We are all human beings living in the 21st century, and so we’re constantly bombarded with advertisements—especially in the digital realm. It’s not uncommon for our Facebook and Twitter feeds to be cluttered with ads, so it’s easy to tune out even the most persistent social-based marketing strategies. In order to connect with consumers in our target audiences, we, as marketers, need to rethink how we promote our materials.
Luckily, we don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Jon Ferrara, founder and CEO of Nimble, claims we can expand our consumer base simply by utilizing a strong CRM strategy to educate prospects about our products. As a two-time entrepreneur, Ferrara recognizes that people don’t like to be force-fed advertisements (even when those ads are for products and services they desire). Instead, he focuses on the importance of serving customers before selling to them.
In Part II of his interview with Drew Neisser on the Renegade Thinkers Unite podcast, Ferrara talks about his experience with CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and how it surged his business. You can listen to the podcast below. Jon will discuss 5 social selling Must Do’s and Mega Don’ts with Renegade CEO Drew Neisser on SME’s live July 31st webinar (click here to register).
In the meatime, here are some expert tips Ferrara offers in the episode that can drastically improve your company’s CRM strategy.
Expand Your Sphere of Influence
The key to helping customers embrace your brand is to connect with the authorities they follow on the web. As Ferrara points out, “To access prospects and customers at scale, don’t think about marketing to them. Think about identifying their trusted advisor, their influencer, and help build relationships with those influencers and help those people succeed.” By helping influencers reach their goals and encouraging them to teach prospects about your brand, your CRM strategy will let potential customers get all the information and social proof they need to buy.
Although this kind of service may seem like a supplement to a marketing strategy, Jon argues that relationships are at the core of our trade. “Business isn’t about business,” he claims. “It’s about connecting with people. That way, [customers will] remember you.”
Rethink Your CRM Strategy
In order to make business about people, we have to incorporate the philosophy of marketing as service into the way we organize our companies. Ferrara explains how marketing and CRM play different roles in business. “Marketing is that high-level buying thing that happens over the battlefield where you’re dropping bombs at scale in order to soften the battlefield,” he says. “But to win the war, you need to put boots on the ground. The boots on the ground are your customer-facing business team members.”
Perhaps a war analogy isn’t the friendliest way to explain how we should care for customers, but its message rings true. Businesses that focus solely on their marketing tactics and downplay the role of customer service in delivering quality results probably won’t be as successful as those that do. That’s why Ferrara founded Nimble, a CRM product that helps small businesses connect with their target audiences and follow-through on providing excellent service.
Show, Don’t Tell
As an innovative thinker and pioneer of CRM strategy, it’s no surprise that Jon thinks outside the box when it comes to selling. “I really believe that marketing won’t help you grow your business,” he states. “What will help you grow your business is aligning the promises that you make to the experience that you deliver.” When businesses do these things, they can organically increase their brand footprint. Don’t tell your customers about the amazing products you offer—show them.
Ferrara notes that implementing a great CRM strategy can not only improve conversion, but it can also increase retention. He says, “If you have a connection with another human being, if there ever becomes a burp regarding pricing, product, positioning, or whatever, you’re going to ride through those bumps of life if you’ve paid that relationship forward and there’s a human connection.”
Since each one of us encounters so many advertisements on a daily basis, marketers who make a concerted effort to genuinely connect with their audiences will likely succeed over those who don’t. Striving to develop those relationships can lead to bigger and better business both now and in the long run.