While surfing the web looking for interesting tidbits and stories about how CRM has matured over the years, I came across an interesting story about how Salesforce.com used images of the Dalai Lama in an effort to sell its software (http://www.infoworld.com/t/business/salesforcecom-issues-dalai-lama-poster-recall-186)

As noted in the article, that rather unfortunate guerilla marketing stunt occurred back in 2003 – coincidentally, the same year Microsoft Dynamics CRM was first launched. Since then, Dynamics CRM has introduced six ground-breaking versions – with each having taken bigger steps toward making sales and business processes more effective.

The CRM toolsets within Dynamics have enabled countless companies to reach a larger customer base and retain more customers with less effort than ever before. And while 11 years seems like a long time for a software product, we can contrast that with the function of marketing, which has essentially been around since the beginning of commerce thousands of years ago.

Today, the way companies market their products and services has dramatically changed with the influence of social media. While it can be debated that certain social media is the best fit for certain types of businesses and industries, it can’t be debated that social media has changed the way we communicate with each other as well as with the organizations we do business with. It’s also reasonable to believe that if we ignore social media in our marketing efforts, we are effectively cutting a growing segment of our potential customer base out of our marketing reach.

Knowing that the goal behind marketing is to increase awareness and drive sales, it’s important to measure the effectiveness of marketing messages, including those delivered via social media networks. To this end, Microsoft has purchased a social networking analytics company called NetBreeze, and will be integrating its functionality into Dynamics CRM so that users can analyze and measure their marketing efforts in social media.

The metrics NetBreeze uses to measure social media marketing are different from the traditional metrics marketers have measured in the past. They use terminology such as “feedback,” “key-word mentions” and “sentiment.”

At the time of this writing, Microsoft has announced its plans to include these new features in Dynamics CRM 2013 in Q2 of 2014. This means that in addition to the marketing toolset built into Dynamics CRM 2013 for creating, managing and measuring more traditional campaigns such as direct mail, email, and outbound calling, you will also be able to measure the effectiveness of your social media campaigns.

Additionally, to get even more granular measurements, you will be able to tie each social media effort (such as blogs, posts, announcements, offers, etc.) to each unique and trackable response (e.g. completed web forms).

How you ask? There are several CRM add-ons that allow for simple integration with web contact forms that will make any website an extension of Dynamics CRM. When a potential customer answers your call-to-action and visits your website to complete a form, the information will go directly into your CRM and be associated with a particular campaign. From there a simple CRM Chart will show you the results.

So as you can see, this new functionality, along with the agility of Dynamics CRM and its marketing toolsets, enables you to rapidly measure and move your campaign efforts to the areas and marketing channels that are returning the best results – ultimately making you the hero to your sales team who love warm leads.

With Dynamics CRM 2013 and its hugely powerful marketing features, you’ll have a great toolset to take on your 800lb gorilla, while wisely leaving His Holiness out of the fray.

OR As Bill Murray says…

“Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know.” – Salesforce.com Carl the groundskeeper in Caddyshack (played by Bill Murray).

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