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customer relationship management

Blending Marketing and Your CRM
CRM has long been used by many businesses. After all, it has significant value in the management of customers and the associated data. But the world is changing and so is the way we do business. Today’s customer is actually 57 percent into the buying cycle before they even talk to anyone from the company. Now more than ever before, when a customer reaches out, a marketer must be there through all the steps.

When the right CRM software is used it will allow your marketers to plan and execute campaigns across a number of channels from beginning to end, and then it will allow you to measure the effectiveness of those campaigns. CRM can allow you to build your sales pipeline across numerous channels and to demonstrate in real time the impact of your marketing investment.

With the ability to streamline, plan and execute you can create an integrated plan to fit your budget and then track and analyze across all of your channels. You’ll be able to reach your prospects through digital methods, email, social networking and more traditional means. You can collaborate processes and manage them across all your marketing team from one platform. Marketing has never been easier.

Because you can now easily design the journey of your customer or prospect, the recipient is receiving highly targeted content whether it’s a newsletter or a special offer. You can now easily create different channels to target different markets. In addition, you can make your emails interactive so that you can record valuable information based on the actions of the recipient. This additional information helps you to even fine tune your target markets even further.

You can seamlessly build your sales pipeline and follow your prospects through that pipeline. You can boost the interest of prospects through multistage marketing campaigns that deliver personalized content. With CRM, you can combine your marketing and sales funnels.
CRM allows you to keep the sales team in the loop. You can easily provide your sales team with access to the marketing calendar so they know exactly what campaigns are running and what to expect coming down the pipe.

One of the most powerful tools you have available is marketing analytics. You can now easily measure ROI and get a real time view of your effectiveness. These clear views of your marketing campaigns mean you can quickly change or fine-tune any campaign based on its performance.
Marketing is essential to the success of your business and CRM should play an important role in today’s marketing strategies. Don’t get left out in the cold.

How to Improve Your CRM to Benefit Your Marketing
If you want to succeed with your business, you need loyal customers and brand loyalty. Building customer relationships is critical, as is feedback. But you need to be able to balance what they want with giving into requests. This is where your CRM software comes into play. It helps you to build a complete customer profile that includes their feedback. It helps you to build a relationship with your customers. Marketing involves existing customers and new lead generation. Here we’ll focus on marketing to those existing customers and how your CRM can benefit you.

1. Word of Mouth – Candid Conversations
In our world today, most people spend at least part of their day on technology whether it’s their computer, tablet, or smartphone. When it comes to deciding what to buy or where to buy it word of mouth has always played an important role and it still does today, just in a somewhat different format called social media. This is also the fastest and most effective way to build trust with customers and prospects. It’s also known to give the highest ROI. This includes online reviews, recommendations, open questions and answers, feedback and more. These conversations and what you learn about your customers can be integrated into your CRM software.

2. Be Honest
One way that small business stands out over large businesses is that customers have an easier time talking to a real live human. That translates to a lot less of their valuable time used trying to get a response and the building of trust in their relationship with the company. Always be honest with your customer. Even when your customer is in the wrong, you can be respectful and kind in your response. Your CRM software helps you to see patterns that are established, such as customers that tend to complain often or who have phoned in with the same problem or complaint numerous time.
But what does that have to do with marketing. Well, as you create marketing campaigns that target through social media, you will be asked questions about your product, and it is important that you answer these prospects in an honest manner as well. In addition, you need to be incorporating these questions and responses into your CRM database so that you can follow them through the pipeline and determine how long it is from the initial engagement until the second sale takes place. In some cases, this can be quite long.

3. Keep Track of Your Customers and Prospects
Every conversation with a customer needs to be recorded and their CRM customer profile upgraded. All of this information is key to creating marketing campaigns that correctly target the desired audience. When a customer first purchases the initial information is recorded in the CRM database, but that profile needs to be continuously added to and built upon for marketing to be the most effective it can be.

How to Take Advantage of CRM Marketing Strategies
In a world that revolves around software technology, marketing has quickly evolved in just a matter of a few years. Thanks to the internet, marketing has never been more accessible and more affordable than it is right now. It allows marketers to target a specific market with a specific marketing campaign far more frequently and with a much broader reach.
However, ironically, the digital age flexibility has actually made some marketers more ineffective because potential customers become irritated by messages that are not relevant or that arrive too often, customers become confused with messages that conflict, and a failure to connect to an audience that has had too much exposure.

CRM has added a new strength to the online marketing world because marketers have those challenges addressed. CRM is far more than just software that manages your customers contact information and call notes. Previous versions of CRM software were able to help sales people and marketers focus marketing activities because it allowed for data mining. Today’s CRM software is proactive. Rather than trying to understand the data that’s been entered, today’s CRM is able to create, correlate, and display information visually to help you identify sales opportunities and patterns.

CRM can help you identify your target audience and the product, create your target list, decide what your message will be and then distribute it, via the medium you decide to use. You could opt for delivery via website, mail out, email, phone, etc. You can automate the scheduling. Then you can capture inquiries and replies from your marketing campaign, route them to the correct department or sales staff and track the sales progress in the pipeline. The sale is then recorded and the ROI on the campaign can be determined. You determine your budget and make an ROI forecast for your campaign.

CRM can even help you to determine when the best time is to contact your customer, what kinds of messages get the best response, what new products/services your R&D should be focusing on and even whether your customer is serious about buying or just shopping and comparing.
CRM can do all of this because it can easily be integrated with external mail services, etc. that allow you to create lists that target a specific audience and then import it into your software or in many cases the CRM has these features built in so you can create campaigns and they emails have code embedded into them that ensures the interaction that occurs between you and the person receiving the message to be captured in your CRM database. There’s no longer a need to cut and paste.

Today’s CRM is not a passive tool. It can give you a full 360-degree look at your customer. These systems can be strategic and tactical with powerful support to make decisions. Capitalize what your CRM software has to offer.

How to Build a Strong CRM Database for Marketing
CRM marketing is a powerful tool that many marketers are still overlooking today, yet it can make you more efficient and increase your marketing efforts.
If someone asked you how many customers you had in your region, could you tell them? If you were asked how many sales prospects, you had, would you know?
Using CRM it is important to divide your customer data base into segments or regions, because if you don’t when you send out that email message, everyone is going to get it and at best it will result in a low response and worse it will annoy customers and have them drop off your mailing list. So how does one build a strong database that will improve your marketing results?



1. Watch Your Data Quality
At the base of your marketing being effective is the need for access to good quality data. You need to get as much information on a company or person as you can. You can uses Google or LinkedIn to find out more about a person. There are other business directories that can be helpful. The minimum information you should have is their address, telephone number, email and title. You can also add your interests. Add the information you find to your CRM database.

2. Maintain a Good Database
In order to maintain a good database you need to be updating it regularly. This should not just be the job of the marketing department but it should also involve other departments that access the information. They will also have opportunities to update information. For example, a customer phones in with a complaint and they the customer service rep a new phone number, they need to be adding it at that stage. This is how good solid databases are built.

3. Have the Ability to Select
When you have created structured data, it is easy for you to choose based on your target group. You can select one or more target groups for your marketing campaign to target. For example, maybe you want to run an email campaign that targets those people with the title ‘account manager’ and who are assigned to the salesperson Joey. You will access your CRM software and select with this criteria. It will take no time at all for the list to appear on the screen. There’s no need for Excel or large complicated processes.

If staff understands the importance of filling in as many fields as possible, you will create a powerful database full of customer information and your marketing campaigns will become stronger and more powerful.

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