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Here’s What You Need To Excel at CRM Marketing (According to Excellent CRM Marketers)

Our clients' explanations of the dozens and dozens of nominations they submitted for our Heptagon Awards are CRM Marketing Goldmine. We took those thousands of words and present you with the most inspiring ones. So, there you have it: what it means and takes to do great CRM, straight from the horses' mouth

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Last year, when we first introduced the annual Heptagon Awards for CRM Excellence, we got lots of great feedback from clients, not only those who won. That’s why, when we decided that we should let our client nominate the teams and individuals this time, we expected more of the same.

But, while more than 70 submissions (!) wowed us, it was another aspect of the submissions that caught us off guard. That moved us.

The actual submissions. And what they entailed.

Because even though, in hindsight, it was not supposed to be such a big surprise, each submission allowed the person making it to add a few words, explaining why the person/team they were nominated should be considered for the award. And what these thousands and thousands of words revealed to us is why we love CRM Marketing so much and why we love working with our clients and partners as much as we do.

Firstly, because it was a celebration of positivity, encouragement, emboldenment, and goodwill, that is hard to stay indifferent to.

Secondly, these words – by business leaders, marketing decision-makers, and all sorts of CRM Marketing professionals, WRITING ABOUT business, marketing, and CRM Marketing in particular – give the most insider insight possible into what the CRM Marketing community really values. What makes them tick. What motivates them. What they are proud of. And why they love what they do.

But, perhaps even more importantly, what these submitted texts reveal is the incredible depth AND range of the CRM Marketing discipline and the people who master and lead it, many of whom we are proud to call partners.

When we examined the submissions, we noticed four main recurring “themes” that were used to describe and explain what CRM Excellence entails and requires:

  1. The “Smart Marketing” theme, consisting of terms such as: personalization, micro-segmentation, realtime, and integration.
  2. The “Business-Minded” theme, with terms like plan, strategy, lean, manage, execute, and results.
  3. The “Scientific/Analytical” theme, with words like data, granular, incremental uplift, trial and error, and testing.
  4. And the “Human” theme, with words such as team and motivation, creating and nurturing, changing and adapting, learning and understanding, but also great and fun, intellect and amazing.

In other words, reading through the submitted texts revealed the magnificent puzzle that is “a great CRM Marketing team/individual.” And that in order survive and thrive in the day-to-day of CRM Marketing, one must be sophisticated and considerate, goal-driven and pragmatic, analytical and creative, a number’s person and a people’s person. More and more seemingly impossible combinations all blended into one entity.

And, again, thinking about it, it shouldn’t come as a surprise (though still powerful to see from up close). Because, as the saying in Optimove’s open space goes, “All Marketing is Relationship Marketing.” And as such, of course, you’d need to possess a complete, round, deep, and expansive skill set to master it.

And, just to give you a glimpse of it all, the sense of what it means and takes to be great at CRM Marketing, here at the top 10 quotes from all the submissions:

10. “Our Martech ethos is to challenge ourselves to constantly improve the level of service both at a professional and product level. I believe the level of integration across the different systems we have really opened the door to another dimension where we have pushed the whole marketing hub to a new level.”

9. “With Optimove’s help, we managed to navigate the difficult pandemic period, generating growth for the company. We created several campaigns that helped both the customers during the lockdowns and the company to increment revenues; We strived to create original and effective campaigns, and we kept our customers happy and engaged.”

8. “The team and product launched only a year ago, and during this year, we were able to generate impact and value by using all of Optimove features and add-ons. Not only can we convert in high numbers, but we are also retaining active players in around 80%. We constantly test and explore different ways to engage with our users and push to provide a cohesive omnichannel experience.”

7. “The scope of work overseen by this CRM team is substantial — we punch above our weight. Eight full-time employees are a lean team looking after CRM programs for ten brands. yet, we have 10 VERY happy brands on our hands and several more clamoring to get in on the action after we have developed such an outstanding reputation in the industry for our industry-leading CRM results.”

6. “In the past year, [this] CRM team has gone from a team of 10 working to simply drive market share in 5 states to an industry-leading team of 26 focusing on more than 10 states, using multi-channel, well-targeted campaigns to drive profitability while still maintaining growth in all areas. This includes campaigns for various products, retail locations, omnichannel, push, email, on-site, realtime and every combination imaginable to meet customers where they are and provide great user journeys to keep them engaged with us while driving the fundamentals of our business forward for years to come.”

5. “The CRM team [here] supports many other areas of the business daily – including but not limited to maximizing relationships with key media & technology partners, upper-funnel & omnichannel User Acquisition efforts, community media/social customer service, player experience/customer service, UX and product, engineering, and one of the most aggressive “new state” company-wide expansion efforts our industry has ever seen (10 new states in 14 calendar months).”

4. “This team takes a lifecycle-first approach at every phase of retention marketing. We lean heavily on this model and use well over 200M unique batch/realtime attributes/data points to ensure the right player is being targeted at the right time with the right offer/message through the right channel.”

3. “She picked up the product very quickly, advanced very quickly into complex tasks and nuances in the platform, using conditional language and beyond. [She] made a huge leap on [her] knowledge over the last year, helping the company achieve its goals. She’s using a/b testing, creating new attributes, doing [her] best to maximize efforts. She is a very special piece for our team, one that always attends to everybody’s needs, resolving any issue that comes up.”

2. “[He] is a pro at applying strategies of minimizing manual work by applying his excel knowledge. He introduced a new way of allocating tasks, analyzing productivity metrics, validating and verifying CRM’s tasks. He ensures every campaign from our team is clean and error-free. And [he] always tries to minimize workload by introducing automated work systems. He’s got his team and the customer, both top of mind at all times.”

1. “After coming back from maternity leave, it was so tough for her to handle 6-months old kid and work simultaneously, but she stood for herself, planned her day and CRM work, made her working hours her kid’s sleeping hours, and her break times as his feeding time, and extended her work time whenever was needed. Within just a couple of months, she’s back on track, adapted to her new work-life blend. She mastered super smooth tools and techniques of CRM that were introduced in her absence and became top-ranked in the productivity and skill metrics. She organized, executed, and suggested new ways of handling CRM promotions. She went from receiving training to giving them to newbies in just seven months of post-maternity leave.

She stood as an inspiration to her team and gave a positive vibe of achieving anything if we have a strong belief.”

And that kind of inspiration is not limited to her team only.

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