Customer Relationship Management | Personalized Marketing and Customer Empowerment

Customer relationship management or CRM is the process of managing detailed information about all individual customers and customer “touchpoints” to maximise loyalty. The aggregate value of the company’s customer base is a major driver of company profitability. For this very reason, CRM is extremely crucial.

Customer relationship management enables companies to effectively use individual account information and intern provide outstanding real-time customer service. Customer empowerment and personalising marketing or two very important aspects of CRM.

Personalizing Marketing

Personalising marketing is a major challenge. It is all about making sure that the marketing of a brand and the brand itself are as personally relevant as possible to as many customers as possible.

As no two customers are alike, This can prove to be a very difficult task to achieve. Companies employ techniques like using e-mail, databases, call centres, websites, etc. to form a strong and continuous bond between customer and the company.

Once a customer makes actual contact with the company, companies are recognising just how much important is the personal component in CRM.

Example 1 – Netflix

In order to create extremely specific, almost hyper-personalised recommendations, Netflix collects a vast amount of data on customers.

1. Artificial Intelligence

To fire up and power its recommendation engines Netflix uses a combination of AI (artificial intelligence) and machine learning. The company not only uses customer viewing data, search history, and rating data but also time, date and the type of device used by the viewer to help make precise recommendations.

2. Personalised Trailers

Netflix’s AI engine can generate personalised trailers by analysing the customer’s behaviour on the platform. This would be done by inferring what one is most likely to click and play.

3. Unique Home Page for every customer

Using customer data a unique homepage is created for each and every single user. It shows content that best matches the interest of its users which as a result enhances the overall platform experience.

4. Likes & Dislikes

On the basis of likes and dislikes, Netflix uses content to chart the success and failure of the personal recommendations. For example, if a user watches a lot of horror movies like The Ritual, The Babysitter, etc. They will be recommended similar movies to keep them hooked to Netflix.

5. Timing & Duration of Recommendations

One genius stroke of Netflix, Is using Time as a string variable. If a user logs in late at night, the platform will suggest shorter programmes or the ones that are halfway watched through.

6. Granular Understanding

It is more granular than basic genre preferences. If the AI detects a liking for movies starring Geroge Clooney or Julianne Moore, it will recommend shows and movies containing those actors.


As of April 2020, Netflix had over 193 million paid subscriptions worldwide, including 73 million in the United States. Netflix is a member of the Motion Picture Association (MPA). The company produces & distributes content from countries all over the globe.

It claims to offer not just one product but over a hundred million products – one for each of its user and their unique preference.

Example 2 – Amazon

Nearly 35% of the company sales come from personalised recommendations. Out of those 56% are likely to turn into repeat buyers.

1. The Use of AI and Deep Learning Technique

Deep learning uses algorithms to deliver results by naturally understanding human behaviour. It helps to understand and analyse what a customer is likely to buy next.

When the customer is on the site or if they log in again, the information gained by deep learning helps further recommend those products to them. The product and the product pages that the customer has viewed, but, rated and reviewed are all taken into consideration.

2. Product Recommendation Analogy

Based on their on-site behaviour data, Amazon’s sophisticated recommendation engine helps the user “discover” Products and also helps them see things that they are unlikely to discover by themselves. A major role here is played by website personalisation.

Customer Empowerment

Customer empowerment is giving the customers all the tools and the information needed to make a wise decision. Providing them with a much better buying experience by using these resources and options, allows the customers to select the kind of brand experience they want to have.

If the customer selects their own experience and enjoys it, they become natural evangelists for the brand and help spread the good word.

Tools of Customer Empowerment

The tools to help the customer feel empowered are

  1. Customer self-service
  2. Social media
  3. Reviews and testimonials by the customers
  4. Customer feedback collection
  5. Co-creation

Examples – Lego Ideas

“Ideas” platform by Lego allows customers to get directly involved in the invention of its products. This can be the most famous example of co-creation.

Customer Empowerment – Example

1. BMW

This automobile company was relatively early to initiate online co-creation. It launched its own permanent lab in 2010. “Tomorrow’s Urban Mobility Services”, BMW’s first open innovation contest, accepted internet users best suggestions to improve mobility in the city is in urban areas of the future.

300 ideas, 5000 comments and 8600 idea evaluations is the kind of fuelling response that this contest got. They also showed BMW how to assess new creations. BMW’s co-creation lab had more than 5000 regular participants. Each contest bought on an average 1300 new ideas. And this was only in about six years.

2. Budweiser

Anheuser-Busch, in 2012, held a competition to come up with the special edition Budweiser. 12 Budweiser brewmasters were asked to develop a new flavour to debut in the Super Bowl ad in 2013.

What was exceptional about the following taste test was that more than 25,000 American adults tried the new beers, and Budweiser black crown was selected the winner. Here the co-creation happened where the company used its huge fan base as judges for the different recipes.

When the time arrived for the Super Bowl ad to run, the Black crown was already known to people and had gotten them interested. There was a good immediate increase in the sales of Black Crown, And stronger sales of Budweiser overall. And a whole lot of buzz that this created, was an added bonus.