5 CRM and Marketing Mistakes to Avoid

Successful pairing of marketing and CRM best practices can significantly change the complexion of your business, from a boost in sales to improved ROI. More importantly, you’ll be creating authentic relationships between your brand and your consumers. With that said, getting marketing and CRM to work together is typically one of those “easier said than done” tasks. Yielding positive results requires expertise from all corners of the marketing department.

When tackling your marketing and CRM strategies, sometimes it’s easy to lose sight of the little things that really matter, as you keep your eye on the prize (like, say, customer loyalty and revenue). There are a handful of marketing/CRM “don’ts” that your business should avoid at all costs. Here, we name the top five things to avoid that can hinder your company’s growth — from enormous fines to alienating your clients. Steer clear of these practices and you won’t spend your time putting out fires.

1. Ignoring the EU’s Global Data Protection Regulation

If you ignore Europe’s impending GDPR, the results can be devastating regardless of the size of your business. The GDPR stipulates that companies who do business in Europe can’t send a commercial electronic message without receiving explicit or implicit consent from a subscriber – and hold proof that they do.

But many companies still are using bad data practices and abusing the data that consumers willingly give them; they are sending emails to consumers without any proof of consent.

Brands may be inclined to send any and all emails to any and every contact because restricting communication to contacts without explicit opt-ins can be a devastating blow to your company’s database.

Our best practice advice: build an opt-in track into your lifecycle strategy, for both new and existing clients. Fines for non-compliance can be devastating — they will be accrued based on a tier level, with the harshest penalty being €20 Million or 4% of the non-compliant company’s annual global revenue.

Related Content: 9 Steps Marketers Need to Take Before the GDPR Goes Live [Plus Bonus PDF Checklist]

You might be thinking ‘but I’m not a spammer!’, but the rules apply equally to all businesses and all marketers collecting personal data of EU data subjects.

2. Batch and Blast

“Mass marketing” is probably the best way to end up in someone’s spam folder.

Most marketing teams think that the increasingly unpopular batch and blast tactic is long gone — but, surprisingly, many companies still struggle with personalization and segmentation and resort to such tactics.

A lack of segmentation can push away potential buyers, as they’ll be turned off by the lack of relevance. Keep in mind that personalization has evolved far past the “Dear ‘First Name’”, and is defined by where a customer is in their relationship with a brand, what they’ve done, clicked, browsed, and bought.

3. “Gut Feeling” Marketing

Once you’ve built a comprehensive journey for your customer, gathered data, adjusted to trends and habits, your bottom line will grow.

Unfortunately, some companies get lulled into a false sense of achievement when they experience initial success. One tactic might work during your first year, but if you assume that the same tactic will work the next year, you’ll likely regret it.

People’s behaviors and habits are constantly evolving, and it’s your job to identify what’s changing and adjust accordingly. If you’re strategizing on “gut-feeling” alone, without a data-driven approach, you’re gambling for a positive result. By gambling, you’re potentially losing significant revenue. In the same way you wouldn’t “guess” on keywords, you shouldn’t “guess” on digital marketing.

4. Execution vs. Strategy

There needs to be a re-focus on mastering your marketing cloud so that you can execute your campaigns faster and better. If not, you’ll be spending too much time on channel-specific content and you’ll be too stressed about pushing out individual emails, texts, push notifications, social posts, or the like.

Execution is important, but too much time spent on heavy lifting will take you away from examining the trends in your space, and the evolving habits of your clients. Essentially, you need to strike the perfect balance between long-term strategy and day-to-day tasks.

A good way to avoid this “time trap” is to create dynamic templates that can automatically integrate content (without your intervention) to be distributed to a targeted, carefully segmented audience.

5. Avoiding Changing Technology Trends

The digital world is rapidly changing. Now, customers determine when and where interactions will take place, including the devices and channels used for both browsing and purchasing.

With more choices, more data, and more channels, the customer has a much greater say in deciding how their interactions with brands will go, and companies have to adjust to expectations to provide relevant and engaging experiences.

Simply put, if you’re not staying on top of technology trends, you’re going to have trouble connecting with potential buyers. For example, virtual reality technology is already enabling consumers to try on clothing without being physically in-store. Imagine the impact of these kinds of technologies over the next several years.

Related Content: 5×5: Five Marketing Predictions for the Next Five Years

Augmented reality will greatly enhance and personalize the online shopping experience. Companies will use the technology to offer more services and features that allow customers to get a realistic view of something they couldn’t otherwise do over the internet.

Final Thoughts

Sometimes it’s easy to slip into the grind of the day-to-day, and neglect “disrupting forces,” advances in technology, or processes that very much impact our industry.

The thing to understand here: neglecting these areas can actually cause real harm.

Neglecting the mandatory element of the GDPR will result in fines and unsubscriptions. Batching and blasting will rob you of potential engagement and revenue. Going with your gut when referring to data makes most sense will result in less effective campaigns.

Solidify your e-commerce strategy by unifying your marketing and CRM approaches into a cohesive plan.

This post has been adapted for the Emarsys blog. Big thanks to our strategic partner, Benjamin David Group, which contributed this content after originally running this post on their blog, here, in October 2017.