Last year was full of milestones reached and new challenges for Xeerpa. We’ve been looking forward to the new year for the company and for the entire industry we work in. Something we’ve learned thanks to our work is that it’s the little things that can make the difference. We do our best to do our job as honestly as possible, following our single clients’ aspirations to offer them the best aligned service possible.
Two thousand seventeen was filled with cutting edge companies launching ambitious CRM projects, implementing their own DMPs to manage “anonymous” users, datalakes to analyze huge amounts of data in real time, and analytics projects leveraging on big data. For many of these companies, 2018 might just be the year they consolidate those technologies.

Here’s a summary of some of the major trends we’ve noticed in the market and that we believe will only become more robust in 2018.

 

Social Login – a Must-Have on every Website

Single sign-on through social media is taking over the space that traditional logins used to occupy. Social login improves user experience, for one, and also give brands incredibly valuable input for their CRM about the person clicking through their website. Social profiling tools can help companies get the best performance out of their social logins.

 

Website Customization based on User Profile

Your website is probably your most important inbound contact channel so you should be ready to segment your content for the client who’s visiting you. You’ll be much more effective if you adapt your message to the person who’s seeing it, distinguishing between the customer and the lead, the runner and the football fan, the millennial and the baby-boomer.

Users appreciate ramped up personalization and technology allows us to make it possible on websites and apps. Brands should aspire to do what the major players like Amazon, Netflix, and Facebook have been doing for some time now.

 

Enriching Lead Scoring with Social Data

One of the advantages of social login is how much it can tell us about the person visiting our website and, additionally, provide us with a lead. Their social data (what they’re interested in, what they like, where they’ve been) can upgrade our predictive probability models on purchasing, for instance, so we can prioritize more precisely each lead’s potential.

 

Major Players to Keep Implementing Cutting Edge Salesforce Management Systems

I was astonished the first time I saw a Campaign Manager and that was over a decade ago. Nowadays, cutting edge technologies, such as Salesforce Marketing Cloud, can manage digital channels in combination with traditional ones and all along the customer journey.

Many top companies are implementing this kind of software, often substituting more traditional campaign managers, and the real pioneers are starting to capitalize on their performance.

 

Consumer Goods Brands Jumping on CRM Bandwagon

CRM has long been associated with big services companies (banks, telecom, etc.) but today any company from any industry can have their own CRM project. Even consumer goods brands have changed how they perceive the market. They no longer see audiences behind their turnover, they’ve started seeing people that they need to get to know and seduce by personalizing their experience with the brand through the knowledge they have about them.

 

From Audience Management to People Management

Remigio Lluch (CMO of Prisa Noticias) told me something truly insightful recently when we were discussing the present and the future of the business model in the news media. He said that “we have to go from managing audiences to managing individuals.” For those businesses (and for the rest, probably), management has to be based on what we know about individuals and not so much on aggregated data that is offered by audiences.

 

The World of Publicity and CRM Converge (or, the Importance of First Party Data)

What are the most powerful companies in the world? Ask anyone and they’ll tell you Google, Facebook, Apple, Amazon… And what do they all have in common? For one, they all know a lot about their users.

The most innovative companies are managing from a single project the implementation of CRMs (identities) and DMPs (anonymous) to work with 1st party data in their advertising campaigns on digital platforms that go beyond Facebook and Google. Some like Salesforce have their own DMP technology (Krux) to seamlessly integrate the support for that strategy.

 

More Transparency and Respect for User Privacy

Everybody knows that on May 25 the new European regulation on data protection will be coming into effect (GDPR). Many of its requirements focus on transparency for users and getting permission to utilize their information. Both are common sense, not just legally but also from a business perspective.

Users know more about their rights and the value of their digital identity so brands will have to compete to gain the privilege of having permission to that data. In exchange, they will have to give the user personalized experiences. Otherwise, this permission might be withdrawn.

 

What about the Smaller Players?

We often see that small and medium sized companies do better at CRM than those who play in the major leagues. They’re almost always able to give customers a better experience and customer service. Just think about a small e-commerce that sells apples…they know that if their customer service isn’t excellent the customer won’t be coming back for more. That same user is more tolerant of mistakes and mix-ups at his or her bank or telephone company.

There is some amazing software out there for medium sized companies with highly advanced segmentation capabilities, anonymous user management, creating customer journey automations, although some of the most comprehensive are still expensive and not quite user-friendly.

 

Customer Care, Top Priority

Let’s use the example of a telecom company that invests millions in the very best CRM and big data technology, AI analytics models…They’ll have thrown away all that money if their call center is more like a madhouse than a contact for customers. Most of the time, trying to get something fixed through your phone company’s call center is a daunting experience.

We’re tired of big companies making the same mistakes, year after year: charging us for services we don’t use, making it impossible to just discontinue service already. It’s common sense. How many times a year does your bank or phone company get your hackles up? Will 2018 be the year that things change? Let’s keep our fingers crossed.