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14.11: The bigger picture

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  • Managing customer relationships should be built into every marketing tactic and activity you perform, especially if your organisation has adopted CRM as an ongoing strategy to drive customer retention.

    Successful email marketing is built on two very basic customer needs: privacy and permission. The very first step in using email to communicate with a customer is gaining their permission. Data mining and segmenting customer databases allows email marketing to be tailored and personalised. Email is often the primary point of contact for service-related messages.

    Online advertising is a double-edged sword when it comes to CRM. It can be a very effective acquisition tool for new customers, but intrusive advertising can attract attention for all the wrong reasons. Effective online advertising speaks to customers’ needs and presents solutions to them, attracting attention without being overly intrusive. The key is to be relevant and useful wherever possible.

    Search engine optimisation and search advertising start with customer intent. Existing customer data can indicate where to focus search engine marketing efforts, especially when it comes to analysing how well a website caters to the intent indicated by a customer’s search term. Social media marketing is based on customer needs and preferences. It is also a powerful tool for turning delighted customers (who are expressive online) into advocates for an organisation. Social media creates new communication channels for an organisation, enabling discussions and customer service to take place where the customer feels most comfortable.

    Effective web development and design starts with understanding and catering for customer needs, and should focus on the experience of the web user. Designing for customers first and foremost gives web visitors a seamless experience. CRM data can tell you what your customers need, and web experiences can support the customer journey. Web designers and developers can also create sophisticated customer service portals to manage CRM, such as the Nike+ support page:

    Through all of the digital marketing tactics, effective analytics is the most useful CRM tool. It allows each channel to be measured on its merits, and the customers acquired by each channel can be analysed.

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