So What Exactly is CRM?

As with many new and emerging tech-related marketing tools, there is often a lot of confusion surrounding CRM and exactly what it does.

CRM, for the uninitiated, is customer relationship management, and it includes anything and everything that company or brand does when interacting with customers. CRM is how brands engage their customers, by identifying their needs and wants and addressing concerns. Of course, businesses also hope that all of this increased engagement pays off in the form of increased sales and greater profits.

While CRM normally refers to a business-customer relationship, it can also be used in inter-business applications to track things like business contacts, clients, contracts and even sales leads. CRM is most often utilized to gather and track data that can help brands provide the products and services that their customers desire, while also helping salespeople close deals, retain customers and understand who their target demographics are.

CRM has changed rapidly in recent years. Advances in technology and developments on the web have made companies take a drastic new approach to their CRM. As these developments change consumer behavior, and even how they buy things, they present opportunities for brands to communicate with and collect data about their customers. The web especially has changed consumer behavior drastically, but it also provides an excellent chance for brands to gather data about consumers and their changing tastes.

CRM has become increasingly dependent on technology to function, and developments in “Big Data” have shifted larger companies CRM to become almost a number-crunching game. However, the real value in CRM still relies on the keen marketers ability to interpret the data and apply it in a way that allows their company to better serve its customers.

Even though CRM is more technical than ever before, it is this human element that really decides how important and impactful CRM will be for your brand. Just as with email and other forms of marketing, a solid, creative team will be your CRM’s best-asset.

If you’re business doesn’t presently have a CRM strategy, now is the time to implement one. It can be as simple as engaging customers on Twitter and Facebook, or as complex as tracking and nurturing leads using site feedback and other information, at the end of the day all that matters is that you’re doing something.

In today’s marketing world it’s all about interaction and giving back to your customer. Use CRM to figure out what they want, and then make sure they get it, and you’ll reap the benefits of a loyal customer base for years to come.

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