CRM Unplugged: Releasing CRM's Strategic Value


Praise for CRM Unplugged

"The authors supply countless examples of companies that have successfully implemented CRM, and show us the way to do the same."
–Philip Kotler
author of Marketing Insights from A to Z

"CRM is no silver bullet, but it is a golden opportunity for companies that take the time to integrate CRM tools with their own source of competitive advantage. This book outlines the steps that need to be taken to achieve success. I highly recommend it."
–Al Ries
coauthor of The Origin of Brands

"Turk and Bligh understand that Customer Relationship Management is not a software category; it’s about supporting competitive advantage, enforcing demand-driven business processes, and applying continuous customer information and analytics to create long-term ROI. This no-nonsense guide describes the larger scope and context of CRM beyond sales, marketing, and customer service, and provides real-world examples and methodologies for making sense of the real goals of customer relationship management."
–Laura Preslan
Research Director, AMR Research

"CRM Unplugged is an excellent summary of how to approach a customer strategy within a company. I wish the book had been in print before we embarked on a major technology initiative in 2003. It would have been very useful for our executive team, and some of the mistakes we made could have been prevented."
–Jim McKnight

PHILIP BLIGH is the founder, Chairman, and CEO of the Inforte Corp., a customer strategy and solutions consultancy based in Chicago. His extensive experience in customer change, sales, and marketing strategy has established Inforte as one of the nation’s leading and fastest growing strategic consultancies, with an enviable Wall Street reputation. An author and respected speaker, Bligh has contributed to Harvard Business School Professor Michael Porter’s articles in the Harvard Business Review and serves as a source for numerous media outlets on topics relating to customer strategy and management. In addition, he is an adjunct professor in management at DePaul University’s Kellstadt Graduate School of Business and is also on the Board of Directors for the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

DOUGLAS TURK is Executive Vice President at Inforte Corp. He has conducted many ROI analyses for customer relationship management and e-marketplace systems and is a leading speaker and writer on the topic of CRM profitability. His contributions have helped Inforte remain profitable as a public company for twenty consecutive quarters and garnert he honor of being named one of Forbes Top 200 Small Businesses.




1. A New, More Strategic Approach to CRM.

Industry Leaders Show the Way.

A Clearer Definition of CRM Is Required.

Three Lessons from Leaders.

Key Points.

2. A Review of CRM Failures.

What Went Wrong with CRM.

CRM Contributes to a Scary Halloween for Hershey.

Why CRM Projects Fail.

Key Points.

3. Strategy First: Aligning CRM with Company Strategy.

Using an Analytical Framework for Defining Strategy.

Distinguishing Competitive Advantage from Other Types of Benefits.

How Competitive Advantage Manifests Itself in Operations.

Identify CRM Initiatives That Fortify Competitive Advantage.

Key Points.

4. Customer Intelligence: The Science of Customer Insight.

How Harrah’s Used Customer Insight to Turn the Tables on the Gaming Industry.

Seven Dimensions of Customer Insight.

Define a Scientific Process for Leveraging Customer Insight.

Building Blocks Required to Implement a Customer Insight Infrastructure.

Key Points.

5. Demand Visibility and Response.

Demand Visibility.

Best Practices for Increased Visibility.

Responding to Market Demand.

Best Practices for Demand Responsiveness.

Science of Revenue Management.

Power of Pricing.

Key Points.

6. An Enterprise-Wide Approach to CRM.

What Is Customer Strategy and How Does It Help?

How Customer Strategy Relates to Corporate and Functional Strategy.

Key Components of an Effective Customer Strategy.

Enterprise Marketing Management: How Customer Strategy Integrates with Marketing Strategy.

Key Points.

7. Implementing CRM Successfully.

Implementation Guidelines for Success.

Key Points.

Epilogue: The Future of CRM.

New Marketing Approaches.

Understanding Financial Metrics Related to Customers.

New Management Approaches Based on Predictive Analysis.

Continuous Optimization of Operations.

Leveraging Emerging and Specialized Technologies.

Harnessing the Benefits of Outsourcing.