CMS and Accessible Relationship Marketing
In previous articles, I discussed the irrefutable advantages of using a content management system (CMS). The primary advantage is the independence your company gains by allowing CMS to manage the online publication of your news content, service offers or company achievements. However, I touched less on the extraordinary things you can do with such a tool.
For marketing professionals, the web represents an opportunity to “converse” on a person-to-person level with their clients: this is known as relationship marketing. Relationship marketing is the opposite of transactional marketing, which “pushes” a message on the greatest number of people as possible for the least amount of money, in the hopes of “catching” as many customers as they can. On the contrary, relationship marketing hopes to obtain a high response rate or conversion rate among a group of meticulously selected prospects, using customized marketing messages.
The truth is that consumers (and purchasers or corporate decision-makers) are literally bombarded with messages of all kinds and the law of large numbers (send more messages and expect greater results) is increasingly less efficient under these conditions.
The maturity of an organization in terms of relationship marketing involves five steps: choosing the right person, the right communication channel, the right moment, the right offer and, lastly, the right relationship .  If your organization has a database of contacts, if these contacts are qualified (e.g. industry, interests, etc.), if you know their preferred interaction channel (e.g. Internet) and if you are aware of their purchasing habits, then are you ready to implement customized offers.
But what of real initiatives carried out? A number of entreprises that could be considered innovative have changed their ways of thinking and are now attempting to build upon the customization of marketing messages. But even today, most companies merely send a single message to all their contacts and hope for returns. Amazon and other ambassadors of these techniques do not number in the legions.
This brings me back to CMS (finally!). CMS will enable you to customize marketing messages and easily measure their success rates by creating messages or site sections reserved for individuals or groups of individuals. In this manner, you will be able to better target your prospects by communicating with them on a customized basis and you will be capable of measuring your results more accurately, not to mention all the knowledge you will gain from one campaign to another.
An example? For Saint Valentine’s Day, instead of preparing a single promotional e-mail addressed to all your clients, it could be advantageous to prepare one for each customer group. In this case, you could write one for men and another for women. Use your CMS to create two e-mails that will each have a powerful message per customer group, a separate e-mail subject title and different originators to optimize the open rate. Next, create separate landing pages for each customer group; this will boost the consistency between the message sent and the offer displayed on your site. Lastly, present a product catalogue customized per target group. Women don’t need to see gifts for other women, and vice versa. Your conversion rate will be much higher than it would be for a single, invariable campaign addressed to all your customers. This is a simple example but it illustrates the concept. You can apply this strategy with even greater segmentation to customize and optimize your campaign for many customer segments.
Could this type of customization be achieved before the advent of CMS? Of course, but the cost did not justify the effort. It is still essential to measure the investment and its potential returns before acting, but CMS has obviously made customizing your service offer far more accessible.