Marketing Strategy First, Tools Second
We have become accustomed to technology evolving at an amazing rate. So much so that companies are being forced to regularly rethink their marketing strategies frequently to ensure relevance with target audiences.
With so many different ways to reach out to potential customers, however, many businesses fall into the trap of implementing unfocused or inappropriate marketing campaigns that provide low conversion rates and ROI. Employing counterproductive lead-generation techniques can be the last mistake a company makes in today’s hyper-comeptitive global market.
It is important for businesses to view technology as a tool when devising a new sales and marketing strategy and selecting the technologies. It is easy to get excited by all the buzz surrounding interactive text messaging, social networking campaigns and mobile device applications.
Tools are a means to an end, not the end itself. The cost of using tools is higher, in some cases much higher, when it has been poorly deployed. Understanding business requirements is a critical step in developing marketing strategies and tactics. It should be at this point when technology is introduced.
For many companies, the CRM implementation (Customer Relationship Management) is a high-priority and a critical sales and marketing strategy milestone. It is definitely true that a CRM solution, when used properly, is an effective way to increase sales, loyalty and value to existing relationships. Open source options like SugarCRM make it possible for any organization to leverage CRM. Any organization not using CRM to provide its front line staff with immediate access to full customer context is missing an opportunity.
Strategic thought and pro-active planning of a CRM implementation can result in a solution that is used to gather information about –
- customer requirements
- improve customer service
- reduce costs
– but it must be adopted holistically and supported by other tools. CRM systems added as a mere afterthought to existing business processes are doomed to fail. This is also true for social media for marketing purposes should also be seen as long-term strategy and one that is not likely to pay fast dividends.
A smart organization must keep business goals in mind, and select the right tools, sometimes combining or adapting them for specific needs. This is the key to a aligning marketing strategy with technology that will consistently drive the success of the company.