I have been attending the CRMC(Customer Relationship Management Conference) for years, first when I was at SmartReply and most recently as SoundBite, and it never fails to provide an opportunity to take the pulse of the markets we serve and learn about innovative ways businesses are driving customer engagement and loyalty.
The overwhelming theme I saw this year was one of personalization. Retail marketing and CRM executives are working to understand their customers better, using data and drill-down analysis based on demographic, location and purchase behavior. This targeting is critical and makes for better personalization in marketing campaigns including email, direct mail and mobile. Marketers are modifying outbound email programs based on customer personalization preferences and insight gained from stored preference data. As a result, customer-specific email campaigns differ from person to person, with different triggers, offers and options. One customer may get an offer for sneakers, while another for stilettos. This personalization is driven by an emphasis on engaging loyalty programs, and embodied by delivering the right message at the right time to drive repeat business.
Retailer Express presented very compelling analytics with CRM and loyalty focused presentations at CRMC. Its loyalty program, Express NEXT, rewards members for in-store purchases as well as social media activities (Twitter, Facebook, Instragram), and provides customers with a variety of touch points by which to engage. In less than two months, they saw a significant increase in sales, exclusively from targeted marketing efforts to Express NEXT loyalty program members.
Another success story about how customer knowledge is power came from GameStop, which continues to make great strides with its heralded loyalty program, PowerUP Rewards. The company is implementing a new preference center to elevate the degree of personalization for program participants with the goal of increasing wallet growth and purchase frequency.
For marketers looking to understand the strategies, challenges and best practices to consumer marketing, CRMC delivered, with over 100 retail chains sharing their ideas and successes, many of which served as the test-bed for their new customer engagement strategies. These strategies accomplish a number of important objectives: helping retailers stay forward thinking and aware of customer preferences, encouraging consumer participation, improving the brand’s digital expertise, and finally, helping drive sales and ROI.
By: Joe Dacey