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CRM Journey
CRM for Marketing


quoteThe aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself. quote

- Peter Drucker

CRM and Successful Marketing

The world’s population is projected to reach 9 Billion by the year 2050. In 2001, it was measured at 6 Billion. Billions of people, tiny, ant-like individuals populating various countries, with each and every individual becoming more accessible by the minute. If you are not doing business over the Internet today, you are an anomaly. Because of the Internet, any business entity can consider itself part of a global marketplace. That means dealing with cultural diversity, cross-country regulations, currency differences, growing regional tariffs, and, last but not least, regionally sensitive sales and marketing practices.

Future marketing means marketing to the world, 6 Billion people. And, we strive to achieve what in a CRM solution? Customer Intimacy.

Only the advent of the Internet makes it possible to do that in a rapid period of time and with relative low investment. Successful marketing may mean creating an individualized customer profile, and adding to it with each click of the mouse, each swipe of a credit card, each renewal and each service call. Collecting and refining multiple sources of information about individuals has become an art form with intense payback.

Amazon does it brilliantly. One of the first Internet companies, it harnessed the powers of the Internet collecting and harvesting data about its customers from the start. Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, recognized that homogeneity in the customer experience was essential for e-commerce, but he also recognized one simple basic truth, people have diverse interests. People also want to be remembered. Your Amazon experience illustrates this.

Purchase once from Amazon, and every successive visit, you’re greeted by name and presented your last search items. Buy a book on World War II, and every so often, you’ll receive a friendly email about another book or CD related to the topic along with helpful suggestions to enhance your purchase. Every purchase you make refines your customer profile and expands the topics of the helpful emails you receive. Think about the different products you’ve purchased from Amazon over the years – they know an awful lot about what you like and the people you send gifts to. Add that to what the credit card companies know about your spending habits. Privacy may vanish from the English vocabulary.

Accumulating customer data, organizing information into categories for campaigns, measuring the success of those campaigns, and then refining them for increased conversion, that’s true Marketing, that’s successful Marketing. Any marketing information system must be able to address and automate all of these functions.

Most businesses today must deal with multiple channels of contact, and most have multiple distribution channels. When thinking about CRM for marketing, you must identify your channels of distribution and contact avenues with your prospects and customers. Distribution channels vary by industry and within industry. Going back to the Avon example - Avon has only one channel for distribution, the Avon representative. For other companies in the cosmetic industry, there are at least two, wholesalers and retailers. Understanding your current distribution channels, and planning for future requirements are essential to a marketing strategies.

Contact channels refer to any touch of the client or prospect. Where do you fish? The Internet using your web site, a call center, email campaigns or lunch with a client? These are all channels marketing considers when choosing how to allocate funds. Of course, there are many more, but you get the idea. Most businesses use a variety of channels for contacting both prospects and clients, but the Internet is growing more important with the rise and reach of global marketing. Traditional channels such as television and radio are becoming more fragmented making it easier to reach the particular market segment you target. Beer companies like Heineken ordinarily wouldn’t choose to advertise on the Lifetime Movie Network for example. However, LMN is perfect for cosmetic companies. Seasonality influences what’s spent when, as do companies who take a truly innovative approach.

Marketing generally focuses on two primary targets, existing clients, and acquisition of new clients. Different strokes for different folks. Multi-channel and multi-distribution capabilities for each of these segments are a must for any marketing information system on the market today.

Peter Drucker wrote, “Because the purpose of business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two--and only two--basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs. Marketing is the distinguishing, unique function of the business."

Marketing drives sales. Marketing processes - and the CRM software that supports marketing - identify prospects, nurture them, turn them into leads, and hand them over to the Sales Department. Trolling for new prospects is different from marketing to someone who’s already bought from you. Depending upon how you do business, there are a series of choices to be made.

Identifying new prospects is a switch hit on customer intimacy. Instead of knowing that one individual client down to his or her shoe size, the process focuses on groups or categories. If you’re a Mortgage Finance company, do you target individual college students or realtors? Are you more likely to go after individuals within a certain income range, and where do you source your information?

