Recently, Ascent360 CEO Scott Buelter presented at an Outdoor Retailer education session to showcase the benefits of customer relationship management (CRM) and improving retention and loyalty by using customer data. During the presentation, he highlighted a four-season resort as a case study for data driven marketing because they typically have six or seven “businesses” running at once that they can collect data from. This often includes core ski sales, food and beverage, onsite retail, lodging, rentals, lessons, and more.

CRM compared to brand or other forms of marketing

As an analogy, consider you are at a very crowded beach and you’re trying to sell drinks. One way to market those drinks might be by aerial advertising where you fly a banner ad through the air. This can get a lot of eyes on your message, but it might not be very relevant to your audience. On the other hand, direct marketing is about identifying specific groups or individuals at that beach that you can talk to and develop a relationship with. You use context based on what you know about those potential customers to create a one-to-one connection.

CRM is about using the power of your data to drive decisions, promote loyalty, and create value for your business as well as your customers. If you can talk to the right person, at the right time, through the right medium, you can build relationships in addition to growing revenue. This not only creates customers, but lifelong advocates.

Get to know your customers & their needs

Building a retention marketing program is all about knowing who your customers are and how they behave similarly or differently. First, you want to determine what their challenges and needs are so you can build separate communication channels based on their needs and preferences.

This is where market segmentation comes in. The word segmentation can be a daunting idea to those who are less familiar with it, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, Ascent360 recommends that you start simple. Begin with the basic building blocks of the data you have, such as new versus repeat customers, active versus inactive, or families versus non-families. It’s important to continue to circle back on your data even after you’ve built and automated your communications. Are customers behaving the way you expected and meeting the benchmarks you set? From there, you can fine tune your segmentation strategy and pivot if necessary.

There are several categories of segmentation, which include demographics (the simplest way to start), psychographics, and behavioral patterns.

"With behavioral segmentation, such as post-purchase and browse abandon messages, we see roughly 70% open rates and much higher engagement overall. This is because you are focusing on relevancy to your customer, understanding their preferences, and building trust and loyalty." 

Collecting the right data and using it the right way

You simply can’t build a robust, sophisticated marketing program without data. There are many ways to capture important information about your customers, even if you’re not primarily doing online transactions. You can use a QR code, create forms, and more. On top of that, you collect lots of data through systems like your point-of-sale, eCommerce, and other transactional systems.

So, what’s the next step after you’ve collected the data and segmented your customers into unique groups? You use that information to achieve personalization, which is all about driving one-to-one communication and speaking to someone on an individualized basis.

At Ascent360, we help clients organize their data into one all-encompassing tool that cleanses and enriches the data, identifies segments (and segments within segments), and allows you to build tailor-made automations for hyper-personalized communication. This type of direct marketing is a long-term tactic built to create authentic, long-lasting customer relationships and drive repeat purchases. Even if a customer becomes inactive, continuing to engage with them in a personalized way will bring them back to you when they’re ready, and having the right tool to accomplish this makes all the difference.


Learn what’s possible with cleansed & enriched customer data! 

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