CRM in PicsArt: Enabling Creativity

Charles Condon, Director, CRM/Retention Marketing, PicsArt Inc.
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Charles Condon, Director, CRM/Retention Marketing, PicsArt Inc.

Successfully deploying CRM programs and systems in your mobile app is a complex task. User expectations at install are high and determining their behavioral intent needs to happen in a few seconds.

Building a successful CRM program requires a happy marriage of analytics, SaaS tools, and marketing savvy. That marriage enables automated programs that deliver the appropriate information at the precise time necessary to move the user through a critical decision point and leading to long term retention across platforms and at scale. For PicsArt, our main goals are to help users unearth their creativity, connect with other creative people and ultimately collaborate with other community members. CRM plays a huge role in achieving these objectives.

Good tech partnerships enable PicsArt to focus on our vision

For PicsArt, our focus and mission is to beautify the world through creative collaboration. We do this by providing creative tools and a platform for users to safely and securely share their creations. That is the focus of our internal engineering and product teams. We rely heavily on our CRM partners to build, innovate and modernize our messaging capabilities.

Our programs focus on enabling users to create, collaborate and view great content. Photo editing, social collaborating and sharing capabilities are constantly being improved in our apps.  We leverage our CRM systems to inform users about the availability of new content, new features, new followers or artwork of interest to them. All of this initiates a positive cycle of creation and sharing that result in even more user generated content being produced within our network.

Empowering Marketing to Test and Learn

PicsArt uses multiple SaaS tools that combine analysis, targeting, and testing capabilities across channels and platforms without requiring significant IT resources beyond what is required at integration. We selected a mobile messaging partner that has a proven strong back-end focus to handle real time transactions in milliseconds, supports multiple marketing channels (Push notifs, email, in app messages, etc.) and continues to innovate as the mobile landscape changes and evolves. This enables our marketing and product teams to focus on multivariate testing and subsequent optimization of programs at scale. Scale is important - with over 65 million active monthly users we must be certain we capture, store and leverage data with almost no latency or downtime.

Methodical Approach to Program Creation

We use a methodical analyze --> build ---> optimize ---> localize ---> automate approach to each of our programs. First we identify the critical problem(s) we are trying to solve. Analysis identifies key block points in a customer journey, and identifies actions that users who successfully navigate these block points take. We then build test programs targeting small subsets of users encouraging these actions and determined whether our testing hypotheses are validated in a production environment. These programs will ultimately be iterated against multiple times, testing key elements such as message (text and image), landing page experience, timing (time of day, day of week, x hours after user action), user action trigger points and delivery channel. Once we’ve established winning variants, we’ll rollout to 100% of our audience and localize the message (PicsArt uses an internally recruited team of actual users that are natively fluent) into 15 to 20 languages.

Maintaining and Monitoring

Once a program is automated, it is not forgotten - nor should it be. Product changes and external factors can often impact program performance. Therefore, we regularly monitor all programs and key metrics they influence. Our services partner allows us to directly monitor each campaign, and also provides the ability to access data through an API endpoint to create custom internal dashboards for higher level monitoring and/or campaign dashboards outside our CRM toolsets.

Continuous monitoring of CRM efforts needs to be done on both an aggregate and campaign level, often comparing multiple dimensions. This allows us to understand and adapt to the shifting needs of our audience and re-tool (sometimes even kill) programs that are no longer effective.

Handling Complexity with Focus on Company Objectives

A robust CRM program is really a collection of small, hyper-targeted programs with high yield. Strategically it is important to understand this from the start, and build prioritizations up front that allow the most important programs to take precedence over others lesser impact programs.

Listening to the customer wherever they communicate

We actively manage our social channels and continually monitor for customer feedback we receive from them— as well as our support and community teams who are constantly in touch with our most active users.

Stay nimble, pay close attention to what’s going on in the world and in your app community. Take advantage of what makes sense (e.g. Nikon

or something like a big Valentines) and use CRM services to make sure that the people who use PicsArt can get the most out of our creative tools. Why? Because at the end of the day, we use CRM to further optimize the company’s goal to beautify the world through creative collaboration. 

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