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André Lejeune, CEO Selligent: CRM is increasingly marketing-oriented

Andre Lejeune – CEO Selligent
Andre Lejeune – CEO Selligent

Pan-European Conversion Marketing and Interactive CRM software vendor Selligent (disclaimer: I worked for the company as a consultant a few years) is actively marketing its revamped marketing suite.

I interviewed CEO André Lejeune concerning the company’s strategy and the market developments surrounding marketing automation and CRM.

I started by asking Lejeune what he thinks about the “hot topic” of the moment in marketing, social media, and how it’s connected with email marketing and CRM from a customer-centric perspective.

André Lejeune: “Social media marketing has so far mainly been used for branding. Integration into cross-channel interactive marketing however, offers interesting possibilities, and is becoming increasingly important. The integrations that I have so far encountered between CRM or marketing solutions and social networks are still not strong enough. At Selligent, we are intensifying this integration further and also leverage social media in our own cross-channel and customer-centric marketing strategy.”

The reason?

André Lejeune: “We believe in an integrated marketing strategy in which marketing automation, email marketing, social media and CRM are linked together and reinforce each other.The customer is at centre stage in this context. Our clients’ customers and prospects are increasingly online in both B2B and B2C, and are increasingly deciding the channels that they themselves want to use to contact other companies/ their supplier.”

For Lejeune, cross-channel marketing is central in this context.

CRM, B2C marketing automation and cross-channel functionalities

Selligent was initially known mainly as a CRM vendor, but the company has just launched a new website that clearly gives all the other elements of its marketing suite (email, marketing automation, etc.) a more prominent role in today’s Selligent Solution portfolio.

André Lejeune: “CRM is increasingly becoming more marketing-oriented and that is also why we are developing our strategy in that direction.

A first step in that direction was our acquisition of Optizen last year”. (note: Optizen developed the Messagent platform, a life cycle and event-triggered based email marketing and marketing automation suite).

André Lejeune comments on that acquisition: “Optizen matched our corporate vision perfectly and integrated well with our existing CRM products, and we have integrated both solutions and have therefore, extended our support for digital channels with cross-channel functionalities.”

He continues: “But Optizen also offered a marketing suite that could be sold as an independent unit, and therefore, we position this suite at the forefront of our new offering and we have revamped a number of complementary modules like Lead management that help our clients build the 360° view as a first step. This can further be supported by an extended CRM suite, Selligent CRM suite or those of other vendors”.

So Selligent won’t become a composite suite for CRM and marketing automation?

André Lejeune: “Yes and no; many organisations are working with other CRM solutions, and do not need to switch over in all cases.

We have therefore, also integrated the marketing suite with Microsoft Dynamics CRM, for example. Obviously, we would like to see organisations also use Selligent’s CRM solution, but that is not necessary.”

What is the main focus of Selligent?

André Lejeune: “It will largely be on our interactive marketing suite (that offers social media integration). We will be introducing it more actively into the European market directly or via partners. We see the greatest need and opportunities there. Earlier, marketing meant pushing. Thanks to the advent of digital channels, however, that is now history. To generate more business and improve your retention, you simply have to measure the return on investment (ROI). The advent of digital channels has made that possible. Selligent can facilitate this.”