How CRM can Level the Playing Field Between Consumer and Marketer

We recently read some interesting information and statistics related to what consumers want from marketers.  They don’t want to shut you off, which might be your first impression.  After all, people have become quite adept at ignoring advertising, skipping past direct marketing, and navigating away from promotional materials.  However, while all of that might be true, the consumer doesn’t really want you to go away all together, because when they are in the market for the goods and services that you provide, they want to know more. So, what exactly do they want?

According to the research, the answer is not clear cut, but, instead, depends on the industry.  However, the top four areas of concern are said to be

  • Value
  • Customer Service
  • Customer Reviews
  • Interaction

The technology age has brought all of this to the consumer’s fingertips.  Smartphones, internet tools, social media… all have made it easier and more convenient for a consumer to research, compare, and to buy.  Unfortunately, the opposite is true for marketers, who are now forced to manage a myriad of different channels – in store, television, radio, internet, social media, mobile, etc.  And, the learning curve is never-ending because innovation is constant.  The digital world is ever-evolving, which means that companies have to be exceedingly malleable, always ready to change with the technological landscape.

CRM services, like those offered by SugarCRM can level the playing field, by providing the tools and resources companies need to adjust quickly, to meet customer demands, and to interact with consumer on countless channels.

Shot of customer service agents wearing headsets while assisting clients

How do you make it work for you?

You have to select a service that is going to be easy to use.  Remember, it is not up to you how effective the software proves to be in your organization.  It is up to your employees, because they are the ones who will be using it.  If it is too hard to use, then they simply won’t or will only use it on the most basic level. That means that you have instantly lost all of the power that could have been gained with CRM.  Take your time, consider your options, and really find a service that will be a good fit for your company – in user-friendliness and in its ability to integrate with your existing practices.

Check out the reports.  The reports are essential.  What can the CRM service tell you about the consumer?  What can it tell you about your individual marketing efforts?  Can it help you adjust your approach based on those findings?  Is it recognizing potential leads before you do?  A great CRM service will take a lot of the guess work out of the marketing process.  But, not all CRM tools are creating equally, so be sure that you are getting something capable of fulfilling your needs.

We already mentioned integration, but it should be further mentioned that you want to choose a service that is going to work with the tools and software already in place. If you are already using Constant Contact for email marketing and Inbox25 for marketing automation, then find a CRM software that will work in conjunction with those, rather than replacing them all together.  This will make the adjustment easier for members of your marketing team.

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