Best In Show: How The Top Brands Run Their CRM

For all the talk of the advances of CRM, few B2C companies are truly customer centric.  

In fact, only 17% are best-in-class, according to 2121 The State of CRM, a global study by tinyclues. But everyone should follow their example. 

Best-in-class marketers are defined by the following attributes: 

  • Building a customer-centric strategy 
  • Executing a multichannel marketing plan
  • Automation
  • Data 

But brands face these hurdles to pursuing a customer-centric strategy. Of all those polled, they list these challenges: 

  • Clear advice on strategy — 47.1% 
  • Advice on how to best measure CRM performance — 38.8%
  • Easier access to customer data — 37.6%
  • Better tools to operate — 35.3% 

The need for technology is hard to fathom, given the tools available.  

“The martech industry is booming,” the study notes. “Certainly lack of financial resources has a part to play here, but it could be that the engagement and investment from the top management on CRM topics are also missing.” 



Meanwhile, 82% list customer retention as their main strategic goal.

Email KPIs are the biggest measure of success, utilized by 94% of all companies. These metric include opens, clicks, unsubscribes and CTOR. 

Next is revenue, cited by 89%. Further down the list are customer KPIs — satisfaction, long-term retention and reactivation. These metrics are relied on by 52%. 

Best in class firms tend to have larger email databases. For instance, 33.3% have more than 10 million email addresses. And 60% have between 1 million and 10 million, and 6.7% from 500,000  to 1 million. 

In contrast, 15.5% of all respondents have more than 10 million email names. 

In addition, 45.6% have from 1 million to 10 million, 15.5% from 500,000 to 1 million, 17.8% between 100,000 and 500,000, and 5.5% less than 100,000. 

Best-in-class firms are also more active — 40% send more than 10 mail campaigns per week.  

“This, in fact, is a cause of their necessity to be more customer centric,” the study notes. “The intensity of their planning forced them into targeting emails to avoid over contacting their full database.”

True customer-centric firms are also more agile — 40% can create an email campaign in less than two days, from decision to sending, versus 31% in general. 

That may be because they also have the largest marketing departments — more than 50 people for 66.6% of best-in-class organizations. 

Among all respondents, 42.2% have between 10 and 50 people, and 26.7% have between five and 10. 

What does it take to validate a CRM campaign?

Of the best-in-class respondents, 40% have a process that requires validation by three to five people. 

To track campaigns, 79.8% use different sources, from ESPs to analytics. But that percentage falls to 73.2% among the best-in-class. Overall, only 16.9% use a performance reporting agency, and 3.4% have a consolidated BI tool.

Finally, here are a few other stats:  

  • 57% track socio-demo information on customers
  • 87% do regular A/B testing
  • 53% pursue control-group measurement

Of the marketers polled, 77% are located in Europe. 



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