When the digital revolution made its way to the masses, the potential for tracking metrics and using big data analysis for marketing carried high promises. Now marketing would be a finely-honed science. We would know exactly what worked, what didn't, and what to do to generate better sales and improve customer experiences.
In reality, technology can only do so much. When it is all said and done, the creativity, gut feeling, and good old fashioned instincts is still what separates the so-so marketing departments from those with astounding results.
So, where does technology fit? When is it time to sit the computers aside, tell the data crunchers to hush up, and pull out those old school, human-based marketing practices? Where does tech stop becoming your best tool and begin being a crutch?
Choosing the Right Tech Tools
One mistake is thinking that with the right technology, you don't have to have all the other stuff, like creativity and gut instincts and great customer relations skills. The problem is, that without the other things, technology doesn't do you much good. Though innovations like CRM software and data analytics are not new anymore, almost half of the companies trying to use these tools haven't gotten the promised potential. It isn't at all that these tools don't work, because they most definitely do. The problem is that marketers forgot where the tools fit into the big picture.
For example, many marketers invest in a CRM or data analytics and yet fail to integrate it properly into the overall infrastructure of the company. Sometimes the software isn't installed properly, or isn't designed to work with other critical business systems. Other times, departments outside sales and marketing or perhaps customer service don't even get adequate training on how to use these solutions.
In order for customer data to be useful, it has to be complete. In order for it to be complete, everyone in the organization that has contact with the customers in any way needs to be proficient in entering the data and using the data to improve customer experiences.
Realizing What the Tools Can Never Replace
The other issue is using the technology properly to deliver a connected, consistent, cohesive customer experience. When your customers contact tech support or customer service, do they receive the same level of experience they have come to expect from the marketing and sales departments? When your customers contact the billing department, do they get the same treatment they have come to expect from customer service or technical support?
The data holds everything you need to know to deliver a top notch customer experience, and the tools are extremely useful for providing the data. But the skills of building and delivering personalized customer service always have to be in place to make it work properly.
ReachForce helps marketers increase revenue contribution by solving some of their toughest data management problems. We understand the challenges of results-driven marketers and provide solutions to make initiatives like marketing automation, personalization and predictive marketing better. Whether you have an acute pain to solve today or prefer to grow your capabilities over time, ReachForce can unify, clean and enrich prospect and customer lifecycle data in your business, and do it at your own pace.
To learn more about how ReachForce can help you optimize demand generation and your impact on revenue, check out our real-time web form enrichment demo, or request a free marketing data diagnostic. Get the power to let data drive marketing and higher performance.