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CRM is Customer Relationship Management. And as in all relationships, it takes a little work to get it right, but automation is making it easier to fall in love with the CRM process.

Automating your email-related tasks within your CRM will maximize your presence in digital channels, allowing you to get your message out there faster, with more consistency and with more relevancy to directly engage and influence prospects and customers. Even better, marketing automation platforms have evolved beyond just email marketing, and can help you more effectively segment, nurture, and convert existing and potential members or customers.

Marketing automation platforms have evolved beyond just email marketing.

But there are traps to avoid so that your organization doesn’t end up with a CRM solution that’s not really a solution at all. With a little luck, some homework, and good old fashioned teamwork, you can deploy a solution that delivers for you.

Huddle up early and make a game plan

In working with our clients on a CRM strategy, we’ll get together early on to:

  • Define objectives, budgets, and specific goals. This will allow us to determine tasks such as how many email touches may be used. As well as when and how often we can strategically send those messages.

  • Determine scope and scale. In order to achieve your goals, we will evaluate your existing data. From there, we may need to capture additional data within your CRM platform, or choose an entirely new CRM platform.

  • Identify performance metrics. We define the specific metrics we will use to measure success. These metrics are typically related to tasks performed online or via phone. These metrics will additionally allow us to determine if we need to pivot at any point during our campaigns.

Map out your data destination

We then map out how data will be collected and where it will be stored to create actionable yet accessible insights to drive personalized marketing campaigns.

What’s with all the acronyms?
Let’s clarify some of the terms you may see when exploring the world of CRM:
Customer Relationship Management

This could apply to a specific software program (for example, “CRM software”) or it could be used to describe the overall process, within which you might use …
Marketing Automation Platform

MAPs can help you track interactions across multiple channels and allow you to react to those interactions with an automated contact, for example an email sent in response to a website visit or video viewing. Some better-known MAPs include Salesforce Marketing Cloud (Pardot), HubSpot, Adobe Marketo, and ActiveCampaign.
Email Service Provider

Just how it sounds. These include Campaign Monitor, MailChimp, ExactTarget, and others. These platforms are similar to MAPs but are typically used for more promotional email messaging as they often have limited abilities to automate via triggered emails – a feature found within many MAPs.

By working closely with our clients in discussing short- and long-term goals as well as plans for future growth, we can deploy CRM strategies that easily scale and grow. Additionally, the data collected can help guide strategic considerations of future email campaigns.

Remember, CRM starts with “Customer”

You can’t get around the age-old maxim that the customer always comes first. Automating specific email messaging will certainly make your life easier by streamlining your organization’s internal processes, and will open up new opportunities for growth. All good.

But the ultimate goal is to provide useful and timely information to our customers and prospects. Any CRM automation must work toward that. And we know it’s a fickle world out there. As customers’ expectations and needs change, and they grow accustomed to more convenience and ease of use in their lives, your CRM needs to evolve, too.

The ultimate goal is to provide useful and timely information to your customers and prospects.

Looking ahead to the future of CRM and marketing automation: Say “Hi” to AI

The trend toward even greater integration is certainly going to accelerate, with CRM solutions becoming more aligned with the latest mobile apps, smart home devices, health monitoring devices, and many other connected avenues that can accelerate response to customer preferences.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be a critical part of any successful CRM program. Machine learning can help you score leads more accurately and better understand which leads are likely to convert. This will help marketing and sales teams focus their efforts on the right prospects.

This AI learning applies to your current customer base as well, helping you better serve (and retain) customers based on enhanced predictive capabilities inherent in AI.

It’s all about staying in touch

Considering revamping or implementing a CRM and integrated marketing automation program to boost your results? Get in touch with DMW and let’s chat.