Tag Archives: Marketing

“Utilize CRM to Leverage Your Business and Maximize ROI”

Customer relationship management (CRM) is a widely-implemented strategy for managing a company’s interactions with customers, clients and sales prospects. It involves using technology to organize, automate, and synchronize business processes—principally sales activities, but also those for marketing, customer service, and technical support. The overall goals are to find, attract, and win new clients, nurture and retain those the company already has, entice former clients back into the fold, and reduce the costs of marketing and client service. Customer relationship management describes a company-wide business strategy including customer-interface departments as well as other departments.

The three phases in which CRM support the relationship between a business and its customers are to:

  1. Acquire: CRM can help a business acquire new customers through contact management, selling, and fulfillment.
  2. Enhance: web-enabled CRM combined with customer service tools offers customers service from a team of sales and service specialists, which offers customers the convenience of one-stop shopping.
  3. Retain: CRM software and databases enable a business to identify and reward its loyal customers and further develop its targeted marketing and relationship marketing initiatives.

Customer relationship management is high on the corporate agenda. Recent research carried out by Business Intelligence reveals that six out of ten companies have already started out on the CRM journey, and a further quarter are planning to do so. Improved customer profitability, life-time value and increased sales are just some of the benefits.

But CRM is more than customer satisfaction or a new SFA system, more than developing a new website or call centre. Being customer-centric is a while new way of doing business. It could completely transform the way of doing business. It could completely transform the way your company operates and will have major implications for people, processes and technology. Planning for and managing change in these three key areas is crucial – neglect any of them and your CRM programme will hardly get off the ground.

If you have been tracking conversations around social media for business, you have undoubtedly come across people talking about Social CRM. If you are anything like me, the first time you heard it, you probably rolled your eyes and said, “Ugh, another social media buzzword!” And while I do take issue with the jargon itself (and will discuss that later), Social CRM is a central concept that businesses need to understand deeply and integrate fully, in order to serve the social customer.

Social CRM is a philosophy & a business strategy, supported by a technology platform, business rules, workflow, processes & social characteristics, designed to engage the customer in a collaborative conversation in order to provide mutually beneficial value in a trusted & transparent business environment. It’s the company’s response to the customer’s ownership of the conversation.

For many large organizations — particularly those that have been through a series of acquisitions — managing customer relationships is not a matter of whether they have a CRM system, but how many.

Take, for example, Synopsys Inc. a maker of electronic design automation (EDA) technology for developing systems on chips. It grew its revenue from $500 million to $1 billion by acquiring more than 40 EDA companies in roughly 10 years, and with it came 17 different legacy CRM systems.

“When we had a new acquisition it would just add to the list of systems,” said Ani Bhutkar, group director of corporate applications for the Mountain View, Calif.-based company. “Halfway through the spree of acquisitions we [realized that we needed] a master system that things would integrate into.”

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“Personal Branding Resources and Tactics”

This digital tipping point is making the website the most  important portal and front door to your customers in a world where a digital optimized presence is not a luxury but a necessity, it enables potential customers to find you, engage with your brand and then buy your goods and services.

The challenge is that once brands have the website designed and developed they need to optimize and promote their website to those potential clients to let them know that their brand exists (you need to keep in mind that nearly 90% of all buying decisions start with an online search).

The top 10 essential activities that should be considered part of your marketing strategy roadmap that are becoming vital in a digital world and are quite often ignored by a generation of management that grew up in the age of the TV industrial complex and telemarketing.

 We live in one of the most exciting times in the world’s history where you can build a personal brand faster and broader than anyone has even imagined. Most people are underestimating the reach and power of the internet that has really only been available for barely 15 years. Facebook marketing  is less than 2 years old and YouTube and Twitter have only been in existence for a few years.

The previous generation built their personal brands on television, radio, magazines and newspapers. You now have the opportunity to build a personal brand utilizing the power and leverage of social media and blogs that can accelerate the process.

The potential of the web is still evolving and will continue to surprise us as it continues to grow and challenge established thinking and disrupt business models.

So what are 23 steps to build your personal brand in a digital world?

Today, Twitter() has roughly 6 million users and is projected to grow to 18.1 million users by 2010. With all those people, the chances for networking are endless and connecting with new people can lead to career opportunities, so it is essential that your personal brand exists on the service. Last month we showed you a step-by-step process for building your personal brand on Facebook, and today we’re going to show you how to do the same thing on Twitter. By leveraging the Twitter platform to build your brand you can showcase yourself to a huge and growing audience.

Twitter continues to confound and confuse, and many people I meet say “What is Twitter about? Well its about community, its about sharing, its about marketing and hey… it only allows 140 characters… but you can link people to a website or a blog.. you can play them some music.. you can show them some photos or a video… all in 140 characters… wow, are you confused yet. One thing I really like is that it brings back the art of the headline.. because you only have this small opportunity to grab their attention.  My teenagers have a very short attention span, and hey I am not far behind… if you don’t  get my interest in 3 to 4 seconds I move on…. The fact that Twitter is streaming past you, if you don’t grab it it passes you by.. this makes it more compelling and in the end … potentially a bit addictive, you keep asking .. what have I missed out on? … What was that?.. Was that worth checking out?  Its immediacy is both frustrating and compelling.

Branding one’s self in an online environment built on entropy and go-baby-go is difficult at best, and impossible if you forget to take your happy pills. To that end, I’ve come up with a quick list of 100 things you might do to help with these efforts.

Personal branding is a relatively new concept and is thought to have emerged in 1997 after a ground breaking article was published on the Fast Company website by Tom Peters.

We are in the age of the ‘knowledge worker‘ and the days of being an anonymous cog in the wheel of a faceless corporation are fast disappearing. The opportunity to stand out as a personal brand without having to know a politician, grey and grizzled powerbrokers or gnarly gatekeepers is now a reality and it is possible to accelerate the time it takes to make it happen.

Firstly what are the key elements and the questions that we need to consider to become a visible and effective personal brand.

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