Here’s an interesting post I read on the CRM Today site. It’s written by Rick Enrico, Founder, President & CEO, Juice Media Worldwide, LLC.
One of the hottest trends in e-Commerce and retail marketing is the adaptation of Web 2.0 applications like blogs, wikis, video, RSS, widgets and podcasting into the marketing and customer relationship management process. Catching on quickly among enterprises of various sizes and scopes, some simply call this smart e-commerce while others have begun applying a label to it- CRM 2.0.
Building upon the classic customer relationship management platforms and processes, many of these world-leading businesses are actively merging together best of breed Web 2.0 technologies, partnerships and alliances. Their mission is to engage and involve their customer in order to create a truly collaborative customer experience that makes the customer feel as though they are an essential element in the entire business relationship.
By creating this central customer centric ecosystem where the customers reside within core of multiple business units and connection points, businesses can communicate to the customer in the manner that they the customer, want to be marketed. Not only does this alleviate a lot of marketing waste, the customer is happy to not receive spam, get another unwanted voicemail or toss yet another direct mail piece into the recycle bin.
These businesses are implementing a new way to do business â€“ a direction away from customers just being the targets of the business ecosystem and towards a paradigm that engages the customer and makes them part of the marketing process.
To make this transition towards a customer centric marketing ecosystem work, and to be informed of their customerâ€™s wants and preferences, requires a centralized customer profile platform that can retrieve information from multiple data points, update the info in real time, and also leverage appropriate customer interaction and Web 2.0 applications.
These new CRM systems must power customized, meaningful, and automated communications that benefit the customer on a superior and personal level.
What is CRM 2.0?
CRM 2.0 describes an interactive exchange that businesses and customers can â€œengage intoâ€, that matches customer needs, requirements and expectations with the business that can best fulfill them. More than just a one-time action, this matching relationship could be extended over time, even years, and be a multi-phase, multi-channel interaction for more involved purchasing relationships.
The next generation of e-commerce has to be a unique customer experience that will enable companies and their customers to function as a community, creating new solutions and using existing ones in close collaboration. The free flow of information will allow the community to identify the respective needs immediately and seamlessly deliver the right solutions.
The organizing foundation of CRM 2.0 is to build high value relationships via applications and services that promote this ongoing dialogue, both online and offline. These principles create personal relationships that drive advocacy and continuous communication improvement as customers start to take ownership of the relationship. Corporations also achieve continuous improvement by embracing collaboration between all members of its customer ecosystem. The result of doing so is an improvement in the quality of product and service delivery, an upgrade of the customer experience and new classification within the enterpriseâ€™s value proposition. The experience and insights of one customer, partner, or employee benefits the common experience of all.
Recognizing the importance of making the sales and marketing process an interactive conversation, smart companies worldwide are leveraging User groups, social networks, message boards, blogs and video sharing. They are engaging the customer via personal pages, RSS, social filters and making it on-demand through mobile web, mobile applications, SMS, podcasting, streaming video and so forth.
Today, companies are taking the first steps towards incorporating Web 2.0 applications into their marketing and CRM processes. For example at 2nd Wind Exercise out of Minneapolis, a company with over 100 retail outlets, they successfully increased their Web traffic by 200% and the number of first-time visitors who returned to the site by over 10 times. They were able to develop and implement a combination of creative emails, blogs, and online videos targeted to the individual interests of each specific visitor.
In addition, 2nd Wind integrated their sales team, management, and POS databases. Now, when a customer visits 2nd Windâ€™s website, they are prompted to sign up for the VIP Club in hundreds of strategic locations across their website. Based on zip code, this new prospectâ€™s information is distributed to the nearest 2nd Wind store enabling local 2nd Wind sales managers the capability to easily follow-up. In addition, once a purchase is made, the customer automatically receives monthly follow up emails with valuable information on how to use the specific product or products that they purchased.
Other companies are also learning how to better integrate their database with marketing. Sun Country Airlines was able to improve their customersâ€™ flight experience just by getting a deeper understanding of its customersâ€™ behavior- what they responded to and what they wanted. Sun Country monitored how prospects and customers interacted with their website, emails, PPC campaigns and landing pages as well as several offline advertising channels. They were able to track specifically which elements of their marketing campaigns were driving the revenue. By combining these analytics with their flight and reservation information, purchase history (both direct and channel) and Affinity Program, Sun Country established a series of highly effective â€œsuper campaignsâ€ throughout multiple marketing channels. The results? An increase in overall customer satisfaction and return customers.
The social network yFly.com is also using CRM 2.0 to improve their interactions with their customers and track user interactions. YFly is an entertainment-based social network that leverages the value of individuals connecting to celebrities, friends connecting to friends — and, for that matter, friends to friends of friends. All the text, images, videos, music, quizzes, and, surveys that its subscribers choose to display allow them to go beyond relating with their immediate circle and join together with distant others who share similar interests and expressions. By knowing what their customers are interested in, yFly.com can better target communications and advertising. Although subscribers are — and forever will be — the most important part of any social network, new innovations in the industry are demanding more from the social network business model. YFly is using CRM 2.0 to shift their measure of success from one that is solely based on the number of connections to gathering qualitative data on what their members really want out of a social network and where their interests lie.
As you can see, businesses of all sizes and types are recognizing the value of this new marketing and customer interaction paradigm. By understanding how to craft the collaborative customer experience and better engage the customer, next generation businesses will be able to increase profits while improving their marketing team efficiency and customer satisfaction.
Marketing to customers in the manner that they prefer is a win-win for all.