MarTech Advisor Asks IM Group's CRM Director How to Choose the Right Customer Data Platform

IM-GroupHoward Ormesher, CRM Director at IM Group was interviewed in July 2018 to get his advice and tips on how to select the right Customer Data Platform vendor. In it he covers the importance of gathering requirements and obtaining buy-in across the business from the outset. We thought Howard's advice was so good we just had to share it here on our blog!

Read the full MarTech Advisor interview here or carry on to get our reactions to the article.

As the UK importer of Subaru cars, IM Group coordinates the marketing activities of over 60 dealerships around the UK.

Owing to the complexities that came with their customer data being held in disparate silos, IM Group turned to BlueVenn for a Customer Data Platform (CDP) that would give them the ability to create a Single Customer View and coordinate national marketing campaigns using the customer data that normally resides with the franchised dealerships.

The BlueVenn CDP and Single Customer View has enabled IM Group to complete fully automated multi-channel marketing campaigns based on unified, de-duplicated data, leading to a dramatic rise in test drives, sales resulting from test drives, and measurable improvements to customer engagement.

Subaru_test_drive Download the IM Group Case Study

IM Group’s CRM Director, Howard Ormesher, was asked a range of questions by MarTech Advisor who started by focusing on the key milestones in the initial deployment journey. Howard responded that first and foremost, you need to have everyone on board:

Make sure that you involve and engage as wide a cross-section of the company as possible. For those that feel the project is irrelevant to them, find examples or cases that help them connect.

Organizations also need to perform a systems and data audit:

It is important to align the business objectives with the data audit. Focus on sources that meet your objectives. If some are outside your organization, but critical to success, bring them within scope.

MarTech Advisor also asked Howard what he thinks can make a CDP deployment fail in the initial stages. He explained that a range of factors can lead to failure of deployment, such as:

  • Failing to get buy-in from your organization
  • Failing to define the objectives properly
  • Changes in the technology stack

Identifying the right Customer Data Platform vendor

Howard also drilled down into who the key people are when it comes to implementing a CDP. These essential individuals are:

  • The Project Sponsor on the client side
  • The Project Manager at the CDP vendor

As Ormesher emphasizes:

The project manager is quite simply the most crucial individual. The right balance of calm control, carrot and stick, and temperament is priceless in my opinion.

When asked his thoughts on how organizations should select vendors, Howard replied that you must ask questions of the vendors you are talking to in order to determine whether they are the right fit for you.

Does the vendor have people that know what they are talking about? A lot of sales people can appear convincing, but do they give a balanced weighted response? Play back and confirm any critical claims they make.

Howard further discussed how those talking to a CDP vendor should also make a point of meeting their developers, implementers and account managers, and ask them the same questions and compare their responses for consistency.

Organizations considering a CDP must also consider the level of experience the vendor and team have of running similar projects to yours, so it’s a good idea to ask for case studies and references inside and outside of your sector!


martechadvisorThis interview is available in full on the MarTech Advisor website and is part of a series of articles by MarTech Advisor related to Customer Data Platforms. Read the full interview here.


BlueVenn CDP for Subaru

Download the IM Group Case Study

Find out how IM Group has driven up Test Drives by 320% and Sales from Test Drives by 160% with a strategic marketing approach for Subaru that is enabled by the BlueVenn Customer Data Platform and Multi-Channel Marketing Hub.

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