Deployed at it’s best, CRM is approached from a customer-centric point of view, seeking first to understand their wants, needs, and desires, and then aligning those to the intended business outcomes. These insights should be used to inform every component of a CRM program, focusing on creating meaningful utility for the consumer as they interact with each brand touchpoint.
At AMMUNITIONagency, CRM powers nearly every campaign we deploy and is used to monitor both the online and offline behaviors of the end-user. That data is then used to inform future messaging based on each person’s unique place in the overall customer journey. Out of the gate, this may seem daunting and make no mistake, architecting an effective CRM program can be complex and tedious. To that end, let’s align first on how to lay the right foundation.
CRM is a tactic that has a role to play just like any other marketing tool, whether that happens to be display advertising, video, websites, or even collateral. To determine how best to use CRM we first need to answer some key questions:
- What’s the measurable business objective at hand?
- How do we think we best get our target to convert on that objective?
- What’s the path from the initial point of brand awareness through to that conversion?
- What’s the overall communication strategy that we will use to communicate our brand to this customer?
- What does this customer think/feel/do today? What do we want them to think/feel/do tomorrow?
Once the basics are understood, we can better determine how CRM fits into the overall marketing mix — and how it will best be deployed. And by “how” I mean how does the consumer enter the CRM program, to begin with? How do we nurture the customer through this vehicle? What’s the end goal — a meeting with sales, an app download, a purchase? Also, how does this integrate with Sales Operations, and who is tracking these interactions from start to finish?
In the home building industry, CRM plays an effective role for the brand, by helping to filter out “hot” leads that can be transferred to sales for closure from “warm” or “cold” leads that need to be nurtured with content about your brand’s offering and how it can help the builder. Additionally, CRM can help augment the awareness-building activities, like print + digital + social media, trade shows, events, and conferences. In each scenario, you’re generating leads for your organization, yet you need a way to prioritize those leads to ensure Sales is focusing on the high-value opportunities while allowing for CRM to nurture the rest until they’ve reached “high value” status as well. It’s important to note that in in the home building industry, we’re not selling beer and bubblegum that can be purchased on an impulse; we’re pushing major transactions, with numerous influencers, and a protracted buying cycle that can range from 6–24 months. CRM allows us to automate components of this, and manage those long-term opportunities effectively.
We recently worked to help a major home appliance manufacturer bring these principles to life. Since our brand was new to this particular market, our challenge was to generate leads for sales by introducing the brand to the home building industry. We knew that builders:
- Thought of our brand as a major brand, but not in the market that we competed in
- Felt that we were a brand that appealed to millennial and tech-savvy consumers
- Still quoted and purchased legacy brands they were already familiar with
How did we start to break this behavior? By developing a campaign that spoke to how our brand would bring new consumers (millennials and tech-savvy consumers) to the marketplace. We then began to deploy this messaging to the marketplace. First via more-traditional means (website, events, print), given we knew the path to purchase in the building industry is still very “old-school”, where builders want to meet you and “press the flesh”. However, we also began to test our approach on CRM. We took our campaign and created digital advertising, videos, and supporting email drip campaigns that spoke to different facets of our offering — if the end-user wanted to know more about our warranties, product line, or technology integration, they received more content about the things that were of greatest interest to them, and less about the topics they didn’t care as much about.
As the campaign has been live we’ve exceeded industry benchmarks from CTRs, Conversions, and Closure rates, while also gaining valuable data that informs our perspective of how our target thinks, and how best to optimize and tailor future messaging to them in a way that resonates best and drives them to action. In doing so we’re not only meeting the tangible business objectives of the brand, but we’re doing so in a way that provides meaningful value to the user.