In my (almost) four years at Treatwell, I’ve been lucky enough to be part of an incredible journey that began with just a few hundred salons in the UK, to over 25,000 salons in 11 countries and counting.
Our success to date has been the culmination of many factors, one of which is our passionate 500-plus strong team who share the vision to revolutionise the hair & beauty industry forever. One of the instrumental cogs of success has been our CRM programme and I’m incredibly proud of my team and their achievements, which has culminated in consistent triple digit growth year-on-year.
And so, reflecting on a journey that began with an old cake box as a makeshift laptop stand, to where we are today, here are my six essentials for creating a CRM strategy that sticks.
1. Embrace your data.
The importance of accessing & using data in CRM is akin to the oxygen tank that accompanies an underwater diver; without it you won’t get very far. Whilst accessing every possible data point isn’t essential, making that data available for different teams to use is, even if it involves using multiple systems to stitch the data together. And if your holy grail is to move away from data silos to having one turbo-charged single view of your customer, start by mapping out the smaller milestones that you can implement first.
2. Meaningful segments = big results
Segmentation has long been a backbone of every marketer in being able to identify and capitalise on untapped potential throughout the customer lifecycle. Whether it’s in the form of RFM (recency, frequency or monetary value), demographic, browsing or behavioural targeting, or a combination of some or all of these, segmentation enables you to target your customers in a meaningful and efficient way.
In the case of a hyper-local business like Treatwell, whilst we’re continually refining and enhancing our segmentation, some variables have always been particularly important for us. Take location for example, which helps us understand where a customer lives, works, or where they are likely to spend a lot of time. This helps us to decide the salons that might be relevant to them. Think about what variables are important for your own needs, then build out a profile of your customers to create highly personalised and targeted experiences for them.
3. Relevant conversations with relevant customers
We place a large emphasis on being “ultra-local”, which means connecting a customer in Manchester with their perfect salon in the Northern Quarter or putting a Top Rated salon in Shoreditch in front of 10,000 customers across East London. When you think about this on a global scale, the approach remains the same. A treatment that’s popular in downtown Milan is unlikely to be the same one that’s trending in Berlin. So what an ultra-local strategy enables is understanding what’s unique about each market, and being able to act and respond on those insights, and being able to have a 1:1 conversation with the customer.
Your CRM strategy needs to be capable of supporting growth by using consistent data and communication streams that can scale, but be flexible enough to stay relevant to each customer regardless of the location/s that you operate in.
4. The power of personalisation
Whilst the very definition of personalisation varies depending on who you speak to or what publication you’re reading, this comes down to enhancing the customer experience in a relevant and contextual way - think about the likes of Spotify or Amazon, to name a few.
We’ve been making a lot of progress in personalisation at Treatwell too. A recent (high-level) example that we’ve rolled out is targeting customers that booked a Two Weeks Gel Manicuretreatment by prompting them to return to the same salon two weeks later to have the gel nails removed.
Implementing personalisation in your CRM strategy can improve multiple KPI’s, including average basket value by as much as 6% (eMarketer April 2017), which is huge considering how challenging it can be to shift the dial on this metric.
5. From personalisation to automation
Whilst personalisation is one of the great weapons in the CRM arsenal, the benefits that automation can yield are even bigger. Whether your goal is to achieve resource efficiencies, scale your communication streams or increase your conversion rate (remember: highly relevant, highly targeted communications), automation should form a cornerstone of every CRM strategy.
6. Start small, think big
Despite the many benefits of automation, the number one barrier marketers cite to implementing it is securing budget. What’s key to point out here is that you don’t need state-of-the-art CRM infrastructure to start the journey to automation. I have a great case study which I'll be sharing at the upcoming Festival of Marketing which shows how we achieved significant percentage point gains by using just some spreadsheets and a bit of creativity!
A final word…
1. eMarketer - Personalised vs Email marketing, April 2017
eMarketer – Challenges of Marketing Automation according to Email Marketers worldwide, Feb 2017
Robert Simons, Group Head of CRM, Treatwell, will be appearing at The Festival of Marketing, 4-5 October, Tobacco Dock, London: http://www.festivalofmarketing.com