Tracking individuals on a prospect list over a series of touches, in order to generate interest or qualify a potential buyer, is a marketing staple. A series of processes or activities designed to produce a sale. Any marketing system must have the ability to automate these processes and that’s generally referred to as workflow. How many emails marketing Viagra have you received to date? This is workflow to a T. Get a list, call an individual, qualify on budget and timeframe, maybe do a demonstration and close the sale. Qualifying over the phone can be dicey; some people may hang up while others show a strong interest. You do up a quote, call back, once, twice. Finally, you speak and it’s a bad time, things are too busy then call back in a month. That can go on ad infinitum as every sales person knows. Who does the salesperson blame? Marketing – they sent the unqualified lead.

But, those Viagra emails are so perfect. It’s an immediate qualification. Someone sends an email spam - your marketing department pre-qualified list – who responds? Only someone who wants to buy. Without speaking to anyone, you’ve qualified out those who have absolutely no interest, not only that, the onus is on the prospect to contact you. What a beautiful thing!

Scrubbing your target data is crucial to honing your marketing campaigns and reducing not only direct costs, but also hidden costs, such as expensive sales cycle time and lost productivity. However, to those Viagra Internet sellers, one other qualifier seems so obvious – a female first name.

For existing clients, marketing builds their profile and lures them back with relevant and attractive messages for further sales or services. Marketing to existing clients today usually asks for that client’s preference when building a profile. Ever register a product over the Internet? The last couple of items to click on are, ‘May we contact you about future releases? What method of contact would you prefer? Phone, Fax, Mail, Email.’ Most organizations market to your preference, and most target the same promotion for each channel.

Macy’s does this brilliantly for either snail mail or email. Get a Macy’s rewards card, and each month you receive a promotional offer. It’s tied to the end of the month of course, and is a ‘use it or lose it deal.’ If your last three purchases were shoes, the discount is only valid if it’s in the shoe department or the clothing department.

Marketing software allows precise customer profiling, the rapid deployment of marketing campaigns and campaign effectiveness measurement to improve campaigns over time and increase the ROI from the annual marketing budget.

Every marketing department has to decide where dollars are most effective - newsprint, television, the Internet? For almost all organizations, it’s a mixture of communication methods and timing. Marketing systems pinpoint the most effective results among programs by providing return rates, conversion rates and dollars generated.

Think of Superbowl Sunday, and the jousting companies do to have the privilege of paying millions of dollars for a thirty-second ad. Sure, people talk about the game the day after, but the major networks also report on what? The best Ad! You can even vote on it online. Even though there are a growing list of new companies each year, you generally see the same companies on Superbowl Sunday. Apple, of course, they started the whole thing back with that 1984 spot. Beer companies, soda companies, car companies and others must see the payback or they wouldn’t repeat the experience – not at those costs.

Although there are many major benefits to automating marketing, one constant benefit sits at the President’s table with the Marketing manager, measurement. Gone are the days of dreaming up wild, costly campaigns and not knowing how successful they are. When you can measure the success of a campaign, you can do three very important things, refine them to increase sales, repeat them and get a bigger marketing budget. Joyous news to any Marketing executive. From Telemarketing to e-campaigns, the same benefits abound – rapid deployment of campaigns, effective measurement, refinement, repeated success, informed decisions on allocation of funds and more funds for more success.

Marketing is inherently creative; designing print ads, television spots, even email campaigns need that eye-catching visual appeal. Automating the tedious processes involved in marketing, sending out those emails, creating letter templates frees the marketing staff to do what they love best – create. All the wonderful metrics that a sophisticated marketing system delivers in terms of statistics etc., drives success down to the level of each member of the department, and increases productivity.

A great deal of marketing today is done by telemarketing, and, for those poor sufferers in the telephone cubicles, a major benefit of a marketing system is stress relief. Mechanically dialed calls from scrubbed lists, an easy to deliver script with easily directed cross and up sells. There are both qualitative and quantitative benefits; increased sales, commissions, bonuses, recognition, more wins and less angry dial tones.  More CRM Journey
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