Wednesday, 30 March 2011

eCRM is Dead! Long live eCRM

Let’s begin with a few words about eCRM and the context in which it operates:

We are living in a world where the customer is connected, powerful and savvy. With over 5 billion phones in the world , 500 million users of Facebook and over  140 million Tweets a day , customers are connected as are the networks they use.

As marketers we want to engage this connected audience

But engaging suggests that we don’t just convey a message but that this message is enduring and captures the audience’s attention and imagination in a way that is relevant and personal to them

Connections include all touch-points with an organisation, that the audience has raised their hand to – from the pressing of a button on a remote control to the clicking of a mouse

So what is eCRM?

A few words from my A to Z of eCRM series, about these four letters...

E – is not just email. Too many marketers focus on just the email channel with their eCRM programmes, when actually it really is about every touch-point where the ‘customer’ has bought into some kind of engagement. Email is an important element, but let’s not forget how it can in used alongside other channels including social

C – is for Customer. But isn’t CRM wider than that? Aren’t we actually talking about Customers, Prospects, Influencers, and Employees? It’s more about the consumers of and contributors to the content we Marketers put out either to be pushed or pulled?

R – is for Relationship. Or does it stand for Really? Do we really have Relationships with our customers, or do we actually really have various degrees of connectedness with them that power up and down depending on what they want from us at that moment in time?

M – is for Management. But what do we think we are managing? The customer? The relationship? Think again. We struggle to manage ourselves!  Part of the new eCRM is about Consumers managing themselves and indeed managing us, the Brand

eCRM is much more about being Everywhere, understanding the Context, and being Relevant in a way that the connected consumer feels that they are in control and Managing the process.

eCRM in the right hands is very much alive and kicking (does anyone else remember Simple Minds ?)

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Sunday, 27 March 2011

An A to Z of eCRM - G

G is for Gladwell...Malcolm Gladwell

Ever read his book Blink – The Power of Thinking without Thinking?

It's a book about rapid cognition, about the kind of thinking that happens in a blink of an eye. When you meet someone for the first time, or walk into a house you are thinking of buying, or read the first few sentences of a book, your mind takes about two seconds to jump to a series of conclusions.

Indeed, it could very well be about when you see an email in your inbox.

What do you see? What makes you decide within that blink of an eye whether to open or delete?
I would suggest that the first two seconds is also influenced by the conversation you have had with that brand...if their content has been relevant then I reckon it gets opened and read. Each 2 seconds has already been influenced by the last time they gave you 2 seconds with your email, on your website, reading your tweet.

First impressions really do count, but remember that each first impression is judged on experience

Friday, 25 March 2011

Fusion Marketing Experience, Brussels

It was an honour to be part of this experience...and what an experience it was!

Find out more here

An A to Z of eCRM - F

F is for Fan, Friend or Follower

We all love to have fans, friends and followers. But let’s not collect them for the sake of it. The question should never be at the outset, ‘How many Fans should I have?’

What do the three Fs give us?

Well, they attract others, like gravity; the bigger the mass the bigger the pull.
They exert influence, so we need to be able to help them exert the right influence.

They buy – well, hopefully they buy.

All of the above are forms of engagement, which ultimately is what we are aiming to achieve.
Followers = Vanity, Engagement = Beauty; but remember that Engagement is in the eye of the beholder.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

An A to Z of eCRM - E

E is for Engaging

Engaging by knowing where your audience is! You can’t decide in advance which channels you are going to use. There is no one answer.

Engaging by knowing what your audience wants.

Engaging by knowing when they want to be engaged and when they don’t.

Engaging by knowing how they want to be engaged.

How? By listening

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

An A to Z of eCRM - D

D is for Data...

The three key elements of eCRM?

Data, Data and…Data.

In particular the way we use Transactional, Behavioural and Profile Data to create inspired communications to our various consumers – and by consumers I don’t just mean customers and prospects but also in my view, opinion formers, influencers, society, suppliers and internal stakeholders.

Profile…What do we know about our audience having asked them explicitly? Or what we can we infer implicitly?

Transactional…What have we learnt from our audience by what they have bought?

Behavioural…What have we learnt about our audience by how they behave?

By combining these elements we get to understand what consumers Think, Say and more importantly, Do.

Monday, 21 March 2011

An A to Z of eCRM - C

C is for Conversation

OK, I think we all get carried away with what this conversation is.

A large part of conversation in the real world is body language. In the digital world body language also plays a part in conversation. That body language is how we as consumers engage with an email...when, what and how often we we share its we browse the brand’s website after the click..what we like and follow

All of this forms part of the conversation. Conversations do not need to be a discussion in terms of a debate, but more of ‘an exchange of views on some topic’ where the exchange of views is demonstrated by a click or by browsing behaviour. At its basic level, this can form part of a conversation between a brand and the customer.

