A Customer Relationship Management database, or CRM system, is a tool that businesses use in order to manage the relationship between customers and an enterprise. Based on the various uses and activities of different CRM systems, business professionals can use operational, analytical, collaborative or point-of-sales software to manage data. At its core, CRM software exists to keep data from different sources organized, such as contact information, purchase history, customer insight, demographics and personal preferences to name a few.
The majority of marketers use CRM databases to house personal information, business inquiries from customers and sales or purchases made by a respective customer. Yet, the vast pools of information on current and prospective customers can be activated in advertising campaigns to maximize reach to the highest value prospects, eliminate wasted impressions and reach audiences across various channels.
Below, we summarize how your existing troves of CRM data can be used to segment and target audiences for improved marketing initiatives.
Activating Your CRM for Online Advertising Campaigns
In order to get the most out of a marketing campaign, we recommend considering all of the information your company has on a customer. Once this is aggregated, marketers can then configure their CRM systems to overlay with digital advertising platforms, such as Google AdWords or Facebook, in order to identify which data gets fed through each platform for better targeting opportunities, improved response rates and conversion rates and better ROI. According to Forrester Research, targeted marketing messages that get delivered to segmented customers receive 200 percent more email reads that standard targeting. Consider the following methods to activate your company’s CRM database:
Lookalike Audiences and Custom Audience Targeting
Facebook, for example, allows marketers to create a Custom Audience from a list made up of existing customers. This audience can then be targeted with ads across Facebook, Instagram and Audience Network. Essentially, marketers can upload or import their hashed customer list onto Facebook, and then Facebook strategically matches people from the list to users on Facebook.
Furthermore, lookalike modeling can identify audiences that go beyond just basic demographic data, like age and gender. Marketers can expand their target audience to account for people who act like their best customers, including important data points such as, mobile/location data, online search and behavioral data. These small segments can be intuitively scaled to build larger, more relevant audiences for multi-channel marketing campaigns. Whether it’s offline CRM or online behavioral data, marketers can use their own data to create a ‘seed’ audience segment. Then, marketers can work with data providers or DMP’s data to enrich this segment with added attributes. These lookalike audiences can then be onboarded across all marketing channels, including display, social media, video, mobile and wherever else your brand engages with audiences.
The introduction of data management platforms (DMPs) and CRM systems have increased customer data collection, so much so, that 90% of global data has been collected within the last two years alone. This growth of data has facilitated programmatic remarketing, allowing marketers to execute advanced, targeted online campaigns based on data collected on their customers.
Social media channels and CRM systems aggregate large sources of valuable user data. Once CRM data is segmented in a strategic, meaningful way, this information can be uploaded to both Facebook and Twitter (each platform allows for email lists to be directly uploaded). Since user activity is based on their email address, social media channels can overlay CRM data to match the best possible candidate to receive a certain ad.
Retargeting and Managed Execution
CRM software offers real-time visibility into the status of each target population segment. A CRM system can strategically let marketers know when it’s time to initiate a follow-up email, assist marketing teams in maintaining a consistent outreach schedule and help with targeted direct advertising efforts.
With CRM retargeting, marketers can reach customers with online display advertising by using offline customer database information. Unlike traditional retargeting, CRM retargeting channels offline customer data in order to reach users online. This practice helps bridge offline and online marketing initiatives for more successful and effective customer communications. A marketer’s customer database is most likely full of dormant customers who might not have recently engaged with their brand, and these individuals might subsequently fall off the radar.
CRM retargeting is a proven technique to re-engage dormant audience segments to once again make them active customers, or at least encourage them to get back to the customer trajectory.
Activate Your Customer Data Across All Channels
Based on the user data procured from multiple sources, including email, mobile push or purchases on your website, you can securely target prospects and lookalike audiences across offline, online and mobile channels at scale.
CRM Databases Can Automate Certain Sales and Marketing Functions and Tactics
CRM does more than just keep a business’s contact list organized. Depending on the CRM system, businesses can leverage a variety of tools to help bolster sales and marketing efforts, including:
- Lead Generation: Discover new customers automatically by aggregating leads from various source outlets, such as social media channels, website visitors, inbound calls or newsletter subscribers.
- Prospect Nurturing: Nurture prospects throughout the entire sales pipeline, from lead generation to closing a sale. A business can automatically contact or respond to leads with preset emails that are relevant to where each prospect is along the funnel.
- Email Marketing: A CRM can automatically build email lists, launch email marketing campaigns and measure performance. For example, a business can send an email to a lead reminding them of their abandoned cart in order to re-engage the customer.
- Loyalty: A satisfied customer is not to be confused with a loyal customer. A satisfied customer is generally more passive than a loyal one, and can easily be persuaded to another company or brand with incentives. Contrary, a loyal customer might be more vocal about recommending your brand’s product or service. Essentially, loyal customers are an ancillary sales force for your brand. Marketers can use their CRM systems to maintain consistent conversation with customers or clients to reinforce their positive sentiments towards their brand.
- Reactivation: Winning customers is only half of the battle. A CRM database can offer insight into data, such as a customer’s activity rate, purchase behavior and channel preferences. This can then be interpreted to target dormant customers with targeted messaging to drive interactions.
Furthermore, a CRM can automate the processes for sales quotes and invoicing, order tracking, sales forecasting, performance tracking and competitor tracking.
CRM systems have brought together online and offline marketing strategies for businesses to enhance communication within their target audience. With this type of improved targeting, a business’s message reaches the most relevant audience based on customer identify, rather than just behavior or preference.