There is undoubtedly a magic combination of ingredients in an eCRM strategy. A delightful trio.
1. Data – which is the fuel for your strategy
2. Digital channels/tools – such as social media, content marketing and very importantly, email
3. Marketing automation software – that enables you to capture big data, analyse and report, manage eCRM programmes and automate almost everything.
But of course they would amount to very little if you didn’t apply the brainpower and bandwidth to the task as well. To keep it simple, I’ve talked about the “Critical 10” reasons why it’s worth applying the thinking, data, digital tools and marketing automation software to your acquisition and customer retention strategy in 2013 and beyond.
1. Do 1-2-1 Communication
With an eCRM approach you can get straight into the inbox of your prospects and customers. Whilst email has come under some flack – because of misuse and overuse by companies – when it is done well, it is undoubtedly one of the most impactful and measureable forms of digital marketing there is. And, according to Econsultancy, email has consistently been the top or second top digital channel for ROI since 2008 with 70% of companies ranking it as “excellent” or “good”, pipped today only by SEO with 79%. It leaves other channels behind – such as PPC (58%), offline direct marketing (36%) and online display advertising (28%).
2. Be cost effective
It has never been cheaper to capture data and use that data to distribute your message through email marketing. Off the scale when you compare it with direct mail. In fact, potentially it’s the affordability of it that has led to its overuse which when combined with under thinking, damages the medium.
3. Drive relevance
By harnessing the customer and prospect data and using that in your communications you can heavily personalise, segment and deliver highly relevant and dynamic content to you audience.
4. Engage and nurture – and mean it!
With marketing automation you can score prospects based on their level of engagement with you and follow their interactions. This means that you have the wonderful opportunity to nurture them along their customer journey with relevant and timely information.
5. Measure. Attribute. Report. Track.
The mind boggles with potential here. At your fingertips you can now measure the impact of all your digital channels on the role that they play in the conversion pathway for your prospects and customers. You can credit the right channels for the role they played and calculate an ROI for specific activities including social media and content.
6. Handle your big data better
We can’t under-estimate the power in software tools today and what that means to our ability to gather and make sense of vast amounts of behavioural data and act on it.
7. Test the living daylights out of your e-communications
It has never been more worthwhile integrating an on-going testing programme within your eCRM strategy. You can test the effectiveness of every element of your activity – from email subject headers to individual CTAs within a landing zone – and more importantly do something different as a result.
8. Think timely in everything
Today you have a choice of options, all powered by marketing automation. You can be “reactive” to your prospect’s behaviour ensuring they get a targeted message; “proactive” by anticipating what they will want next based on what they just did. And of course you can be “automatic” setting up triggered campaigns across every element of your eCRM programme.
9. Understand we are always-on
How many of us read business emails on a Sunday morning with a cup of tea and a copy of The Sunday Times whilst we are still in bed! And if we decided to interact with one of those emails – an eCRM programme is ready to respond 24/7.
10. Fit with our multi-channel lives
As consumers we now happily mesh our media, consuming more than is linearly possible. So whether it’s Facebook, Linkedin, twitter, email – we dip in and out, “snacking” on the relevant bits when it suits us without so much as a second thought.
And beyond the ‘e” of eCRM – don’t forget the human element. With an eCRM programme in place we are basically getting our prospects and customers “marketing qualified” so that often a person can pick up the next stage of the relationship management – fully armed with all the intel and insight of what that prospect has seen, done and engaged with.
target360 combines the power of CRM and marketing automation in one centralised solution – supercharging marketing activities and providing more, better qualified leads to sales. Visit our website for the full story on Marketing Automation
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