Meta Description: Marketing and CRM should be unified for excellence. Let’s integrate them.

There is a big difference between modern-day entrepreneurs and businessmen they have evolved from – in today’s age of limitless possibilities, they are no longer destined to walk in the dark. State-of-the-art technology now enables them to make plans and decisions in a calculated and risk-free manner.

For every plan and every decision, they are empowered with a different solution.

CRM and marketing automation tools are certainly the most sought-after among them. Together, they cover a wide range of touch points between a customer and a brand, and act as alfa and omega of the entire sales process.

Since successful customer lifecycle could hardly be imagined without either of them, entrepreneurs are now in pursuit of a more holistic solution – the one that wouldn’t require shifting between tabs or messy data replication.

Are Marketing and Customer Relations the Same Things?

By definition, marketing is a “management process through which goods and services move from concept to the customer”.

Customer relationship management, or CRM for short, refers to “practices, strategies and technologies that companies use to manage and analyse customer interactions and data throughout the customer lifecycle, with the goal of improving business relationships with customers, assisting in customer retention and driving sales growth”.

But, doesn’t marketing do the same? Without successful branding, targeting, and advertising, would there be any customer relationships to manage at all?

Though these two practices are traditionally deemed as separate, they could never be effective without each other. While marketing attracts, CRM retains. Be they unified or not, they essentially work towards the same goal – a bigger and more lucrative customer pool.

How One Affects the Other

Let’s test this theory on a practical example. When companies want to generate more leads and capture more prospects, they build targeted email marketing campaigns. But, where do the recipients’ email addresses come from? That’s right, from a company’s own CRM database.

Every prospective customer that in any way gets in touch with a brand becomes a part of a CRM system, and is classified as a lead. The brand then uses this data to target them via email or across social media, where marketing campaigns should convince them to convert from a lead to a customer.

Without a CRM system in place, a company wouldn’t be able to harness data necessary for successful segmentation, targeting, or marketing.

Nevertheless, email blasts and social media campaigns are not the only viable marketing techniques. Hot leads can still be attracted through traditional outbound advertising for which comprehensive data and 360-degree customer view aren’t entirely necessary.

In this case, it is marketing that contributes to CRM, not the other way around. As these leads go online to get in touch with the brand, they become a part of the company’s CRM database, where they are further segmented and prepped for conversion.

In simpler terms, marketing and CRM are irretrievably intertwined.

Why Having Both Is a Recipe for Success

In order to become and stay competitive, every company has to invest time, effort, and money in both marketing and customer relationship management. As separate practices, they enable businesses to grow further. But, what benefits would a company reap if its marketing and CRM systems were integrated into a single, two-in-one solution?

  • Unified Data Management

In one way or another, data is essential to success of both marketing and relations with customers. As we’ve already explained, these practices heavily rely on customer information (contacts, history of interactions, behavioural patterns, preferences, and pain points).

The data they use is essentially the same, so why would it be stored, managed, tracked, and analysed across two different systems?

By integrating CRM with marketing automation, companies are equipped with a centralized solution that doesn’t only save time, effort, and money, but also reduces the risk of human errors that comes with manual data management.

On top of that, the data used for marketing could benefit CRM insights, and vice versa. When you have it all in one place, decision making and strategizing are much simpler and way more successful.

  • Stellar Customer Experiences

It’s all about pleasing the customer in the end, but that is extremely difficult to do when two different systems keep track of two different interactions with the same customer.

The progression of steps that prospects go through until they eventually make a purchase (and further on, until they become brand ambassadors) is seen as a cycle for a reason. Sometimes, converted customers have to be retargeted. Other times, leads skip steps and jump straight to the end of the funnel.

Customer journey is not always linear, which is why marketing and CRM have to work side by side. Their integration removes friction between practices and departments, thus providing the fastest, smoothest, and most delightful experience a customer could ever wish for.

  • Synchronization Across the Board

If marketing experts initiate the cycle, and CRM specialists work on its iteration, then salespeople and support reps are responsible for preventing customers from churning. They can be seen as four pillars of successful entrepreneurship, and are equally crucial for driving the business forward.

Centralization of data and collaborative capabilities allow them to join forces. That is why state-of-the-art CRM systems come with built-in features for marketing, sales, and customer support, and why aspiring businesses cannot afford to miss out on their immense potential.

Can Marketing Automation and CRM Be Found in a Single Solution?

The answer might be hinted in a previous paragraph, but it is still a resounding yes. Exceptional CRM systems like bpm’online unify these two practices for the best possible effect, thus delivering a process-based and all-inclusive solution that approaches customer success from a holistic standpoint.

Integration of marketing automation and CRM systems is something that modern-day entrepreneurs have been waiting for a long time. If you’re eager to join them as they rise to the top, check for further guidance.

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