Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platforms are often expensive and even companies that have one are frequently challenged to get their workforce to use it consistently and accurately.  ­­For organizations that don’t have a CRM or have a CRM with bad or outdated data, it is still possible to gain insight into customer interests to provide the kind of relevant, personalized experience that people seek. Below are three strategies that companies without a CRM can use to learn about their customers.


Companies that maintain an email subscriber list have a great source of information right at their fingertips. People who have given a company their email address have already raised their had to interact with them online through a permission based marketing channel. While they may not always exactly match with your ideal customer, they probably aren’t too far off. That email information will need to go through a relatively technical process of scrubbing personally identifiable information that turns the available list into an anonymous audience that is then imported into a data management platform and cross-referenced against the data in the platform to find matches.

Website Tagging:

For companies that lack an email database or don’t have the means to anonymize it, website tagging is an incredibly helpful tool for grouping people who interact with a website online into audiences for analysis. This source of information is already anonymized so all it needs is a Data Management Platform that can group the tagged users for analysis.  If a site has enough traffic, consider using one tag for the total site audience, and separate tags on specific products or services for ad hoc segmentation.  This will allow you to compare groups interested in those products/services to identify differences and similarities that might predict future behavior.

Facebook Audience Insights:

Of course, everyone’s looking out for their budget these days, so it’s possible that an organization may not have access to a data management platform or a partner with access to one. These organizations can turn to Facebook to learn about their audience. While Facebook can only give insight into your social audiences, it essentially functions as a data management platform with an audience analysis tool that gives surprisingly detailed information on followers. By creating audiences within Facebook’s Audience Insights, a company can easily get a better picture of who their social audience is. A detailed guide on how to utilize Facebook’s Audience Insights to develop custom audiences can be found here.

The more you learn about your audience, the better you can target your marketing to get their attention. Whether you have a CRM to track your customers or not, Advance Ohio has the tools and data sources to gain valuable insight into who your audience is. Contact us today to learn more about how our Data Management Platform can help you reach your customers better.