Keeping up with the constant change in consumer behavior and spending habits requires that companies constantly evaluate and evolve their marketing efforts. Many brands have already shifted marketing strategies from product-centric to experiential. This contextual approach has allowed companies like Uber and Lyft to create innovative experiences out of otherwise not-so-innovative products. Context has become a powerful differentiating factor, and it’s time for brands to apply that power to their CRM.

Uber and Lyft, two similar transportation companies who have been battling for consumer interest, are prime examples of the shift toward a complete CRM model. Social media and apps are used to generate driver reviews which establish a base of trust mobile technology delivers the app to users’ devices, cloud technology powers the whole experience and analytics software tracks app usage to alter pricing accordingly. They’re creating a more enjoyable consumer experience by collecting relevant information at every step along the way and feeding that data back into their overall strategy.

Implementing strong CRM is all about shifting the focus from real-time to right time. This all comes down to context; delivering the right message at the right time. It’s about improving analytical insights to anticipate customer needs before they are even voiced. This is the heart of CRM and something marketers often forget.

So, what exactly does context mean? In this case, it means it’s not enough to just know where your customers currently are in their journey; context means also knowing everywhere they’ve already been and, based on that, where you can expect they’ll go next. This is the power of predictive analytics!

Understanding your customers and their journey is the key to driving brand perceptions and uncovering customer insights. These are the insights that empower you to speak effectively to your customers and build meaningful relationships. It allows you to be in front of your consumer’s and know their LTV to ultimately convert.

Adding context around customer data is a big part of making the shift to a complete CRM model. Context opens the door to a complete view of your customers at every step along the consideration and purchasing process, and that makes it much easier to put ideas into actions to drive results for your business. The goal of CRM is to transition your customer from merely a transactional interaction to an emotional relationship. The future of CRM is all about adding depth to customer data; your data is incredibly powerful and you need to use it to your best advantage.