Marketing in the world of software technology has evolved rapidly. The internet has made marketing much more affordable and effective by giving marketers the ability to target specific audience personas and segments with very specific messages at a higher frequency and with greater reach.
However, with all this flexibility and reach, many marketers in the digital age have become less effective over time by annoying prospects with irrelevant messages, confusing customers with seemingly conflicting messages, diluting their deliveries due to perceived noise and failing to connect by overexposing their audience.
Customer Relationship Management software has found a new strength in addressing these marketing challenges for forward thinking marketers. CRM software has evolved far beyond just managing customer contact information and capturing customer call notes.
In the past, CRM systems allowed marketers and sales people to better focus their marketing activities by mining the system for better customer intelligence. Today, your CRM system has to be much more proactive. Instead of just trying to record and make sense of the data, customer management software solutions are used to create, synthesize, correlate and display the data in visual presentations that identify patterns, relationships and new sale opportunities.
Here’s how it works.
Start by creating a marketing campaign. Identify your target customers and prospects. Identify the products that you would like to sell. Develop the message and the medium for that message. Are you going to relay that message via phone calls, email, mail-outs, or website? Establish a budget and forecast ROI for this campaign. How much revenue do you expect from this campaign and how much money are you willing to invest to get that revenue?
In the past, the marketing campaign stops here in CRM software system. The rest is carried out externally. In today’s world, the right customer relationship management system is also a marketing automation system that can create the message, compile your target list, distribute your messaging pursuant to an automated schedule, capture the replies and inquiries from these marketing placements, route them to the right sales person or department, track the sale opportunity progress, record the successful sale event and calculate the campaign ROI.
This system can also advise the best time to call or email your customers, what type of messaging will illicit the best response, if your customer is really serious or just shopping around, how you can improve your products and services, and what new products and services your R&D department should focus on next.
How can a CRM system do all this? Marketing list management in CRM software can now be integrated with external mail quality services and internal financial systems, allowing you to create lists that target very specific customers and prospects and then import them directly into your business software system.
Many customer management systems are armed with their own email marketing engine and integrated with web content management systems (CMS), allowing you to develop your messaging on your website or email blasts, customize these messages to your customers and measure the results. These emails are embedded with tokens or code that allow interactions between you and the recipients to be captured in your CRM database, eliminating the need for copying and pasting from your email system.
Because every marketing message is tracked and because your CRM application can be integrated to your financial or accounting software system, the types of messages and frequency of marketing can be compared against prior marketing campaigns and sales data, allowing you to track trends, model outbound marketing distributions and predict customer behavior. By capturing customers’ feedback, your marketing department can uncover issues and identify gaps. Capturing sale opportunities that are lost can help your sales team quantitatively report on loss analysis, make adjustments to the sales process and identify new sale opportunities.
Today’s CRM system is no longer a passive tool that simply collects customer data. It is not enough to just get a 360 degree view of your customer profile, capture call notes and schedule to do items. CRM systems can now be both tactical and strategic, and with powerful decision support and new found business intelligence these business software systems can help marketing decision makers make improved business decisions. Capitalize on your technology investment, get more mileage from your existing business processes and put your CRM system to work for you.