I’ve come across this quite a few times… “We are definitely going to start communicating with our customers 1:1 but we’re waiting for IT to implement a new CRM System…”

What? Hold it right there! I suggest all marketing people stop waiting for IT to hand over a picture perfect CRM system that is implemented to fit your spoken and even unspoken desires as if your CIO were some kind of Harrison Ford holding the Holy Grail. Let’s make one thing perfectly clear here:

 

You don’t need a CRM system in order to work with Customer Relationships!

 

What is true however is, that you need somewhere to store your Customer Records – even the ones that haven’t bought anything yet. The subscribers to your newsletter – your prospects. And it would also be nice if you could keep some kind of contact and order history on them. What did they click? What did they buy? Oh yeah – and it would be awesome if Customer Service – or even a Sales Associate in the store could look them up on the POS or even mobile POS. And last not but not least – you need powerful communication tools to reach your customers on any outbound channel so you can effectively drive those conversions and customer loyalty.

Guess what – these are all functionalities that most modern Marketing Automation systems (and especially Agillic) can handle. So if you combine this with for instance some kind of service management tool – could be ZenDesk or similar – then you are well on your way towards treating customers in an omnichannel fashion – leveraging data and insights in every touchpoint – inbound and outbound.

 

Sports retailer SPORTMASTER do without a classic CRM tool

 

At Denmark’s largest sports retailer SPORTMASTER they didn’t believe that their ERP project and the CRM-part of this would provide them with the right tool for leveraging customer data into meaningful communications and ultimately more repeat purchases. So they decided to look at how best in class retailers such as the beauty retailer Matas get by.

 

“It became clear for us, that we didn’t in fact need a classical CRM-system. This because our customer relationships are in fact not that complicated. We didn’t need all the functionality around Leads, Opportunities, Pipeline Management etc. that a CRM system offers. What we needed for sure though – was a way to leverage all our customer data into meaningful customer communication so we could boost loyalty and repeat purchases. Adding a traditional CRM system to this equation would have only increased both complexity, risk and time to market for both our implementation but more importantly to the actual use of the whole setup.” explains Stefan Kirkedal, Head of Omnichannel at SPORTMASTER

Of course there are cases where a CRM system makes perfect sense – in most B2B companies for instance it makes perfect sense. Just don’t make the mistake of thinking a CRM system is needed in order to work with (or ’Manage’) Customer Relationships. Customer Relationship Management should be thought of as a discipline and not a certain type of IT system. It’s indeed possible to work with CRM without a CRM system.

So are you waiting for an IT-system or are you working with Customer Relationships?

 

SPORTMASTER is the largest Danish sports retailer and have won several awards for their work on omnichannel including the National eCommerce Award. They are using the Marketing Automation platform Agillic to leverage data and increase relevance in their communication. They see tremendous returns in customer loyalty and satisfaction.

Agillic is the leading provider of Omnichannel Marketing Automation in the Nordics serving a wide array of clients from industries as different as Finance, Retail, Transportation and Start Ups. Agillic is born omnichannel with the customer first and channels second. Allowing companies to prioritize their marketing and communication in the most cost-effective way across both owned and paid media.