Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Acronymtastic – SCRM, ECRM, CRM and the death of DM

I work for an agency that’s made some sort of name for itself in eCRM. That’s Electronic Customer Relationship Marketing. It’s not CRM, which is Customer Relationship Management if you’re into sales management software, or ...Marketing if you’re a DM agency. If you’re a DM agency (that’s Direct Marketing), thanks for all the principles, but your industry’s buggered.

Why? Because the principles of segmentation, so beautifully applied to awesome effect in eCRM, which now generates millions through digital channels, are starting to reach social. And social media is about engagement in real time. Which is what the digital agency world has been practising for its entire history – I started an interactive agency in 1994, which makes me positively historical. Without digital provenance, when Social channels (gaggle shopping, live feedback and peer advice) meet eCRM and forms SCRM (yes I know), the DM world that gave us so much in discipline finds itself detached from usefulness.

Which is a shame. There are some amazing people and minds working in the industry. And while brands continue to send out three million mailing packs, it will survive. But slowly, those mailing packs that cost £1 each are being replaced by digital nudges, creating continuous contact even with the thinnest segments in the long tail. One day mail will be used for that special something. And SCRM and eCRM will have truly blossomed.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

What’s our story?

We’ve been doing a brand vision exercise within the wider plc my company belongs to. Someone asked me if I could contribute something that would tell the Underwired story. This, I think, illustrates what we do quite well.

McCain Foods asked us to tell them if digital can engage customers with a brand as well as TV can. We told them we’d prove it one way or the other.

We took over their eCRM programme. We optimised their segmentation, and created a comms strategy to engage brand resistors and deepen the relationship with brand engagers. We devised creative for a monthly, segmented email campaign. Finally, we created a regular survey to match the brand tracking being done by Hall & Partners on TV audiences.

In the first ten months, engagement with brand resistors went from 14% to 63%.

Brand consideration rose 11% compared with the Hall & Partners benchmark.

In six months, average transaction value went up 3%. The core segment grew 29% in volume. And sales revenue went up by a whopping 38%.

Focus has switched from proof to growth. Underwired’s now building a web-based eCRM hub to replace the brand’s website. We’re running highly targeted acquisition campaigns to build the most valuable segments. And our client, too, is thoroughly engaged.

This is what we do. I just thought I’d share it with you.