Mobile CRM: What Is It & Why Does It Matter?

mobile crm
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CRM, or customer relationship management, is the process of using data to optimize interactions with current or potential customers.

CRM software has been in use since the 90s, but with the rise of mobile businesses in the past 10 years, there’s more pressure than ever to create app-driven solutions in a traditionally web-driven space.

A mobile CRM platform works similarly to a web CRM platform: it collects usage data, builds rich profiles for each user, and helps marketers and salespeople visualize each user’s location in the funnel. The main difference is that mobile CRM platforms track usage data from an app, while traditional CRM platforms track website usage.

If you’re new to the world of CRM, don’t sweat it. In this post, we’ll go over the key features that every mobile CRM platform ought to have, from data collection to data-driven messaging.

Analytics With Mobile CRM

mobile analytics

In order to make data-driven marketing decisions, you first need to collect the data. Step one of any CRM product is to collect and process user data.

Some CRM platforms integrate with external analytics providers. This isn’t a bad idea for app teams that already have an established workflow on an analytics platform. But to avoid the app performance issues associated with implementing too many third-party platforms, it’s best to stick to a mobile CRM provider that collects its own data.

One benefit of built-in analytics is that every aspect of the platform can exchange data. For example, an external analytics platform might push raw data to the CRM platform, but there’s no guarantee that events or segments created in the analytics tool will be supported in the CRM software. It all depends on how complete the integration is.

With an all-in-one platform, you can rest easy knowing that the work you put into your analytics dashboard won’t go to waste. All of the data can be made actionable, once you reach the next step.

Personalization With Mobile CRM

This feature is the very core of CRM. It’s the reason why companies don’t try and cut the cost of CRM software by sticking only to analytics and messaging tools. Personalization touches every step of the customer journey, so it’s important to get it right.

In short, personalization is the process of enriching your marketing content with user-specific data. It’s one step more granular than analytics: instead of looking at high-level trends across segments, you’re diving into individual behavior.

With CRM tools, you’ll find a host of built-in attributes for each individual user, like time spent in-app or time since last login. You can also track individual in-app events. Usually this is done to track important milestones like purchase completions, but you can create as many events as needed to map out a user journey that’s specific to your app.

crm personalization

Armed with user-specific data, you’re now ready to reach out to your audience. That’s where the next step comes in.

Messaging With Mobile CRM

crm messaging

Much like with analytics, some CRM platforms choose to offer messaging via external integrations. The pros and cons are similar to before, but there’s one more factor to consider: messaging feeds data back into the analytics tool. So, you would need a third-party messaging tool that not only accepts personalized content from your CRM platform, but that also sends open/click-through rates back to the analytics platform.

The messaging step is often handled by dedicated third parties, and some third parties only operate on a single channel (e.g. email service providers like Mailchimp). As a result, it’s easy to mistake messaging as a separate process from CRM.

In reality, user data is only valuable for marketers insofar as it provides actionable insight. Without using your individual user data in real messaging campaigns, you’re not earning the best ROI on the tools you’re paying for.

CRM tools really shine during the messaging step. Personalized messaging only begins at attribute-based parameters like the user’s first name or recently purchased products. Messages can also be timed to send when each user is most likely to read them, based on past behavior. This simple tweak has shown a 7x increase in 30-day retention.

mobile crm retention

Lifecycle campaigns are another powerful technique that isn’t possible without deep user data.

Normally, behaviorally triggered messages are tied to specific in-app events, like abandoning a shopping cart. If a user adds items to their cart but leaves without completing the purchase, the app might send a push notification reminder after 24 hours. These behavioral messages are situationally effective, but they don’t guarantee long-term user engagement.

With lifecycle campaigns, messages are triggered based on a combination of factors, rather than individual events. Consider the following examples.

  • Send a reactivation prompt to users who fall dormant for seven days, and then follow up with an email if the push notification isn’t opened
  • Send tip-of-the-day in-app messages to new users, but stop as soon as they reach a milestone that indicates they’ve moved passed onboarding
  • Send product recommendations weekly to users who’ve completed a purchase within the past three months; otherwise, switch to a reactivation campaign

Lifecycle campaigns are more flexible than single-event behavioral triggers. They enable a depth of personalization that’s only possible with a powerful CRM tool.

The Cycle of Mobile CRM

The process of data-driven marketing doesn’t stop here. Once your personalized campaigns start sending out messages, you’ll want to keep an eye on the analytics dashboard to catch any trends. And from there, the cycle begins a new, with analytics feeding usage and engagement data into personalization tools that enable customized messaging campaigns.

We tend to think of CRM as a static database of users, but this whole flow from analytics to action is part of the CRM process. The best way to manage the customer relationship is to keep customers engaged — that means actionable insights.

That’s why we recommend using an integrated mobile CRM platform from the start. With every feature under the same roof, it’s possible to use data for deeper personalization. The three elements of mobile CRM are so closely connected that it’s risky to spin a feature off and rely on a third party.

Leanplum is one such integrated mobile CRM platform. If you’d like to see more, schedule a demo below!

Leanplum is building the marketing cloud for the mobile era. Our integrated solution delivers meaningful engagement across messaging and the in-app experience. We work with top brands such as Tinder, Tesco, and Lyft. Schedule your personalized demo here.