To set the context, I recently pitched for an sCRM approach to a large UK/US brand with an established heritage. Building upon a great article by Olivier BlanchardÂ I set a broad and comprehensive sCRM strategy to the potential client.
Now the problem was assuming that the client agreed on the definition of sCRM. To paraphrase Esteban Kolsky (via Olivier Blanchard) sCRM is defined as:
… a philosophy and a business strategy, supported by a system and a technology, designed to improve human interaction in a business environment.
It quickly became apparent that agencies and businesses alike all have different ideas as to what sCRM means to them. In the case of the potential client, they had a very fixed view of sCRM. After initially questioning them it became clear as to what the actual problem was. Reversing the trend of declining email open rates.
So I set about providing a top line summary of what I believe to be an approach to implementing a sCRM strategy but with the client’s focus on email at its core. Here is that edited response.
The challenge for any email campaign is connecting with an apathetic audience bombarded by messaging. Knowing your audience and connecting with them has been a marketing mantra in recent times.
This summary aims to provide a clear rationale for a strategic sCRM approach with email at its core. Moreover this outline will suggest how this will be achieved when partnering with Agency X.
You (the Client) know your audience and how they are currently segmented. The approach of Agency X is to map those segments to the online space. By taking into account the multiple touch-points and interactions your customers engage in online (email, banner ads, social media) a 360-degree picture can be built up.
The insight that this fully rounded perspective brings to an email campaign is the ability to serve up content at the right time to the right people. As a result there is a shift from the broadcast messaging model to a more personalised and engaging experience.
But any successful sCRM strategy must be aligned to a clear set of business goals with agreed KPIâ€™s and measures.
The recommended way Client X should measure performance is to tie it to the underlying business objectives. Whether itâ€™s acquisition, retention, conversion, or win back, each goal should be measured in the right way. Agency X will partner with Client X to define the appropriate metrics behind each goal and set up a test plan to benchmark success. The results of those metrics will be tailored into a summary dashboard to be sent to Client X on a recurring basis.
For example, conversion rates will inevitably be a key part of what success looks like in an email campaign. The best way to measure conversion is by conducting analysis of the mix, type, and frequency of emails a customer has received over time. But the key differential is that Agency X approach is to apply it within the broader context of other channels. Only then can you begin to see the efficacy of a targeted email campaign.
Presently, Client Xâ€™s email can only reach as far as the inboxes that your subscriber list allows. Those inboxes hold the promise of opening to many more impressions. By facilitating the social sharing of emails, Client X can tap into the rich potential of their subscriberâ€™s social network.
Traditional measures of email performance cover the classic metrics like: delivery, open, click, and conversion. The impact of email can reach beyond the inbox. When expanding reach to social channels, you open a whole new world of performance measurement. In social networks, you can track things like key influencers, sentiment around your brand or campaign, and your extended overall reach. When combining these new social insights with your email campaign metrics, you will get a new perspective on which campaigns and offers are really converting, as well as which content is most important to your influencers.
Knowing your audiences propensity to purchase is an important part of the solution. Collaborating with Agency X we can help build that understanding of the key touch points, from a position of somebody having no awareness right the way to loyal customer.
But itâ€™s when you factor in level of engagement that the strategic model comes alive.
Itâ€™s by knowing and plotting the engagement touch points, and attributing a value to each activity can you begin to apply a scoring model for each audience segment identified.
Once these axes are combined and activities plotted can you make tactical decisions on moving users from bottom left to a more engaged top right.
So there you have it. The lesson learned was firstly not to assume definitions are mutually agreed upon, rather I used the meeting to make sure I fully understood the brand’s problem.
Secondly the real eye opener was seeing the client have that eureka moment when setting the scene of what sCRM means (in my eyes).
Thoughts and opinions welcomed on what is a tricky and ambiguous term.