“We don’t need any marketing help. We just bought a CRM.”
If I had a nickel for every time I heard that, I'd be a rich man. I’m always intrigued by it. And, saddened by it as well. No matter the industry, no matter the size of the organization, “We don’t need any marketing help, we just bought a CRM.” eventually morphs into:
“I’m not sure what the data is telling me to do. Can you please help me?” OR
“We’re just not getting the same response rates anymore. What can we do?” OR
“I just need a simple report to tell me how we’re doing. Please help!” OR
“We have all these databases and I can’t get the data out of it I need. None of them “talk” to one another. What’s the solution?” OR
“The new marketing module is driving me insane. Can you please help me?” OR
“I really love you Mark. You’re so handsome. I wish you weren’t married.”
OK, so I haven’t heard that last line much, but I’ve heard all the others. Countless times. What’s interesting is that the basics of marketing never change. As defined by dictionary.com:
mar·ket·ing [mahr-ki-ting] noun: the total of activities involved in the transfer of goods or services from the producer or seller to the consumer or buyer, including advertising, shipping, storing, and selling.
While marketing basics don’t change, there are, however, new tools out there and using CRMs are a great way to stay organized. CRMs require a smart, strategic, disciplined approach. Garbage in to a CRM will lead to garbage out. Come to think of it, that’s rather true for everything we do, right? Good, clean data makes marketing so much easier.
There are excellent CRM systems out there and they certainly serve a purpose. My company uses one. CRMs are tools that provide data storage and features that can help you with communication. CRMs, however, don’t replace your discipline. Nor do they replace your marketing strategy.