Thursday, February 16, 2012

Social CRM Makes Marketing Strategies More Successful

The old adage of product, price, place and promotion is rapidly changing in today’s fast paced marketing environment. Yes, you still need the right product at the right price, but place and promotion have changed dramatically. Where once promotion was limited to print and media (radio and television) and your market was your backyard, today promotion includes all forms of social media – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and more to follow and the market is the world. But how can a company integrate all of these new marketing channels?

One method is through the integration of the social media platform and marketing efforts with CRM Solutions. Many CRM solution companies are also offering integrated social media CRM modules to address these needs. The integration of these systems provides the ability to transfer sales information between the marketing and sales departments enabling to increase campaign effectiveness and marketing investment can be enhanced.

It is critical that the information between the marketing and sales teams is bi-directional. If, for example, if your company website has a “contact us” form the information provided in this form should appear to both marketing and sales teams. In turn, any information gathered or updated in the CRM solution about a customer should appear to the marketing team as well. It is equally important that the marketing team has a real time view of the leads and sales generated to be able to successfully segment and analyze the market for campaign development as well as the measurement of campaign effectiveness.

While it would appear that these systems work well together in the traditional sense, they are also unique in their ability to track the social media presence of your customers. Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn for example are an excellent source for lead development – by data mining for those customers on these platforms it is possible to identify new leads through current customers’ contacts. These customers are most likely to know others similar to them and are an excellent source of lead generation for the sales units. By identifying in the marketing and CRM solution those clients who are influential on social media platforms, sales people have learned to identify prospects based on relationships to current customers.

Increasing number of companies are looking to these new social media to advertise their current products. Using social networks can introduce a product or service to an entirely new audience of potential customers. Again, customers who are brought into the company basket through these channels need to be identified as such in both the marketing and CRM solutions.

It is important to remember, that potential customers are using these outlets to look at your company as well. By posting articles on of interest on social media networks it is possible to attract customers who are already mining these sites for information. By tracking these posts in the social media CRM solution and marketing systems it is possible to analyze the effectiveness of these campaigns.

Which brings us back to the product, price, place and promotion paradigm – company’s still need the right product at the right price but the place and promotion have expanded to the world!

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