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How to Embed CRM Principles into Your Media Strategy

For the majority of brands, media acts as a key communication touchpoint for their customers. But, all too frequently, media channels are configured solely with the purpose of acquiring new customers, and they sit in isolation from wider comms strategies. Consumers don’t see it that way. They believe that every interaction they have with a brand is part of their total customer experience and that includes digital media.

Given the ever-growing martech and adtech landscape, all businesses need to adopt a more personal approach to media, enabled by data. Only by adopting this approach in your media activation can you really start to deliver a coherent and consistent experience for the customer.

In order to navigate this effectively, it is critical to maintain a deep understanding of your customers via the data they share through every interaction they have with you. This practice has been prevalent with CRM and direct marketing programs for years, where multiple levels of rules are layered on data to establish with whom to communicate, when customers should be approached, and how frequently this should happen.

Embedding CRM principles in your media strategy

This task is big and complicated, and to adopt it fully requires a huge shift for most brands. It’s common for the scale of the transformation to prevent brands from even beginning the journey or, for some, to be paralyzed from action by trying to acquire the perfect set of tools (technology, data, people) before progressing.

For brands to be successful, it’s important to begin with a clear understanding of the key elements required to drive customer centricity through every aspect of their media strategy. Merkle developed the Digital Maturity Framework (DMF) to do just that. The DMF provides brands the ability to assess their maturity across the six different pillars identified in the framework, and then identify which areas need improvement. It enables brands to build a step-by-step program to progress through the maturity curve toward the end state, while achieving more connectivity with their customers at every stage.

Digital media can learn from, and aim for, each factor in order to work more harmoniously toward a total customer experience. It can seem to be a huge goal for some businesses, but there are various steps ― both large and small ― that you can take to immediately begin improving your media’s personalization.

Digital Maturity Framework

Automation is key to achieving pace and agility to maximize the impact of your media. You should also consider deploying machine learning to set up and optimize decisioning rules that will run in the background and automatically select or withhold communications based on what’s already known about each prospect or customer. Deploying machine learning can create huge efficiencies and generate impactful increases in customer satisfaction by reducing wasted or inappropriate comms.

Your focus should be on owning your own data and maximizing execution in addressable channels where you can, such as within the Google™ ad ecosystem or Adobe’s Experience Cloud. While this will only account for a fraction of your activity, nonaddressable channels also benefit greatly from you having your own customer data. By using robust analytical techniques on your owned data, like clustering analysis, you can build an accurate picture of what motivates your most high-value customers. Using these techniques will enable you to tailor your media activity toward driving similar behaviors for new customers or existing customers that sit outside of the high-value bucket.

Want to learn more? Check out our new report, Long Live the Principles of CRM here.

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