Mining Your Data

4 July 2019

Customers expect a lot in their communication from businesses and brands today.  They want personalisation and exclusivity - and they want it at the time it's relevant to them.  But how do you offer this on a huge scale, potentially, in a club sense, to thousands of members?

It's something that Countdown does really well.  For example, I'm a loyal Countdown customer and i scan my rewards card each time I shop to earn points.  This provides me with discounts once I accumulate a certain number, and provides Countdown with data about what I buy, when I buy it, and how frequently.  They then use this data to populate a weekly email they send me before my habitual Saturday shop, highlighting the things I regularly buy that are on sale that week.  I also receive ad-hoc emails with bonus point offers, usually enticing me to buy a different brand of a product I normally buy.

It's called CRM (Customer Relationship Management) marketing, and for consumers, it's convenient, cool and a little bit creepy all at the same time.  Most importantly for brands - it works!  It essentially allows them to leverage the data they have in their CRM platform to create personalised, hyper-targeted communications and offers for their existing customers.  This is usually automated through an email marketing platform based on qualifying factors, but can also take the form of SMS or physical mail.

For clubs, this presents an exciting opportunity to segment marketing messages based on member history and information you've already collected through day-to-day operations.

Keep in mind though, there are requirements that must be adhered to if you're planning to explore using member data in such a way.  Recipients of your electronic messages must give consent to receive emails from you, you must provide identification of your business contact details and you must provide a working unsubscribe link.

Consent is typically and simply obtained through an opt-in check box as part of membership application or renewal forms.  To comply with the other obligations, the easiest way to remember and consistently include contact details and an unsubscribe facility is to embed these in the base template you use for sending all campaigns.  Most mailing list providers will have this as a default inclusion, and some won't even allow a campaign to send if it's not.

The key to successful CRM marketing is delivering the right message, to the right person, at the right time which prompts the desired action.  "mass marketing" is a huge no-no - don't just batch and blast your whole database and hope for the best.  As well as coming off as impersonal and irrelevant, this approach is a sure-fire way for your emails to be labelled as spam and end up in junk folders.

Executed well, CRM marketing allows businesses to build long-term relationships with customers, anticipating what they want and keeping them engaged with content and offers they are interested in.  I continue to shop at Countdown because they do this so well.

If your club hasn't dived into what member data is available and how you could be better using it in this way, now is the time to start exploring and testing.

(SOURCE: Gioenne Rapisarda, ClubsNSW Communication Officer, ClubLIFE June 2019)

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