2022 is here, and we’re ready to tackle another year in the marketing space. Marketing is one of those industries that never stops moving. But, one thing that’s going to stick around is the emphasis on customer centric practices. That’s where CRM comes in. When executed properly, CRM strategies allow you to interact with customers and potential customers in the most compelling ways possible. Let’s break down the state of CRM and how it can take your brand to the next level in 2022.
What is CRM?
CRM stands for customer relationship management, which refers to the way that a business connects with their audience and manages those interactions. It puts business relationships at the center to help brands grow, streamline processes, and all in all, increase revenue. By assisting with time management, organization, and overall efficiency, good CRM can make all the difference for your brand.
What Challenges are CRM Teams Facing?
CRM teams are not without their obstacles. As the industry continues to shift and trends come and go, here’s where they may find their pain points.
Crafting Multichannel Strategies
Today’s consumers are present on more communication channels than ever before. In fact, 60% of buyers start looking for products using at least one search engine, so multichannel strategy is all the more important. Managing relationships with customers across as many channels as possible is the future of CRM.
Increasing Customer Lifetime Value
Retention is the name of the game. It’s much more cost-effective to keep a customer coming back than to bring in a new one, but with a saturated market, it can be hard to entice consumers into making repeat purchases. So, how do brands keep their current customer base active? Crafting loyalty programs, segmentation strategies, and better targeting methods are all a part of the secret sauce.
The Need for Better Tools
While many of today’s consumers are extremely private about their data, others are using a wider variety of platforms than ever before. This hits CRM teams with huge amounts of data to manage. Once customer data is under control, you’ll need the right tools to use it properly. It may take time to integrate them, but their positive impact is immeasurable.
Working Towards Automation
It’s no secret that automation is quite well-established in CRM strategy (read: email drip campaigns, AI-powered chatbots, and password resets). Yet, some brands are still working with manual processes. Transitioning manual tasks into automated ones usually take a lot of effort in the beginning, but they are absolutely worth the investment of both time and resources. The increase in efficiency and revenue are tough to beat.
What Does Best-in-Class Look Like?
For a best-in-class CRM strategy, brands need to put customers first, across all platforms. Here are four ways to make customer centricity a state of mind.
Establishing a Customer Centric Strategy
Customer centric brands tend to have high customer lifetime value. They do their best to speak to consumers one-to-one, delivering targeted campaigns throughout the customer lifecycle. With communication relevant to each individual, consumers are more likely to continue engaging with your brand.
Implementing a Multichannel Marketing Plan
When we think of CRM, email marketing is often the first thing that comes to mind. But, it’s not wise to put all your eggs in one basket. Mobile apps, SMS campaigns, direct mail, and social media are all viable CRM channels. When used together, you’ll be sure to send consumers the right message, at the right time.
While automation can be a challenge for many businesses, it contributes to the overall strength of CRM. Companies that embrace trigger campaigns for new customers, abandoned carts, and reactivation efforts understand how to efficiently use resources while keeping their consumers close.
Brands who are successful at CRM know how to manage their data. By properly segmenting their databases, they have a clear picture of who their customers are without extensive use of personas. This gives them a straightforward path toward customer centricity.
What are Some Steps to CRM Success?
While CRM success can be a gradual process, there are certain things that can get you there faster. Here are five things to keep in mind when putting your strategy in place.
Go Back to Basics
Like any other marketing campaign, the success of your CRM depends on a few fundamentals. Never underestimate the power of streamlined templates, solid campaign targeting, and automation. Your team should be measuring their results consistently, working on channels aside from email marketing. Plus, transparency matters; reports should be shared with management weekly.
Get Your Organization on Board
In order to properly execute your CRM strategies, you’ll need help from the right people. Certain figures in your organization can play more of a role than you think. The best CRM marketing begins with internal stakeholders who are invested in CRM and know what they’re doing. They’ll be the ones who work to equip your CRM team with the tools and resources they need to report on performance and understand the database. These resources should also come with the autonomy to create, deploy, and report on content quickly.
Test and Analyze to Learn as You Go
A/B testing is one of the best things you can do for any campaign. How are you going to know if something is working to its full potential unless you test it against something else? By implementing a control group for each strategic push, you’ll be able to better measure the positive impact your CRM strategy can have.
Open Your Ears
Sometimes, your customers just want to be heard. And, part of hearing them out is using their feedback to improve the customer experience. Perhaps you set up a customer inbox rather than a “do not reply” email address and check it a few times a week. Your CRM team can also work hand in hand with your community management team to execute the most popular customer requests.
Choose the Right Metrics to Report
Many CRM teams prioritize email KPIs, such as open rates, click rates, and unsubscribes to measure success. Email marketing is a huge part of CRM, but other stats can’t and shouldn’t be overlooked. How much revenue is coming in? What does the average basket size look like? Are customers truly satisfied with the experience they’re getting? These are all important things to look into when focusing on customer centricity.
Where is CRM Headed?
All in all, CRM will remain a vital investment this year and beyond. CRM presents businesses with the unique opportunity to forge relationships with different consumers who all have one thing in common: they’ve purchased from the same place. The presence of this audience allows you to innovate, taking different communication methods and styles for a spin.
That being said, any communication your brand puts out must be relevant to your audience in some day. Customers are smart. If you’re corresponding just to correspond, or if you’re overloading them, they’ll start to tune you out. Keep your communication engaging, pertinent, and appropriately paced.
Looking to have a more successful CRM strategy this year? Familiarize yourself with the state of CRM in your journey toward customer centricity. You’ll be sure to make 2022 the most customer centric year yet!