The modern company structure continually evolves to match the pace of the market and technological changes. As the boundaries between Marketing, Product and other areas of the organisation become less defined, companies need to increasingly look at innovative ways to collaborate to succeed.
Lourdes Fuster (Lourdes), CRM Manager at coches.net & motos.net, works within a unique structure that emphasises sharing resources and a clear vision to achieve organisational goals. In this article, Lourdes outlines how other companies can emulate this setup to achieve a common organisational purpose.
- Lourdes’ Career Journey
- Working Cross-Functionally for Successful CRM
- Deepening User Understanding
- Final Thoughts
- Lessons Learned
Lourdes’ Career Journey
Lourdes began her career in social media and B2B campaigns before moving to the sales excellence domain. Next, when the opportunity to start a CRM team at coches.net & motos.net appeared, she jumped at it and joined the company. Coches.net & motos.net is a vehicle selling and buying platform that helps customers browse, buy and sell used vehicles. When she joined the company, they were not using any CRM tool and there were no campaigns. She was tasked with having to choose a CRM tool and build campaigns from the ground up.
She’s been in the role since and she loves working in CRM. As she gained success with the channel, the company began to take notice and invest more in CRM.
Based on her extensive CRM experience, Lourdes’s first piece of advice is to invest in understanding your customers before developing CRM campaigns.
You should work with the data you have to gain insights about your users and approach each user interaction by understanding what is the optimal message, to the optimal person, at the optimal time, Lourdes explained. We’ve even matured to the point where we have a user model based on Machine Learning that provides us with customer segments to target.
Working Cross-Functionally for Successful CRM
Discussing the skills or qualities required to be successful with CRM, Lourdes explained that it is extremely important to have an analytical and critical mindset. She further suggested that one of the most important things CRM Managers need to keep in mind is to not limit their thinking to CRM channels only. You limit yourself if you only think of CRM as activation, referral, and other parts of the lifecycle. Instead, you need to have a holistic view of Marketing and provide guidance on paid media or social channels, because ultimately all areas support each other and connect to some extent, she said.
Lourdes outlined how the company functions collaboratively and the steps other organisations could take to arrive at a similar agile framework.
1. Define Company Objectives
Senior executives give us guidance on what the overarching objectives will be, and everything we do from that point on is aimed towards achieving those objectives.
2. Form Clusters Around Objectives
Because the objectives can be accomplished in a variety of ways, the clusters we form have representatives from CRM, Engineering or Product. Involving members from different departments creates shared responsibility to make sure no single team becomes a roadblock. Collaboratively, we have a growth plan which contains acquisition and retention roadmaps.
3. Brainstorm Initiatives to Achieve Objectives
All ideas are welcome, and we do our best to not limit ourselves to thinking about our own channels. We expect members of the cluster to challenge each other to think creatively, with the only limitations being that any initiative has to support a company objective, and has to be approached with a customer-first mindset.
4. Prioritise Initiatives
Using an effort-impact matrix, map the objectives by assessing how much effort it would take to complete the initiative, and the level of impact the initiative would have on the company objectives. The key in this step is to think critically and let not domains or preferences skew your thinking. At the end of the process, we give initiatives a score.
5. Vote on Initiatives
Finally, we’re democratic and vote on the initiatives so that every person gets a chance to express their opinion. Depending on the objective we’re trying to accomplish, we’ll pick a few initiatives and then delegate responsibilities across teams.
Deepening User Understanding
Lourdes highlighted that one of the main issues they face now is communicating with the users in real time.
We want to deepen our understanding of users, and the Machine Learning model we use is only updated periodically, Lourdes explained. When you think of our business, if someone searches for a car or buys a car, there’s a lag in our system in terms of how we classify that user. We’re investing in a CDP to ensure that we can have that knowledge in real time and share it with our CRM platform or other channels.
Another reason the company is investing in CDP is to improve retention rates to free up money to redirect to other areas. If we can gain savings from returning users we can reinvest that in branding or paid campaigns, Lourdes commented. Another benefit is that if we can get more data from CRM, we can use that additional data to make paid campaigns more efficient by leveraging look-alike campaigns.
Before ending our conversation I asked Lourdes for one piece of wisdom she could share with anyone looking to break into the CRM field. Here’s what she said:
Always be learning and investing in your skillset. Digital marketing is constantly changing and to stay ahead of the new trends you need to seek out new knowledge. And finally, don’t think about your role in CRM just by the channels you have access to. Emphasise teamwork, identify the larger role CRM plays in the organisation, and use your expertise and customer-first mindset to champion CRM.
|1||Before you start developing CRM campaigns, take the time to understand the motivation of your customers and what they need|
|2||Take a broad view of CRM – every action you take has some impact across the organisation, and understanding how things connect can unlock efficiencies|
|3||When you work collaboratively to achieve company objectives you create shared ownership and accountability, improving cross-functional work|
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