How to Overcome Challenges Connecting Marketing Automation With CRM?
20 August 2013 4 Comments
The focus in our last post has been hiring your marketing A-Team to have the right professionals helping you with your Marketing Automation projects. Now the focus is on integration between Marketing Automation and CRM.
How easy is integration of Marketing Automation?
Many marketers who turn to internet marketing and are looking to use marketing automation systems, are facing synchronization problems of their own CRM systems with new marketing systems. Reputable Marketing Automation software vendors such as Act-On, Eloqua, IBM Marketing Center, Marketo and Neolane offer standard interfaces for specific CRM systems such as Salesforce.com, NetSuite and Microsoft Dynamics. This allows for a data exchange without difficulties between both systems and the users of these systems are able to execute synchronization without even specific IT knowledge.
But what does reality look like? Most companies have widespread CRM systems. Did you know that in large enterprises there are countless independent CRM systems that have been programmed over the years for various requirements? I think that the latter reflects the reality. It is in fact a variety of CRM systems in the market and in the application of many companies.
Proprietary CRM systems need programming
To synchronize Marketing Automation systems with proprietary CRM systems, you need to develop an interface. The cost of this program can’t be estimated without a professional assessment of the two systems, since every CRM system has various functions and data fields. I would recommend that this analysis will be performed before programming in any case. There is no way around it, you need to synchronize all customer related information and activities between the Marketing Automation system and your CRM system. Once you install manual processes, you lose the benefits you have connected with the implementation of automated systems.
Correct data content and clear data structures in your CRM system
Once the cost of developing this interface is available, it is highly recommended to make a few preparations so that you don’t experience disappointment when programming the interface. One of these preparations consists of amending your CRM data. Depending on the situation, this requires a certain experience in processing and cleaning customer related data content in a structured way.
Be prepared for problems
After you have developed the interface and you have successfully completed your data preparation, you need to assume that there can still be problems between the systems. But the emergence of communication problems between the systems can be identified and corrected using simple methods. Without doing this, these problems would be many times larger and more expensive.
In the end you will find that the synchronization between the new Marketing Automation system and your current CRM system will have major efficiency and cost saving benefits.
Never change a winning horse
Maybe you have thought about buying a new CRM system. Anyway this could be an option if you are not satisfied with your current CRM system. But without need, replacement of your CRM system is not recommended. Consider only the necessary training required for all employees who work with your current CRM system.
If you are satisfied with your CRM system, then leave it like that and develop the interface to your Marketing Automation system. If you have experienced initial success with inbound and content marketing, you will realize the profitability of your interface investment.
Many marketers see the benefits of a Marketing Automation system and want to connect this functionality to their CRM system. If you currently have a proprietary CRM system, you will have to develop an interface. Before starting, you need to analyze your effort and calculate the costs. And amend the data in your CRM. Unless really needed, don’t replace your current CRM system.
Your turn please
What is your experience with connecting Marketing Automation to CRM systems? We would appreciate your comments, ratings and shares.
Errol van Engelen is owner/director at Bizzmaxx, a marketing service provider specialized in improving your sales funnel through Digital Marketing, Lead Generation, Marketing Automation and Marketing & Sales Alignment.