Why every modern marketing organization needs CRM, marketing automation and social media platforms

Every marketing team today wants to know: How can we be more strategic and effective in everything we do?

For example, you might ask: How can we target the right people with the right message, convert them into leads, move them through the funnel and ensure sales picks them up and closes the deal effectively?

There’s a lot of moving parts within that process, and it typically isn’t a clean, linear journey, especially in the B2B world. But accomplishing the objective of being more strategic and effective throughout is within reach — if you have the right technology in place.

Marketing Technology is Exploding, But it All Goes Back to the Core Three

Of course that previous statement about having the right technology in place opens up a can of worms. According to The Chief Marketing Technologist’s 2015 Marketing Technology Landscape, the marketing technology field is now brimming with 1,876 vendors. So within that crowded field, how do you know what is “the right technology” for your business?

The short answer is that it depends on the maturity of your marketing technology stack. To elaborate a bit, exactly what you need will differ depending on what you have currently and what your initiatives are. But you can’t (or at least shouldn’t) go anywhere if you don’t have the core three technologies in place: CRM, marketing automation and social media platforms.

These three technologies are so critical to the modern marketing environment because they lay the foundation for everything you need to accomplish top objectives like those described above. Individually, they wield a lot of power, but taken together they create an impressive force we like to refer to as “the marketing technology triumvirate.”

How the Marketing Technology Triumvirate Powers Modern Marketing

Common marketing initiatives in today’s world include:

  1. Engaging with leads in new ways and on new channels, and doing so more effectively by delivering the right message to the right person at the right time
  2. Driving more qualified leads to sales, prioritizing those leads and helping sales close the deal
  3. Measuring effectiveness and ROI

That’s a tall order, but many teams are fulfilling it with the backing of this so-called marketing technology triumvirate. When working together, these three solutions can provide unprecedented insight into how each lead moves through the buyer’s journey and their needs at any given point in time.

In turn, this insight helps you be more strategic in how you approach the first two initiatives outlined above. With a social media platform, you can identify and participate in conversations that are relevant to your brand or area of expertise. You can then feed any information about social engagements to your marketing automation and CRM platforms to keep track of this history. With a marketing automation platform, you can also engage with leads via email campaigns and track their behavior across landing pages, events, webinars and other online venues, all of which comes together to help you make your outreach more relevant. Follow this up with a marketing automation and CRM integration centered around a common lead scoring process, and you can improve the alignment between your marketing and sales teams to ensure that no leads fall through the cracks in the hand off. Sure, it sounds like a lot, but this combination of technology greases the wheels to keep these types of processes moving.

All of these technologies also capture metrics across these activities, providing you with another type of insight, this time into the effectiveness of your efforts, thereby satisfying the third initiative outlined above. By reviewing this data regularly, you can determine what works well and what doesn’t work well, which helps you make more informed decisions about how to structure your campaigns and other activities going forward to get the best results. Additionally, marketing automation platforms, in particular, take all of this full circle by measuring the ROI of marketing efforts.

Any Sound Digital Marketing Strategy Boils Down to the Triumvirate

Once you have this core in place, there’s plenty of other technologies you can add to the mix to work alongside the triumvirate and supercharge your efforts even further. But to truly maximize the benefits that those additional technologies have to offer, you must first have CRM, marketing automation and social media platforms in place because they provide the base off of which everything else will grow.