Customer Relationships: Marketing’s Core Philosophy
When you mention CRM to a marketer, chances are that you will get many different answers in terms of that it means to them — e-mail channel, customer database or SalesForce-type system.
[CRM] is not just data, technology or an email channel but the culmination of these pieces combining to deliver a broader customer experience that inspires behavioral change and participation, eventually growing into a relationship.
The key part of CRM is the relationship that marketers can develop by using all of the information available to put customers at the center of their marketing activities. In order to make this shift to thinking about CRM more broadly, Mr. Gupta articulates five guiding principles that marketers should embrace:
1. CRM is not a channel:
Marketers can’t think of CRM as only one channel. Instead, they need to use their first-party data to influence their consumer interactions across all channels.
2. CRM is Customer Relationship Management:
“Relationship” is central to CRM, figuratively as well as literally. It’s crucial to use information to create a long-term and valuable relationship.
3. CRM connects to everything:
Customer information is a horizontal integration across all touchpoints to ensure consumer-driven consistency.
4. CRM software is not enough:
Implementing a database or system won’t get you the customer-centric results you need. CRM is about developing a customer first strategy.
5. CRM is all-encompassing:
CRM is more than just one campaign; it should be the overarching marketing strategy.
How CPGs Can Evolve Consumer Relationships by Selling Direct with Digital Commerce
The lack of direct customer data has long been a pain point for large consumer packaged goods (CPG) manufacturers. Digital commerce has thus created an interesting opportunity for CPG companies to start a conversation directly with customers.
As this MarTechAdvisor article from CloudCraze’s Ray Grady states, speed to market, customer feedback, and flexibility are all important for direct-to-consumer digital strategy. That approach could be a huge paradigm shift for most CPG organizations.
At Infinitive, we see the spirit of these dynamics as two things: 1) being great at customer intelligence, and 2) putting agile marketing concepts into practice.
We may be a few years away from a majority of CPG purchases occurring online, but innovative approaches to digital commerce are likely to pay dividends for those CPG companies that are bold enough to pave a path forward.
Focus on the Fundamentals for Marketing Technology Success
Understanding and using technology to drive successful marketing outcomes is a critical competency in today’s digital world. The problem is that with so many providers and so much data, it is hard to do well.
In a recent Forbes interview with Patrick Spenner, Chris Spears, head of marketing technology at ARKE, outlined his thoughts on what companies should focus on to successfully use martec to drive business outcomes. Here are four takeaways from that interview.
Develop a clear working model between Marketing and IT:
An interesting observation is that you don’t need to necessarily have a close collaboration between marketing and IT to successfully deploy marketing technology. Having a collaborative relationship is certainly the ideal state. You can also be successful, however, by having clear silos of responsibility between marketing and IT, with each organization focusing on its own objectives and systems.
The problems arise when there is conflict between organizations around technology and channel ownership, or in how to approach development efforts (agile vs. waterfall).
Get the basics right:
Don’t focus on the newest and most complicated technology if you can’t do the basic things like data integration, data understanding, measurement, content delivery, campaign and audience management well.
These are the building blocks on which advanced technologies are based.
Without that foundation, it will be hard to get an effective return on more complex technology investments.
Never stop learning:
Understand the tools that you are using today, and have a good understanding of how those tools are evolving. Talk with your providers about what is on their roadmap. Talk to your provider’s competitors to see what they are doing. Read articles, attend conferences, and talk to others in martec.
There are many ways to approach this, but be sure to build a culture in which your teams are becoming experts in this field.
Start small and scale quickly:
Focus on generating quick wins, and learning about what works and what doesn’t before making big bets. Don’t just go for the big bang. Instead, start with a smaller project where you can show value before quickly scaling.
Sometimes It’s Quality Over Quantity with Marketing Messages
Today’s marketers have the ability to find and target audiences with increasing precision. This capability, however, has led many marketers to focus too much of their media spend on these top audiences at the risk of alienating these consumers.
Recent research has found that at a certain threshold the impact of the next impression served produces a negative return, as AdAge editor Jack Neff explores in Are Brands Optimizing Their Marketing to Death?
Instead of focusing primarily on targeting, digital marketers and advertisers need to focus as much on marketing efficiency, determining what is the minimum number of impressions you need to get the maximum result.
This approach, coupled with a focus on nurturing a more complete customer journey vs. a simple transaction, helps to reduce message fatigue and wasted impressions.
Focusing your messaging on your best consumer audiences continues to be the best strategy for digital marketers – but it isn’t the only strategy. Just because you know who your best customers or prospects are and where you can find them across the digital ecosystem, doesn’t mean you should pummel them with endless advertising.
P&G’s Facebook Targeting Shift
Speaking of adjusting advertising strategies: P&G recently indicated that it is going to change its Facebook advertising strategy by reducing the amount of targeted Facebook ads it purchases in favor of more broad-based reach and frequency-focused Facebook ads. In reviewing its Facebook strategy, P&G realized that it had been too focused on narrow targeting and instead needed to find more of a balance of reach and precision, reports WSJ.
Many are saying that P&G’s shift away from targeting toward reach and frequency shows the limits of using targeting for big consumer brands and is a harbinger for how these brands will use digital advertising in the future.
Our belief is targeting and personalization isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. Each advertiser needs to find and define the right level of targeting that best meets their business outcomes. P&G is just recalibrating its advertising spend to the right level of personalization, which is something all brands and organizations should be doing on a regular basis.