The More You Keep Customers Long-Term, The Better Your Business Will Do: A Q&A with Corin Rogerson

Sian Taylor our consultant managing the role
Posting date: 5/6/2020 2:39 PM
"I like thinking about how customers experience things and how you’re able to effectively tailor your business to them."





We recently had the opportunity to speak with Corin Rogerson, a CRM Specialist and customer champion to discuss all things CRM. 



Beginning in the digital space she has taken her holistic overview of customer experience with her throughout her career and built CRM programmes for some of the biggest brands on the market. So how has CRM changed during this time and where does she see it going? 

As we see a general trend towards digital first businesses, online platforms and integrated apps it goes without saying that CRM is having to follow suit. For Corin, potentially one of the biggest changes driven by this is this marketing technology landscape: 

“I think the main thing I’ve seen is when I first started in CRM there were lots of tools that were offering the ability to communicate with someone through one channel […] and now what I’m quite pleased to see is that some companies are building solutions from the ground up.”

This shift from bolted together CRM/ESP’s to streamlined platforms offering the opportunity to build multi-touchpoint journeys now makes it far easier to build synchronised customer experiences. 

Hand in hand with technology is the ever-increasing presence of data in decision making, and a growing factor in successful CRM: "A few years ago everyone was talking about Big Data, and there are more tools able to process that data now". But within this is the value that Data can bring bought about through "thinking about the Data that is actually important to you and what you can actually use, rather than just pushing everything in." 

But simply having the Data there isn’t enough to immediately achieve results and one of the biggest issues Corin has faced is around data latency and the impact this has on communication: 

“In the past if you had Data in 24 hours that was perfectly fine, but now you really need to know virtually in real time what a customer has done to communicate with them effectively […] for instance if a customer’s payment details have expired and there is a lag between them updates and an email going out it can be a really confusing communication.” 

However, that doesn’t mean that Data hasn’t played a large part in her successes. Customer Data has huge ties to personalisation (another noteworthy trend in the CRM space) and is often the best way to demonstrate the value a customer has to a business as shown through Corin’s biggest successes: 

“Where I’ve been really successful in a company or working on individual projects is always where the CRM team works really closely with the Data team. Over time you can put in really intelligent campaigns.” 

So, what is the importance of CRM in today’s climate? 

Having experienced the power of CRM across businesses at different stages of their journey CRM is ultimately really important for growth. In the case of start-ups “the focus is very much on acquisition and that is partly because of the priorities in early life” but no matter the size of the business “it’s very expensive to acquire a new customer”. As such, Corin suggests bringing in a CRM team and shifting towards a culture of retention over rapid acquisition as soon as possible: 

“As soon as you bring a CRM team on boards […] you can start looking at your existing customer base and seeing how likely they are to repeat purchase […] the more you keep those customers long term, the better your business will do.”

Her biggest pet peeve linked to CRM and growth? Data: “There’s nothing more frustrating than not having the right Data available”. Although the overriding advice is ASAP, it’s with the caveat of an adequate Data infrastructure to allow for the insights to be leveraged. 

It feels uncomfortable not to acknowledge the elephant in the room and the impact COVID-19 has had on how brands market to customers: 

“When the pandemic hit a lot of businesses had to take a step back and think, what are our values, what is our proposition and how can we help people in context to the pandemic.”

In an ideal world this would then feed into the CRM team yet we’ve all experienced “empty examples of communications from companies who feel they have to say something about it […] and it doesn’t work, and I think it actually does damage to the brand."

Corin’s advice on this?

"If I was in a CRM team that is what I would be thinking about. Making sure communication is relevant, it’s useful and it’s something that you will then be remembered for when everything is over.”

If you’re looking for an opportunity in the world of CRM, or to build your Customer Insight team, we may be able to help. Take a look at our latest opportunities or get in touch with one of our expert consultants to learn more. 

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‘Tis The Season Of Data: Black Friday Is Here

