In-Depth: CRM and the seven signs of life

In-Depth: CRM and the seven signs of life

How to breathe life into your Customer Relationship Management strategy

White coats on, stethoscopes at the ready – Carolyn Bondi, Business Development Director at leading CRM & data agency Blueberry Wave, talks us through the basic biology of CRM campaigns and provides her top tips for boosting your strategy.

This year more than ever, the travel and leisure industry’s sales figures need to be busily multiplying. But if you suspect that your customer campaigns could be DOA, it’s time to check your CRM strategy for the Seven Signs of Life.

If you feel your strategy may be falling short, there are plenty of things you can do to administer first aid. Follow our seven-step guide to putting the life back into your CRM campaign:

  • Movement: Is there movement out there? Are you harnessing all your customers, visitors and prospect touch points and correctly via the web, email, DM response, in-store, social media, delivery and operations? Think about every touch point as an opportunity. It’s imperative you gather the right information in the right format. Make sure you seek permission from customers to contact them, and get their postal address – it makes all the other jobs possible. Email only or badly permissioned data can render your customers unreachable, unhygienic or prematurely ageing!

  • Respiration: Is your database breathing? You can only tell if you have a working Single Customer View. Get your individual customers into one place, have one household address, prioritise the household and align everyone’s recorded sales and interactions with you across all your products, brands and channels.

  • Sensitivity: How sensitive are you to your customers and prospects? Do you have a thorough understanding of their needs? If you collected address details it’s now time for some analysis – what do they do (their purchase patterns, buying behavior, channel they use, what they buy) and who are they (lifestyle and demographics)? Build a portrait of your customers that takes everything possible into account, focusing on the areas in your business with the most potential.

  • Growth: Take the time to assess which parts of your strategy to nurture and grow. Put them in the right order, ranking them from best to worst. Build a propensity model on the area of your business that has the biggest potential to grow or requires immediate focus, as you’ll need to be able to target existing customers who have the highest likelihood to re-purchase.

  • Reproduction: This is where it gets exciting – a great contact and communications strategy can really help your customer base multiply! Create a bespoke plan that shows you when to talk to them, by what channel, about what and how to position your message or offer to them. This helps your customers feel understood and valued, and ultimately they will buy more. By making your campaign relevant and timely you will increase your likelihood to get a sale. Your plan should give you a basis to springboard into the future with an improved structure and the ability to measure success and report on it.

  • Output: Implementing your campaigns effectively is very important. One size doesn’t fit all and in 2012 we shouldn’t be just blasting everyone with the same message – that’s so 2002! You’ll be using all this rich information to create the right message in either HTML email format or with a DM pack for your customers, as well as prospect campaigns. To save time and cost, you can get clever with one design but split messaging for different customer segments and prospects, as well as people you just won’t mail this time! Remember – quality, not quantity.

  • Nutrition: Now you need to feed this wonderful stuff back into your database. Jargon alert – ‘closing the feedback loop’. So, take all the responders, non-responders, opens, clicks, buyers, transactions, order values and abandoned baskets, and make sure you capture it on each customer and prospect record. Only when you truly track and record the outcome can you provide the board with a campaign ROI. Putting the outcomes at an individual level back onto your Single Customer View completes the campaign history and enables the analysis of how it went. It provides you with the measurement tools to either fine-tune your campaign or do it all again (only bigger!) and plan for the next one! But have a cup of tea first…

So that’s the basic biology of CRM – there is of course a lot more to it but by just getting these Seven Signs of Life going, you will be in much better shape and will avoid needing a defibrillator on your campaigns!

By Carolyn Bondi of Blueberry Wave

About Carolyn Bondi

Carolyn BondiCarolyn Bondi has worked in the client services and data industry for over 22 years. Prior to Blueberry Wave she ran her own data consultancy, Peppermint Papers, working with many leading agencies and data organisations as well as direct clients. Working across multiple industry sectors she has also held senior roles at data giant Acxiom/Claritas and run business development for leading below-the-line agency Tullo Marshall Warren. She started her data and sales career at Centaur Publishing.

About Blueberry Wave

Blueberry Wave are a leading CRM and data agency firm based in Cirencester. For over ten years they have been helping big brands to use data to change the way they engage with their customers. Last year they were appointed by All Leisure Holidays Group, the largest British-owned cruise ship company, to handle their CRM strategy and communications planning.

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