June 4, 2012

CRMC2012 Review

The 2012 Customer Relationship Management Conference (CRMC) just wrapped up yesterday and for those who could not make it, or had a few “can’t miss” meetings during the show, here are a few choice takeaways that I thought were worth sharing.

1) Loyalty programs can be a beautiful thing – when done right.  Jenn McMillen enthusiastically presented what her and her GameStop team had done in creating theirs (PowerUp).  Its success is derived from a great many things, but here are few of the key ones:

  • The employees in the field got behind it and are its continued lifeblood
  • There is a clear value proposition for signing up – and not just monetary: extra levels to game, chances to be a video game character, access to game creators, etc.
  • Implementing better email practices – going from as high as 18/wk to no more than 3/wk, and now with dynamic, relevant content to boot

And how do we know it is a successful program?  GameStop has generated over 18 million participants in less than 24 months.  What’s more, over half of them pay to be premium members of the program!  I’m in awe.

2) It seemed like one of the big buzz terms being thrown around a lot was “test and learn” or some synonym of that.  And each time it was mentioned it was so brief that it came off as afterthought to most.  I kept hoping someone would have taken the time to really outline their testing strategy and then share a few of their gained insights … especially with the number of self-professed data geeks who were on the dais. But alas it wasn’t meant to be this year 😉

3) Gilt, the daily flash sale e-commerce site, has their emails so customized and targeted that they have 3,000 different permutations … that go out daily!

4) Social media is more than just Twitter and Facebook. Soraya Darabi gave a great presentation on why retailers need to expand even further in to social media.  The current poster child for this is Pinterest.  They are on fire and it now does more lead generation than Facebook.

But the point isn’t to just run out and make a Pinterest account.  It’s to continue to seek out new and fresh ways to stay relevant with your audience and to listen to what they are saying.  Along those lines Soraya presented 5 simple, but resonating, reasons why retailers should continue to explore in new Social Media:

(This is where I insert my non-existent sound bite of Paula Puleo from earlier in the conference leaving us with the message to: ‘Be brave, be bold and know your truth’.)

This was my first time at this particular conference, however I have a suspicion you’ll see me at #CRMC2013.