September 30, 2020

CRM: Common Challenges and How We Address Them

At GALE, we talk about CRM as a philosophy, not as a channel. It’s a brand’s dedication to better engage with their customers through a unified data strategy that’s powered by technology. Historically, CRM has been thought of as communication via mail, phone, and email, but it now extends to media and other channels, enabling brands to integrate more data, draw deeper insights, and deliver increasingly complex customer journeys.

Sophia Zhang

Managing Director

We’ve talked before about how CRM can help you manage relationships with current and potential customers. But while the technology has quickly been adopted throughout the marketing industry, there are still core challenges that brands face when trying to understand, connect, and measure customers, such as:

  • Lack of coordination across channels and balancing acquisition vs. retention
  • Understanding the differences in marketing technology platforms and which to adopt
  • Not having a holistic view of the customer, their behavior, and their value
  • Irrelevant communications: from one-offs and mass media reliance, to inundating customers with communications and/or offers

Below are just a few high-level considerations brands should take to address these common challenges with CRM:

Reorient your teams to be audience-led, not channel-led.

It’s one thing for brands to create a customer-centric experience, but another to think about how you can structure your teams and processes to get to that goal. It’s important to organize your internal teams not against channels, but against the customer. Moving away from managers of media, events, and brands to managers that look after acquisition, loyalty, and re-engagement. It’s increasingly important for marketers to view marketing in a channel-less way to help drive quality engagement with customers.

Choose the right customer data platform that works for your business.

Although pure data lake/data warehouses, CRMs, data management platforms (DMP), and customer data platforms (CDP) are often confused and used interchangeably, we’ve seen them evolve to individually serve different purposes. For those companies that own first-party customer data, it’s critical they have a unified and persistent view of customers in one central platform to better understand their behaviors, and be relevant and targetable across channels. GALE helps companies identify the proper martech technologies appropriate for their needs, provides user training as part of the integration process, and layers on enriched data sets as needed.

Implement a first-party data strategy.

As we start shifting into a cookie-less world, it will be vital for brands to own their customers’ data within their environments. GALE helps move brands away from building and using generic audience targets to identifying real audience IDs in our comprehensive consumer database. We seek to find people who sit at the intersection of our clients’ brands and products, and then figure out their needs and behaviors. This allows us to:

  • Tap into custom and targeted audiences to test into new categories/ideas, production innovations, and research and development
  • Build persistent audiences across channels to not only manage investment, frequency, and reach, but also to quantify ROI measurement
  • Accelerate performance and optimization with ongoing audience refinement and enable across brand storytelling

As we mentioned before, once we know who our customers are, we can develop sophisticated workflows that deliver relevant messaging at the optimal times, to the most valuable audiences.