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CRM data is messy, but it can clean itself up

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CRM data is messy, but it can clean itself up


Lately, there has been a fair number of headlines advocating for cleaner CRM data. It’s true that more flawless CRM data leads to successful personalization marketing. And while most would agree on why you should clean your CRM data, there are divergent views on the how. 

Too many of the articles recommend batch cleansing and periodic hygiene practices. But let’s be real. CRM data is and always will be messy. It’s a lot like your teenage son’s bedroom—you can clean that room from baseboards to the ceiling once a month, once a week, even once a day. The only sure thing is that it will be dirty again, and soon.

Flawless CRM data can’t be achieved by cleaning up database tables through one-time processes, no matter how many of those processes you employ, or how frequently. It can only be achieved by enforcing rigor in a system of record with integrated, repeatable, ongoing data services. Let’s discuss the characteristics that make up a reliable system of record, and why it’s a more effective path to ongoing efficiency and accuracy of CRM data.

Actionable data requires rigor

According to one article, “Getting rid of duplicate data values is the beginning of the cleanup process.” However, that is shortsighted. New customer data is onboarded all the time, which means deleting and merging duplicate data should be a constant value whenever new data is being integrated.  It’s one of the primary drivers when companies consider adding a customer data platform (CDP)—centralizing customer data and automating the rigorous requirements associated with data unification and hygiene. You want your customer data to be accurate and actionable at any given moment, not just the day after your last merge process. 

As an example, let’s imagine you are a women’s beauty retailer offering e-commerce sales as well as storefront locations. If you have customers who purchase online and in-store, they could appear as multiple individuals in your database, depending on how the data is collected. Unifying data across devices and locations ensures a better understanding of customer behavior, and regularly refreshing that data enables you to message based on their most recent purchases—as opposed to a purchase from last week or month when the data was last refreshed.

The most valuable data is data in motion

Most of the CRM data referenced in the article would be characterized as “data at rest” or PII (personal identifiable information) data. PII data is directly associated with a consumer and doesn’t change frequently (e.g., an email address, personal demographics), but when it does the data becomes unusable. The most valuable data in marketing activities isn’t necessarily PII data. It’s data in motion or non-PII data—constantly evolving and profiled in real-time. This can be transactional data, purchase behavior, content consumption and geo-location data. When it comes to understanding customer behavior and intent, non-PII data generates the most accurate signals to determine the next best action for marketers. 

Only a comprehensive system of record like a CDP can safely and effectively graph non-PII data against existing PII records for use in real-time. It’s also necessary if you want to move forward from baseline hygiene and enrich your CRM data with non-PII data that enables you to understand customer interest and intent. Let’s go back to our example. Your beauty brand may have reliable customer data related to purchases made online and in-store, but you don’t know about recent purchases from other beauty brands, or if a customer has also been searching content from other make-up brands or researching hair care products. Data enrichment can help you further tailor marketing content with deeper and more meaningful personalization.

Bridge the gap from data to opportunities

The nature of non-PII data and the complexity of linking it in real-time to a consumer’s profile is why CRM data is and always will be messy. We can’t change how data is generated, in fact, what’s happening most often is we’re creating more devices and customer engagement strategies that in turn generate even more customer data and well, you get the picture. Bringing it back to our teenager example, he’ll continue to accumulate dirty clothes every day. The most efficient solution? Teach him to do his own laundry. You can do the same with your data.

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Maintaining the quality and accuracy of CRM data is important, but it is a baseline requirement when it comes to your marketing efforts. Consumer expectations are high when it comes to personalized marketing and the recommendations they receive from your brand. The ability to identify your customers across channels and devices will require highly reliable, real-time insights—insights that can also reveal opportunities to engage through sophisticated AI. This is what the future of customer data management looks like, and why marketers should be focusing their technology conversations on the next generation of data platforms.


About The Author

Zeta Global Holdings Corp. (NYSE: ZETA) is a leading data-driven, cloud-based marketing technology company that empowers enterprises to acquire, grow and retain customers. The Company’s Zeta Marketing Platform (the “ZMP”) is the largest omnichannel marketing platform with identity data at its core. The ZMP analyzes billions of structured and unstructured data points to predict consumer intent by leveraging sophisticated artificial intelligence to personalize experiences at scale. Founded in 2007 by David A. Steinberg and John Sculley, the Company is headquartered in New York City. For more information, please go to www.zetaglobal.com.



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8 Effective Ways to Ensure Ecommerce Business Success

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8 Effective Ways to Ensure Ecommerce Business Success

It is a known fact that the global consumers are favoring ecommerce, and the reasons for ecommerce business success are many. 

According to a Statista forecast, the retail ecommerce revenue in the US is expected to cross 1.3 trillion dollars by the end of 2025.

Image via Statista

While brick-and-mortar stores are gradually losing their dominance, the digital marketplace is blazing. More and more ecommerce brands, big and small, are coming up and gaining a foothold in this ever-expanding landscape.

If you are one such ecommerce business striving to taste success, you know how demanding and competitive things can be. And you only beat the fierce competition with aggressive ecommerce marketing strategies like digital advertising, content marketing, social media marketing, etc.

In this post, I will be sharing 8 key factors you need to focus on to ensure your ecommerce business success and sustainable business growth. 

Let’s get started.

8 Key Factors for Ecommerce Business Success in 2022

The future of ecommerce is bright and the small businesses that jump on the bandwagon early will reap great benefits. But what does it take to taste this success? 

