Revitalizing Your CRM Marketing for Enhanced Customer Retention with Ted Baker’s Nicky Lomax (episode 489)

Nicky Lomax is a super star CRM leader–most recently spending 4 and a half months at global fashion retailer Ted Baker as Head of CRM to build and train the new team, fix the CRM tech stack and database, launch SMS, cut costs, and put in place a killer strategy for 2024. 

Nicky Lomax Ted Baker on eCommerce MasterPlan Podcast

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Dive in: 

[03:32] Nicky’s eCommerce journey. 
[07:36] Cost per acquisition is going up; focus on retaining existing customers. 
[09:05] Get into SMS and get your strategy right. 
[14:03] Assess strategy, reporting, team, tech, and delivery. 
[16:13] Optimising supplier relationships to maximize budget efficiency. 
[19:20] Team collaboration and involvement in decision-making crucial. 
[20:52] Nicky’s Top Tips! 

Importance of CRM in eCommerce 

Nicky explains the renewed focus on CRM in retail, noting that brands are frustrated with the high costs and opaque nature of advertising through platforms like Google and Meta, where customer acquisition costs are rising. Companies are realizing the importance of not just acquiring customers but also retaining them by focusing on loyalty and re-engagement strategies. Nicky says businesses are looking to diversify their marketing channels beyond digital ads, incorporating methods like email, SMS, and direct mail, which offer direct and tangible connections with customers. This shift represents a broader trend towards optimizing existing customer relationships rather than continuously seeking new ones. 

Building Your CRM Strategy 

Building a CRM strategy should start from the very basics, focusing on the integrity and functionality of data touchpoints. Audit these touchpoints to ensure that everything from sign-ups to data integrations is working as expected. Nicky suggests conducting thorough checks on various customer interaction points like website sign-ups, checkouts, and data entry points to confirm data flows correctly into the database and is usable for segmentation and targeted marketing. This approach helps identify any overlooked gaps or errors, such as outdated content or non-functional links, which can significantly affect the efficiency of CRM initiatives. By starting with a solid foundation of accurate and functioning data systems, businesses can better manage their CRM strategies and improve customer engagement. 

Strategic CRM Audit 

Nicky affirms the necessity of conducting a tech stack audit as part of evaluating a CRM strategy. She explains that an audit should start with assessing current strategies, reporting capabilities, and segmentation to determine if the existing tech stack meets these needs effectively. It’s important to consider whether the team is adequately equipped and trained to utilize the technology effectively, addressing any gaps in skills or processes that may hinder operations. Ensure that all CRM-related tasks, such as email building or data processing, are streamlined and efficient, without unnecessary conflicts or delays. This helps in identifying whether current tools and partnerships are adequate or if adjustments are needed to support the CRM objectives optimally. 

Negotiation Skills in CRM Management 

Nikki points out an often-overlooked aspect of CRM management—negotiation with suppliers. She says CRM specialists must possess strong negotiation skills to secure cost-effective services and technologies. This skill is essential for managing budgets effectively and ensuring that the CRM tools and services are financially sustainable. 

Team Involvement and Leadership in CRM 

The team has a critical role in the success of CRM retention projects. While tactical aspects and data integrations are important, the team’s involvement is crucial. As a senior CRM leader, Nicky says it’s her responsibility to ensure the team is engaged in all aspects of project development and decision-making. Include the team in everything from choosing email service providers to strategy reviews, because their buy-in and enthusiasm are essential for the project’s success. The team’s journey and participation in the process are key to achieving effective CRM outcomes.

eCommerce Book Top Tip

eCommerce Traffic Top Tip

  • Get your basics right and keep them up-to-date. 

Tool Top Tip

  • Automated reporting and no meetings before 9:30am. 

Carbon Top Tip

  • Use paper responsibly in direct mail, and display FSC certifications and partner with conservation groups. 
  • Avoid double opt-in practices in email to conserve energy and increase efficiency. 

Interview Links

Related episodes

  • How to move from Batch and Blast to Customer Focused Comms with exMissguided’s Nicola Fox (episode 249)
  • Thriving through a period of huge (but turbulent) growth with Geoff Atkinson of Overstock (episode 295)
  • 5 Key Steps for Effective CRM Implementation with Haydn Parks, Digital Fit (episode 472)

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