CMS, CRM & Marketing Automation: Why Your Brand Needs All Three

We’ve written a lot about CMS, CRM, and Marketing Automation platforms here at CMS Critic, but are all of them essential?

For a big brand chasing global or even regional dominance, I think the answer is a resounding yes.

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Combining CMS, CRM & Marketing Automation Software

Here are a few key benefits of combining these platforms:

  • Improved forecasting and reporting

  • Combined customer information and insights

  • Increase in qualified leads

  • Real-time personalization

  • Increased efficiency

Without the seamless integration of your CMS, CRM, and Marketing Automation platforms, you’ll end up wading through mounds of useless reports and inaccurate data – and no-one has time for that.

By thinking of your marketing system as a whole, rather than dividing these three components, you can ensure that you gain the best possible results from your sales and marketing.

Let’s break it down and talk about what each component in this integrated marketing system should look like.

1. CMS

Most businesses understand that your content management system should make it easier for you to edit and post content. But that’s not all it should be doing.

A good CMS should:

  • provide useful audience insights

  • allow you to influence the prospects buying process with CTA’s and relevant content

  • assess what types of content are most popular with your audience

  • provide both macro and micro analytics – i.e. data on your website and your audience

2. CRM

Your CRM is your business intelligence hub. At the moment, CRM systems are seriously misunderstood. There is no uniform process in place and many businesses are unsure of how to actually get the most out of their CRM system.

Because of this, CRM systems aren’t being utilized to their full potential and these advanced customer management tools are simply becoming ‘organizers’ for salespeople.

A good CRM should:

  • assign your leads and opportunities into separate databases – e.g. cold/warm/qualified

  • document what stage of the buying process each prospect is in

  • show how each lead arrived on your site

  • provide relevant background info on each prospect – such as previous contact and their activities on your site

You can view our Top 10 CRM Systems here.

3. Marketing Automation/Email Marketing

Marketing Automation and Email Marketing are very closely aligned, so I’m going to combine them for the purpose of this post.

A good marketing automation or email marketing system should:

  • track which users receive, open, read, and click on your marketing emails

  • allow you to create custom fields to search, segment, and organize your email lists

  • have the technology to bypass spam folders and ensure your marketing messages are received

  • analyze site visitor behavior and activity and use lead scoring to determine their value.

  • assist you with moving prospects along the sales funnel by delivering tailored marketing messages based on their stage in the buying process

When these three components are combined, you’ll have a seamless process in place to manage all of your sales and marketing activities.

Content Publishing and Distribution

  • With your CMS, optimize your content for SEO and post it to your site

  • Assign a custom CTA to invite users to signup to receive more content

  • Create a draft marketing email and share this content via your marketing automation/email marketing system

  • Share this draft with your sales team via your CRM (because it’s so awesomely integrated)

  • Share the content via social media

Lead Capturing and Closing The Sale

Once your CMS captures a conversion – e.g. an email sign up, your marketing automation will identify them as a ‘hot’ lead.

This information will be delivered to your CRM for the attention of your sales team, who will then follow up with the lead, thank them for signing up to the newsletter, and have a chat with them about their specific business needs.

This should lead to a sale – if your sales team are up to scratch (hey, technology can’t do everything).

The Bigger Picture

By integrating these three marketing platforms, you can give yourself an even clearer overview of your customer journey from start to finish and put efficient actions in place to increase conversions.

The insights you’ll receive into the customer lifecycle will allow you to identify customers who would have previously flown under the radar, and enable you to present them with right offer at the right time. Having this level of business intelligence is crucial for today’s marketer and it’s something that you really can’t afford to ignore.

Is your brand benefitting from an integrated marketing system? Let us know how it’s working for you in the comment below.