Do you know the ROI of each of your marketing campaigns? Do you know your opt‑ins from your opt-outs, even when working across multiple agencies? Do you know how many times a particular contact was touched by marketing in the past six months?
Let’s face it, customer leads and loyalty form the lifeblood of most industries and so CRM is crucial. Whether your data warehouse contains tens or millions of customers and prospects, the simple fact is that in a connected world marketing tools inside CRM systems allow marketers to take better advantage of all the more traditional as well as the newer ways to reach customers. In short, CRM software allows you to understand your market, understand your customer and build long-term relationships with them.
- Do consider using a consultancy firm to help with implementation. Organisations are increasingly turning to system integrators to set up the technology and employing specialist marketing agencies to embed best practice processes.
- Do select a system that can change with your business needs. Older marketing CRM tools were often unwieldy and expensive to customise and change over time. Get a system that will adapt to your practices, as well as accepting that CRM will bring changes to your processes.
- Do think of your relationship with CRM software as a journey. Marketers often experience short-lived euphoria when they first implement CRM software, but the data gathered then doesn’t get used at all.
- Don’t even think about building a CRM system yourself unless you’re harbouring an IT genius. If an off-the-shelf packaged software solution doesn’t suffice, work with a specialist implementation partner to tweak it to meet your needs.
- Don’t expect instant results. CRM benefits accrue over time. The best implementations of CRM are made up of a series of phases, initially focusing on the areas of highest return and building up from there.
- Don’t assume that common problems such as incompatibility or affordability are inevitable. The market is highly competitive, with CRM providers coming up with increasingly innovative, customised and affordable solutions.
- Even the smallest business can benefit from CRM software if it has enough valuable customers.
- CRM software doesn’t need to be complex but tracking of online customer activity is a minimum standard for your CRM system.
- There’s a difference between software for managing complex B2B relationships and software for managing occasional transactions with consumers, where you may not need so much customer data to manage it well.
- Don’t expect software to create relationships and value by itself. The CRM system helps you do what you’ve always done, but better.
- If you want to change your relationship with customers don’t lead with software, but make the software part of a tested and piloted new approach to managing customers.
- Consultants can help you to buy, build and implement software – doing it yourself can be slower and more expensive. When your CRM system is up and running, remember what you got it for.
- Data is an essential product of a CRM system. Use it to fine-tune your customer management and focus on the data that generates most profit and how it supports your marketing and sales activities in practice. Answer the most basic questions, such as who’s buying, when, how much and why.
Dr. Antony Michail
Anacalypsis Strategy & Marketing Consultants