‘Tis The Season Of Data: Black Friday Is Here

It’s that time of year again. Decorations are going up, the temperature is dropping daily, and the year’s biggest shopping weekend is upon us.  Black Friday and Cyber Monday may have started stateside, but they’re now a global phenomenon. This year, in the UK alone, shoppers are expended to spend £8.57 billion over the four-day weekend. But, for retailers, this mega-event means more than a cash injection. In the world of Data, insights gained from shopping and spending habits during this period can dictate their product and pricing strategies for the next twelve months.  So what is it, exactly, that we can stand to learn from the Black Friday weekend? THE GHOST OF BLACK FRIDAY PAST There are a few interesting takeaways from 2018’s Black Friday weekend that will likely impact what we see this year.  Firstly, and perhaps unsurprisingly given that it’s a few years since the event has become omnipresent, spending only increased about half as much as initially predicted. There are a number of reasons for this, but cynicism plays a central role. More and more, consumers are viewing Black Friday deals with an element of suspicion and questioning whether the discounts are as good as they’re promoted to be. This, combined with other major annual retail events, such as Amazon’s Prime Day, means that this weekend no longer has the clout it once did.  However, 2018 also saw marketers doing more to stand out against the competition. Many businesses have moved away from traditional in-your-face sales messaging and some are even limiting their Black Friday deals to subscribers and members. By taking this approach, their sales stand out from the mass market and can help maintain a level of exclusivity that could be jeopardised by excessive discounts. In addition to branding, marketers making the most of retargeting saw an even greater uplift in sale. Particularly when it came to the use of apps, those in the UK using retargeting saw a 50% larger revenue uplift than those who didn’t.  So, having reviewed last year’s Data; what should businesses be doing this year in order to stand out? GETTING BLACK FRIDAY-READY WITH DATA Businesses preparing for Black Friday need to take into account a number of considerations involving both Marketing and Pricing. For the latter, Data and Predictive Analytics play a huge role in determining what items should go on sale, and what their price should be.  Far from just being based on gut instinct or word-of-mouth, algorithms derived from Advanced Analytics inform Machine Learning models that determine what should be on sale, and for how much. These take into account not only how many of each discounted product need to be sold to produce the right ROI, but also what prices and sales should be for the rest of the year in order to make the sale financially viable.  In terms of Marketing, Deep Learning techniques can be used to accurately predict Customer Behaviour and purchases. These predictions can then reveal which customers are likely to spend the most over the weekend, and which are likely to make minimal purchases. Marketers can then, in the lead up to Black Friday, target relevant messaging to each audience whether it be “get all you Christmas shopping in our sale” or “treat yourself to a one-off item”. By carefully analysing the Data they have available and reviewing the successes and failures of their Black Friday events, businesses can generate greater customer loyalty and improve their sales year-round. If you’re looking to build out your Marketing Analytics team or take the next step in your career, we can help. Take a look at our latest opportunities or get in touch with one of our expert consultants to find out more. 

MARKETING INSIGHT AND THE CUSTOMER FEEDBACK LOOP

Marketing Insight And The Customer Feedback Loop

As the holidays approach, Marketers are focusing more than ever on User Experience (UX). They’re not only looking at what kind of product customers might want or need but how will it look and feel to them? If a product doesn’t have what you need or doesn’t function as appealingly as others, what good is it? Key elements such as aesthetics, usability, and ‘feel’ are integral to the user experience. Because these elements come from such seemingly disparate departments as Marketing and Developers, it’s important to figure out how to come together for the ultimate UX. After all, if today’s buyers buy experiences over tangible products, then ensuring the experience is important to bridging the gap between customers, marketers, and developers. This, when done right, helps to build and retain customer relationships; the foundations upon which business is built. Design User Experience with M&D By bringing marketers and developers (M&D) together, you create the opportunity for innovation. But there are some key elements to consider when designing UX and it follows four stages. Do your research. Identify needs, spending patterns, buying behaviours, and historical data to determine what it is customers desire. Find out what they want or need and give it to them. This is the role of the marketer backed by development.Gather the data. Using multiple touch points across multiple sources and channels, find what works. What product offers usability and determine how design choices can help to create a seamless experience for your customer.Design your idea and create a prototype. Brainstorm your design. What are its product features, user interface, and aesthetics? Does it look user friendly? Would you pick it up off the shelf? Why? What is it about the product that makes you want to have it? What problems can it solve for you?Time to Test it. Is your product user friendly? What are its useful functions? How does it look? Feel? Incorporate feedback to improve its performance, function, or aesthetic. What does your test market say? Would they buy it? Why or why not? Bridging the Gap with collaboration We can forget sometimes, lost in our jargon and our buzzwords, that it’s the customer who we hope will benefit from our product or service. Yet, traditionally, marketers gathered customer preferences and drove sales, while developers designed products based on those preferences. However, the two departments were often siloed and creativity, usability, function, and aesthetics either got overshadowed or underrepresented to varying degrees. Enter customer feedback an integral point of reference for all parties involved. Customers are at the heart of user experience and it’s their feedback which can inform the user experience. What better marketing insights than those straight from the customer? Working with Marketers and Developers, customers provide a crucial component to helping marketers understand market dynamics. On the flip side, customer feedback can help mitigate risk or issues down the road by providing solutions and helping to resolve problems. the impact on Product Development By conducting user experience testing, marketers and developers can determine if a product is a good fit for customer needs. At the same time, they may identify issues to be resolved which can be learned of in real-time for a better user experience once the product is launched. Each has their role to play in designing the user experience and contributing to market insights for more informed business decisions.  These include: Marketers are part of the design experience from conception to inception. They are responsible for gathering the data to identify problem areas, working with Developers to create a product or service to solve a problem, and gathering data from the customer. Do they like this product? Why? What pain points does it serve? And how can it be made better or improved? Developers are the designers. They must take the information the marketers have collected and try to make the product into something functional and aesthetically-pleasing. Though they operate more at the back-end, they too much collaborate with customers to capture issues and solve problems. Developers test the products, making improvements as needed. Each stage a constant in UX design.Customers offer invaluable data and metrics through their feedback and reviews. The insights they contain as the end user about using the product, revealing its challenges, and suggesting room for improvement, make this three-part collaboration the final link in the chain between marketers, developers, and customers when it comes to designing the ultimate user experience. If you’re interested in the relationship between insights and UX, we may have a role for you. Check out our current opportunities or get in touch with one of our expert consultants to learn more. 

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