Computers and artificial intelligence have come along at an exponential rate over the past few decades, from being regarded as oversized adding machines to the point where they have played integral roles in some legitimately creative endeavours.
The decision to deploy a new marketing automation platform while undertaking a CRM upgrade project has significantly lifted customer engagement and staff productivity at Australian sleep therapy company, ResMed.
The Australian and New Zealand marketing team embarked on a project last year to upgrade ResMed’s 10-year old CRM platform to Salesforce. Simultaneously, its IT partner also recommended integrating a new marketing automation platform to improve the group’s ability to tailor messages and interactions with its customer base.
Previously, ResMed was using Campaign Monitor for its email communications with both B2C and B2B customers, and found the process laborious and limited. Templates needed to be created afresh each time, and staff would have to produce an email concept which was then translated into HTML format. It then had to sort and import the right data for each campaign.
“We had virtually no visibility or control with what we were doing in the CRM, or on who was engaged with what we were sending out,” ResMed associate product manager, Danielle Nicklin, told CMO. In addition, B2B communication was largely based on general updates to ResMed’s product porftolio.
In recent years, ResMed has been rapidly building out its customer database through its digital customer portal and membership program, Sleepvantage, and found the existing CRM platform wasn’t providing enough capability around collecting or utilising member data.
“We were also updating the website and wanted better integration between our member program and customer portal, Sleepvantage, and our CRM,” Nicklin said. The company has 90,000 members and about 5000 B2B customers in its database.
ResMed rolled out Silverpop’s marketing platform (Now owned by IBM) after the upgrade to Salesforce. Nicklin said both projects were led by the marketing team, with IT staff working hand-in-hand with the digital team.
The first step once Silverpop was in place was making sure ResMed had templated emails and make the process of emailing customers a straightforward, responsive activity. “Email marketing shouldn’t be something that takes weeks, but something we can use to respond to trends that day,” Nicklin commented.
“From there, we’ve looked at personalisation – we have integrated a product asset from our CRM that shows all B2C customers and their purchasing data. We can now put that into emails to see their device and when they purchased it, and personalise the message accordingly.”
As an example, Nicklin said the team was able to create a single email for a recent product launch but adjust content to highlight features orientated to female or male customers around one of the new devices and masks.
“Instead of pulling all names to send out, we can also take out those that have purchased in the last six months, as they don’t want to be told they’re out of date,” Nicklin continued. “Or we’ll talk more about technology advancement, more as a reference point for those customers.
“We want to make everyone aware of the new product range, but also that we had new masks, so we told those who recently purchased new devices about these, rather than hounding them with new device information.”
Nicklin explained ResMed customers usually trial a device for four weeks before they purchase. “We can grab that detail and help them along the way with advice and tips, such as fitting a mask,” she said.Read more: 5 great examples of augmented reality in marketing
“That capability comes down to the fact that CRM data is connected to the email system.”
As a result of the CRM and Silverpop upgrade, ResMed has seen B2C email engagement rates leap from 1 per cent to 12 per cent. Opt-outs have also fallen.
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While the focus has been more on B2C to date, Nicklin is looking at how to get information out to its B2B partners more quickly, and has created email templates for these customers to send to their own databases.
“We can see if people are interested, and give those leads to B2B customers, as well as track if they’ve been successful or not,” Nicklin said, improving overall conversation rates.
The next step for Nicklin is looking at product lifecycle management and a series of tailored communications talking to its database about upgrading, cleaning and general advice. She plans to set up specific programs depending on when a customer has purchased, as well as tailoring engagement programs for those browsing certain parts of the website for information. She’s also looking at tailoring content based on location as a way of further engaging customers.
In terms of technology investment, Nicklin is hoping to roll out SMS messaging capabilities in 2015.
“SMS presents a great opportunity for us to help people in trials of our products,” she explained. “For instance, we could send a text message in the morning to ask them how they slept, and if it wasn’t OK, send tips and tricks on how to get through those issues. Text is quick and more personalised, rather than an email, which is more promotional. If someone replies rating their sleep one out of five, we could then have someone call them, enhancing customer support.”
On the B2B side, Nicklin plans to introduce website forms to better collect leads through its Silverpop and CRM platforms, and will build these forms as new products are launched.
One of the biggest benefits of having CRM and campaign management fully integrated is that details of the assets and campaigns sent to each customer through the marketing platform are all recorded, she added.
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