CRM, customer relationship management, has been around for years and it is no surprise that it is making a come back in the CPG space. That’s because there are more options for consumers and less brand loyalty than ever before. And social media sites have made brands realize how important a direct consumer relationship is, both for the brand and the consumer.
By liking or following your brand, consumers are raising their hands saying, “Yes, I want to have a relationship with you.” Brands now realize that borrowing consumers on a social network like Facebook or Twitter is not enough, and they want more. Hence, the shift brands are making to build their own database of consumers.
I have spoken with several large CPG companies in 2015 that say they are building their database and shifting budgets to focus on growing their CRM. In fact, many of the programs we execute focus heavily on collecting that ever-so-important email address for the brand. We know that an email address is a ticket to giving brands direct access to the consumer.
In typical fashion, the brand will use that email to send messages to keep their brand top of mind. With dollars being shifted and resources being spent building or enhancing CRM systems, marketers need to make sure they are making the most out of it. Marketers have a ticket to more than just a monthly email blast and here are some of the things you can do to get more value out of that database.
1. Don’t forget to ask: you have an endless sea of information and knowledge right at your fingertips. Your database is a panel and an opportunity to learn about your brand and competition. Leverage the consumers who have opted in to ask their opinion and gather insights. It is amazing what you will learn, but you will also build a relationship because your customers want to be heard. Your customers may name your next product, or better yet invent it.
2. Micro-targeting: you need to do something with the information you gather. If you have insights on who is in your database, their lifestyle, interests and shopping habits, leverage this information to deliver more tailored products and offers. Your customers will appreciate that you took the time to ask about them and deliver relevant messaging. If you ask about my interest in organic products, don’t send me the recipe using processed foods. Better targeting gives you better results.
3. Move the customer up the funnel: as the customers in your CRM evolves, be sure your relationship with them does as well. This is your opportunity to turn a researcher into a customer, a customer into an advocate and a lapsed customer into a current customer. If you can create two-way dialogue versus just pushing out email messages, you have an opportunity to understand where the customer is in the funnel. You also have an opportunity to drive loyalty, which drives long-term advocacy for your brand. We know consumer advocacy is the most powerful form of media.
You have built this CRM and have a growing database of the most effective advertising tool in the market, consumers’ word-of-mouth. It now becomes a matter of using this valuable resource you have built to its fullest potential.