Conversation is important. But let’s not forget that at the end of the day C also stands for Conversion!

Sunday, 20 March 2011

An A to Z of eCRM - B

B is for Brand

Of course the Brand is important.

No marketer in his or her right mind would argue differently. Emotion stills plays an important role. Ask the Harley Davidson fan who has the Harley logo tattooed on them.

As marketers we often talk about Multi Channel, on or off line, integration across national boundaries. The customer thinks about none of these. They talk Brands

And the Brand has to be conveyed throughout the eCRM experience. In football there is a saying that it only takes a second to score a goal. It takes just as long to score an own goal!

Ultimately the message is a combination of the Brand, the Purpose of the Communication, and the Attributes of the Channel being used.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

An A to Z of eCRM - A

A is for Ancient Greeks

Not often you read the words Ancient Greeks when in conversation about eCRM, and in particular my old friend Aristotle .

Of course the Ancient Greeks were great debaters and held their famous ‘Symposium’. Aristotle talked about the Art of Persuasion and he boiled success down to 3 factors

Ethos - before you can convince an audience, they have to accept you as credible and as a result will think you are telling the truth. My take from this is that as a brand, we need to ensure that we don’t pretend to be something that we’re not. Trust is the cornerstone of eCRM. Once abused it is rarely given again

Pathos - the quality of a persuasive argument that appeals emotionally. Sometimes, the heart rules the head.  I didn’t buy the Alfa Romeo because of the warranty! No matter what many people say, customers still talk Brands.
Logos - does it make sense to me as potential customer, how logical is my argument and my proposition...does it make sense that you are sending me an offer on the latest offer on a Maldives holiday when logic tells you that I am an Center Parcs kind of guy?

Even Plato talked about how that in any successful conversation you remember and use the other person’s name. Personalisation ring a bell?

Ok, so Cicero wasn’t technically Greek, but he is Ancient. Cicero says that ‘if you wish to persuade me, you must think my thoughts, feel my feelings, and speak my words.’ Sounds very much like Relevancy and Engagement to me

This is of course as true today with any form of modern marketing communication as it was in the 4th Century BC

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Timely Spam

We all hate Spam, but sometimes you have to take your hat off and smile.

This was being passed round the office a few days ago..

Dear friend,

How are you doing today? Hope all is well with you. I am Suzanne Mubarak, wife of
ousted President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt.

It is no news telling you about the recent Egypt Revolution which ousted My Husband
from the Presidential Villa in Cairo.

Presently,Egypt's new military-led government had asked countries across The world
to freeze our assets and that of our families. However, you can read more On the
following link: removed

Before we left Cairo, I was able to move some funds via Diplomatic Courier Service
to Europe on several occasions’ deposited the sum of USD$26,400,000.00 in cash in 2
Security Companies in 2 Europe Countries

I would require your directives to enable me invest same in any viable business
venture in your Country. My two sons Alaa and Gamal and Their wives have also taken
allot of monies that can be useful for the rest of their Lives outside Egypt. If
you accept this offer of assistance you are requested to contact me back. As soon as
I receive your Acceptance notice, I will immediately forward your mail to the
Security/Finance House In Europe and I will issue a Power of Attorney to you, this
will make you the beneficiary of this fund and you can commence investments of which
we can be sharing profit as the
Investments prosper. I have so much monies to invest in any kind of business you
prefer, I do not want the Bank to Freeze my Asset along with my Husband’s assets.
Finally, you are requested to indicate your telephone and fax numbers to me for
easier communication.
While thanking you for your anticipated co-operation, I look forward having a
partnership investment
With you in the nearest future.

Best regards.

Yours Truly,

Suzanne Mubarak

Saturday, 5 March 2011

The New Reality of eCRM

Do loyalty programs actually work?

How do you define “relationship” in the context of marketing?

What channels do you think are the most effective for CRM? Phone? Email? Social?

My answers to these questions and more in an interview on Social Marketing Forum in advance of my keynote presentation at Fusion Marketing Experience in Brussels on March 23rd

Many thanks to Jim Ducharme for the great questions. Follow Jim here.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

How personal is personal ?

I came across this very amusing piece which is actually all about the room you get in Europe Business Class on KLM.

Of course it has similarities with the feelings our customers might have if we use too much personalisation with our targeting efforts. We need to be as relevant as possible but not in such a way that scares them or feels like we are intruding.

It is a fine line..but meanwhile...this should make you smile