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How CRM is Replacing Traditional Advertising

Lindsay Tjepkema
Lindsay Tjepkema , Marketing Director, Americas , Emarsys

CRM advertisingE-commerce marketers should think before they buy that next 30 second TV spot or secure a print ad in next week’s publication. Sure, organizations will receive some brand exposure, and maybe they’ll even get a new customer from the traditional advertising methods that have worked for years – but they might be missing something important, something that is right under their noses: proven customers.

In today’s world, current customers are the key to growth and success. Customer retention is the new acquisition, and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is central to this ambition.

How it Manifests

For Anastasia Roumelioti, the Head of Marketing behind the fashion brand Hawes & Curtis, and previously of Procter & Gamble and Unilever, the decision to invest in CRM advertising over traditional advertising was simple. She stated that, “It costs three times less to bring back a current customer than to acquire a new one”. While this statement may seem obvious, according to research compiled by Invesp, “…only 18% of organizations have adopted a customer retention and growth focus over the more traditional customer acquisition focus”.

Many e-commerce brands pour their time and resources into creating content and advertising campaigns that appeal to the masses. For some organizations, these strategies really work.

But e-commerce retailers must continue to adapt and change with their customers, no matter how effectively traditional advertising has been proven to perform in the past. With the recent call for more personalized customer and sales experiences comes the challenge of how to achieve personalization at scale.

Why This Trend Is Happening Now

The need for personalized customer experiences has never been greater. We can attribute this need (at least in part) to how knowledgeable vendors have become at understanding consumer behaviors. Marketers have the ability to track just about everything.

Consumers expect e-commerce retailers to know exactly what they want to purchase, at exactly the right time. Consumers want brands they interact with, regardless of frequency, to know everything about them and their specific pain points. They expect brands to remember details, like the last shoe brand and size they ordered and when it’s time for a new pair, or the last replacement part they purchased for their 2009 Audi A4. And it makes sense. We now live in a world where we cannot escape marketing tactics and messages, so rather than run from marketing, consumers have embraced and now demand it.

Consumers expect that same attention to detail with every interaction they have with an e-commerce or retail brand. They want to believe that their wants and needs are the brand’s sole focus. At scale, this kind of personalization and attentiveness seems daunting, however, the need for personalization far outweighs the cost of implementation, and the adjustment can transform a satisfied buyer into a loyal customer.

When a Satisfied Customer Becomes a Loyal Customer

Through the use of CRM advertising, e-commerce brands can create truly memorable and highly personalized customer experiences. This affords marketers the opportunity to turn a merely satisfied buyer into a loyal customer. E-commerce marketers can utilize all the data stored in their CRM to amplify conversations and strengthen relationships with each of their customers by providing highly personalized interactions. A sense of friendship and respect between customers and their trusted brands fosters loyalty.

Loyal Customers = Brand Advocates

Loyal customers can become advocates for e-commerce brands. Word-of-mouth from happy customers is more powerful than any TV or newspaper ad imaginable. E-commerce brands already have satisfied and loyal customers, and most likely a CRM in place.

Enhancing something e-commerce retailers already have is far easier and more efficient than creating something entirely new, further strengthening the argument to invest in CRM over traditional advertising.

Final Thoughts

Creating personal relationships with customers is absolutely critical in this digital age. By utilizing CRM advertising, e-commerce retailers can strengthen customer relationships and foster loyalty and trust.