Customer Relationship Management in Marketing

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All You Need to Know from Customer Relationship Management in Marketing

All size businesses are shifting from transaction based to relationship based marketing. Focusing in individual profits does not increase your company’s sales anymore. Building a relationship with your customer creates a bond that benefits your profits in the long run. We cannot put enough emphasis on how important is to interact, understand and engage with your customers. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a powerful marketing paradigm that combines relationship marketing, direct marketing and database marketing. 

What exactly is CRM?

You will find many definitions of CRM, but here is an interesting one I picked for you. According to PWC Consulting, “CRM is the business strategy that aims to understand, anticipate, manage and personalize the needs of an organization’s current and potential customers”.

CRM is much more than a just a programme. CRM allows you to integrate and coordinate information from your sales, marketing and customer service departments. By automating the information sharing process your company can tailor its services to the needs of particular segments or groups. You develop a better relationship with your customers when you understand and meet their needs.

From CRM to e-CRM and Social CRM

More than two decades of CRM have evolved to go online. Now CRM is not just a company’s internal piece of software recording your teams and customers’ information. Now CRM has gone online. We can use digital communications to maximise sales and encourage customers continued usage of online services (Chaffey, 2012). That is what we name today e-CRM.

It is also interesting to note that from the popularity of social media platforms Social CRM has also been developed. Customer to customer conversations can be managed. You can harvest social data with programmes that will allow you to track posts, brand mentions and comments that refer to your company from all across the web (Etlingler, 2013).

E-CRM and Social CRM are different components of a single intertwined CRM process. Social CRM is here not to replace e-CRM but to complement it. E-CRM is the approach you take to build your relationship with targeted customers. Whereas Social CRM puts emphasis on working with the unbiased data that you can access through social platforms.

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Benefits of Using e-CRM


According to a recent survey, only 34% of small business owners use technology for customer relationship management, and only 18% have marketing data fully integrated with their CRM.



E-CRM should be placed at the core of any business. Following the figures we can see that not many SMEs have adopted a marketing driven e-CRM. Have you provided your business with an e-CRM programme? Do you want to stay competitive? You should be able to compile data from your customers, analyse it and build quality relationships with your customers. These are the top three benefits of using e-CRM highlighted by Chaffey.

  • Customer targeting becomes more cost-effective. Traditional targeting involves contacting parts of the whole group that does not belong to your segment. Aim to build a list of contacts that are interested in your product. They will self-select themselves to receive information from you. This is what we call Permission marketing or Inbound marketing. It allows you to increase your response rate.
  • Deeper customer understanding. A high percentage of your loyal customers are willing to answer your questions. They will give you feedback on your products when you send them online surveys or ask for their opinion on new products. Know your customers and they will appreciate receiving tailored information.
  • Customer retention and extension. E-CRM isoften used with loyalty programmes. It encourages purchases by offering a programme of points accumulation. Your e-CRM software will be able to track your customer’s transactions. It fosters loyalty and trust.

Affordable e-CRM for SMEs

We all know that SMEs have some budgeting disadvantage comparing to other giant business. However, there are many alternatives to the expensive, over-technical and popular Salesforce. Let me introduce you the following ones.

  • Capsule CRM. It costs €10 per user per month.
  • Zoho CRM. Free with some restrictions or €9 per user per month with full access.
  • Sugar CRM. Basic pack up to five users €1300 per year.

In the table below you can contrast and compare their services among themselves and with Salesforce.

crm programmes
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Chaffey, D., (2012) ‘Comparing Different Cloud-based CRM systems’ in Smarts Insights, 29 May. Available at:

Chaffey, D., (2013) ‘Tools of Trade: 5 Benefits of Using a Marketing-driven CRM service’ in Smarts Insights, 24 Decembre. Available at:

Chess Media Group (2010) Evolution of CRM to SCRM. Available at :×632.png

Etlingler, S., (2013) ‘Social Data Intelligence: Integrating Social and Enterprise Data for Competitive Advantage’ in Altimeter, 25 July. Available at:


Posted on April 4, 2014, in CRM, Digital Marketing, Social CRM and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Great post and sources for the info.


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