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Power Stepping your Way to a Full Marketing Journey: A Quick Guide

Getting started is sometimes the toughest challenge, but in order to become an elite marketer, you'll need to get over some hurdles: These 4 easy-to-take steps will allow you to slowly but steadily start building a solid CRM machine

In this digital age, having a comprehensive marketing communication stream is one of the cornerstones. It’s an essential ingredient in order to conquer customers’ hearts and win their loyalty. Taking the first steps in the digital marketing world can be extremely challenging, but it’s a very fruitful path. To succeed in this task, here are few rules of thumb to guild you on your path to a full marketing journey. This working methodology of ‘step by step’ will turn out profitable down the road.

1. Define the business’s weaknesses

The question that I get asked the most from brands in the early stages of creating a CRM funnel, is “where should we begin?”. My best answer is first to try to understand where the holes in your bucket are.

For instance, it would be great to get more new customers, but is it really worth it considering most of these new purchasers will churn immediately? Isn’t it a waste of good acquisition money? It can also be great to reactivate your churn customers by a wicked reactivation funnel, but what is your ability to retain them when they’re back? Isn’t this a waste of your time, trying to reactivate customers you can’t retain?

Mapping these holes isn’t an easy task. To better understand your business’s weaknesses, you’ll need to have an in-depth analysis, that will able you to focus on the most important areas. The optimal way to go with (although not common due to brands’ abilities) is having an industry benchmark. This kind of comparison between your brands’ stats to the entire industry may help you figure where are your low hanging fruits are. The understanding that you have a weaker area that marketing can improve can help you focus and answer the question of where to begin.

The example below demonstrates why a brand should start to focus on new customers and not on the active ones. While active customers have relatively good retention rate compare to the benchmark trend, new customers are churning faster than the industry average.

Once you find your weaknesses, you’ll be able to start focusing on the most important KPIs of your business, and to gradually expand to different areas where you’re already happy with, trying to improve them as well.

2. Search for emotional occurrences

When creating a CRM marketing funnel, you should be mindful of the basics. Look for the obvious emotional occurrences on your customers’ journeys. I’m talking about birthdays, wedding anniversaries, but not only – also registrations dates, first purchases, etc. These straight forward triggers create great opportunities to communicate with your customers. As these actions are dated is should also be easy to execute campaigns for them: Is today one of your customer’s birthday? congratulate him. Is it his first purchase? Don’t forget to say thanks.

Let’s analyze the response rate for consumers who receive a communication on an event such as any of the above, compared to a control group. Our research shows that in e-Commerce brands, customers who got communicated on their birthdays outperform those who celebrated their birthday without being acknowledged by the brand. An 85% uplift is quite striking.

The high uplift and the quick profit from the ordinary event-based campaigns is such a quick win, that it has to be the first step in building a full CRM strategy and marketing plan. The two key factors in these trigger-based campaigns are to figure what are your customers’ emotional occurrences are and to plan the way you want to address these emotions.

3. Outline your funnel

In modern marketing, one communication point is usually not enough. Our ability to create a sequence of campaigns will allow us to better achieve our goals. A funnel of campaigns is a great way to communicate several messages with the same vibe or topic and can assist once an offer or a message wasn’t effective enough.

What should guide us when planning a funnel is, of course, the objective. Unlike the common thought that ‘another purchase’ or ‘more revenue’ should always be our target, for some cases, funnels can have other objectives. Such are brand awareness, increasing the future value or even introducing our customers to other departments and offering abilities.

After setting the objective, try and break it to the number of campaigns you should execute. Think about the timing and the iterations between one message to another. Having an analysis on your existing customer-base can help you decide what should be the right order for these communications but let me tell you a little secret: Solid common sense will do the trick as well. For an analyst, that’s not an easy sentence to write.

4. The importance of the sketch

Yes. Sketching. No, we are not in an art class, and you don’t need to have any special skills here. But this is the easiest way to plan a funnel – to create a flowchart diagram. Flowcharts are an easy-to-understand tool you can share, they are easy to handle and to change.

Let’s take an example from an electronics online store, that aims to focus on new customers who just made their first purchase. Their goal is to increase these customers retention rate.

In this diagram, each box represents a criterion or a question, and each line represents the value, or the answer. Let’s assume that with the help of our analysis, we see that the average and median time from first to second purchase is one month. So? Should we shoot offers to encourage a second purchase on the first week? Or is it too soon?

Below you can find a diagram which illustrates the marketing funnel.

Aside from enabling us to get a clearer picture of our marketing strategy, the marketing diagram allows us to expand the plan through different channels, offers or any kind of customers traits. Many mature companies in terms of marketing are starting to lose their grip when having hundreds and thousands of campaigns sent daily.

Wrap up

Any journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. The most basic tip for a marketer facing the challenge of building a CRM strategy and marketing plans is to start small. In order to have a solid, understandable, and flexible marketing journeys, you have to set your fundamentals correctly and to have confidence in it. then, gradually (and unexpectedly) you’ll find yourself with a full, prospering marketing plan.

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  • Roberto

    Hi, how do you reconcile your suggestion of making this kind of flow-chart diagram based communication with your main selling point that going this way creates an unmanageable mess of flow charting and marketer should focus on the current customer state (lifecycle stage / layer / micro-segment) and what actions make sense from that state?

    • Omer Liss

      Hi Roberto,

      Thanks for the excellent question. The framework described in this post is meant to help CRM managers during the early stages of their strategy building. In many cases, our experience shows that outlining some initial funnels helps the marketer better understand what is required. Soon thereafter, as complexity increases, this sketching is no longer needed, as marketers mature from thinking about pre-planned journeys and their branches to thinking about moments and experiences for specific customer micro-segments. As a result, while drawing flow charts is sometimes valuable, initially, more experienced marketers tend to avoid them as this concept results in the “mess” you describe.


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