Marketers in the present day have to utilize all the resources at their disposal to stay ahead of the competition in their marketing activities. There are many software available to businesses and marketers to maintain good relationships with customers and to track the progress of marketing campaigns.
A business’s relationship with its customers can be managed using a customer relationship management (CRM), and its marketing strategies can be tracked using marketing automation software.
Each one plays a distinct role during the buyer’s journey. Marketing automation is used to manage marketing tasks in the initial phase of the buyer’s journey. It is used to target customers with the right kind of promotional content.
On the other hand, CRM is used to manage sales and customer relationships in the final phases of the buyer’s journey.
Marketing automation software is commonly used to automate the marketing activities for a business. They can handle tasks related to email marketing campaigns, social media posts, and ad campaigns.
These tasks can be repetitive, so automating them could allow businesses to focus on other marketing activities.
Marketing automation should ideally consist of a combination of software and strategy. When performed correctly, this combination should enable marketers to leverage data to target prospective leads with personalized content, and convert them to customers.
Automating email marketing
Marketers often target potential leads using emails. Automation tools can be used to test-drive email marketing campaigns with custom content and templates. The data from these campaigns can be used to revise a business’s marketing strategy, and fine tune them to be more effective in the future.
Marketing automation software can be used to nurture leads to convert them into customers efficiently. Without the use of these software, sales team members would have to track leads individually during the sales process.
This means each sales person would have to deal with hundreds or thousands of leads, and this could put an unnecessary strain on the business’s resources.
Marketing automation software can be used to set up lead nurturing tracks that can automatically check up on leads and prospects. Marketers are still able to decide which content or emails are sent to each lead, the frequency with which these emails are sent, and the actions for proceeding forward when a lead opens or engages with the emails.
Marketing automation software also let marketers view data related to their marketing campaigns. This can include the number of email opens, the number of clicks, the links that were clicked, the open rate, click-through-rate, and many others.
Such data can be used to test marketers’ success rate with different email headers or pieces of content. It could also show marketers the best time of day to send emails and the optimal frequency with which to send them.
One of the easiest ways for marketers to optimize their email marketing campaigns is to send out two different emails and use marketing automation software to see which one performs better. Marketers can then pit the successful email against another email to see which one comes out on top.
This trial and error process can help marketers figure out what the most effective style of email is for targeting leads.
Leads who fill out “contact us” forms usually receive emails from the business’s sales people acknowledging that they have received and verified their information. However, this process can be tedious when hundreds or thousands of leads submit these forms per day.
Marketing automation software can be used to automatically send emails to leads whenever they receive a form. These automated emails can be sent instantly and at any time of the day. This allows leads to receive round-the-clock replies from businesses without the need for additional staff to work during off-hours.
Customer relationship management
Customer relationship management software records information from customers. This usually includes email addresses, telephone numbers, websites, and social media profiles. They can also record details about a customer’s preferred method of contact.
The goal of CRM is to improve customer relationship management by providing businesses with a complete sketch of their customers, their interactions with the business, and producing information that could be used to improve the business’s relationship with them.
Visualizing the sales pipeline with CRM
Customer relationship management lets businesses visualize the number of open deals, the status of each deal, expected sales, and the allocation of deals between sales representatives. This allows deals to be managed in an effective manner that provides better results.
Using CRM to track interactions across channels
Customer relationship management software can be used to track interactions between the business and its customers across multiple channels. If a customer were to reach out to the business via social media and then attempt to continue the conversation through email, the software would be able to track and link the customer’s communications between both platforms.
The best CRM for digital agencies provides them with an organized manner of keeping track of clients.
Combining CRM and marketing automation
Most marketing automation software allows you to sync your lead data with your customer relationship management software. This information can be synced both ways so that the marketing team are familiarized with sales operations and vice versa. Some marketing automation agencies also provide CRM services.
Many CRM software sellers have also developed their own marketing automation softwares to provide an integrated manner for controlling and reviewing everything from the lead acquisition process to closing sales. This greater degree of control lets marketers exert a greater degree of control and influence over different aspects of the buyer’s journey.
CRM and marketing automation are going to continue to play a role in improving marketing and sales for businesses. However, both their functions need to be understood thoroughly in order for businesses to reap their benefits.
A software can only do so much without the right guidance, so it is important for marketers and managers to get acquainted with these software before implementing them into their marketing and sales strategies.