Flooding consumers’ inboxes with emails has led to falling open rates. Brands must change their CRM marketing efforts and the way they speak to each consumer. The greatest challenge lies in understanding when they should, what they should, and how they should talk to each customer.

David le Douarin, co-founder and CEO, Advalo

The rise of marketing overpressure practices have proved destructive for both profit margins and brand image and negatively affect the relationship of trust between retailers and customers. It thus has given rise to some consumer dislike for emails and, inevitably has led to email click and open through rates and customer contact ability to plummet.

A few years ago, emails sent by retailers to targeted individuals were opened 30% to 40% of the time. Today for the most successful retailers, open rates hardly reach 15% or 20%. These findings reveal the urgency for retailers to limit mass marketing that is intrusive and is not adapted to the real needs of consumers.

Whether it's the weather or various events in the vicinity, marketing actions must be taken as soon as possible in the current context of the consumer that we want to activate.

Brands must change their CRM marketing efforts and the way they speak to each consumer. The greatest challenge lies in understanding when they should, what they should, and how they should talk to each customer.

Bring performance back with adapted CRM marketing efforts

If one studies retailers who succeed in taking advantage of their CRM data and thus increase traffic and turnover in their stores, we see that they have worked on 3 axes: the volume of contactable customers, the responsiveness of these customers and optimization of conversion rate, whether online or in-store. We can then define CRM impact as the sum of these 3 variables:

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CRM impact = Volume of contactable customers + Reactivation of contacted customers + activated customers conversion

These brands have successfully provided concrete and operational answers to these 3 challenges:

1. Provide an answer to the drop in contact ability

By being able to establish a link between a unique CRM identifier and browsing cookies, brands’ marketing teams are able to find their customers on digital channels in order to open new points of contact with them. They can talk to them wherever they are, where their buying decision is being made.

This will enable marketers to push timely individualized messages to each customer on Facebook, Instagram or Google. Brands can thus contact an average of 4X more individuals than they would have with a simple email campaign, increasing their ability to speak and message reach.

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2. Provide a response to the decline in responsiveness

One way to counter the decline in email response is marketers identifying why they are sending a message whom they want to convey it to. The reasons driving a campaign can be of a different nature but have only one purpose: Encourage the individual to click and go to the website to consider and prepare their purchase.
Indeed, we can take advantage of “hot data” related to real-time consumer navigation: through offline and online data reconciliation, we know who the user is, who is browsing the site, their purchase history, what they are searching for in the exact moment and so a pertinent message with the relevant product recommendations are sent.

On the other hand, we can also take advantage of “cold data” related to the customer’s lifecycle and the history of their relationship with the brand. For example, a new customer, who has just bought a product for the first time offers many communication and exchange opportunities. I can speak about the brand’s history, or give them advice on the use or maintenance of the product they have just bought, among other possibilities.

Based on a detailed analysis of its CRM database, the marketer will be able to identify several audiences (very good customers, occasional customers, churners…), which they will address in a differentiated way, an individualized message, aligned with the profile of each consumer. Finally, we can also identify exogenous drivers related to the consumers’ context and environment. The weather is the simplest example: if I know it will be 40° Celsius in Nice next weekend, it’s time to implement the tank-top collection to customers living in the Nice region…

Whether it’s the weather or various events in the vicinity, marketing actions must be taken as soon as possible in the current context of the consumer that we want to activate in order to introduce a relevant discourse that takes into account the offer proposed to them.

3. An answer to lower conversion rate

The last link in CRM impact, conversion is undoubtedly the most crucial since it carries the final value. Here again, individualized marketing and personalization allow marketers to optimize the conversion rate of their campaigns by offering each of their customers the most relevant offers and products closest to the needs they express. This includes recommending complementary or similar products.

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Product customization takes advantage of all the data available to retailers, who can, through artificial intelligence and models, predict the past or current behavior of the customer, what they are precisely interested in today and what could interest them tomorrow.

In conclusion, in order understand the impact of CRM actions, it is obvious that it is necessary first to better understand the new purchasing paths of customers, have a perfect knowledge of customers through RFM [Recency, Frequency, Monetary Value] segmentation, assessment matrices, and ROPO [Research Online, Purchase Offline]… for example.

These CRM analyses will enrich the relationship with the consumer: We are entering the age of individualized marketing, which is taking its full meaning in the context of both CRM data, the reasons behind messaging, context and environment.

Based in Paris, Advalo provides a predictive marketing platform.

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