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Marcia Nita Doron, Sikich Boston

When You Think about Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Remember This: Marketing-driven Companies Are 31% More Profitable (1)

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Having recently blogged on this same topic on the Altico Advisors company blog, I came to three realizations:

  • It’s a topic I’m passionate about
  • There’s a lot more to say than what I included in my original blog post
  • To be a marketing-driven company and reap the rewards, you need a world-class CRM system

Just because I’ve been working in marketing for most of adult life does not make me an expert. I haven’t conducted any studies that yielded statistically valid results. But…I have studied many companies as an insider – from a start-up translation agency to a Wall Street arbitrage firm. I’ve been employed by companies large and small, publically and privately held. I’ve reported directly to CEOs, Presidents, Founders, and Owners. With the exception of my 10-year gig on Wall Street, I’ve always had a finger in or an integral role in marketing.

You might say I’ve been a fly on the wall for 40 years, observing the rise and fall of U.S. companies. And sometimes, up close and personal observation trumps the ivory tower professor. Especially if you observe with eyes wide open and attempt to be an impartial observer.

Be that as it may, to give my premise some additional gravitas, I will fall back on some of the most famous proponents of marketing-driven companies.

Peter Drucker, who passed away in 2005, was an Austrian-born American management consultant, educator, and author, whose writings contributed to the philosophical and practical foundations of the modern business corporation. He has also been described as "the founder of modern management.” Drucker famously wrote: “Business has only two functions--marketing and innovation.”

Then there’s Geoffrey Moore, author of Crossing the Chasm, which was first published in 1991 and subsequently revised in 1999 and 2014. Moore focuses on the marketing of high tech products during the early start-up period. Crossing the Chasm has had a significant and lasting impact on high tech entrepreneurship, so much so that in 2006, Tom Byers, Faculty Director of Stanford Technology Ventures Program, described it as "still the bible for entrepreneurial marketing 15 years later".

I don’t know a sales or marketing person who hasn’t at least perused “the Chasm.”

Mike Frichol, who authors The Marketing Mélange, listed 15 key characteristics of market-driven companies, one of which is: “Marketing is the strategic leader in the company and central to the success of the business.” His emphasis is on the company’s culture. What I gleaned from his blog was this: There are sales-driven companies (probably a lot of these) and customer-driven companies (nothing wrong with that, right?) and competitor-driven companies (think about how Airbus rallied their forces with a simple 2-word slogan: Beat Boeing). But the companies that most often succeed are marketing-driven.

My take is this. You can’t be a customer-driven company without customers. And you can’t get customers without sales. And you can’t get sales without leads. And you can’t get leads without marketing. (It’s a circular logic that actually makes sense.) And finally, for marketing to succeed you need tools. And the best tool I know is Microsoft Dynamics CRM. While Microsoft Dynamics CRM has superior tools for sales, marketing and service, the recent releases of the solution are all marketing oriented.

According to Microsoft: “Marketing is changing faster than ever before. Marketers own more of the customer journey and must engage customers in new ways across new channels to deliver amazing experiences, while tracking the results of their marketing investments.” The tools to achieve this include campaign management, lead management and scoring, marketing resource management, marketing analytics, and social marketing.

Social marketing is the newest channel and Microsoft Dynamics CRM has the tools for exploiting social media and making it an integral part of your marketing strategy. Microsoft calls it “Social for everyone,” which speaks to my premise that everyone in the company should be involved, albeit in different ways, in marketing. It can be as simple as promoting your twitter handle to every prospect and client. Microsoft Social Listening allows you to harness the power of the social Web.

Quoting from the Microsoft Web site again, “Social [media] has changed the way people engage and communicate. Today’s customers are more informed and getting their information in new ways and from new sources. Decisions are influenced by discussions online and user reviews. In fact, 75% of B2B customers are likely to use social media to influence their purchase decisions, and customers are over 60% of the way through the sales cycle before they contact you. Most of today’s social listening tools, however, are so complex and expensive that they’re only available to an elite few —which means relevant information rarely gets to the front lines who need it. At Microsoft, we believe this valuable information should be available to everyone.”

Again, to my point. To get everyone on the marketing wagon, you need to make it easy for them to hop on. And Microsoft Social Listening is one way to do that.

Now that I’ve rambled on for too long, I’ll just close by sending you to this great 4-minute video: "Integrated Marketing Management and Microsoft Dynamics Marketing." You’ll probably learn more in those 4 minutes than you did in the 884 words preceding it!!

I would be remiss if I did not mention that Altico Advisors’ awesome Microsoft Dynamics CRM team would be tickled pink to show you exactly what Dynamics CRM can do for your business. What’s more, we’re integration specialists, so we can help you integrate Microsoft CRM with just about any system you’d want it to talk to. We’re at 508-485-5588, AlticoAdvisors.com, www.AlticoAdvisors.com, and https://twitter.com/AlticoAdvisors. We’ll take you down the right path to the right solution for you.

(1) Article: ROI of Being Market-Driven by Pragmatic Marketing

By Marcia Nita Doron, Altico Advisors Microsoft Dynamics ERP and CRM Partner serving Massachusetts (MA), New England, and beyond.

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