3 (Less Traditional) Ways to Use Your CRM Data

By Clancy Ogden in Media Strategy on March 31st, 2015

When you think Customer Relationship Management (CRM), do you picture customer retention initiatives, eNewsletters, and rewards programs? Many times, we forget how beneficial that first party data can be when leveraged within our digital media campaigns.

display crm targeting

When crafting a media plan, we often consider what types of audiences to include (or exclude) from our display campaigns. So what better audience to consider than the audience you can access directly through your CRM data? The best part about utilizing your first party data is that you can confidently qualify them as being a worthwhile, or perhaps not worthwhile, audience to target (as opposed to throwing budget at random cookies and crossing your fingers!). Many publishers, whether it’s through their own proprietary software or through partners like LiveRamp, offer the opportunity to use your CRM data (many times in the form of emails in MD5 Hashed format that removes personal identification information) to target users online. Additionally, social platforms, like Facebook and Twitter, have CRM targeting solutions for their paid advertising offerings.

But remember: work smarter, not harder. Simply targeting past converters is no difficult task (think retargeting). Instead, you need to use your CRM data in more creative ways to take advantage of its full potential. Here are three unconventional ways to put your CRM data to work:

1. Segment previous converters

For one of BKV’s major non-profit clients, we’re able to segment our previous converters by what type of conversion they made. They could have either donated to the non-profit or signed up to participate in an event. We are then able to target and measure performance separately for these groups, providing valuable insight for future campaigns.

2. Limit your audience

In the above example, BKV might find that converters who previously signed up for an event (but did not donate to the charity) are less likely to donate later in the year. We could assume this is due to the fact that these event-converters campaigned to raise money for the event, so they feel they’ve already done their part. As a result, in future donation-driven campaigns we might limit or exclude ad exposure to the event-converter audience so as not to waste impressions on an audience that we are confident is less likely to convert.

3. Find look-a-likes

Even at our heavily direct-response driven agency, we never forget to consider the upper funnel. We can’t ignore prospecting strategies, and a fantastic way to prospect is to find users who look like our previous converters. You’ve got to continue to feed that upper funnel to fuel your lower funnel tactics!


So dig up that CRM list, segment it out, and figure out the best way to reach (or to exclude!) the users that you already know the most about. Leverage your CRM data to learn more about conversion behavior and to help drive creative messaging for future campaigns. Start with what you know – don’t keep wasting media budget on your best guess. Target users in an informed way, and shape future targeting strategies based on the results!

We have experience building strategies based on CRM learnings and can certainly help you effectively segment and test your data to get your CRM program working for your brand.

If you’ve got a CRM list but don’t know where to start...

Give us a call.