Getting Started With Multichannel CRM
Customer relationship marketing (CRM) entails communicating with your customers, with the goal of eventually turning them into brand loyalists and advocates.
Loyal customers will skip the consideration and evaluation stages of the customer journey, jumping straight to the purchase phase, seeking out your product the next time they're considering a purchase in your category. By converting loyalists into advocates, you'll prompt customers to share their opinions about your brand with others via word-of-mouth — e.g., talking with friends, ratings, reviews, social shares, blog posts, etc.
This activity can lead to improved brand awareness, preference and purchase intent by those who listen to, and trust, your brand advocates. A well-oiled CRM program also increases traffic to your online assets and provides access to rich data about what type of content and messages resonate best with various segments (via click and post-click behavior). In turn, these strategies can be applied to all of your marketing programs, both online and offline.
There are several channels that work well for building customer relationships. Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter provide ample opportunity to monitor what your customers are saying about your brand. Social media outlets also provide real-time, public-facing customer service and give brands a platform to distribute authoritative content. Blogs and RSS feeds are excellent ways to distribute information to your customers and create a dialog. Mobile platforms present other valuable opportunities to drive loyalty through apps and SMS/MMS messages. And, of course, email is the primary channel that many brands rely on to communicate with their customers on a regular basis.
All of these channels become infinitely more impactful when a brand has a variety of unique content to distribute. Content provides additional value to your customer base beyond the product/services that you're selling to them. On a daily basis, your customers are searching the internet for informational, educational and entertaining content, not just brand, product and company information. If you can become a trusted source of valuable content that's not necessarily related to your brand, you'll stay top of mind with your customers and encourage reciprocity. And by getting customers to opt in to permission marketing channels, you'll have an easy way to distribute and extend the reach of your content and engage them on a much higher level.