A lot of clients still expect their digital CRM budget to buy them email templates and an email-blasting strategy and calendar. Some will even throw in some generic social posts that are adapted from their ad campaign. And agencies sell it to them, because it’s what they want. An easy sell.
But with a click-through rate of about 3%, email marketing campaigns might as well have subject lines that read ‘Delete me immediately’. Sure, we can write more compelling call-to-actions or design better-looking templates. But asking for a ‘faster-horse’ is certainly not getting you more bang for your buck and won’t increase the conversion.
So what now? If we take a step back and think about what customer relationship marketing really is, we can start to redefine how it should work. Sure, you can say it’s about starting an engaging conversation, making the customer feel valued or calling loyalty bribes ‘stand-a-chance-to-win’ incentives.
But let’s be honest, the main objective of CRM is to collect as much data from the customer as possible and use it to become more relevant, influence their brand perception and be top-of-mind at the point of purchase.
There are, however, brands that are thinking differently and looking at CRM in its purest form: a relationship. They are transforming their business by approaching it at product-level and prioritising service.
Let’s take a look at Nike. It could be argued that Nike FuelBand and Nike ID are its CRM programme. The brand released a product that is beyond its remit in order to talk to its audience on a very intimate level. Nike gathers invaluable data about its customers’ daily habits and in return provides a free and seamless service that is relevant to their customers’ interests. Users can compete and share with each other while maintaining frequent brand engagement. Win-win.
It seemed obvious for Beats by Dre to launch a music streaming service to create an ‘end-to-end music experience.’ But it did it when other headphone brands were still busy spamming my inbox. Did it work? Apple later acquired Beats for $3bn – music to their ears.
Unless you’re a professional tennis player, you will more than likely never know how fast your serve is. Babolat Play – your connected racket – measures your serving speed, and monitors your racket surface usage. Using the mobile app, you can analyse and improve your game or compete with friends. More importantly, data and brand amplification is served at lightning speed. Game, set and match.
So, the game has changed – it’s time to ask a challenging question. Whether it’s wearable tech like a T-shirt that displays your emotions or a fridge magnet that automatically orders you pizza when your fridge is empty, ask yourself: If your brand was a digital product, what would it be?
Edardy Sukayman is deputy creative director at Kitcatt Nohr