America may run on Dunkin’, but Marketing runs on technology. Companies build software tools for marketing processes that organize collaboration, automate repetitive actions, and embed best practices / business rules that allow mere marketing mortals to promote like the pros.
Two of the most important systems in a marketer’s toolbox are Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Marketing Resource Management (MRM). Either one can stand alone, but when networked together the two are a duo not unlike Batman and Robin – POW, WHAM, BONK – that’s right, they pack a punch.
The Individual Strengths of CRM and MRM
Software that provides a comprehensive overview of relationships with current customers, progress with prospects, and employee interactions with the two. CRM systems are highly customizable to fit a company’s needs regarding customer/prospect insight and personalizing customer service.
- housing basic customer and prospect information
- organizing account histories and transactions with customers / prospects records
- assigning value tiers to customers
- sorting of customer types into hyper targeted groups for messaging
- delegating tasks to internal sales and marketing teams
- qualifying and scoring of leads to determine the value of a particular opportunity
- reporting which marketing campaigns lead to closed sales
Software that builds common marketing processes like asset management, scheduling, budgeting, authorization, creative production, and production into a single platform for execution.
- cataloging of marketing assets and content types
- broadcasting of marketing messages
- analytics data to measure program results
- creative production management
The Power of Batman (CRM) and Robin (MRM) Together
CRM and MRM work together like the dynamic duo to address three different marketing challenges:
- Creating automated processes with the economy of scale to deliver highly targeted marketing messages
- Identifying the most valuable customer opportunities through data collection and lead nurturing
- Providing analytics to calculate marketing ROI, and guidance to tailor future marketing initiatives.
Batman helps Robin and viceversa, the same is true of CRM and MRM. MRM powers marketing campaigns that maintain existing customer relationships and builds new relationships with prospects. It is able to do this with its many component weapons of email marketing, direct mail, PPC advertising, and local search. Once it finds and captures customers and prospects it hands them off to CRM. The CRM can then send instructions to the MRM platform to send out the next marketing piece, and what the piece should be about.
Using MRM to Populate CRM
- From an MRM platform, brands can launch their discovery-focused marketing weapons (like PPC and local search) to bolster their prospect lists and then send them email and direct mail pieces. When customers respond (by email open, purchase, or web form submission for example) they are registered and assigned values in the CRM system.
- MRM platforms can use programs that generate awareness for particular products or the brand as a whole. Online marketing programs drive potential customers to make purchases or fill out web forms for more information, the contact data goes into the CRM.
CRM registers the activity with customers and prospects generated by the MRM’s marketing weapons. That activity or behavior is then translated into data points that MRM uses to deliver advanced contextual marketing that converts leads into sales.
Using CRM to Power MRM
- CRM lets you track transaction history like identifying abandoned shopping carts and the MRM can send triggered communications to remind users to complete their orders, or entice them back with deals or related products.
- CRM gives visibility for which leads convert into closed sales and the “path to purchase” the lead had with your marketing campaigns. This allows you to see what works, and what doesn’t, building efficiency and ROI models into your marketing initiatives.
As CRM and MRM systems evolve they will continue to feed off each other’s core capabilities. They will give marketers the tool-set to target the right customers, with relevant messaging, at precise times. Advance your marketing efforts to fight the marketing battles of the future, remembering that dynamic duo of CRM and MRM, marketing’s Batman and Robin, are your greatest ally.
About the Author
Gary Ritkes, President of SproutLoud, oversees all Business Development and Marketing for the company. Gary, a pioneer in the emerging vertical of Distributed Marketing Technology, is an industry leader and innovator with 20+ years experience in graphic communications and marketing strategy. Gary has been involved with SproutLoud since the inception of the company. Prior to joining SproutLoud, Gary was VP of Marketing for Rex Three, Inc., SproutLoud’s first and largest vendor among its network of providers. He has served many Fortune 1000 clients and worldwide advertising agencies in providing marketing technology direction and optimization. He was an original founder of U.S. based Earth Color Group and co-founder of Advanced Digital Services (ADS), which was sold in 1996 to publicly traded Katz Digital Technologies. He has served as a board member of the local chapter of the American Advertising Federation chapter and other national industry associations, including the DMA and AGA.More Content by Gary Ritkes