Once upon a time, there were a select group of people, custodians of industry statistics and in-depth knowledge about particular products and services. These chosen few, in their mighty business suits, used their knowledge to convince customers regarding the necessity and usage of a product.
These custodians were called Sales Executives!
Businesses depended on them to enlighten potential customers; customers depended on them for sacred data.
And, one day it changed!
The World Wide Web happened!
With the advent of internet, data became more readily available; so much so that the customers can search for almost any information about a product or service through their smartphone. Data (which used to be scarce) became available on fingertips!
And that made a huge impact on consumer journey to purchase.
Today, the ‘path to purchase’ looks more or less like this:
One of the primary concerns for any business is to take customers from one stage of the process to the next one.
While there are many components such as marketing efforts, product specifications, sales acumen etc to be considered, smooth consumer journey is hugely influenced by focused efforts and in-depth customer insight.
So, how do you create targeted marketing strategies based on customer insight?
CRM data mining is the best way here!
Your CRM is the treasure trove of customer insight! No brainer here!
While most businesses use this information to ensure and enhance customer retention, many fail to see how CRM data mining can help in gaining new customers.
In reality, customer insight gained from CRM data can not only help you gain new customers but also go a long way in pacing up the consumer journey to purchase.
Let’s see how!
Awareness is the stage where you essentially inform your target audience about your offerings.
You can employ several marketing channels (as per the nature of your business) and garner the support of opinion leaders or influencers for some valuable word-of-mouth publicity.
However, not all efforts yield the same result!
For example, your marketing spending for the past year may look like this:
You’ve spent: 30% of your Marketing Budget on Outdoor Advertisements, 20% on PPC Campaigns, 15% on Facebook Retargeting, 15% on LinkedIn Advertisement and 20% on YouTube Advertisements.
Apart from these, you’ve also identified 4 key influencers (let’s call them Influencers A, B, C & D) with substantial followers and have given the equal amount of efforts (time, money and favors) in convincing them to endorse your products and services.
At the end of the year, you decided to take a look at your CRM Lead Sources and here’s what you see:
o, the Lead Sources look like this:
With this data in hand, you can see, although you’ve spent 30% of your marketing budget on Outdoor Advertisements, it brought only 2% of Leads. Whereas, YouTube Ads has brought in way more Leads (15%) with lesser expenditure.
Not only that, you also identify that Influencer C has brought in 16% of all Leads, while Influencer B, D and A are responsible for 5%, 6% and 7% of Leads respectively.
More importantly, you see that Referrals from your existing customers have contributed to 13% of all leads!
Based on this data, you can focus your marketing efforts on what is working for your business, i.e. Influencer C, YouTube Ads, PPC Campaigns and Facebook Retargeting.
Moreover, you can invest more into your existing customers and turn them into opinion leaders to get more referrals!
While this was just an example, you can use the same technique of CRM data mining to identify what’s working best in generating awareness for your business.
This is the stage where your potential customers look for relevant information regarding the product or service they are looking at purchasing.
Now, as specified in the beginning of this post, businesses (or sales executives) do not have the advantage of working as information gate keeper anymore.
Today, consumers can find out most all details via a simple online search. Thus, the job of a sales executive more or less resembles that of a consultant’s.
As a business, understanding the consumers’ requirements and suggesting the right product meet those, is way more important than parroting the product features.
This is where CRM intelligence can help you with smoother consumer journey.
With a great CRM system in place, you can see all in-bound and out-bound communication in one place.
Simply go through the email communications with your existing customers and you’ll be able to see the kind of information sharing that led to conversion.
This customer insight not only helps you set a proper tone for pre-purchase communications but also guides you towards sharing useful information that ultimately speeds up the decision making process on the customers’ part.
Once the conversion is complete, the feedbacks from your customers become crucial.
Not only these feedbacks give you a measurable matrix of evaluating your products/services and improve; but also work as testimonials (when published for viewing) for future customers.
With a great CRM system, you can simply send a pre-designed evaluation form to your customers and capture their feedback.
CRM data mining is THE most effective way of gathering customer insight!
Using this insight to ensure a smoother consumer journey is essential for today’s businesses. If you too are looking at ways for optimizing consumer journey to purchase, it is time to look at your CRM closely.