In an age where the customer reigns supreme, personalized, seamless experiences are not only appreciated — they’re expected. Whether it’s through mobile, chat, in-person or online, engaging customers with unique experiences has never been more essential for building brand loyalty. Simply put, making experiences your business is good business.
CRMs Are for Sales, Not Marketing
Although CRM systems were once considered the end-all-be-all for forging these lasting customer relationships, the fact of the matter is, customer experience has evolved far beyond CRM. Though managing consumer communications and sales is still a necessary ingredient to a successful marketing strategy, it’s not the only vital piece of the broadening customer story.
To paint a full picture of each customer, it’s time that marketers think beyond just CRM data and strive to embrace every piece of data they have access to. Making way for an enhanced system of record that embraces data from every customer touchpoint to tell a holistic story about customers can help marketers deliver more meaningful, unique experiences to them at scale.
To create a robust view of a customer, it all starts with data — lots of it. With data coming in from disparate sources like loyalty program insights or behavioral data from mobile, web, email, social interactions and more, marketers need a system that can facilitate data securing and semantics to ensure this information is presented in a single, unified vocabulary.
For example, an individual might be referred to as a customer in an email system, a visitor in a web analytics system, or a member in a loyalty program. This single customer could easily be confused as three different people — a standardized language cuts the confusion. While CRM systems have found past success in centralizing customer information, there is a level of latency that occurs. Only a modern experience system of record can manage this volume, velocity and variety of real-time data.
The Customer Experience System of Record
However, data is nothing without the right content, and an effective system of record knows how to deliver customers the right content at the right time. For example, imagine you’re on a family vacation with your children. With luggage and kids in tow, the last thing you want from your hotel is a lengthy check-in process or email recommendations for bars and night clubs. Luckily, because of your response rates to your hotel’s emails and your clicks and likes online, your hotel knows to offer fast mobile check-in, kid-friendly tourist recommendations and discounted sightseeing packages. The right system of record provides a central workflow for content and a pipeline for delivery, so each customer receives content as unique as their needs.
Finally, an intelligence layer that crunches massive amounts of data, distills that data into important signals and then recommends the next-best action for the customer delivered through various marketing channels is critical to delivering amazing customer experiences.
To bridge the divide between customer data and the unique experiences every customer seeks, marketers should start to think outside the CRM box. With new systems of record emerging that have the power to bring data and content together, building long-lasting customer relationships based on personalized experiences becomes more attainable than ever.
Ronell Hugh is the Group Manager of Product Marketing for Adobe Cloud Platform where he leads a team driving the product strategy efforts for the overall business. Prior to joining Adobe, Ronell worked at Microsoft on the Xbox games business, as well as Walmart Corporate and Hewlett-Packard. Ronell earned his MBA from Brigham Young University’s Marriott School of Business and completed his undergraduate work in communications also at Brigham Young University.