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CRM should mean Consumer Relationship Mediocrity

For the majority of companies they seem to think that CRM (Consumer Relationship Marketing and/or Management) equals email. Most companies will invest their time heavily to ensure they have the best software for the role, it’s mainly the two big providers HubSpot vs Salesforce who get the casting vote. When a generic piece of communication from a company that is put in with more valuable and relevant content in my U.S. mailbox I call it junk mail but when it comes as the email I am suddenly going to give it more value?

So I did an experiment to see if my perception of this problem was what is really going on in the real world. For the past month, every time a company that I did not interact with on a regular basis asked for my information, input, feedback or opinion in any medium I gave it to them to see what they would do with it. I even created a new Yahoo! email account and only gave that address in my responses so I was sure anything I received wouldn’t get lost in my personal email account or trapped in my spam filter. The results were that I engaged with 62 different brands that ran the gamut from high-end luxury to local mom and pop stores I got templated emails from 21 brands, generic printed mail from 10 brands (6 of them also sent me an email), and 0 meaningful messages or interactions.

That is appalling. Somewhere along the way we decided that we would rather have the convenience of technology that can send our mass anonymous emails over a real relationship and understanding of our customers. You have a person who is raising their hand and saying they want to at a minimum interact with your brand and at best build a relationship with you. We reward this investment by telling them they just another number in a database.

To companies I say that you consider spending less time worrying about re-branding and re-positioning your re-done logo in your re-done color palette you re-launched last year and more time understanding how to build a relationship with your customers. To agencies I say we take a step back and understand that ad campaigns are just part of an overall communication plan that builds a relationship with customers.

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