Why marketing teams need customer relationship management (CRM)

June 1, 2022 | 5 minute read
Nicola Fairhead
Content Marketing Specialist, Oracle Advertising and CX
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Marketing teams need customer relationship managementCustomer relationships are the lifeblood of every business. That’s why having a customer relationship management (CRM) solution in place to effectively oversee those relationships is so important.

CRM gathers, links, and analyzes all collected customer data to create a complete, detailed customer profile. And that profile isn’t important only to sales teams, but to marketing teams as well.

Let’s explore the benefits of customer relationship management and the importance of customer relationship management in marketing.

CRM and the empowered customer

Brands used to be the authority on their products and the sole source of information for customers.

They controlled the narrative around what customers needed and the best solutions to address those needs. And because they controlled the narrative, brands also controlled the knowledge and the decision-making process.

By contrast, today’s customers have access to that information in the palm of their hands. They can easily find public information on brands and products, including other users’ perspectives. Thanks to social media, one person’s negative experience can influence countless opinions, even persuading other customers to switch brands. 

This shift in power from brands to empowered customers underscores how important it is for marketers to cultivate strong customer relationships from the start—something a CRM can help facilitate. 

Let’s look specifically at the importance of customer relationship management in marketing.

CRM in marketing

Personalization is a competitive differentiator in today’s crowded marketplace. The right CRM helps facilitate relevant, personalized campaigns, which in turn helps build strong relationships that can convert sales-ready leads into leads who are ready to buy.

No matter the scale of your company, marketing automation helps streamline the many processes within multichannel digital campaigns, including email marketing, live chats, website monitoring, and lead management. Automating tasks is a smart way to improve efficiency, making it easier for everyone who connects with customers and prospects to continue nurturing those relationships.

After marketers generate leads, an AI-enabled CRM organizes, tracks, and analyzes leads so marketers can:

  • Identify and prioritize marketing qualified leads (MQLs) for targeted engagement
  • Segment customers based on needs, readiness, firmographics, or other characteristics to power relevant, targeted outreach.
  • Create personalized email cadences backed by machine learning to stay connected to leads and nurture them toward purchase.
  • Schedule emails or other activities to keep marketing processes operating in a timely manner.
  • Improve content relevance and drive higher conversion rates using smart talking points and existing customer data.
  • Build workflows for sharing information between marketing automation and CRM.

CRM-powered marketing activities may include thanking a customer for making a purchase, offering discounts and promo codes, sending abandoned cart email notifications, and conducting customer satisfaction surveys. Meanwhile, marketers can devote more time to crafting campaigns, analyzing response rates, and testing out different messaging.

The day-to-day marketing tasks that a CRM helps streamline directly lead to more strategic benefits.  Let’s consider some of the other benefits of customer relationship management in marketing.

CRM helps marketers create loyal customers

A loyal customer who makes a repeat purchase has the same impact on revenue as a new customer’s first purchase. The important difference, however, is that it’s faster, easier, and cheaper to earn revenue from a loyal customer. By definition, loyal customers tend to purchase more frequently and buy more over their lifetimes.

Forward-thinking brands leverage customer experience (CX) to increase customer retention levels, and a CRM system is key to providing a scalable, consistent, differentiated customer experience. That’s because CX depends on knowing your customers—and knowing your customers depends on data.

A CRM system collects and maintains all customer data in a central location so you can draw on it to develop personalized experiences that will make customers more likely to buy again in the future.

For B2B marketers, a CRM system also helps keep track of contacts and maintain key accounts. A top-tier CRM solution achieves this by drawing from third-party sources to update account information—including individual points of contact for each business account.

CRM helps connect your marketing and sales efforts

Customers can tell when the departments they interact with aren’t communicating with one another.

If your marketing campaigns don’t align with your sales offerings, or you’re not targeting audiences based on their past purchases, then you can’t deliver the seamless experience today’s customers expect.

In most cases, marketing campaigns represent the first touch with customers. When sales teams have access to marketing data within their CRM, they’re empowered to sell more effectively. And in reverse, marketers with access to sales data can leverage insights to improve lead generation efforts.

However, aligning business processes among marketing, sales, customer service, and even some back-office roles can be difficult. A reliable, widely used CRM can change that.

If all the components of a CRM share a common data model, it makes it easier for teams to work together to create a more consistent customer experience. Since all employees can access, use, and add data, they can share valuable insights, issues, and any relevant customer history.

For instance, shared data allows sales to follow up on a specific marketing offer a prospect was interested in. From a marketing standpoint, shared data means you can personalize your outreach to any given customer, drawing from past interactions with your brand.

Knowing your customer is crucial for any effective marketing effort, which is why customer relationship management solutions are such an asset in this field. When you truly understand your customer, you can anticipate their needs and provide the personalized communications that contemporary, empowered customers demand.

Find the CRM that supports your business’ strategic initiatives

Oracle Sales is an integrated CRM solution that guides customer-facing team members with intelligent recommendations to ensure they provide the right experience with the right data—every time. 

To learn more about how it aligns sales and marketing data and can work in conjunction with Oracle Marketing to help your teams create more personalized and relevant customer experiences, take a brief product tour. 

Find out more about the power of Oracle Marketing in the short video below.

Nicola Fairhead

Content Marketing Specialist, Oracle Advertising and CX

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