There are many articles that talk about the importance of selling to CMOs and the phenomenal growth in marketing solutions these days. But what drives the rise of these solutions?
In order to understand the growing influence and investment in marketing solutions by organizations, we need to first take a step back and understand the evolution of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Marketing solutions.
CRM is a business process put in place by most organizations to manage their customer interactions. In any organization, the three core customer facing processes revolve around Marketing, Sales, and Support. An integral component of managing these processes entails managing customer interactions across multiple channels – emails, phone calls, customer portals, etc. In order to provide a seamless customer experience, companies need to maintain a single source of customer data that can be leveraged across these different channels. CRM solutions were implemented to serve this purpose.
However, with the advent of technology, especially social, CRM solutions were not enough to manage customer relationships. Technology ushered in well-informed customers who could find a lot more information on their own even before they interact with a company. Companies have now been relegated to a position where they need to participate in customer-driven conversations that are taking place on social channels. They needed to adapt to the changing needs of their customers. Companies also faced some unique challenges and needed newer solutions to identify, understand, engage, and nurture customers across different channels including social. This brought on the rise of marketing solutions.
Marketing teams use this new crop of marketing solutions to identify their target audience, provide relevant content, publish campaigns across channels, and manage and qualify leads. To address these specific needs and the evolving technological landscape, marketing teams use diverse solutions such as Marketing Automation, Data Management / Cleansing, and Campaign Execution.
This has resulted in customer relationship evolving from solely being a sales function to a joint effort by both marketing and sales teams. Consequently, the solution landscape has also expanded now to include marketing solutions with existing CRM solutions to offer a new and improved customer experience.
Beyond marketing and sales, support teams have also begun to play a big role in managing customer relationships. Every customer support opportunity (even when customers call to complain) is now an opportunity to impress the customer, retain them, and nurture them to invest in the company’s products and services. Every customer support employee, or for that matter every employee of a company, is considered to be a brand ambassador who would be expected to go above and beyond to make the customer interaction useful, productive, and positive. This would result in repeat purchases by the customer and longevity in the brand-customer relationship.
The dynamics of these various processes along with the technologies used to automate them have resulted in complex enterprise stacks for various organizations. In subsequent posts, I will be discussing the intricacies of the enterprise stack and some new solutions that companies can leverage to provide a consistent, hyper-personalized customer experience.