CRM segmentation eliminates costly guesswork

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Vivek Thomas
Vivek Thomas
Attracting and keeping long-term, loyal customers through targeted marketing campaigns and messages is a primary goal of most businesses. Today, however, it is often quite difficult given the volume of e-mails being generated by hundreds — if not thousands — of competitors on any given day. One way to cut through the clutter and rise above "spam" is CRM segmentation. Segmentation can effectively arm businesses with the right information to develop targeted campaigns that reach the right contacts with the hardest-hitting messages — specifically with thought leadership content rather than just pricing promotions.

Segmenting your company's prospect and customer base with the help of CRM enables a streamlined and efficient process for collecting and evaluating detailed company information. Start by identifying common elements and demographics among the contacts in your CRM database. For example, do certain contacts work in the same vertical markets, e.g., insurance, manufacturing, or have similar job titles or responsibilities? How large are their companies and where are they located? Which ones use social media to communicate? CRM can automate this process by tracking these types of attributes and allow companies to quickly generate groupings by category.

Once the categorization process is complete, it's important to clearly define the differentiators and criteria for each segment — such as different interests and priorities — to develop unique targeted messages for each one. CRM can provide helpful insights by tracking sales and customer service interactions in the system, thus providing details regarding common priorities for specific segments. As an example, a CRM system may capture a trend among multiple financial services-related contacts that compliance is a critical issue for their businesses. This visibility into their priorities provides the foundation for e-mail campaign messaging that will resonate with them.

Crafting multi-segment marketing campaigns may sound daunting, but with a transparent view of what makes each segment tick, you can remove much of the guesswork from the process. The key is to provide prospects and customers with information that can truly help, moving beyond pricing promotions to offer industry best practices for their business. Examples might include tips that will help them run their business more efficiently or helpful hints for getting the most out of your product or service. If it's a natural fit, weaving in price promotions doesn't hurt, but don't make it the focus of the campaign. Customers will come to rely on your marketing correspondence for valuable, tailored, useful content.

Using effective CRM segmentation can help businesses not only deliver tailored marketing messages that will ultimately drive more sales, but it can also serve as a competitive differentiator to elevate overall market reputation.

Vivek Thomas is president of Maximizer Software, a provider of CRM and mobile CRM solutions.

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