Behavioral CRM Trumps Demographics

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Behavioral CRM Trumps Demographics
Behavioral CRM Trumps Demographics
Sure, demographic information about customers is essential. But behavioral data is where marketing really gets good. “Behavioral CRM trumps demographics every time,” RAPP VP, Solutions Lead, Craig Lister told me during a conversation at DMA2012.

The challenge—and opportunity—is linking behavioral data from different customer touch points in a way that allows marketers to create an insightful, holistic view of customers that reveals their expectations, needs, and preferences. Information marketers can then use to better engage customers. The challenge lies in organizational readiness, Lister said. “It takes the right people, processes, and platform,” he said.

In terms of people, a company may need a chief customer officer to drive the collaboration required to tear down organizational silos, Lister said. Additionally, marketers need to be experts on customer segments, not just channels.

Process-wise, he suggested looking to create efficiencies across channels, which, done well, should reduce costs enough to pay for the tools needed to support customer-centric marketing. In terms of technology, Lister recommended implementing applications that link data across an organization.

“You need to start with a proof of concept,” he said. “What can we measure? What's a success case?”

Ultimately, the goal is to better understand customers and then market to them with more relevance. “People don't want to be sold to; self-guided exploration is what they want today,” Lister said. “As marketers, you need to create meaningful interactions with customers, so when they're ready to buy, they'll think of your brand.”

This means creating experiences that customers want to be a part of and that make it easy for them to do business with you. “Marketers,” he said, “need to understand their communications' role in the customers' journey.”

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