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Posts Tagged ‘customer relationship management’

What Single Attribute Can Improve Your Marketing? Sales and Marketing alignment

July 10th, 2015
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After writing hundreds of MarketingSherpa Newsletter case studies and, in the process, interviewing, speaking with and getting to know many, many marketers, one attribute really stands out for influencing successful marketing — Sales and Marketing alignment.

It doesn’t guarantee success and lack of alignment doesn’t automatically mean failure. However, when Marketing and Sales are working together as a team instead of as adversaries within a company, the entire sales pipeline is much more effective.

One reason for this success is that companies with a Sales and Marketing alignment are much more likely to see the entire customer experience holistically, where each person is seen in terms of where they are in the process.

For example, that person will be seen as a freshly generated lead, a prospect who has been handed off to Sales, a paying customer requiring service or an ongoing nurturing to ensure they remain a customer.  This is much more preferable than being just a cog in a process that begins with Marketing, goes to Sales — where, at that point, the person drops off of Marketing’s radar altogether — and then, hopefully, is passed to customer service and is no longer a Sales concern.

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Email Marketing: 3 resources to help you close the automation gap

December 20th, 2013
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Some marketers have noticed that when it comes to using triggered emails, there’s an interesting gap in the perception of automation in terms of “how things should be” and “how things really are.”

Most marketers use automated triggered emails for nurturing early stage buyers, which leaves overlooked opportunities to use automated emails to strengthen existing customer relationships or to win back the hearts and minds of recently lost customers.

In today’s MarketingSherpa Blog post, you’ll find three resources you can use to help your marketing team close the automation gap.

 

Commit to using automation to build stronger customer relationships

Most marketers in a custom or expensive e-commerce niche are typically not scouting for the impulse buys. Instead, their tactics tend to fall along the lines of supporting a longer sales cycle that requires a little more nurturing.

 

Indochino, a custom clothing company, decided to test an autoresponder send using hand-picked product suggestions in an attempt to build customer relationships using its email program.

 

Results: Indochino increased its revenue-per-email 540% in just the first test. To learn more about the campaign and the four-step process the team used to select targets and expand the program into other customer segments, check out the case study “E-commerce Marketing: 540% higher revenue-per-email for automated send.”

 

Customer behavior matters

For Jermaine Griggs, Founder, Hear and Play Music, communicating with customers through email messaging was a critical part of his marketing efforts. Here’s a short clip of the full presentation from MarketingSherpa Email Summit 2013.

 

During his presentation at Email Summit, Jermaine explained how he transitioned from using his CRM system as a “glorified autoresponder,” to a CRM system based on behavior and personalization for each customer’s unique needs.

Results: Jermaine was able to successfully increase the lifetime value of his customers by 416%. To learn more, you can also watch the entire on-demand replay of Jermaine’s session, “E-commerce: Harnessing the power of email automation and behavior-based marketing to increase conversions,” from Email Summit 2013.  

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Infographic: Customer experience in the digital age

April 30th, 2013
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For today’s MarketingSherpa blog post, we have an infographic from Kentico, “Customer Experience in the Digital Age.”

The research behind the infographic was an eight-question survey of 200 Internet users via SurveyMonkey in February 2013, and the survey was open to both consumer and B2B brand interactions.

 

Here are few data points on the surveyed Internet users:

The gender breakdown was 54% male and 46% female, and the age breakdown included …

  • 18-24 – 10%
  • 25-34 – 20%
  • 35-44 – 24%
  • 45-54 – 19%
  • 55-64 – 15%
  • 65-74 – 10%
  • Over 74 – 2%

To help put this infographic – and the research that went into the content – into context, I had the chance to interview Thom Robbins, Chief Evangelist, Kentico Software.

 

 

MarketingSherpa: What were some of the key findings?

Thom Robbins: Company websites were second (25%) behind word of mouth (28%) in weighing most heavily on impacting brand affinity. In-store experiences factored [at] 18%.

Perhaps most surprising was the discovery that only 7% of respondents felt their brand experience was affected by social networks such as Facebook or Twitter, but I think this may be misleading. People may be influenced by social media a lot more than they think they are, through both direct and indirect interactions.

 

MS: Did any results come as a surprise?

TR: Other than the small role social media seemed to have, which I think merely shows us it’s a channel still on the rise, I was most surprised to see that 69% of those surveyed said they were willing to give up personal data in exchange for more customized service.

 

MS: Were there any results that might inform future research, or uncovered data points that deserve/require a deeper dive into customer insights?

TR: Well, I thought it was very telling that 97% were ready to forgive poor service as long as the company offers up a quick response or correction.

It’s important for businesses to know that while mistakes will be made, in the age of social media, every single customer experience counts. You can’t afford [to have] anyone to walk away unhappy, and there’s really no excuse given how forgiving customers are as long as you respond quickly to complaints.

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Defining CRM: Thoughts from three experts

December 7th, 2012
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A recent B2B newsletter article, “CRM How-to: Tactics on Marketing/IT alignment, database strategy and integrating social media data,” covered three tactics on customer relationship management, commonly known by its acronym, CRM.

In researching the article, and speaking about many customer relationship management concepts with six experts on the topic, one aspect of CRM that came up was, “How is CRM defined?”

Even between the story’s sources, there was no hard and fast definition. However, I thought it was also interesting to think about how different people define CRM, often depending on their role in a company or as a thought leader in the customer relationship management field.

Although there is an entire continuum of concepts, most can fit into one of these three general areas, completing the sentence, “CRM is ____:”

  • Simply the software piece called a CRM solution, such as Salesforce.com, Microsoft Dynamics, InfusionSoft, Oracle Siebel, et al.
  • All technology related to customer relationship management, including CRM solutions, marketing automation software and email marketing solutions
  • Everything involved in the customer lifecycle and customer interactions with a company, including all of the above, customer service and more

Since this topic did not make it into the newsletter’s how-to article beyond the introduction, I thought I’d give MarketingSherpa Blog readers the opportunity to hear what several of those experts had to say on answering, “What is CRM?”

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