Time to update your marketing strategy! Yes, those email blasts, social media posts, and commercials may be getting you some results, but there could be so much more for you on the horizon if you just expand your marketing mindset! Let’s talk about those email blasts: do you have a strategy or just send them out randomly? Have you defined personas? Did you decide, what interests your list or are you basing this based on behaviours? How did you come up with your client list? Do you have any follow-up plan? If you are shaking head at any of these questions, then it is time to consider a different approach.
What is a CRM?
Let’s talk about customer relationship management (CRM) systems. This refers to strategies and technologies that manage the business-customer relationship with the goal of retaining the customer and strengthening the relationship. More than that, a good CRM system will automatically target potential clients, send them emails, and arrange for a follow-up with an agent and an interested client. It does a lot of the leg work that once had to be done by people who are now free to pursue more clients. It can even follow-up on potential leads, set reminders for you to take action on a specific date, notify other involved departments to take action and more. Companies that recognize that today’s consumers are looking for interactive, and pro-active experiences will definitely consider the integration of a CRM system, early on in their business.
The important thing to remember about CRM automation systems is that they do NOT do all the work for you. There are misconceptions that once a system is in place, everything is taken care of. Not true. The leads and lists of potential clients need to be generated by the user. A CRM system will work like this: (A) Emails will be sent to a potential client list (usually with downloadable content) (B) There will be a follow-up email to those who downloaded the content (C) This email may be followed up with a phone call from a live agent. This is a simplified version of a CRM system, but it illustrates the possibilities.
So, time to get with the program. But, don’t just jump in the pool. Consider the following:
You are Still in Charge
It is worth mentioning again: a good CRM automated system is a supplement to your marketing; it will not do work for you. It is only as valuable as the information you input into it. Before you start with it, generate that list!
It Changes Everything
Don’t try and fit a new package in an old box. A CRM system is a good impetus to start changing your entire strategy of doing things. Before implementation, sit down with your team and talk about how to integrate the system into your team and the different approaches that you can take to optimize the change. Remember to properly train and manage your team on the new system; it won’t happen overnight and will require a learning curve.
More than Email
Although CRM systems are most effective and commonly used with email marketing, think outside of the box. You could use CRM in every function of your business operations and marketing. All that is needed is a shift in your approach to a task and understanding of how could you be using different channels to make it work. You may also want to effectively use the CRM system with your social media outlets and other sales, marketing and business operations processes.
Some businesses are scared off by the prospect of having to spend a fortune on a new CRM system. Understandably, no one wants to put money into something without the guarantee of a return. Luckily, there are a number of free CRM management systems available through the internet. Most free systems offer a paid upgrade service. Prices vary; but the free system will allow you to shop around and see which system best fits your needs.
Struggling to keep up with your sales and all the follow-ups? You are unable to keep your head above the water? How do you think you will have the time to implement a new system? With any new type of marketing strategy, it is always a good idea to seek out help from the professionals. Measure Marketing has been offering professional services in the Toronto area for the last 8 years. We offer experience and know-how with inbound marketing, CRMS, and all forms of online strategies. If we can’t do it ourselves, we have a strong network of partners that will be able to help you find the right solution for your needs. Contact us today and find out how we can help bring your business to the next level.