What is Customer Relationship Marketing?
Before I can begin explaining the strengths of Customer Relationship Marketing (CRM) in digital marketing, its crucial that you understand what it actually is first!
As an apprentice on the digital marketer standard, you must be able to understand the benefits, limits and constraints of relationship marketing.
Customer relationship marketing is a marketing strategy that cultivates deeper, more meaningful relationships with customers to ensure long-term satisfaction and brand loyalty. It is comprised of strategies to build client support for a business and its offerings with the aim of increasing brand loyalty.
So, why is it important in digital marketing?
Customer Relationship Marketing is essentially the building blocks for a successful digital marketing campaign- it creates a strong base for promotion of a brands products, services, values, etc. A brand may succeed in the short-term without investing in strong customer relations, however they won’t be able to retain those customers for a very long period of time. By focusing on building a strong customer relations base, a brand will develop meaningful connections with their customers which will in turn lead to loyal, long-term stability.
If a customer experiences bad customer service, they will be unhappy. This will most likely lead to bad reviews spread about a brand which can damage their reputation immediately. If a customer experiences good customer service, they will have a good experience of your products/ services which will lead to them leaving positive reviews and feedback about your brand. It doesn’t matter what industry a brand is in, CRM is equally important and the pathway to success because the most effective way of building good brand reputation is through happy customers!
Top Tips for CRM
- Respond in a timely manner– set a specific time goal for your response time (aim for around 12-24 hours maximum), communicate this clearly on your channels and be sure to stick to it
- Align your objectives with the customers objectives– even if this means compromising your own goals or plans, the customers needs come first
- Make your response personal and tailored to them– let them know you are human, you are understanding and adapt a friendly tone to settle them with their enquiry
- Don’t copy and paste responses– yes, you should follow a good structure with responses to ensure consistency, however they will notice if you have just copied and pasted your response. This will have an even more negative effect than no response at all!
Benefits of CRM in digital marketing:
It’s clear that customer relationship marketing plays a crucial role in digital marketing and determines the success of campaigns. Some of the key benefits of CRM include:
- Strong return on investment (ROI) when CRM has been applied and demonstrated correctly
- Positive reviews that create a good image for the brand
- Descriptive feedback that gives customer insight, giving the brand ideas on how they can improve further
- Word of mouth spread, increasing awareness of brand
- Ease of cross-selling and potential change (loyal customers are invested in the brand and are more likely to stick by you through adaptations)
Limitations and constraints of CRM in digital marketing
Despite the endless amount of positive implications when a brand focuses on implementing great customer relationship marketing, there are also some limitations that come along with it…
- It’s expensive- not only is the customer service pricey, promotions can realistically fail to create loyal customers, which leads to loss
- It doesn’t work for all types of businesses- if you have a one time buy product, this strategy would see the opposite effects
- Can focus too much on current customers, leading to neglection of new and potential customers
- Bad reviews can damage reputation
- This is a long term strategy and therefore it takes longer to see the positive effects than a short term strategy
The key to success for a brand is customers. Without customers, there is no brand. Customer relationship marketing is the best way for a brand to build their strong customer base, however it may not always be the best option depending on the product/ service offering. This is why understanding the pros, cons and top tips of CRM is so crucial for the strength of a digital marketers understanding and capabilities.
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To find out more technical knowledge, read through the digital marketing standard or occupational brief.