It's been 10 years since David Myron first came to CRM Magazine as a senior editor. A decade is a lifetime in technology terms – and even more in publishing terms – and it gives Myron perspective on how far CRM has come.
"If I had to boil it down to a concise, big-picture answer, I'd suggest that the biggest evolution in our industry has been in how customer strategists view and use customer data," says Myron, the editorial director at CRM Magazine and Speech Technology. "When I started at CRM magazine, a lot of customer strategists relied heavily on demographic data to acquire customers and make business decisions. This information alone doesn't do much for customer retention efforts, though, which is why we were still writing a lot of stories that explained the benefits of CRM systems and how they can provide valuable behavioral data. But, while combining demographic and behavioral data gave companies a tremendous opportunity to increase profitability and improve relationships with their customers across sales, marketing, and customer service departments, there was still something missing—attitudinal data."
Attitude is important because it helps predict future behavior by gauging sentiment toward the company or its products and services, Myron says. That accounts for the recent interest in measuring customer sentiment on social media sites, the first major step toward social CRM.
"I'm interested in seeing how social CRM plays out. CRM vendors need to get this piece of the puzzle right, because it has the potential to provide extremely useful attitudinal data," he says. "When combined with demographic and behavioral data, attitudinal data will complete the customer data trifecta and give customer strategists a much better understanding of their customers."
The other emerging technology Myron's keeping an eye on is mobile CRM. "Customers are rapidly becoming more dependent on their wireless devices. As a result, we are shifting to an always-on, instant-gratification society, which is forcing companies to change the way they interact with customers in significant ways."
Staying on top of these trends is how Myron keeps his customers abreast of the topics they need to succeed in their jobs as managers and administrators of CRM operations in businesses around the world. But becoming a CRM thought leader wasn't a deliberate part of Myron's career path.
"I wish I could say that I had some sort of master plan that landed me into the CRM market," he says. "My first experience covering the CRM industry was in 2001, while on staff at PC Magazine's start-up publication The IT Insider Series. Later that year I had an opportunity to focus exclusively on the CRM industry by joining CRM magazine's editorial staff."
Myron was a senior editor until 2004, when he left to cover Generation X buying and behavioral trends at American Demographics magazine. He returned to CRM in January 2005 as editor-in-chief. Prior to that he covered small business issues for VARBusiness, then became the founding editor of Small Business Solutions Provider, a monthly supplement to Small Business Computing magazine, and the founding online editor of the Small Business Computing and Home Office Computing Web sites.
A decade of CRM journalism can alter your view of the interactions you have as a customer – "And I don't believe it's a bad thing," says Myron. "It can be frustrating, at times, to know that companies can do a better job at CRM but don't. When this happens it makes me question their commitment to satisfying customers."
About David Myron
David is responsible for the direction and day-to-day operations of CRM magazine and Speech Technology magazine. David started at CRM magazine in October 2001 as a senior editor covering customer service and the contact center industry. After a stint in 2004 at American Demographics magazine, he returned to CRM in January 2005 as editor-in-chief. In August 2006, after Information Today Inc. acquired Speech Technology magazine, David became the editorial director of both publications. David's articles have appeared in magazines from leading media publishers, including CMP Media, Forbes, Freedom Communications, Primedia, and Ziff Davis. David's work has been cited in various business strategy books, including Best Face Forward: Why Companies Must Improve Their Service Interfaces with Customers (Harvard Business School Press), Return On Customer: Creating Maximum Value From Your Scarcest Resource (Doubleday), and What Women Really Want: How American Women Are Quietly Erasing Political, Racial, Class, and Religious Lines to Change the Way We Live (Simon & Schuster). David is also quoted in a variety of newspapers, including The Arizona Republic, The Chicago Tribune, and Newsday.
Customers are rapidly becoming more dependent on their wireless devices. As a result, we are shifting to an always-on, instant-gratification society, which is forcing companies to change the way they interact with customers in significant ways."