Tracking sales promotion campaigns using CRM often leads to creating greater customer loyalty along with increased customer profitability. I worked for a large organization that had a database of 8 million customers. Before CRM we were able to determine that 2 million of those customers purchased repeatedly, and we consistently had 6 million one-time purchasers annually. As we developed a CRM system patters emerged.

Customers using multiple discounts 'game the system' to reduce profitability

Customers using multiple discounts ‘game the system’ to reduce profitability

Prior to CRM, we believed that a multiple purchaser was our best customer. However, we found that many high-frequency customers delivered little or no profit because of their ability to use our own offers and discounts to ‘game the system’, and the one-time purchaser was often highly profitable in comparison. That goes against reason. It may be easier to retain an established customer than to find new ones, but the profit revelation was an interesting twist.

More power to those discount seeking frequent customers, they discovered that we were inadvertently flooding the market with offers through our stovepipe marketing, sales and trade support departments. Using CRM to track customers made the organization step back and look at the overlay of discounts, products and promotions that were having a negative effect on profits and devaluing our brand in the mind of consumers.

Customer Relationships Big and Small

As part of a mega organization’s marketing team I was entranced in using our CRM to segment customers by purchase patterns, developing offers to expand their purchases, using the data to datamine partner lists, and developing new products based on changing needs. All offers and customer interactions were tracked system-wide and we were effectively growing customer loyalty and profitability through a very intricate datamart that was customized to our organizations unique needs.

Then I started my own very small business. As I developed a prospect list and merged with other small business partners, it became increasingly difficult to track prospect communications, special offers that were made when different partners interacted with clients and the typical struggles any growing small business faces. Being a small business we were reluctant to look into a CRM system, but it became evident that we needed to do something different if we were to grow.

We stuck a toe in and used one of the free CRM systems provided by ZOHO. Although the free product was very  basic, it was a great starter product because three partners, in different locations, were able to learn CRM as we used the system to input and track prospects, clients communications, products sold and next steps.

As we grew, we began segmenting customers into categories and delivered communications via email featuring a wide-array of promotional offers as we launched new products. The ZOHO product allowed us to build the features we needed on a step-by-step basis, without breaking the bank.

Customize CRM To Your Specific Needs

Managing  email promotional campaigns, providing eleads to our team and creating the analytics to use in strategy sessions were the benefits of using a CRM for our small business.

As small Business grows CRM analytics enhances strategic planning

As small Business grows CRM analytics enhances strategic planning

In addition to ZOHO other great CRM’s such as Salesforce and Sugar are great for larger organizations with enterprise level systems. CRM allows marketers to identify a specific target population using demographic data, buying history and other factors. In enterprise level organizations customer offers can be tracked in real time and customer service and telemarketing teams can potentially access the data as orders are being placed. If multiple offers are available systems may be set-up to apply the best offer at checkout on your online store to manage promotions and turn customers into raving fans when they always get the best deal available.

Tracking promotions with CRM’s has essentially changed the way organizations are run in the 21st Century. As businesses grow and adapt to changing customer habits, the data and customized services of a CRM system is becoming a necessity for businesses small and large.

 

 

Kevin Danaher

Kevin’s career spans over 30 years where he worked for New York Sales Promotion and Advertising agencies such as Ventura Associates, and BBDO developing promotional campaigns for some of the world’s leading brands including VISA, General Electric, Kraft/General Foods, Fidelity Investments, and Chrysler. Read More