Our CRM Strategy

We could write a book (we're actually working on that) about CRM Strategy.  In essence, the customer always decides.  But rather than make a book here, we provide a simple overview below on how we think about CRM strategy, and refer you to our blog, for an on-going conversation of our own about CRM strategy and related matters. 

Connecting in an age of social media

Today's customers exist in an always-on digital world.  How you connect with your customers is no longer through newsletters and eMail campaigns.  And its definitely no longer about simply publishing a "brochure-ware" web site that attempts to speak at an audience.  Today, it is all about having conversations with your customers, tailored to their individual wants and needs.  And its about engaging them in your business in an unprecedented manner, encouraging their creation of content through comments, reviews, and candid feedback about how you're doing or your products are performing.  For some innovators it even extends to bringing customers into the process of new product creation. 

To do this is easier than ever in this 2nd, heading toward 3rd generation of the Web.  Therefore, understanding the impact of the social web is critical to any retention marketing strategy.  Our wheelhouse is helping you gain that understanding in order to design, develop, and implement a comprehensive plan for “customer-centric retention marketing” in this era of the social web.  Your goal should be to build a galvanizing, loyal, and profitable 1:1 relationship with all of your customers, clients, or constituents -- however you think of them.  Our objective to guide you to demonstrative results in making that happen.

Understanding your customer

As you might suspect, it starts with knowing your customer.  Talk of customer relationship management (CRM) today often glosses over the point that a "customer" has different meaning to different types of businesses.  One strategy does not fit all customer definitions.  What a business requires for retntion marketing where their "customer" is a channel (distributor, retailer, etc.) is very different from a business whose customer is the ultimate consumer or end-user of their product or service.  We often refer to the latter as a direct-to-consumer business ("DTC" or "B2C").  The former is a business-to-business situation ("B2B").  What's more, the "management" of a customer relationship requires different techniques and tools in a sales cycle, compared to a retention marketing process.

Therefore, it is imperative for us to understand your business and your objectives for a CRM strategy.  How you acquire the information necessary to understand your customer will depend on your business model.  Several issues will play-in: the nature of your business; the sales-cycle; purchase-cycle; switching-costs for your customers; mechanics of your direct business (if you have such), etc.  Once we get your business and your customer, then we can help you with the foundation of a sound CRM strategy: your conversation model.

Conversing smartly

The objective is on-going conversation that moves your customer relationship from prospect to advocate along all touch points in that life cycle.  We offer our SMARTalk strategy to create and sustain conversations that are Succinct, Meaningful, Actionable, Relevant, and Timely... "smart."  We maintain close partnerships with key solution providers in digital direct communications, from eMail service providers to loyalty program managers.  Yet, even if you are a smart communicator, smart communications require information about your customer, and acquiring, maintaining, and applying that "customer IQ" in this digital age requires trust of your brand in that regard.

Ensuring privacy and security leads to trust

The consummate customer relationship is built on trust: something difficult to earn and easy to lose.  Online interactions are now a standard of our social engagement.  And yet this has become a fertile ground for the increasingly clever cyber criminal.  Any CRM strategy must carefully consider how to build, establish, and maintain trust in all conversations, touch points, and data transactions.  We offer considerable expertise in data privacy and security, from crafting meaningful privacy policies and practices to security-centric customer data acquisition design.  We also maintain a strategic partnership with TRUSTe, the globally recognized guarantor of your data privacy practices.