With over 1.4bn internet users and booming economies, Asia-Pacific presents an exciting challenge for ecommerce brands.

To take advantage of this opportunity, many brands are adopting high-end CRM solutions that provide structure and efficiencies to improve marketing automation.

However, this highlights the need to master the basics of CRM as brands can often become blinded by the powerful features these tools provide, and end up letting the technology dictate their CRM strategy rather than viewing the technology as enabler.

This is incredibly important in the Asia-Pacific market, as many brands still have a relatively young digital maturity in the region and need to get the basics in place before jumping into advanced CRM technology functionalities.

Here are some helpful tips when implementing effective CRM in Asia-Pacific:

1. Localise your Communications

It's vital that brands have communications that are localised for each market within Asia - trying to recycle what has worked in other markets won’t cut it.

Some of the key considerations include the need to ensure that language, copy style and designs within communications are aligned with each market.

Furthermore the type of offers/incentives that form part of a brand’s loyalty program need to be localised, along with the frequency/cadence of communications.

2. The data needs to be correct

Any CRM system is only as good as the data that feeds into it.

Before you can even begin to try and put together smart segmentation or trigger-based communications - the data needs to be correct.

After all, what good is a well structured marketing automation sequence if the customer is being given irrelevant promotions or offers due to inaccurate profiling.

To help prevent such issues occurring, brands need to adopt quality data hygiene processes and ensure staff are well trained in the specific back-end systems that need to ‘talk to each other’ to ensure that a customer’s records are accurate and refreshed against their most recent purchase history.

3. Understand device preferences

Asia-Pacific is home to the world's largest mobile phone market worldwide with 2.6bn users, and people will continue to come online via mobile.

Brands often look at these sorts of statistics and then try and align their communications with things such as responsive email templates to improve usability.

While this makes logical sense and is highly recommended, it’s also worth digging deeper and understanding your audiences preferences.

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To help illustrate this point, a good example is the growth of the adoption of WeChat, the mobile messaging application that has over 468m monthly active users.

This highlights an emerging social CRM channel that brands can use as a key communication channel for their audience in parts of Asia. This can also be tested against more traditional forms of communications such as email, direct mail or calls.

In summary, brands that can localise their communications, keep data accurate and understand the channel preferences of their customers are in a perfect position to master the basics of their CRM program, and in turn get better return from their CRM technology.

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