Being a record company in 2013 must be a bit like being a pig at the North American Bacon Smokers Convention. You may have size, and there is definitely a lot of interest in you, but no one is really going to give you much of a long-term chance. Fortunately, Electric Music Industries (EMI Music) managed to turn the tables on its competition by deploying Neolane, a high powered Customer Relationship Management tool. But what did Neolane do? And is it the best choice for your business?

EMI was in a difficult position. Like many companies, it had failed to join the digital marketing revolution and there is some doubt on whether it even had the ability. The company had a large marketing staff but it was spread across the world, divided into marketing teams that did not talk to each other or understand each other’s responsibilities. The marketing department was simply too disjointed to effect a global brand change, nor was it collecting data that could be analyzed before a change in course.

That all changed with the deployment of Neolane. Like most modern CRMs, Neolane can more or less ‘listen’ to social chatter, taking terabytes of random data, collating it, then dividing it into target segments that can be easily analyzed. What that meant was that EMI could stop sending out unsegmented emails and updates to its two million fans. It could instead start sending out customized information to the 10,000-20,000 fans per segments that generated the most business.

The early report is startling. Email engagement is up 30%. IT costs have plummeted as company webmasters no longer need to worry about 15 different CRM’s and their licensing fees. Younger, cash strapped buyers are being cultivated to become lifelong customers on a regular basis. And of course, sales are up.

But what is not getting covered is that now, the department is organized. Rather than having 15 totally independent departments, EMI has fifteen different branches united through the same software and marketing philosophy. And when the next marketing revolution arrives (and it will arrive), the company will have the data and organization it needs to change.

Is Neolane the right solution for you? It depends on your size and personal strengths.  Neolane is a powerful, but expensive, program designed for large companies with large challenge. And if you have one segment, or operate in one country, you probably don’t need all that power. Fortunately, has a handy slideshow of the most popular and easily deployable CRM’s for you to check out!

What do you think? Do you use one of these CRM’s already? How is your customer relationship platform working for you?