CRM, Content and the Life…. the Customer

- CRM, Content and the Life.... the Customer: There is a huge change within marketing communication right now. Let’s draw a bow from a CRM, over a content and a communication strategy to a life strategy!

There is a huge change within marketing communication right now. At the end of the day it’s about the right communication and how we fill this communication with life.  Let’s understand the people who we want to reach, let’s fascinate them and give them our passion for our products / services we offer.

Data is the heart (of digital marketing), Content is the soul (of a brand) but the Customer is the life!

So we need a long-term CRM and a content strategy and keep channels away. It’s not about TV, radio, print, online, etc., it’s about the life…. the customer.

My vision about communication I described in the post “Communication 2025“, so don’t want to focus on this in this post. This article and some other articles I linked at the bottom of this article.

Let’s draw a bow from a CRM, over a content and a communication strategy to a life strategy!

CRM Strategy

I see three main areas within a CRM strategy we need to have a look at. The “buying factors”, “data and knowledge” and “personalization”.

Buying factors

Buying factors can make the same marketing (advertising or content) campaign successful or a failure. So what are the most important factors?

  • Trust
  • Brand Identification
  • Service
    • Easy to use (find the right information)
    • Easy to purchase
    • Easy (and quick) delivery
  • (Price)
  • (Product specifications)

Price and product specifications are clear. Within marketing we can use it but there is more or less nothing we can change. We need to keep all 5 factors in mind, but focus on the other ones  and build a strategy for them. Player like Amazon have understood this, they are focusing also on services and trust.

Data and Knowledge

CRM means 1:1 communication. We track a customer history and use this to offer more targeted products, services and information at the right time. Classic CRM data can be enriched with behavior and usage data from digital or in-store. So we have 4 sections to focus on:

  • Data collection
  • Data analysis (backwards view)
  • Predicting (forward view)
  • Learning

Companies often use just 20% of data they have. Why? There are different factors. They don’t think about it, don’t know what kind of (first-party) data they have (or easily can get). Then they have different data silos like their CRM, their webanalytics data or other data within the Cloud or a SaaS solution. It’s difficult to get them together and merge them through a unique identifier. (see also: Start a Digital Transformation Project: Data)

Webanalytics most companies do. Two things are important here. First we need to have a combined analytics through all channels (online & offline) and also be aware that this is just a backward view. Because is worked in the past does not mean that it must work in future. To predict things we need as much past data combined with external data (like weather for example) and a BI system. If we have restaurants selling also ice cream and we have seen the last weeks ice cream was working very well. Now we are doing a special online promotion for the next Sunday….. and the weather says rain! Would this work?


Nothing is worse than wrong information at the wrong time which shows that nobody is understanding me. I just ordered a new phone at my mobile carrier and still get offers for a new one (maybe the same)… now I’m annoyed, angry, etc. and put the sender on my spam-list or delete the mail immediately.

On the other side personalization can show that there is in interest in my needs. Someone offer me not massive information and I need to pick the right ones for me… I only get the right ones. This gives me as a consumer, beside the quicker capture and more targeted actions, the trust and a good feeling.

We are just in a stage from an “Age of Customer” to an “Age of Me”. Who wants to fascinate his audience needs to to (content) personalization.

Content Strategy

Do you like advertising? As a marketer you will answer yes, but how do you answer as a consumer? As  a consumer you may think more about the right information you need. This is different depending on the stage within your buyer lifecycle (awareness, consideration, purchase). “Let’s talk about content a user needs instead of company products & services, let’s (partly) replace Advertising by Content Marketing and do Content Marketing data driven and performance based.” (Integrated: Content Marketing, Native Advertising and Performance Marketing)

So content needs to be customer focused, not company / product focused. Content needs to be data driven and dynamic to match the current stage in the buyer lifecycle.

Content Discovery

There are 2 main questions:

  • Which content does exist?
    • What content do you have?
    • What content do your competitor have?
    • What else content is out there?
  • How is your target audience searching for content / information and where do they read the content?

Understand which social channels , newspapers, websites etc. your audience prefer to actively place the content. Think about content discovery platforms to spread your content to a broader audience. There is a transition from content search (like done with search engines) to content discovering. Have a look at Taboola or Outbrain for example. They are mapping captured user interest with content recommendations.

Content Consumption

Consumer want to use content every time everywhere. Make content usable in different formats and available through all channels (printed, mobile, tablet, desktop, etc.)

Content Action

Use data to find the right information your audience needs and build the content around this. Build your own content, but also use third-party content. Third party may have more trust then yours and help you to support your content.

Beside building the right content also place the right content at the right time and place. Today we use in marketing things like Real-Time Advertising or Real-Time Bidding. Why don’t we use this systems to place content in real-time on a 1:1 base instead of pure advertising?

Communication Strategy

What do you want to reach? Is it awareness, consideration and / or  decision? However, if your CRM and content strategy is set up you are customer focused. That’s what your communication strategy should be. The communication strategy use many things from the CRM and content strategy and is bring the points into the right action.

  1. Discover
  2. Predict
  3. Place / Target
  4. Measure

Discover your audience, predict what they could need and then measure the results. Start trough with discovering and see this four steps as a cycle.

Listen and learn always and keep staying hungry!

Life Strategy

Life is about people and not companies, products or services and will take place offline first, but more and more online. On a funny way you see how offline and online will merge if you sit down in a city centre for a coffee and watch people. More and more people are walking down the street watching their smartphone and not where they walk. This is the always on generation. Even if we don’t look at our smartphone we hear the ping for a new mail, Whatsapp or whatever and answer quickly. We check pricing if we are in an offline store.

Emotion, feelings and identification is the life! Give your customer his satisfaction of needs!

If you do so you have understood that a CRM strategy is a life strategy. If you focus on the customer life and his satisfaction of needs you get his trust and you will win a loyal customer.

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Customer Experience & Digital Transformation