Marketing is a cold way to connect with customers. Despite efforts at personalization, marketing only ever gets lukewarm when it comes to delivering what customers want, when they want it. “Personalized” emails do little else than scribble your name in the subject line. Targeted ads find you when you’ve already purchased a product. Social media posts promote an event that you wanted to attend … last week.
Traditional marketing methods lack the human touch that helps deliver marketing messages when customers want them most. Between a lack of personalization and bad timing, marketing needs a paradigm shift so that marketers are better equipped to market to consumers instead of at them.
You can’t go anywhere online without being at the mercy of algorithms. They rank websites on Google, give you recommendations on Netflix, and show you the most important photos at the top of your Instagram feed. Gone is the need for manual methods of curating and recommending products, services, and content.
Or is it?
[This article was originally published on March 3, 2016 and has been updated with products based on the methodology outlined at the bottom of this piece.]
If a company doesn’t know which software to use, it will usually default to Excel. When starting out with sales, for instance, all you really need to capture is a customer’s contact details and credit card info. Excel seems suitable enough to do that.
But, as your business starts to grow, managing your sales pipeline quickly becomes more than a simple spreadsheet can handle.
CRM or CMS? With those shared Cs and Ms, you’d think CRM and CMS would be more similar. In reality, the similarities between the two end with those two letters.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Content Management Systems (CMS) serve two different purposes in the business software landscape: CRM is all about managing customers and clients, and CMS is about managing your website.
Most businesses start with a CMS, especially those that need an online portal to showcase or sell their product or service. If your business has a website, you’re already using a CMS (think WordPress).
A CRM will come later in the process, as you build your client base and need to keep better track of your sales pipeline and your customer interactions (think Salesforce). A CRM is especially useful for B2B businesses that need to record lots of client interactions and to follow up on leads.
NOTE: This article is intended to inform our readers about the current data privacy and security challenges experienced by companies in the global marketplace. It is in no way intended to provide legal advice or to endorse a specific course of action. For advice on your specific situation, consult your legal counsel.
Identifying your customers can be a lot like an episode of CSI: Customer Service Investigation. They’ve left behind clues about their browsing history or small traces of their identity via cookies on your website, but you still can’t get a full picture of who they are. Put these clues together, however, and you have the pieces of the puzzle that you need to target highly converting customers. Herein lies the importance of customer data capture. (more…)