The other day I had a conversation with a friend. He asked me if I saw our industry and company having to turn more into a marketing company. I explained that I don’t think we need to turn into a traditional marketing company because marketing is adopting more technology to support its initiatives. Essentially,
Over the past several years, companies have truly adopted technologies that drive people to their website. Whether it be social media, content marketing, blogging, videos or a plethora of downloadable whitepapers companies are fighting to win the attention of their prospect online. Companies know that prospects are educating themselves about a company long before they are even engaged with a sales person and they are doing it all online.
With this technology comes data that marketers either didn’t have their hands on before or had a tough time obtaining. These data points are now allowing for decisions to be quickly made or strategies easily adjusted. Thus, one of the convincing reasons marketing departments are adopting more of a digital marketing strategy is because they have the numbers (data points) to back up the case to the executive level.
CRM + Content Marketing
In the near past, it was common to see customer relationship management (CRM) software packages reside within a silo in a company and it typically resided in a sales department. It was typically viewed as a tool for sales people to manage their pipeline. But today CRM solutions, such as Salesforce.com, provide insights to not only the audience that responds to content marketing initiatives but which of those individuals that resulted in sales.
With CRM tools not only are sales people able to manage their sales funnels but marketing departments are now better able to understand the direct impact their content marketing strategy has to a sale. The data points that companies receive from social media, blogging, PPC or CTRs (Click-through-rates) can now integrate into a CRM. Therefore, when an online content campaign is developed and new content gets created that will attract new prospects we are able to convert them into a lead in the CRM. With that lead comes data points as to what content they read, how they got to your website, their activity on your website, their engagement with your company socially and much more. In addition, these online activities can also tie into any corresponding to sales people. Executives can now see, for example, not only how many times a prospect has been on your website or what search terms drove them there but also the phone conversations or face-to-face meetings with sales people. Companies now see the full scale of activity with a prospect or customer.
Without a CRM, like Salesforce.com, in the mix of your digital strategy you are missing a critical piece of the data. In addition, sales people may not be fully engaged with the initiatives that marketing is doing. For content marketing to be successful it needs to integrate with a CRM. Companies must be able to tie content marketing investments to revenue so they know what works or what doesn’t work. The more data points we have on our prospects and customers the more compelling content strategies we can put in place.
In conclusion, your content marketing strategies plus your website conversion strategies must accompany a CRM strategy as well. All three of these must integrate with each other. IT departments and marketing departments will collaborate more but they need to include the sales team as well as customer service team into the mix. Galvin Technologies encourages companies to embrace a full Customer Experience Management (CXM) model that ties all this together.