Editor’s note: We recently had an excellent opportunity to interview Jonathan Moran, Global Director of Product Marketing at SAS, and an Experienced B2B Product Marketing Professional.
His experience comes directly from his competence in tactical execution, excellent communication, and organizational skills. So, find out what role CRM plays in marketing performance, what are the best CRMs for marketing in 2021, and other useful tips from the expert.
FindMyCRM: In your opinion, how can CRM improve marketing performance, and what role does a CRM solution play for marketing efforts to pay off and one’s business to grow?
Jonathan: The core purpose of CRM solutions, though many flavors exist, is to manage either an aspect of or the entire customer lifecycle. Collecting data on the customer and their interactions with your brand will allow you to understand what customers or segments are interacting with your various properties and what marketing messages and content resonate the most with them. CRM solutions, if operating correctly, allow brands to collect and manage information about their customers to ultimately improve brand to customer metrics like loyalty, satisfaction, and lifetime value. Thus, CRM solutions give you the information on what marketing efforts are working or paying off. Knowing this will allow you to spend marketing dollars in the right place, not waste marketing budget, and ultimately grow your bottom line.
FindMyCRM: What tools, websites, resources would you recommend during CRM selection?
Jonathan: I highly recommend independent firms and evaluations. Third party analyst firms and their evaluations, review sites, and industry influencers are what I would value most in selecting a CRM solution.
FindMyCRM: What does CRM mean to you?
Jonathan: Well, there are so many types of CRM – operational, analytical, collaborative, campaign management and marketing automation, and even strategic CRM. But at the end of the day, CRM to me means operating in a purposeful, intelligent, and proactive manner as a brand with your customer. This includes aspects of the entire customer lifecycle – from targeting to acquiring to retaining and understanding to interacting and collaborating with your customers. If you are managing the customer relationship properly – you appear intelligent to your customers – anticipating their next move, decision, or purchase. My favorite type of CRM is of course analytical CRM, where you can use data and analytics to predict and prescribe versus react and retreat.
FindMyCRM: Could you please recommend the best CRMs for marketing in 2021?
Jonathan: Well, going back to question 2 – I would measure the best CRM based on independent analyst evaluations. One of the best ones for CRM from this past year is the Forrester Cross Channel Campaign Management Wave In this evaluation, the sole leader was SAS and their SAS Customer Intelligence 360 product. This is for analytical CRM/marketing automation. If you need a different style of CRM, such as operational CRM or Salesforce Automation, then many other good options exist that are regularly evaluated as well.
FindMyCRM: Is marketing automation and CRM integration important for business? Why?
Jonathan: Without a doubt. If you can’t take customer information from CRM systems and use it as input into customer segments for marketing automation campaigns, you are missing a prime opportunity for more contextually relevant and personalized interactions with your customer base.
FindMyCRM: Last but not least. What are your suggestions for useful resources, including but not limited to blogs, eBooks, or webinars, to help enhance a company’s performance through marketing and CRM?
Jonathan: I read all kinds of marketing blogs and sites that contain great content and how to’s – but they are usually vendor specific. If I had to name a few sites that are thought provoking around the broad topic of martech – I would suggest Scott Brinker’s chiefmartec.com, David Raab’s CDPinstitute.org, and CMSWire.com.