It’s hard to visit a website without seeing ads plastered at the side of the page, or to open up emails without seeing product promotion. All of this means that generic marketing has lost its impact and effectiveness; today it’s about delivering highly personalized marketing that is relevant to customers needs.
CRM systems allow you to track all your business relationships and history with customers, which can feed into more personalized marketing and fuel business growth. On average, 43% of employees use a CRM for the main purpose of increasing efficiency and boosting growth. It also allows more unification between platforms, with CRMs connecting up to social media and email accounts. However, many marketers struggle to gain quality data and then tie it to their strategy. Here are some tips to help you get started:
1. Keep your data clean
Your data's potential can only be realized if you're using data best practice to ensure that it's clean, fresh, and rich. There are a few steps you can take to maintain top-quality data:
- Make CRM training a priority: All employees should understand how to use the CRM system and what the data is being used for, so make sure that CRM training is a priority for current employees and new hires.
- Abide by GDPR: Failure to comply with GDPR can carry heavy penalties and reputational damage for your company. Therefore, anyone who has access to data in your company should be trained to understand GDPR and follow the right protocols.
- Encourage data cleansing across teams: All teams that use the CRM system should be responsible for keeping it updated with new data, and you can assign them categories depending on their role. Telemarketers look after phone numbers, finance teams look after financial data, marketing teams (if B2B) look after information on the companies, and so on. Remind your employees regularly of the importance of updating data, and encourage them to put a set amount of time towards it each week.
- Employ a CRM data manager: If your CRM system is becoming too difficult to manage, consider hiring a Data Manager. They should understand which fields are relevant to your business, which data is out of date, which data is missing, and work with other employees to develop processes to ensure it's continually updated.
- Use data validation checkers: You can find data validation checkers online that will check email addresses to see if they are valid, as well as spot mistakes in your data.
2. Segmenting data
Once your data is clean, you need to separate your client list into segments that can aid your marketing and upselling efforts. Examples of segments could be:
- Who are your highest-billing clients/customers?
- Who are your frequent vs. occasional clients/customers?
- Who has dropped out of the sale cycle?
- Who are historical clients (from years ago)?
Once you’ve identified your top-billing clients, you can do some analysis that will contribute towards your marketing strategy. What industries are they in? What product/service do they seek out the most? What did they respond well to, and what is their preferred method of contact?
All of these questions can help when putting together your collateral and making changes to your website. It can also help your sales team to put together customer personas and approach similar prospective clients.
You also need to segment clients who make smaller purchases often. These companies may not have the same large budgets as your top billers, but they are still interested in your offering, making them a segment that should be nurtured.
You can also pinpoint dormant customers. This provides you with another list to target in a different way. How can you attract these clients who have enquired or started the customer journey but dropped off along the way?
Research has found that 80% of customers are more likely to buy from a company that offers a personalized experience, and CRM is one of the top tools for creating personalized interactions.
Customers want to feel they are dealing with a person, not just a business, and your CRM can assist with this, as it allows you to capture lots of rich detailed information on each customer.
Personalization can be as simple as automatically addressing a customer by their name in emails, or sending updates on rewards, promotions, personalized content, points expiration emails, and birthday discounts. Your ability to personalize depends on the data you capture during the sign-up process, as well as data input along the way through conversations between customers and account managers.
Your CRM will allow you to see if a colleague has an established relationship with a customer, what their relationship activity has been, and what their online behaviour and buying trends are. All of this information can help you tailor your emails carefully to each person.
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4. Email marketing
60% of businesses want to increase their spend on e-marketing within the next year, so it’s an important tool to master. Research has found that the average office worker receives a whopping 90 emails a day. Furthermore, the average person has an 8-second attention span when it comes to an email – so engage early and make it count. Email marketing is not a simple one-size-fits-all strategy, but using segmentation and personalization is key.
Emails you should be sending customers include newsletters, special offers, and feedback request emails. These can be automated in advance or triggered by certain actions customers take, such as making a purchase or signing up to a mailing list.
5. Upselling & cross-selling
Having a customer's details right in front of you makes upselling easier. You can see who’s interested in your product/service and who has bought from you in the past, and how many times. These clients/customers are your low hanging fruit, so don’t waste the opportunity to upsell or cross-sell to them.
Your CRM may allow you to track what pages customers have been checking, what type of content they are reading, offers they take advantage of, and content they may have downloaded. This all informs their purchasing mindset and online behaviour and patterns. Certain CRMs also enable you to filter and analyse customer feedback. This makes it easier to see whether customers are looking for an upgrade or feature, which can help you to upsell.
6. Getting feedback
Identify your top customer segment, and customers that you know have had a good experience. These customers can be prompted to leave reviews, or even asked to provide testimonials for your website.
If you want something back from a customer, approach them personally, rather than as an automated message. This would preferably come from the sales consultant who they have worked with, as there is already an established relationship.
Make sure you ask product or service related questions that are informative, not just complementary. What benefits have they seen from using your product, and how much time and money has it saved them in the long run? Have they seen a healthy ROI?
Using data responsibly
If your customers are in the EU, you’ll need to abide by the GDPR, which means you need to clearly explain how and why you collect and store data. If they request for you to delete their data, you’ll need to do it immediately.
Overall, it's clear that using CRM software allows you to collect rich data on your current customers, which can inform your marketing strategy, improve your sales process, and improve your user experience to drive business success. Knowing how to combine the two is a challenge that involves continuous planning and evaluation.
Keeping your data clean and ensuring you meet regulations is crucial, and segmenting this data to provide a personalized marketing experience is going to make all the difference to your brand and revenue in today’s content-saturated world.
About the Author
Ella Patenall is a Content Manager for Tech.co, a global resource for tech news, product reviews and how-to guides. From a simple community-building Tech Cocktail event, Tech.co has transformed into a full-fledged media company with millions of readers around the world. The company's aim is to help readers choose the right tech devices, with simple, easy-to-understand reviews and clear advice guides that make it effortless to pick the right tech.