Why Does Every Brand Need a CRM Agency?
We all know by now that most advertising is ignored. Brands know that establishing long-lasting relationships with customers is critical to building sustainable success.
In today’s fragmented landscape, relationships with customers are often diluted into price point driven, one-click transactions where brands can easily become commodities. Now, more than ever, brands need to form meaningful connections by creating personalized experiences catered to their customers’ interests.
That’s where a CRM agency can help. By developing thoughtful acquisition, nurture, and retention strategies based on the buyer’s journey, brand storytelling begins and real, long-lasting relationships can form. In the words of Simon Sinek, “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.”
What Can a CRM Agency Do for You?
A CRM agency takes a strategic, comprehensive approach to the buyer’s path-to-purchase by evaluating the wider customer experience (CX) at all stages of the relationship. This begins with a breakdown of the funnel and optimizes the combination of multiple marketing channels to drive specific actions.]
Let’s start with one proven channel: e-mail. Marketing automation software facilitates the creation and dissemination of dynamic, behaviorally driven email content at defined touchpoints in the relationship. For example, it can track a user’s experience from the awareness and consideration phase to purchase and advocacy. This allows a CRM agency to help define and execute an email strategy based on discrete KPIs and conversion goals that deliver content at optimal times.
Another integral marketing channel is media, which might not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about CRM. Media is often the first set of impressions in the relationship and therefore critical to what follows – particularly in terms of organic and paid acquisition.
A CRM agency informs your brand’s acquisition and onboarding strategy – from where and how customers or leads are acquired to onboarding and conversion strategies. Whereas traditional media agencies are focused on reach and frequency, CRM agencies focus on conversion and understand the nuances of performance-based tactics that balance scale with cost and quality. In practice, this often drives greater productivity and creates substantial savings that make media budgets more efficient.
How Does a CRM Agency Do It?
The answer to this question is not simple because every CRM agency is different; however, there are some themes that are consistent throughout the CRM landscape. When working with a CRM agency, the partnership among the agency, brand, and audience creates continuous, streamlined workflow and communications.
CRM agencies are, first and foremost, data experts with a deep knowledge of marketing technology (MarTech) that enables your brand to securely pass data seamlessly to and from multiple environments into and out of CRM systems. CRM agencies also enable proper measurement of all the outcomes resulting from this activity. This provides a holistic view of the customer, generates valuable insights, and informs data-driven decision making.
In short, a CRM agency bridges the gap between marketing strategy, technology, and execution and will help you identify outages in communication, internal processes, and even previous marketing efforts.
Picking the Right CRM Partner
Not all CRM agencies are a fit for your brand. (And there’s nothing wrong with that!) Some agencies specialize in industry-specific marketing, while others take a broad approach.
As your brand’s relationship marketing programs develop, you’ll be armed with the ability to visualize the buyer’s journey. Mapping path-to-purchase through the buyer’s journey will help you clearly define the process so all your marketing efforts at each step yield optimal results and ROI. But before you can get to this point, make sure you review these three criteria before picking a CRM agency:
1. The Basics
Before looking for a CRM agency, ask the following questions to clearly define your goals and what your company wants to get out of the process.
- What does CRM mean to your company right now?
- What are you trying to achieve by using CRM?
- What’s your vision for CRM?
- How much time and money are you willing to invest in CRM?
- What KPIs are important to you?
- What do you want that you’re not getting from CRM now?
Answering these questions can help you move forward with confidence in finding an agency that’s right for you. By providing a vision for all stakeholders and clearly defining expectations and a path for everyone, you can save you a lot of time (and headaches).
2. Platform Integration
Another important aspect to picking a CRM partner is choosing an agency that is not married to one single platform but instead will pick a platform that’s right for you. Choosing a partner that understands your needs and elects a platform based on factors such as compatibility, features, and workflow will define your CRM journey.
Your partner should be equipped with a deep understanding of platforms within the CRM and MarTech space to help you prepare for the future. As you continue to walk along your CRM journey, it is critical that you and your partner are on the same page and do not look solely to short-term goals to set your course of action. It can be tempting to believe promises of fast results and immediate transformation, but aligning your goals with a realistic timeline can give you a sense of what sustainable goals are possible in the long-run.
3. Cultural Fit
Not all agencies that work together are going to be a perfect fit. Asking questions that give you insight on a partner’s work, collaboration, and communication styles can hint at the type of work relationship you’ll have (or lack thereof).
Ask yourself a few questions: What are your company’s communication styles? Do your hours of operation align? How would you define the personality of your company? When evaluating CRM agencies, you can also use additional metrics to gauge compatibility, including your company values and diversity. However you decide to evaluate agencies, make sure you lay the groundwork for your brand to succeed.
Whichever agency you pick, it should be right for your brand long-term. Your brand has a unique voice, story, and relationship that it wants to present to your target market, so make sure you demonstrate that with the best CRM agency partner for you.