Three resolutions to cut out those CRM sins in 2019

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New Year's resolutions

With so much data at our fingertips and a growing arsenal of technology available to us to take advantage of that data, why are CRM managers still committing the same mistakes? It’s time to take a new approach and rid ourselves of some long-standing CRM sins.

Cut out those lazy habits

GDPR consumed the life of CRM managers for the latter part of 2017 and early 2018 and, in the afterlife of one of the biggest changes to data privacy law for decades, it has become more important than ever to realise that those lazy tactics that marketers, unwittingly or otherwise, tend to fall into simply don’t work. We need to spend more of our time thinking smarter.

The introduction and aftermath of GDPR should have put a much greater emphasis on the relationship that marketers have with their audiences, and how marketers can use this information to deliver communications that are much more tailored to their audiences, can deliver the value that those audiences are looking for, address their pain points and connect in a way that furthers that relationship. The answers to this lie within your engagement data, and yet it is this very stage that many marketers are still neglecting.

If a contact, lead or prospect has been sent marketing emails on a regular basis but hasn’t engaged with any of them, really think carefully about what you are sending them – if you should be sending anything at all. Emails that don’t achieve any engagement offer you very little usable data that can help you understand that contacts wants and needs. Your insights are coming from the leads that are engaging, browsing your website, clicking on your emails and engaging with your social posts.

Look for those positive engagements to really understand how you are engaging and connecting with your audiences, and the types of content that you can deploy to further that relationship. You should be asking yourself the questions, what are they engaging with? Do we have other, relevant content that we can nurture them with? (And If not, I’d say that’s your first step in creating a robust, smarter content plan, don’t you?).

Your leads can tell you a lot just by their behaviour and engagement with your various channels, so come out of that marketing ivory tower and stop lazily thinking that you know best, because I can guarantee you don’t.

An end to blanket marketing communications

Brands often get it wrong when it comes to segmentation and targeting, resulting in them sending blanket communications to audiences for whom the content just isn’t relevant. Not only is it a poor user experience, but it is next to worthless from a CRM perspective.

Some of this is rooted in the growth of automation, which has created something of a ‘plug and play’ culture from marketers who haven’t really thought about how to use the technology to really personalise their messages and make them more relevant to their various audience segments.

A high-quality marketing automation campaign should have targeting at its core, and it’s the targeting and personalisation that drives real tangible results.

Think about how your automation workflows can respond to contact behaviour to deploy the right content. Use A/B testing to understand which variations and formats most resonate with different segments and individual contacts to deliver better conversion rates, and cater for that growing demand for more personalised, relevant marketing communications.

Stay one step ahead of the audience

If you’ve read anything about the future of CRM, you will have invariably come across concepts such as marketing automation, machine learning and AI.

Although much of this technology is still somewhat in its infancy, predictive lead scoring is one area that, while more prominent and available in most eCRM platforms, is woefully under-utilised.

Predictive lead scoring essentially provides an insight-led prediction of how likely a lead is to convert, and is formulated based upon the lead’s behaviour and engagement levels across your multiple channels (website, email, social), ranked by yourself as to what touchpoint receives a higher scoring (service pages, blog posts with a particular problem area etc).

The growth of machine learning allows your CRM software to analyse all the behavioural and conversion data to develop a scoring system for each individual user behaviour, leaving you with high scoring engaged leads.

Lead scoring not only allows you to categorise your leads from HOT to COLD, it also provides great focus for your sales team on who to get calling. Using the insight from across your CRM datapoints, it essentially helps you to tie the various pieces of intelligence from the various touchpoints together, and stay one step ahead of the audiences that you are trying to convert.

Hopefully for many brands, 2019 will be the year to take the various and often disparate data points that they have and use automation to really join these together into an effective CRM strategy that delivers and nurtures leads throughout the customer journey.

Jasmine Kendal, CRM manager, Stickyeyes

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