The future of CRM in 2024 and beyond

5 minutes

On the 7th of March 2024, Director of digital marketing recruitment, Michael Judkins, h...

On the 7th of March 2024, Director of digital marketing recruitment, Michael Judkins, hosted a seminar event for the CRM community.  

A newfound emphasis has been placed on customer retention marketing in recent years. The function has transitioned from a cost-centre to a key revenue driver for several businesses. So, we thought it was the perfect time to look at the future of CRM in 2024 and beyond. 

Michael spoke to three leading marketers in the sector: 

  • Elaine Scott, Retention Director, Subscriptions at The Telegraph, previously Head of Engagement at NOW TV and Customer Communications Controller at Sky
  • John Anderson, Growth Marketing Leader, previously Head of Engagement at Amazon Music and VP of CRM at DAZN 
  • Michael Migliore, Customer Value Consultant, previously Interim Customer Director at Pinter and Chief Marketing Officer at The Modular Analytics Company 

Together, they discussed: 

  • The role CRM plays in the marketing strategy and how to communicate its importance to the board 
  • What best-in-class customer marketing looks like 
  • Trends for 2024 and beyond 

Keep reading for key takeaways from the morning. 


The role of CRM in the marketing strategy 


Customer retention marketing is crucial for understanding how customers interact with your business. While the role of CRM differs from business to business, our speakers agreed that “CRM is the ambassador for the customer and the brand.”  


Adapting language 

When advocating for customer marketing to the wider business, it is key to adapt how you communicate 

“I rarely talk about CRM ever.” 

John Anderson shared that, as a business, it’s important that you understand a common language. So, he will focus on the business goals they're collectively working towardsultimately framing CRM in that context. 

At some businesses, our speakers haven’t used the term ‘CRM’ at all. Instead, they’ve focused on terms, such as 'engagement' and 'readers' for Elaine who works in publishing. 

For John, this makes it easier to communicate the value of CRM solutions. Plus, it prevents any confusion with CRM platforms and tools, which are more widely used across a business’ sales teams.  


What metrics should you measure and communicate to senior leaders? 

CRM Managers often struggle to demonstrate the value of customer marketing to their managers or the wider business. So, Michael asked our panellists which metrics they recommend measuring. 

Ultimately, to show CRM as an engine for growth, marketers need to understand which metrics contribute to the business’ overall goals. John advised attendees not to “get bogged down by just looking at the performance of any given channel.” Instead, you need to be focussing on how your efforts contribute to the long-term customer journey.  

You need to share the power of engaging a customer over not engaging a customer. To do this, Elaine Scott suggested focussing on the effectiveness of CRM tools, rather than campaigns.  


What best-in-class customer marketing looks like 


As discussed previously, CRM can be defined differently in each brand or business. So, we asked our speakers what “best-in-class" looks like in their opinion. 


Effective and efficient  

Michael Migliore noted, “Good CRM is effective and efficient and it's not one or the other. It has to be both.” 

For Michael, it's about answering those simple questions: 

  • Who are we talking to?  
  • What are we going to say and how are we saying it 
  • Why are we doing this?  

That then filters out into a customer lifecycleThe customer lifecycle should be as agile as possible while still being effective, both in terms of cost and time. 



For Elaine, the most important part of effective customer marketing is collaboration between teams.  

The only way that we can effectively support sales processes as marketeers is to really understand what's going on. From product development all the way through to delivery. If teams aren’t aligned on the product roadmap, it’s really difficult to market them to existing customers. 

Bridging those gaps allows Elaine’s team to effectively market their product and services. 


Understanding the customer 

John shares that best-in-class marketing means truly understanding the customer and creating a journey that is right for them.  

Marketing teams need to understand that it's not always necessary to create a lengthy onboarding process. Rather, best-in-class customer marketing is knowing when to interact with your customers. This will allow your customers’ experience to be a much more engaging and rewarding one. 


Trends for 2024 and beyond 


Looking forwards to the future of CRM, Michael asked our panellists about trends and technologies in 2024 and beyond. In this section of the conversation, they explored how the likes of AI and data will impact CRM teams.


The role of data in CRM teams 

Over recent years, data has been a key focus point for CRM recruitment. We have seen more and more organisations hiring for the CRM Analyst job title. Plus, the job descriptions for CRM Manager roles have become far more analytical.  

Our speakers largely agreed that it’s important for CRM Managers to be data literate. It is incredibly difficult to achieve best-in-class marketing without working closely with Data Scientists to measure the right customer information. Failing to do so will result in poor customer journeys. 

Elaine highlighted the importance of integrating your marketing team with the data and insight teams. Many CRM Managers are uncomfortable with data, so it’s important to set reasonable expectations. For Elaine, this means that her marketing team can ask the right questions about data to get the results they’re looking for. They don’t, however, need to analyse the data themselves.  

On the other hand, it's important to recognise that data is often a privilege that small businesses do not have. As a Consultant, Michael highlighted the importance of not letting a lack of data hold you back from testing. 

“You shouldn't be afraid to get something in market if you don't have the right data – otherwise it can be paralyzing.” 


The impact of artificial intelligence 

It's important to recognise the difference between predictive AI and generative AI. Each will impact CRM marketing strategies in different ways. 

At the event, a debate emerged around the impact of generative AI. You can hear Michael’s thoughts below. 


Meanwhile, John argued that there will be a place for artificial intelligence. He predicted significant growth for the tool in the future, especially for supporting more technical tasks such as coding. 

However, John highlighted the importance of maximising your current tech stack before investing in even more tools. Once you have achieved that, you will be better positioned to operationalise AI in your digital marketing teams. 


Changing job titles 

The growth of AI will likely impact digital recruitment and how you will build CRM teams moving forwards. Michael asked our panellists how the CRM Manager or Head of CRM job titles will change over time. 

John highlighted how important the prompt engineering skill will be moving forwards. Understanding how artificial intelligence works and how you can use it to your advantage will be crucial. 

Looking at more senior job titles, Elaine highlighted the importance of operationalising AI and making it work in your team. That capability will be incredibly important for those hiring for Heads of CRM. 


A big thank you to our CRM experts 


Finally, we wanted to extend a big thank you to our speakers for sharing their knowledge with us. The event was a huge success thanks to everybody’s contributions. 

If you missed out on the event but would like to join us at our next one, please register your details below. 


Get in touch for CRM recruitment support 


If you’re looking to build a CRM team for the future, get in touch with our expert digital marketing recruitment consultants. Upload a vacancy and a member of the team will be in touch to discuss your unique needs. 

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