The world of marketing is in a continuous state of churn. Changes in customer behavior bring forth new paradigms by the day, rendering previous ones obsolete. For instance, the traditional concept of marketing striving to solely generate leads is now obsolete.
It’s not enough for marketers to adapt to change. We need to embrace change as a routine and more often than not, implement change in real-time. The net effect can be chaos, which breeds anxiety and uncertainty.
In a study by Forrester Research and the Business Marketing Association, 97% of B2B marketers confess that they do not have the necessary skills to take on such new demands. In such a state of affairs, it’s no surprise most online marketing efforts are not meeting the needs of sales teams. About two out of every three marketers also confess that their current marketing programs do not address buyers’ needs in an effective manner.
Marketers may need to adopt the following to mitigate such a grim scenario:
- Invest in a state of the art CRM that leverages the power of big data. The most effective CRMs are those that collect the latest and most relevant data from various sources, and subject it to analysis on a real-time basis, to offer an integrated view of the customer, as well as actionable insights.
- Break down organizational silos to facilitate integration between sales and marketing, and to ensure that information flows freely to the analytical engine.
- Invest in social media heavily. Social media has evolved considerably from its days as another messaging channel. It is now a major conduit for lead acquisition and customer support. A study by J.D. Power and Associates reveals that twice as many U.S. consumers interact with brands through social media for service related matters as opposed to marketing.
While there is no magic pill or all-encompassing solution for marketers, there are various marketing technologies available. How marketers can adapt to today’s fast-paced, consumer dominated world can be facilitated through the use of CRM and social media technologies as well as a customer lifecycle approach to marketing automation and email marketing. By focusing on the whole lifecycle instead of just lead generation, marketers are better able to embrace change in their marketplace and focus on building long-lasting relationships which yield more revenue over time than one-off purchases.