Blog: William McKnight Subscribe to this blog's RSS feed!

William McKnight

Hello and welcome to my blog!

I will periodically be sharing my thoughts and observations on information management here in the blog. I am passionate about the effective creation, management and distribution of information for the benefit of company goals, and I'm thrilled to be a part of my clients' growth plans and connect what the industry provides to those goals. I have played many roles, but the perspective I come from is benefit to the end client. I hope the entries can be of some modest benefit to that goal. Please share your thoughts and input to the topics.

About the author >

William is the president of McKnight Consulting Group, a firm focused on delivering business value and solving business challenges utilizing proven, streamlined approaches in data warehousing, master data management and business intelligence, all with a focus on data quality and scalable architectures. William functions as strategist, information architect and program manager for complex, high-volume, full life-cycle implementations worldwide. William is a Southwest Entrepreneur of the Year finalist, a frequent best-practices judge, has authored hundreds of articles and white papers, and given hundreds of international keynotes and public seminars. His team's implementations from both IT and consultant positions have won Best Practices awards. He is a former IT Vice President of a Fortune company, a former software engineer, and holds an MBA. William is author of the book 90 Days to Success in Consulting. Contact William at

Editor's Note: More articles and resources are available in William's BeyeNETWORK Expert Channel. Be sure to visit today!

Recently in CRM Category

In "Good-Bye Yellow Brick Road: CRM's Fairytale Start Fades Into a Pragmatic Finish", Dick Yee signs the epitaph of the CRM industry with a hard-hitting expose' of the euphoric rise and fall of the industry. I read this as I was contemplating the whole CRM thing and while Dick may take it further than I would, it's hard to argue the points he makes.

I contributed to the movement by naming my DM Review column "The CRM-Ready Data Warehouse", which I changed in Sept. 2003 to "Building Business Intelligence". However, I always kept it about the customer - not the software vendor. One can hardly argue the merits of the goal of CRM - essentially a deeper understanding of the customer - and I have no issue with helping clients achieve customer intimacy, or, at Dick puts it, going deeper into their customer's pockets - for a value exchange.

But, to some of Dick's points, the large, successful CRM engagements I was involved in hardly had to do with the technology. And the teams didn't consist of armies from multi-national, global consultancies either. And, yes, it was hard work.

But the software was difficult with all the bells and whistles. And the payoffs were hardly specifically understood, let alone monitored and realized.

I say these things as if CRM is dead. It isn't dead. True CRM, a focus on the 3 big payoffs, is not dead:

1. Targeted Marketing
2. Marketing Expense Reduction
3. Churn Prevention

The tools and the conferences may have been finally sniffed out, but maybe we should call the more sensible CRM we see today CRM' or CRM Version 2 to differentiate from the mess Dick talks about.

Posted January 22, 2006 2:51 PM
Permalink | No Comments |

CRM just got a new toy. No longer content to return our clothes on boring wire hangers, now according to this press release, "Savvy marketers have discovered an extraordinary new media and marketing capability allowing them to help improve the environment while reaching millions of consumers -- at the exact time and place their brand messages are most relevant and motivating."

That time and place would be when we're half asleep in the morning putting on our clothes. Remove the shirt from the hanger and there you have an idea for breakfast or your cosmetics.

Now, the targeted marketer in me is asking how consumer information can be used to target hanger ads to the right person. I can see the dry cleaner asking lifestyle questions in the near future.

If you have any ideas ideas as to which ads would be effective for this channel or what questions would be effective in the targeting process, please post them here.

Posted October 30, 2005 8:15 PM
Permalink | No Comments |

Customer Specific Pricing (CSP) allows retailers to vary the price they charge their customers for the same products. I find it occurring more and more, especially in the online environment. Business intelligence is the prime enabler of this strategy. Many retail organizations are afraid of publishing the fact they do this, fearful of irritating the customer base. Most customers, even those on the receiving end of better pricing, would instinctively say they are opposed to CSP. It cuts against our grain somehow. But it shouldn’t necessarily. Retail has been doing forms of this for years.

CSP gets back to the retail organization’s business model. As long as discriminatory features are not used in its application, I believe it is the responsibility of each organization to set their focus point, short-term or long-term, and price accordingly by customer.

Know, however, that those customers who are attracted to your pricing deals may not be the most loyal. Which is precisely why some retail organizations have gone “CSP-lite” with variants such as customer specific warranties and shipping charge fees and options. Or, some do CSP with a “couponing” strategy, selectively offering coupons as opposed to handling CSP directly at the checkout. Speaking of coupons, my friend Neal Rapoport is the creator of where internet offers and how to get them are continually posted. Check it out.

This requires sophistication. It requires a data warehouse with years of history data so that customer profiling can be done with real information. I have written about profiling strategies before, based on what I've done with some retail organizations implementing business intelligence. At the time, the use of the profiling was primarily determining whether to invest in a customer in the form of general marketing and customer service. Today, that model includes pricing.

If you have any thoughts about customer specific pricing, from either the “good business” or consumer perspective, please post them here.

Posted September 27, 2005 6:35 PM
Permalink | No Comments |

Search this blog
Categories ›
Archives ›
Recent Entries ›