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CRM and marketing: Terms you should know

What is a marketing-qualified lead? Do you know what constitutes a 360-degree view of the customer? This glossary highlights these marketing terms and others.

As Steve Signoff wrote in a recent SearchCRM story, the marketing department is the "orchestra conductor" for the...

entire organization. Marketers fuel the organization with promising leads, promote the business on all of the relevant channels and aim to create brand awareness and excitement. Without marketing, a company's steady stream of buyers would fade quickly.

Marketing used to be defined by old tactics that used a "spray and pray" approach as companies broadcast their messages across traditional forms of media, such as print publications, radio and television, with the hope of connecting with a few interested consumers who might buy their products. These practices are inefficient today with the advent of social media and the dawn of a digitally interconnected world. Consumers are more plugged in and informed than they ever have been before, making marketers' jobs even harder since they are dealing with a populace that has seemingly infinite options competing for their business.

With digital marketing and the age of the customer, organizations are looking to foster deep customer relationships by compiling and tracking consumers' online habits, preferences and behaviors in order to target them more accurately and tailor messages that are important to them. Gone are the days where companies had very little idea who they were selling to. Today, by monitoring social media platforms and other online websites and mobile applications, companies can segment their customer base and decide which kinds of messages make sense for different groups of people. Companies also try to link customer information with the data that resides in their customer relationship management (CRM) systems to consolidate their different data sources and gain a 360-degree view of the customer.  

But how can marketers use this wealth of information to accurately tailor messaging, maximize the visibility of their brands and make sure they are attracting the right people to buy their products? Personalized marketing campaigns lead to deeper relationships with constituents, so marketers try to achieve this lofty goal by employing digital marketing tactics to appeal to consumers through social media, email, a company's website, mobile apps and other means.

Read on to learn more about important terms related to CRM and marketing, from broad terms that every marketer should be familiar with to strategies for getting a marketing campaign to take off.

Strategic CRM and marketing terms

In this age where customer preferences drive marketing actions, companies need to cater to customers' every need or risk losing business. Here are a few general terms for marketers to be acquainted with as they devise their marketing strategies:

  • 360-degree customer view
    Your customer data is the lifeblood of your business. Connecting it from various systems is the tricky part that can be the difference between good and bad service.
  • The age of the customer
    Welcome to "the age of the customer," where information is easily attainable for free and customers are more empowered and demanding than ever.
  • Law of diminishing returns
    Marketers, beware: Too much investment in a particular area could stunt profits.
  • Customer segmentation
    To enable more targeted marketing and increase the profitability of a campaign, it helps to divide your customer base into contextually relevant groups.

Different kinds of marketing

There are many ways to market and promote products, whether through more traditional means or digitally. Here's a rundown of some various forms of marketing:

  • Digital marketing
    With customers constantly online, companies need to know how to deliver content and appeal to them in a digital context.
  • Multichannel marketing
    Whether it's through physical stores, social media, live chat, company website, email, direct mail or more, companies need to be present on the channels their customers feel most comfortable with.
  • Buzz marketing
    Sometimes word-of-mouth can be the most powerful force to promote a product.
  • Inbound marketing
    Many companies are having leads come to them by way of curated, online content rather than depending on the old ways of competing for their attention.
  • Outbound marketing
    If your company is too dependent on traditional forms of marketing, you might be behind the curve.
  • Social media marketing
    Companies aim to increase brand exposure and broaden their reach by making easily shareable content.
  • Mobile marketing
    No digital marketing strategy is complete without knowing how to appeal to the ubiquitous mobile device.

Gathering and qualifying leads

Marketing's job is to promote a brand and supply a healthy dose of prospective customers to sales for nurturing and, hopefully, conversion into full-fledged customers. Here are some basic terms to define certain stages in the process:

  • Lead
    What constitutes a lead?
  • Lead scoring
    Companies need a methodology of weeding through consumers who could turn into customers and those who aren't interested at all.
  • Marketing-qualified lead
    Not all consumers will make the cut as bonafide leads. Once the prospective customer demonstrates interest in content, marketers and salespeople can start nurturing them.
  • Lead generator
    Simple and more complex ways of advertising are designed to bring more leads into the marketing department.
  • Sales funnel
    Companies often visualize the customer journey from awareness to action.

Marketing tactics

Organizations are always trying to stay at the top of their constituents' minds. By initiating campaigns designed to create an instantaneous buzz or otherwise create a sensation to get people talking, marketers walk a fine line between attracting potential buyers and simply annoying or turning off consumers. These terms aren't appropriate for every business but, when deployed well, can be effective tools to augment CRM and marketing.

  • Advertorial
    It pays to be upfront with the intention of advertorials so as not to deceive the consumer.
  • iBeacon
    Companies are constantly trying to pinpoint customers' locations in order to push them contextually relevant products or experiences.
  • Newsjacking
    Want to go for a big splash of brand awareness? Newsjacking might be for you. But beware this strategy being seen as insensitive or exploitative if done incorrectly.
  • Digital signage
    Say goodbye to the static nature of traditional signage. Digital signs can be updated in real time and deliver animations, sounds and other kinds of content.
  • Personalization
    Marketing actions mean little today if they aren't tailored to customer preferences and behaviors.
  • ContextAds
    Companies are getting more accurate and targeted with their advertising.

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