York Times and now write regularly for The Guardian, Inc. Magazine, Entrepreneur Magazine and Fox Business. I make no compensation from the number of people who read what I write.

Gene Marks owns The Marks Group, a 10-person technology consulting firm and is also a small business expert, speaker and columnist at other major outlets.

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