CRM data in unexpected places

In the ad tech space, “CRM” and “CRM data” are being increasingly misused in the context of targeting customer lists via addressable platforms. For this brief piece, I am using CRM in the classic sense--Customer Relationship Management, defined as “ approach to managing a company's interaction with current and potential future customers that tries to analyze data about customers' history with a company and to improve business relationships with customers, specifically focusing on customer retention and ultimately driving sales growth.”

Here are three unexpected places where SaaS companies can mine data on customer interaction with their product:

Your UI: your company’s software is a surprisingly neglected source of data, especially in ad tech / martech. While most platforms provide a change log, they usually neglect mining data on customer use. At the very least, organizations should pull lists of users logging into their platform over the last 30 days. This data is valuable for two reasons: 

  • Identifying your most current customer / end user list, so that this info can be updated in your Email Marketing platform for product releases, announcements, etc
  •  Identifying your power users, or customers who log into your tools the most, so that you can engage them, deepen your relationship, and solicit their valuable product feedback

Your Email Marketing Platform: Open and Click Rate stats are valuable, but the actual list of unique opens is an often-neglected goldmine. Customers who open your marketing emails are the most engaged consumers of your brand; the list of unique opens can also indicate the difference between an end user and decision maker. 

Your Help Center: company knowledge bases are used primarily for the purpose of customer education. Most Help Center or Knowledge Base packages have a “Search” module containing valuable data around what articles are accessed the most, as well as what searches return no results. The first datapoint helps understand what documentation is most valuable to customers and can be further developed; the second helps to inform what gaps exist in the current help center. Both of these create opportunities to further engage with current and new customers and to better drive the adoption of your product.

What are some other unexpected places where valuable CRM data resides? Can DMPs solve the challenge of truly aggregating all CRM data?

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