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Here are the 8 key success factors for ecommerce businesses.

1. Target a Niche Audience 

The secret to ecommerce business success lies in understanding your target audience and focusing all your efforts on engaging them. Instead of trying to attract a broad audience on the search engines, select a niche audience specific to your small business, understand their pain points and interests, and position your brand to meet their needs. An SEO tool like Semrush or Ahrefs can help you with your research to build a strong marketing strategy based on real insights.

The goal is to make your product unique and market it to a relevant audience that is more likely to make a purchase. This strategy can increase customer loyalty and win repeat customers for your small business. Therein lies the secret to your ecommerce business success. 

2. Go Mobile-First 

The pandemic has accelerated our shift to ecommerce and given rise to m-commerce. Insider Intelligence estimates that by 2025, m-commerce sales will account for 44.2% of total ecommerce sales in the US.

So it’s clear that the success of your ecommerce business relies on the mobile-friendliness of your site. Having a mobile-friendly online store can help you deliver a seamless online shopping experience to customers on the go.

You can begin by running Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test and building a progressive web application (PWA) for your online store. A responsive design for your website will help boost sales and pave the way for your ecommerce business success.

3. Choose the Right Distribution Channels 

Your audiences are active on different channels and if want your products to be visible to them, you need to choose the right distribution channels. 

If your business model focuses solely on your ecommerce website, you should broaden your perspective and consider other sales channels. There are several other options to sell your products like Amazon, eBay, social media, affiliate marketing, and so on. You can manage your sales process effectively with the help of sales CRM tools. These tools integrate your different sales channels and makes your sales process more efficient.

Conduct extensive research to figure out which of these channels are preferred by your target customers. Showcase your products in an attractive way to boost your ecommerce sales. This digital marketing strategy can contribute to your ecommerce business success.

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4. Create Unique Content

You heard that right. To ensure that your ecommerce brand stands out in the crowd, you should invest in high-quality and diverse content. 

Today internet users are flooded with content and to grab their attention you need to think out of the box and create content marketing strategies that truly grab their attention. Remember, video content is ruling the landscape delivering great results. You can use Premiere Pro Presets to create unique and impressive videos and stay ahead of the competition.

Gather insights from customer data analysis, see what your competitors are doing, and learn from your previous digital marketing campaigns to create a more targeted content marketing strategy for your small business. 

5. Continually Update Your Email Marketing List 

Marketers rely on email marketing to achieve diverse marketing goals. Emails can be used to generate leads, nurture them, build relationships with customers, ensure customer satisfaction and boost ecommerce sales.

But to leverage the power of email marketing, you need to be smart about your email lists and use the right email tools to manage them. There’s no point in sending a thousand emails when only a couple of hundreds of recipients are your target audience. 

That’s why segmenting your email lists and keeping them updated is crucial to your ecommerce business success. An effective way to manage your email lists is to ask for the recipients’ feedback on your emails and the information they prefer to receive.

By analyzing the responses, you can make more strategic decisions and ensure the success of your ecommerce business.

6. Deliver a Great Shopping Experience 

The expectation of customers in terms of customer experience has skyrocketed and that’s why you need to work towards improving customer satisfaction.

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Personalized communication could be one of the biggest game-changers, be it in recommending products, reminding them of abandoned carts, or introducing them to your latest offerings. Creating user story maps can go a long way in making your personalization efforts more effective.

Right from the moment customers land on your page to when they make a purchase, you should strive to create a smooth customer experience. You can also consider incorporating an AI-powered chatbot into your website to take your customer service to the next level.

To make your customers happy, offer them special deals and discounts. Such moves will surely boost your ecommerce business success.

7. Invest in Social Media Marketing

Social media, can be immensely effective in creating brand awareness, extending customer service, and generating leads for your ecommerce business. Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube are all marketers’ favorites to reach out to niche audiences and drive traffic for their sites.

Having said that, it is a crowded market, and winning big on social media isn’t easy. As an ecommerce brand, you need to use social media analytics to create digital marketing campaigns that not only generate engagement but also fill your sales funnel with quality leads.

Ecommerce brands should also leverage social selling as it is growing into a prominent trend. This shoppable post by Macy’s allows its Facebook followers to buy what they like instantly. 

Image via Facebook

If invested strategically, selling on social media can act as a profitable sales channel for your business. 

8. Leverage Ecommerce Tools

Your team need not struggle to ensure the success of your ecommerce business. A variety of advanced ecommerce tools are at your disposal to optimize your efforts. 

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Some of the must-use tools for you are: 

  • Website tools – to design, set up, and manage your ecommerce site
  • Ecommerce marketing tools – to help strategize and execute your campaigns with ease 
  • Competitor analysis tools – to understand the gaps in your planning and improve it
  • Analytics tools – to help you gauge the performance of your digital marketing campaigns
  • Business tools – to help you manage daily operations, finances, logistics, inventory, and customer service 

Choose the ones that can boost the success of your ecommerce business. 

Final Thoughts

There you have it, a list of 8 key factors you need to work on to ensure the success of your ecommerce business. Gaining this success is hard work but it is worth it. 

If you want to fuel your business growth, I strongly recommend building your ecommerce marketing strategy to enhance customer experience and build your brand identity. Go ahead and give them a try to beat the competition and establish a successful ecommerce business.


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