Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is so important to modern marketing that 91% of companies with over 11 employees use CRM software. In this post, we unpack what CRM is, what it can do for your marketing team, and how you can use CRM to unlock deeper relationships with your customers.
Improving your marketing by deepening your customer relationships
Gone are the days when all marketers needed was a strong product and a prominent billboard. In a crowded marketplace, how people feel about your company has become the dominant factor in attracting new prospects and retaining current customers.
While worrying about your customers' perception of your brand might seem like a burden, it’s actually a competitive advantage. According to research from Edelman, 75% of people with high trust in a brand say they'll continue to buy that brand's products -- even if they aren't the cheapest.
Considering the benefits of deepening your customer relationships, marketers need to be able to reach their audience with the right message at the right time. Enter Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software.
What does CRM do? And what does a CRM look like?
Because CRMs integrate so well with other systems, each department might have a different view of what they are and how they work. In general terms, CRMs are designed to give you the best possible view of your customer. This helps marketers to segment their audience and personalise messages to them — a key part of building relationships with them. We’ll look at how that works later in this article.
When people talk about CRM solutions or software, they’re often referring to platforms like HubSpot or Salesforce (though many are moving from Salesforce to HubSpot). These cloud-based systems allow your teams to capture, track and analyse interactions with your customers. A CRM can do a lot of grunt work, but it should still be seen as a tool and not a miracle solution for managing your customers.
It’s a three-stage paradigm, and requires a more consolidated approach.
Let’s dive into four CRM strategies that can improve your marketing efforts.
1. Reporting on attribution
Your marketing doesn’t need to win awards. It needs to sell. But how do you know if your new podcast is landing leads or which blog posts are getting the most traction? With so many marketing channels through which you can engage your customers, you need to know what works and what doesn’t.
This problem can be solved through marketing attribution, a strategy that figures out out which of your marketing efforts should get the credit for turning a prospect into a customer. From this, you’ll know if they find you through a Google ad, your Instagram feed, or from that insightful eBook that you shared on LinkedIn. This strategy shines on CRM systems and gives marketers an end-to-end view of the whole buyer’s journey; from humble lead through to loyal customer.
With all those numbers to crunch, you’ll know which of your marketing strategies work. And by only going with what works, you’ll grow your marketing return on investment. With an integrated CRM tool, your marketers can make use of sales and operational data, leading to a better understanding of your customers.
2. Segmenting your audience
For this strategy, let’s say you run a bookstore. As most people are particular about what they read, bookstores can have a hard time knowing how, when, and where to sell new releases.
With CRM software, your online bookstore can collect their customer preferences, purchasing habits, location, and demographic information. You can go even deeper by collecting data on their personal and dislikes likes, social media activities, and the emails that they’ve opened or replied to.
You can then use this information to segment your customer base and
increase the relevancy of your marketing by tailoring it to each segment. So when that thousand-page Napoleon biography comes out, you and your team know not to market it to the crime fiction junkie. And by approaching customers with information (such as book recommendations) that is valuable and tailored to them, you strengthen the level of trust between you.
If you still don’t believe in the power of segmentation and CRM technology, just look at Amazon. Amazon started as an online bookstore. It’s since become one of the world’s biggest companies by using CRM technology to segment their audience, predicting what to sell to them based on their purchase history.
3. Delivering personalised content
As your customer’s relationship with your brand has become linked to marketing success, personalised marketing has become an effective strategy for building and nurturing customer relationships. By being able to collect data about buyers, your marketers are empowered to personalise their messages to them. What does that look like in action?
Picture this-you're scrolling through a webpage that’s selling “The Best CRM Solution.” Suddenly, a chatbot window pops onto your screen. What would it take for you to engage with it? Would it help if it knew your name as well as your likes and dislikes? What about when you return to the website, would you appreciate the chatbot more if it recommended blog posts for you to read? Or what if those suggested posts provided a solution to your particular problem?
This is a great example of personalisation at work. Supported by the data capture provided by the CRM -- i.e. visitor information, behaviour, and pages interacted with -- the chatbot is able to deliver tailored information and recommendations, enabling website visitors to solve their problems.
Productivity is lost when your team runs its marketing campaign using multiple tools, platforms and spreadsheets. However, powerful all-in-one CRM solutions have everything you need to design and manage campaigns in one place.
And with an all-in-one CRM, everything is integrated and only a few clicks away, leading to a clearer data stream and accurate attribution reporting. There’s no more guessing at how successful your marketing efforts are. You can also better segment your audiences and deliver content that offers personalised solutions. The result is effective and efficient marketing that deepens your customer relationships.
The key to marketing success
How your customers see you is crucial to marketing success. CRMs empower marketers to report on attribution, segment their audience, deliver personalised content, and more effectively design and manage marketing campaigns. With these tools, marketers can build deeper relationships with customers, helping them reach their audience with the right message at the right time.
Want to know more about how CRM can unlock the true potential of your company? Download our free guide on making integrated CRM decisions to learn:
How CRM can impact all aspects of your business
What to look for in your CRM solution
Why you should integrate your systems into your CRM solution
How to use CRM to attract, engage and retain customers
The four steps to effective CRM communication
Which department should be in charge of your CRM
Top questions to ask yourself before diving into CRM
Virtual ideas to keep your team connected during COVID-19