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Harness your marketing data effectively or suffer CRM stagnation

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12th Jul 2015
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CRM’s greatest strength is the rich data it pulls in. For some companies and marketers this is also CRM’s greatest weakness as they’re not quite sure what to actually do with the accrued and seemingly disparate data. How should it be collected? How should it be analysed by marketers and used to shape campaigns? How can they turn it into effective marketing data?
96% of marketers surveyed by Forrester said that “the ability to make data-informed decisions is their most needed capability to respond effectively to disruptions”. That’s the problem – so what are the solutions?
Stay in control
Marketers need to accept that with the arrival of data marketing, the worlds of marketing and IT are being drawn ever closer together, a fact borne out by research: Where the CMO and CIO work well together, the enterprise is 76% more likely to outperform in terms of profitability and revenues. Because of the inherent nature of data and data analysis, marketers must forge closer working relationships with CIOs and hire data analysts as members of the marketing team to help ‘wrangle’ effective marketing data.
Ensure your data isn’t dirty
To create marketing campaigns that resonate, it’s essential to work with clean data. Marketing must take a proactive approach on this issue, checking in with the personnel charged with CRM maintenance that the platform is being regularly checked and all staff are following a strict data plan to ensure error-free entries. If there are no personnel in place, marketing – together with IT – must make the case to the c-suite for hiring the relevant staff. This will further your possibility of creating effective marketing data.
A good CRM platform will also be able to help with the cleansing process – your platform should offer automated maintenance tools such as duplication detection and bulk deletion options. The best platforms will even ‘enforce’ your predefined parameters to ensure that ‘bad data’ is spotted and highlighted automatically so it can be dealt with efficiently.
Blitz silos
Critical to effective data marketing is the breaking down of very human departmental silos. From sales and marketing through to customer services, each department must buy-in to the CRM platform. It means all will be able to view and engage with the data meaningfully, and enable various departments to offer their own insights and feedback to marketing on proposed campaigns – or even act as catalysts for these campaigns. The overall aim? To stop departments from pulling in different and often confused directions and in the process diluting or even ignoring data’s benefits to marketing and therefore the company’s brand.
Join the data, join the dots
All data from existing channels must be brought together and monitored. After all, consumers may read your marketing email but answer via a posting on one of your social media channels. A properly-implemented CRM platform can bring such disparate and confusing datasets together into a single far-reaching dataset, offering a true 360-degree view of your customers wherever they choose to engage with your brand.
Spot opportunities now, not later
This unified dataset will enable marketers to spot key issues, trends (both established and more critically, emerging) and just as importantly, identify different customer segments and types in conjunction with CRM’s powerful reporting features. It means marketers can analyse and segment their customers and target them accurately – whether it be via the channels which certain customer segments are most engaged with or via the content delivery formats they prefer whether it be infographics, Instagram or email. More likely than not, it will be a combination of both channel and format that will lead to effectively targeted data marketing.
Act on impact
Whether your campaign is outbound or inbound, it’s essential to monitor its impact. Using your CRM, you can determine whether your targeted audience are engaging with the content, or even promoting or sharing it in their social feeds. Such effective marketing data will inevitably give you further insights into your personas and target audiences, allowing you to refine and hone them  for the next series of campaigns - creating the perfect CRM-powered circle!
Takeaways
  • Maintain your database on an ongoing basis.
  • Hire in the right talent to help with data analysis.
  • Break down silos between departments and datasets.
  • Increase successful targeting via a unified dataset.
  • Analyse previous campaign results for vital insights into new campaigns. 
Discover the benefits CRM can bring to your business by downloading the eGuide: The Ultimate Guide to: Using CRM for data driven marketing success
Billy Lyle is managing director at Redspire.

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