A conversation with Krzysztof, Head of Customer Engagement at Project A, to learn how to shift from CRM to CXM

On the 27th of September, Samuel, our Head of Marketing DACH, attended #PAKCon, a knowledge conference organised by Project A, an operational venture capital firm helping startups to scale. The Berlin-based event is all about helping attendees learn new things, transferring knowledge, and taking new learnings home. As Samuel did exactly learn new things and take them home interviewing Krzysztof, Head of Customer Engagement at Project A, we wanted, in turn, to share this knowledge acquired. Read our key takeaways below and watch the interview in the video at the end of this post.

Play the CRM long game

Krzysztof has been working at Project A for the last five years. As a CRM specialist, he supports a portfolio of companies in areas mostly related to retention marketing. When helping companies grow fast, he always emphasises on the fact that the R in CRM is relationship and not revenue, meaning the role of a CRM manager is to establish connections with customers and carefully maintain it in the long run.

Take your brand direct-to-consumer

While brands have two options: partnering with famous companies such as Google or Amazon and letting them set the customer relationship rules, or addressing customers using a direct-to-consumer approach. Lately, some famous brands like Adidas have shifted their market strategy choosing the second option. And according to Krzysztof, it’s the way to go to create a unique experience, even if it means investing time in infrastructure, traffic, and team management. If brands struggle right now, he is confident that they will benefit from this approach, in the long run, reclaiming their customer relationship.

Adopt an adaptive personalisation approach

Showcasing complete transparency and experimenting while communicating with your customers is the way to go if you don’t want to take personalisation to the scary stage for them. Krzysztof states that there are no rules when it comes to personalisation, except adapting your tactics according to the market, culture, and people addressed. His advice is to start small and slow and pursue the personalisation path according to the responses received.

Email Marketing: start preparing a Plan B

While one-to-one communication methods are becoming the new normal, email marketing remains surprisingly strong. Companies have reached the point to where email marketing is cheap, everyone is doing it, and its ROI keeps being positive.

However, it won’t last much longer as young generations prefer new engagement methods, including chatbots, Instagram, or YouTube videos. Krzysztof still advises you to continue using email marketing, as it doesn’t involve any risks and it’s cost-effective but recommends you to start planning your plan B for when new tactics will take over.

Focus on building long-lasting customer relationships

Our economy keeps getting attention-focused. While more and more players invest all the different industries increasing competitiveness, long-lasting brands expect to achieve the same results as when they were less challenged. To stand out from the crowd, Krzysztof now advises switching from a transactional to a relationship-building way of communication with your customers. It will mean waiting longer for results to show for more expensive actions, but the companies who will be faster at building this strategy will be the ones winning in the long run.

CRM: address a first pain point and iterate

Krzysztof has seen too many companies try to launch a perfect CRM strategy in a now complex customer journey. But the most important, according to him, is to go step by step. Your CRM strategy should be adapted to your customers’ context and journey. You should start by focusing on solving one of their pain points. Iteration should come later when the monitoring of a precise KPI shows a positive impact for your customers.

Watch Samuel’s interview with Krzysztof to learn more CRM best practices

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