The Golden Threads: Part 12 (of 12): Information & Technology

This series of blogs explores twelve “golden threads” of critical capability across the CAA® model and considers their application in B2B customer management (CM). All of the threads are important, but your business needs to decide which of these will be defining characteristics of YOUR corporate DNA.

Customer Attuned Model final

The twelfth and final golden thread is Information & Technology:

Information & Technology Trends & Opportunities – Is there a good understanding and regular review of the opportunities that new media and technologies will open up? Is the company over-dependent on the market & customer knowledge ‘in the head’ of key staff, or does it have good ‘corporate knowledge’ in its data & systems?

IT Strategy

Is the IT strategy focused on investment in data quality, insight, account development and customer experience; or is it more about cost cutting? Are you joining up existing & new channels – internally and externally – to provide a single view for users & customers? Is there clear ownership of the customer information plan and is the access to customer data well controlled?

Customer Information & Systems Development Plans

Is there a customer information & quality plan that covers the data requirements of all aspects of the customer, channel & IT strategies, and have customers been engaged and involved in its development? Do CM technology plans join up your existing and developing communications channels?

Data Management & Systems Delivery

Is your Do you CRM system up-to-date and truly enabling staff with workflow management & marketing automation? Are CM systems reliable with high user confidence in the data? Are EDI, shared portal etc. quick and reliable, or still ‘web 1.0’? Are flash points flagged automatically on systems?

Data Quality & Systems Performance

Is your IT enabling or disabling effective CM? Are CM-related systems’ performance & data quality reviewed at board level? Are jointly implemented data exchanges measured in a way that both parties agree on their success or failure? Is CM information quality improving?

How does B2B perform in these five areas?

The chart shows the highest, lowest and mean (benchmark) scores for companies on the Customer Attuned database. It shows that B2B overall is relatively weak in this area despite some exemplar companies. The lowest scores registered reflect that some B2B companies still operate only with product-based systems.

Where would your business score?


A company that has its IT as a defining characteristic of its corporate DNA:

  • Has leading edge technology as core to its proposition
  • Practices what it preaches through the adoption, demonstration and implementation of pioneering information and systems management
  • Very highly values customer data, with everyone passionate about data quality maintenance and improvement
  • Has a CRM system that supports and enables the customer acquisition, retention and key account management strategies
  • Fully aligns its IT strategy with the customer strategy

Get Involved!

We are conducting research in June/July 2015 into which of the 12 Golden Threads are of most strategic importance in your sector.

Participate in our research here!!


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Peter Lavers