CVM People | Customer Value Management - Beginning with the Snail Trail

Blog: CVM – Beginning with the snail trail


Clearly customers aren’t snails, but if you are new to this area bear with me.

I’ve spent all my career amongst multi-billion pound turnover brands in Consumer Services. For this sector, customer data and communication channels combined into Customer Value Management (CVM) can make a massive contribution to the P&L. It’s by no means the only sector where CVM is relevant, but it has certainly been a great schooling.

Every single time a customer interacts with any channel, they are leaving a trail

I’m sure almost everything in an organisations value chain could be shoe-horned into many definitions of CVM / Customer Value Management. For me, the essence is using data and technology to personalise – both commercial and customer – decisions and strategies, to a level that increasingly approaches the individual customer.

I say data and technology, because these two things combined have rapidly advanced what I sometimes call the snail trail. You know – that trail that a snail can’t help but leave behind when it does something. It’s not the only source of data, but brands have realised that every single time a customer interacts with them in any channel, they are leaving a trail – telling you something about themselves – whether brands choose to capture and use this information or not.

Technology then has driven this agenda fast. Digital interactions have created more of that type of data; data capabilities have made it easier and cheaper to store; analytics tools have made it easier to understand – and campaign tools have made it easier to act on. Hence the explosion of interest in the CVM opportunity.

Following the trail takes more than just a tool

Realising the opportunities that CVM provides isn’t easy though, because suddenly you can need a varied specialist (but cohesive) team that bridges the kind of skill sets that you might have historically thought of as the techy end of IT to (almost) the fluffiest end of marketing. A team that delivers a robust and integrated data & campaign management capability, analytics and MI to enable commercially savvy decision makers, translated into beautifully executed, personalised customer journeys.

And leadership that grasps the whole shooting match end to end.

How do you do all that successfully? Of course, it doesn’t start with data and technology at all – but with the right people. Leave us your views in the comments or get in touch with us at or call on 01256 638 080.

CVM People are Customer Value Management practitioners who specialise in the most important CVM asset of all – people. If you are building your capability in this area, or just need some advice, feel free to drop us a line.