I Have the Customer Data, Now What? – Tips for CRM Data Onboarding & Application.

Many online marketers are confused: What kind of CRM data are there? How do we use it?

I was confused too. Okay, let’s start with the types of CRM data.

Types of CRM data

There are two types of CRM data: PII Data & Non PII Data. The graph below can illustrate the journey of how potential customers becomes ambassadors of your brand.


(Based on the insights of the customer types from DMEXCO conference, I created this graph to make it understandable)

The ultimate goal of performance marketing is to convert from Non PII to PII data.

CRM to advertising: what is the process?

Once we have insights of both data, how can we transfer this data to targeting on performance marketing channels? Here is a general process:

  • Reception of CRM segments
  • Data onboarding
  • Programmatic Activation
  • Reactivation (re-engagement & repurchase)

Data onboarding

The link between other channels (e.g. SEA) and CRM is missing, because data onboarding is missing. How should we do the data boarding then? Here is an example:

  • CRM data is uploaded into media platform (Privacy policy is important!)
  • CRM data is matched to existing cookies.
  • Lookalikes to matched cookies are FOUND. (Lookalikes favored retargeting)
  • Activation of media on Lookalikes/Similar audience

People-based, not cookie based

Traditionally , CRM’s way to look at the audience is a segmented view. It is important to view customers in a holistic approach by looking at their identity graph, meaning, we need to look at each customer’s behaviors on all dimensions, on social media, on paid search, on organic search, on affiliate, on display etc.

Leverage CRM data

Pay attention to the following aspects when you want to leverage CRM data:

  • Cross-device reach: use mobile, tablet and desktop to increase the reach.
  • Deliver sequencing messaging (e.g. IF function in SEA to show sequencing ads for new customers & returning customers)
  • Set frequency capping. We do not want to overtarget.
  • Take a holistic approach for multi-channel analysis.

Avoid over-Targeting

it is not true that the more exposed our customers are to our brand, the more willing they would like to buy our products. The negative effect of over-targeting is illustrated as follows:


The extreme ads exposure can make customers angry, resentful and at the end, they will die. Without the accurate measurements, media investments end up overlapping each other; This leads to low cost efficiency and decreasing interest in your brands by customers.  So, be careful of ads targeting frequency.

All in all, CRM is an indispensable part of online marketing. Once the integration of customer data is implemented, the world of advertising is even bigger and deeper for marketers!


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