Most business owners recognize the need to market their products in order to support sales of those products. What many business owners don’t recognize, however, is that there is a bit more to successful marketing, and it reaches throughout the business.
One aspect of marketing is the internal marketing – how the company communicates to and through the various functional organizations. Whether it is the announcement of new policies or descriptions of new products launching, internal communication and feedback loops are as essential as those involving customers, yet few businesses employ formal mechanisms to handle it.
Another element essential to making a marketing campaign a success is the follow-up. The feedback loop marketing receives in terms of campaign performance is great, but if sales and service are able to incorporate some of that intelligence into their efforts, sales calls become warmer and service is more enlightened to customer demands and needs.
Sam Saab, the CEO of Results Software, knows these things to be true because he works with clients having these experiences every day. Results CRM is more than simply a customer relationship management solution, but in that specific area the software functionality excels. Over the years, Results has been expanded and extended to handle a wide variety of business and information management requirements. Among the recent developments is the integration with Constant Contact, providing even more capability for small businesses to more intelligently manage their operations and get the most value from every business expenditure.
Following is an article which came from a discussion with Sam on this very subject, and which I am pleased to publish here because it makes sense.
Marketing in Business: Everyone has something to say
When someone talks about marketing it is the radio and TV advertisement, the advertisement in the paper or magazine, or even all those email newsletters that come in to the inbox which come to mind. Small business discussions about marketing generally center on branding, and finding the right message to “engage” with a prospective customer and turn them into a buying customer. What many business owners fail to recognize is that marketing has a presence in every aspect of the business.
Marketing is the message businesses tell their customers, whether it is the future customer (prospect), current customer or past customer (which is really just another kind of prospect). Marketing is also what they tell themselves and others in the business – the internal customers. It is marketing which gives voice to the organization, and provides the venue for the many parts of the company to speak to their respective constituents. Every department makes a contribution, and every department has something to say.
Business owners who recognize the value of giving voice to the various entities within the company understand that cooperation and communication go hand in hand. The development of a finely tuned machine means that everyone must work on the same page and towards the same goals, so centralization of content and managed distribution to relevant readers becomes the key to keeping the message on point.
Developing communications and drawing input from various areas of the business diversifies the message and creates interest where there was none before – all due simply to a change in perspective of the message. It is this understanding of when to change the perspective and voice, or to adjust or expand the message, which fuels ongoing marketing success. And while it is important to target the messaging towards the audience, it is equally important to present multiple facets to the message in order to gain the interest of different prospects as one never knows what subject matter or message will resonate with the reader. Essential is the follow-up on any campaign: follow-up with a sales approach or sending additional information or simply continuing communications.
Yet questions of relevance or interest of the message by the audience need to be answered, and the business needs indicators that reveal whether or not the information is being understood and accepted, or is even of interest to the audience. This is part of the value delivered in marketing and campaign management tools such as Constant Contact. But even if the messaging is on target and there is demonstrated interested, is the sales or customer management system in use designed to help sales follow-up and reach out to those audience members who expressed interest through accessing the material? Results CRM has this ability, and addresses the reality that too many businesses wait for inbound responses where outbound might be more efficient if only the information was there to help target the effort. Where service or support is the subject, does a response to the content suggest any follow-up or action? For a marketing campaign to be effective, it must discuss areas of interest and actionable subjects so that the audience is encouraged to read and to respond. For the business doing the marketing, the overall value of any campaign is reduced if there is no action taken or no intelligence gained from the response.
The integration between Results CRM and Constant Contact delivers the business benefits of connecting marketing communications and campaigns with sales, service and other business processes to support greater business and marketing intelligence. By providing users with the tools necessary to not only create communication campaigns but also to track and take action on the results of the effort provides a basis for gaining greater understanding of the performance of the communication and how it relates closely to sales and customer engagement. Connecting Constant Contact campaign information to Results CRM provides business owners and managers with an additional level of intelligence supporting decision-making and action.
Everybody in the company has something to say, and each “voice” may offer a message or idea that will trigger engagement with the customer, whether internal or external. When the company provides each entity in the organization with the benefit of a communications platform coupled with tools like Integrated CRM that are necessary to support analysis and action based on the performance and reaction to the messages, the company has begun to recognize the power and potential of what marketing may truly be.