Wednesdays with Will: From Marketing to Smarketing Leveraging Microsoft Dynamics CRM
By William Marchesano, Technology Advisor & Evangelist
As a Chief Marketing Officer, VP of Marketing, or Director of Marketing you are always looking for new, exciting, and most importantly, efficient ways to build your company’s brand awareness and cultivate new business leads. The little time you have between creating and managing email campaigns, improving your SEO, scheduling webcasts, organizing live events, and countless other tasks, you sometimes wonder if all your efforts are having the effect you desire. What if there was a way to not only gauge the impact you are having but simplify most if not all of these facets to marketing?
Based on the challenges I identified above, you may think I currently work in one of these roles. The truth of the matter is that I work closely with the individuals in my organization that comprise our marketing department, or as they call it, Smarketing. You may now be wondering, “what the heck is ‘smarketing’?”. I’m glad you ask. We define it as marketing smarter and by that we mean, “how can Marketing make the biggest business impact requiring the least amount of time and resources?”. To accomplish this our marketing team leverages a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform.
Many of you have most likely heard the term CRM or are currently using one today. In the past, this technology was usually associated with the sales team of your organization. There are many manufacturers out there that offer this platform with Salesforce being probably the most recognizable. But how does it relate to marketing and making your life easier? As you may have noticed, the way people buy today is not the same way they bought 10-15 years ago. Today, the average buyer is at least 57% through the decision making process before they engage a salesperson. The role of an effective marketing team may be more apparent now than ever.
Most organizations have been able to adjust to the shift by the way they communicate and engage with their prospects and clients. In doing so, many are using multiple disparate systems for different tasks such as creating and managing campaigns, nurturing leads, managing clients, tracking appointments and opportunities, taking notes and creating follow-ups/alerts, gathering analytics, etc. Each workload serves a purpose but also consumes a lot of time and, in some cases, money. Luckily there is a streamlined and centralized way of accomplishing these goals with ease of use and management. We have found Microsoft Dynamics CRM to be more than up for the task.
Using Social Engagements in Dynamics CRM, you are able to get insight as to what people are looking for by what is trending on multiple social network sites. That information is gathered and displayed in an easy to understand dashboard. This can be useful for determining the message or communication to your target audience in your next campaign. Once a lead has been captured you can then assign it to a designated nurture path. Lead scoring allows you to determine when a lead has “graduated” from one nurture path and is ready for the next stage. Campaigns can be created and managed directly through Dynamics CRM allowing you to track the cost for running different campaign types as well as analyzing how successful each were. This is a great tool for determining the effectiveness of a campaign as well as how to reallocate your spend more dynamically. If you work in a team setting, the built in approval workflow will help with developing your campaigns. What better way to keep everyone on the same page than a staged process?
Remember, every business is different as well as their needs and requirements. If you’d like to determine if Microsoft Dynamics CRM can solve your challenges let’s discuss. I hope you enjoyed and found this week’s article informative. If you’re interested in some how-to related CRM material, check out blogs by my colleague Ben Ward here. Till next time…