May 6, 2019

Next Generation CRM

by Mikael Fries, VP Sales Excellence

Where does CRM come from?

The history of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is long with roots in the 1980s where early attempts were made to create digital Rolodexes and database marketing solutions. Later in the 1990’s various vendors started building more advanced contacts management solutions that later transformed into salesforce automation solutions by taking many of the database marketing functionalities and combining this with their advanced contacts management.


A CRM is not always a CRM

There are many types of CRM solutions. Naturally with different focus, like sales automation, campaign automation or customer complaints automation just to mention a few types. But sometime a CRM is not always a CRM. Some vendors are creative with their own marketing messaging claiming to have a CRM although the solution is really just a basic email marketing solution making it difficult for organizations to find the right solution. As an organization it is important to understand the differences between different types of CRM and to understand your own need before exploring the market because a CRM is not always a CRM. In this post, I will focus mainly on marketing automation, simply because it is the most commonly used CRM type for the hospitality industry.


Broad landscape

Today in 2019, the CRM landscape is broader and offers more options than ever before. There are cloud based solutions, on-premise based solutions, industry specific solutions and more generic solutions. Despite this diversity of solutions, the industry is still lacking some key functionalities that I think are required to take on the challenges of today.

Most important, a next generation CRM should support highly personalized and relevant marketing campaigns based on the customers intent, behavior and needs.


Can I use a CRM to address operational problems?

Many organizations struggle with finding out the root cause of operational problems and to transform the problem into an action, like for example a marketing campaign to mitigate the situation. An example of this could be that you see an increasing amount of OTA bookings…what can you do to mitigate this?

Often management, operations and marketing are using different tools, making it very difficult for the marketing group to create a campaign addressing a problem the operation team identified, simply because they don’t look at the same data or not in the same way. To simplify and guide the marketing team to understand what campaigns to run in order to address the current need of the organization, a next generation CRM solution must provide an intuitive data driven campaign targeting and execution through a single workflow using the same data and views as the operations team.

In other words, a next generation CRM would need to provide a functionality that combines analytics and campaign management and support both management, operations and marketing through one single solution.


The overwhelmed customer

Today’s customers are overwhelmed. They are bombarded with countless offers and new data or information every day. Although studies show that around 70% of our customers are more likely to purchase something is, they are presented an offer that is personalized towards them and their needs, around 80% of all marketing campaigns have a very low degree of personalization. In order to cut through the marketing buzz, a next generation CRM would need to offer campaign capabilities that provides 1:1 personalization and attribute-based offerings by combining real-time intent and historic customer data.


Guidance is gold

But this is not all, another important part of a next generation solution, would be to provide more guidance. Not just providing data, but offering information, meaning data in a context to the end-user as well as helping your employees and guide them.

A next generation CRM should provide guidance through best practices campaigns that would allow new customers to jump-start their marketing and utilize and benefit from learnings and experience collected around what campaigns to run, what segmentation to use and provide a starting point for the marketing.


Serenata CRM is a next generation sales and marketing automation CRM platform for the hospitality industry and we are looking forward to share with you how Serenata is addressing todays modern challenges and what makes Serenata truly unique in the market and qualifies us as the next generation CRM.


About NextGuest CRM

NextGuest CRM is a worldwide leader in personalized and automated guest communications and CRM solutions for the hospitality industry. Founded in 1996 as Serenata CRM, the company has unparalleled experience in supporting hoteliers to attract new and keep existing guests, while boosting hotel revenues. NextGuest CRM integrates all digital channels, combines historical and real-time intent data, and delivers a 360° view of a guest. It enables hoteliers to optimize guest interaction and experience and act in line with their business figures and trends. The modular NextGuest CRM portfolio ranges from transactional emails to a full-blown CRM suite. NextGuest CRM is a subsidiary of NextGuest, comprised of NextGuest Digital, CRM, Labs, and Consulting. For more information, please visit