August 21, 2017 / Michelle Bernardini

The ABCs of CRM Success Measurement

Stressed out about measuring CRM success? Learn the building blocks that lead to effective measurement.

As a mother of a toddler, I often think about how to impart crucial life knowledge to her in the simplest way possible. On tap these past weeks has been the concept of the ABCs. As I sit with her, I am amazed at how these three simple letters are the path to other letters that then form the crux of all the words she will use in her life. Pretty cool, right?

This got me thinking about my clients, and how so much of what I do as a CRM data analyst is to identify and impart crucial knowledge to them, too. Our collaboration will similarly set them in the right direction in their “lives” as digital marketers.

So what would I say are the ABCs of CRM strategy and measurement?

A: Know Your Objective

Is your program trying to drive product awareness or product sales? This slight difference will change the way you design and optimize your program. Awareness objectives might focus on deployment strategy and subject lines to drive email opens and message exposure. Product sales objectives might focus more heavily on calls to action within an email and aligning the email message with website content and tools. Knowing your objective is crucial to helping you manage your efforts to drive success.

B: Develop KPIs that Tie Back to Your Objective

The right KPIs will give the best view of how your program is performing against your objective. In the world of email metrics, there are many things you can measure, but how valuable is optimizing against the unsubscribe rate if your program goal was tied to product awareness? There is nothing worse than raising a red flag against a KPI that isn’t a true success indicator.

C: Benchmark and Be Realistic

CRM benchmarking can be tricky because no two programs are completely alike. However, there are a number of sources—external to the industry, internal at your company, and internal at your agency partners—that can help you get a great sense of where you should be. Compare your data to these benchmarks and develop a sense of where you are before making crucial business decisions.

Finally, be realistic. Recognize that CRM is one channel in a multi-channel digital environment. Sometimes, the best programs can have marginal lifts, but those marginal lifts can be considered successes based on what other supporting channels are in market and the loftiness of our goals.

So, take a cue from me and my daughter—keep at it and you will get there! Take these ABCs and internalize them. Look to examples within your company and evaluate whether your programs and approaches align with them. Repeat these to yourself to get the concepts across. Finally, give yourself a big clap and a perhaps a “yay!” when you reach a CRM milestone worth celebrating.

Michelle Bernardini / Director