Modern marketers have a lot on their plate. The speed at which marketing technology has changed and continues to adapt is no less than mind-boggling at times. Marketing has evolved into something that puts the customer and buyer in firm control. It’s not enough for brands to just market… they have to be publishers as well. They have to be where the audience is… and for many brands, selecting the right tools, channels and tactics to connect with their audience is more difficult than ever.
So what’s a savvy marketer to do? Luckily, we have a lot of great resources to help navigate the tricky waters of today’s marketing technology, whether it be our blog, events or our webinars. The most recent webinar recorded as part of the MSDynamicsWorld.com series was created for those out there looking for a best practices framework to place around their marketing technology strategies. While this blog serves as a high-level overview of the 5 Steps, we hope it piques your interest to download and listen to the full webinar for a more detailed and thorough explanation and how-to’s.
What’s Inside the Mind of the Modern Marketer?
To start out, let’s look at the number of ideas and topics that marketers could be thinking about at any given moment. This infographic from Scott Brinker at his blog is one way to frame the complexity:
While this may look like a tangled web to anyone outside of marketing (and even to those in it), most marketers will be able to recognize all the multi-channel and multi-device avenues that are out there. If not, than this webinar will be even more helpful to you! Let’s take a look at a five-step process to understand an organization’s marketing needs and make confidence choices in which technology is the best fit:
Have a Framework
- This is where you reflect on the age-old adage of “Who? What? When? Where? Why?” This is the simplest step and yet this is where you will spend a good majority of your brain-storming time. To ensure you begin your strategy strongly, you’ll need to put a plan in place around these:
- Who is your customer and who will be main points of contacts (sales, marketing, IT or a separate vendor?)
- What do you consider critical success factors – what type of results are you looking for?
- When will the pieces be put in place? Make sure you have a realistic timeline of your roll-out.
- Where will you choose to put your resources? (Money, time and people).
Understand Your Requirements
2. A good place to start after you’ve set up the framework is to understand what types of inbound and outbound marketing checkpoints you’ll be needing. The chart below shows us what marketing “requirements” are necessary right now. Do you and your team find yourself using some or all of these tools? If these are not at the base of your strategy, worry not. Use this as a checklist as you go through your plan and let CRM help you build the strong foundation you need before moving on to the next step!
Understand What You Have
3. CRM has a multitude of built-in marketing tools that have the capability to take you and your team to the next level. Unfortunately, some of these great tools are under-utilized or not used at all! Make sure to take advantage of all the possibilities! If you aren’t exactly sure the potential, here is an example of what advanced marketing can look like, with CRM as the foundation:
Understand What is Available
4. There is no “one size fits all” market solution. Granted, while there are many different options to make your marketing strategy a success… know that technology alone doesn’t make your strategy. Taking all technologies into account, and then applying them where they make the most sense for your business is what smart marketers do. Always remember that is your business and your strategy, technology is only as smart as you allow it to be. Ensure you are always in full control of your CRM marketing technology by continuing your education. For example, our CRM book is a great way to keep up to date!
Do Hands-On Trials
5. As with any new system, there is always going to be a “trial and error” period. It’s necessary to have a pre-defined set of use cases, then evaluate any new tools based on how your team will actually use them. Whenever possible, a hand-on trial is your best bet to really understand usability.
- End-user Experience
- Ease of Use
- Tightness of the Integration with CRM
- Data Quality/Control
- Investment in Microsoft Dynamics CRM
The most important take-away is to remember that nothing is set in stone. Creating success in your marketing strategy doesn’t lie in a one-time implementation, a single email blast or a few tweets. Taking it to the next level requires foresight, planning and a commitment to analytics via Dynamics CRM. If you are ready to take on the challenge, please download the full webinar and take the next step in becoming a marketing ingénue! Happy CRM’ing!