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How to Integrate New Marketing Strategies with Social CRM

Business operations have surely evolved over time. Now, Social CRM offers new strategies to market your brand. Often, the evolution progresses with advances in technology. When you start looking at new business philosophies, progress isn’t as apparent.

Certain aspects of marketing are so deeply ingrained in business culture and the individuals who are a part of that culture that it’s extremely challenging to implement the big ideas of new marketing, including social CRM strategies. To implement social CRM, your business needs to catch up with the progress of technology, because today, technology is woven into nearly everything.

The cost to place and disseminate advertising is significantly lower today than in the days of Marketing 1.0. Advertisers can produce clever, crafty, and effective advertisements on a low budget. With the power of targeting and segmentation, low-budget messages can compete with the mega-ads to deliver relevant messaging to the right audiences.

In advertising, what worked in 1959 didn’t necessarily work in 1987. Similarly, messaging of the 1990s and early 2000s doesn’t necessarily resonate in today’s social business atmosphere.

Product-centric marketing

Content has been a main focus of advertising for decades, if not longer. Content marketing gets thrown around like a new term, but ads have always focused on content for the better part of a century. Product-centric marketing emphasized content in its messaging, and that content was simply centered around the product itself, making product-centric marketing a more apt term.

Many ad campaigns around new products have been designed with the expectation that consumers want to buy said products, so advertisers create content to sell the product, sell features, sell benefits, and sell a value statement.

Component Description Example
Feature The advertising industry has spent millions of dollars to develop formulas for TV, radio, and print. One formula is that an ad must mention a particular feature a certain number of times for the consumer to digest the message. “Check out this hose attachment that we’ve added to your vacuum.”
Benefit Marketing messages with an emphasis on benefits can reach a targeted audience but can alienate many others. “This hose will allow you to take your vacuum places you never dreamed!”
Value Building messages around a value (or perceived value) makes the assumption that the marketer knows what the customer wants or needs from the product feature. “What this means to you, dear customer, is that you will have the cleanest couch on the block and can kiss that plastic couch cover good-bye.”

Features, benefits, and value are tried-and-true approaches to marketing and sales, but that doesn’t mean they’re the only — or even the best — approach. Too often, companies don’t invest the necessary time to tap into the actual needs of their customers before they develop and build a product. They think the product will sell, but they have no idea what the intended audience thinks.

The value piece is a crucial element that must remain as you move deeper into social business. With steep competition amongst similar products, your business must increase the perceived value of your brand to increase market share. You have to accept and embrace the fact that your product isn’t the only option for consumers.

Meet the embattled company-centric marketing

Do you put your customers first? Nearly everyone in business will answer with a resounding, “Yes!” And they mean it with every fiber of their being, but how many o people actually focus on customers in every aspect of our business?

Many have the best intentions, and a good portion of businesses involve consumers in product research, focus groups, customer service lines, and so on. But many others follow the company-centric marketing philosophy, where the desired results are whatever is best for business.

In these cases, the accomplishments of the company, such as a new product launch, a new website, or a signed contract on a large order, are revered more than customer praise or success. These accomplishments are really just tasks to be completed. Where is customer-centricity in that?

And where are the results in that? This doesn’t mean that a company shouldn’t celebrate hard work and milestones. However, if you want your business to fully join social business, you must move beyond tasks and start building goals that emphasize your customers and community.

When business leaders are busy thinking about their business, they often edge out customer consideration. For instance, a company that’s rolling out a new product or process can hyperfocus on staff training, generating sales collateral, and getting the team on board. In social business, the real accomplishments happen when customers start championing your brand to the masses. Customer loyalty and customer engagement is the responsibility of the brand — not consumers.

Current and repeat customers are a gold mine of information and data, but it’s what you do with all of that data that sets your business apart from the competition. Gathering data is one thing; understanding the data is a whole other piece to the CRM puzzle.

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