Entrepreneurs tend to misidentify customer relationship management (CRM) with a system of technology-based customer solutions.
In fact, CRM is much more than technology. It's an entire philosophy for the way your company manages and strengthens your relationships with your customers.
When it's used properly, CRM is integrated into a comprehensive marketing strategy. If it's treated as a standalone solution, it lacks the synergy it needs to deliver measurable results. As a business owner, it's vital to understand the role of CRM in marketing your products and growing your customer base.
- Customer focus. Mission statements aside, many businesses are so focused on products and processes that they neglect customers. When CRM is the cornerstone of your marketing strategy, you are forced to refocus your messaging on customers.
- Market data. CRM is a tool for collecting real-world market data about your customers. With adequate collaboration, your marketing personnel can then use that data to coordinate campaigns that are in tune with target markets.
- Customer relationships. Customer relationships are what CRM is all about. But the process of building customer relationships is what marketing should be about, too. Marketing efforts that leverage CRM have the net effect of incorporating the goal (i.e. relationships with new/existing customers) into the beginning of the marketing process.
- Tracking. CRM lets you track the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns. The feedback and sales metrics that emerge from CRM data capture can quickly and easily identify the marketing strategies that were big hits with your customer base.
- Brand loyalty. Another benefit of CRM is that it helps you maintain an emphasis on improving brand loyalty and customer retention. Too often marketing efforts over-emphasize the acquisition of new customers at the expense of the existing customer base. Since it is significantly easier to retain a current customer that it is to acquire a new one, CRM should be an easy sell for your marketing department.
- Deeper engagement. Consumer engagement is a key element in branding and loyalty initiatives. CRM has the potential to take your company and your products deeper into the lives of your customers in ways that traditional marketing or advertising resources can only dream about.