Marketing CRM Planning: 4 Must Have Projects For 2013


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Focus on projects offering the biggest possible returns.

Which marketing projects offer your CRM program the most bang for the buck? We hear that question a lot, especially as many chief marketing officers (CMOs) and VPs of marketing have been seeing their project budgets increase.

Indeed, over the next five years, many businesses’ CMOs will be spending more on IT than their CIOs. That prediction comes via Gartner analyst Laura McLellan, and while it’s being ultra-promoted now by marketing software vendors, many CMOs expect it to hold true. Accordingly, it’s a reminder that CMOs should always work with their CIOs to identify and implement the best CRM tools for the job.

So, what’s hot? Here are the top four marketing projects we’re seeing for 2013:

1. Marketing Automation Tools

The top, current CRM requirement for marketing programs is to ensure that your CRM system can support core marketing capabilities and requirements. Accordingly, we’re seeing many businesses that are using cloud-based CRM looking to add two key marketing enhancements: campaign management, as well as lead management, including lead nurturing.

To make that happen, most businesses tap marketing automation software, such as from Eloqua and Marketo. For example, Innoveer recently helped Panasonic’s B2B divisions implement as part of a business transformation aimed at providing the company’s customers with a single sales and service point of contact. Going forward, Stephen Yeo, who’s in charge of marketing Panasonic’s B2B products across Europe, says the company plans to take its CRM project to the next step by implementing Marketo.

2. Marketing Analytics, In The Cloud

Coming on the heels of more businesses rounding out their CRM software with marketing capabilities will be CMOs investing in analytics. The driver here is simple: Once businesses get their core, operational capabilities in place for marketing, and marketing managers gain experience using the new features, CMOs will then want to calculate their new marketing program results, such as measuring campaign spend, and identifying the company’s most profitable leads. To do that, many businesses are investigating cloud-based CRM analytics add-ons from vendors such as Cloud9 and Domo. Such tools help not only accurately track and report on marketing campaign investments, but also accompanying sales returns.

3. Social Media Monitoring

We’ve seen a lot of businesses investigating social media monitoring. The rationale is simple: If you don’t know what customers are saying about your products and services on Facebook and Twitter, or taking appropriate steps to handle complaints, you’re wasting a valuable opportunity to keep your current customers, while attracting new ones.

Of course, telling CMOs that businesses need to get social media savvy is preaching to the choir. But too many CEOs still don’t “get” social, even though the business upsides are clear. As Forrester Research analyst Nick Hayes recently noted, while using social media might seem risky, your competitors are well on their way to mastering its use. Furthermore, a Harvard Business Review study finds that social media can increase employees’ productivity by up to 25%–for example by enabling salespeople to connect with prospects via LinkedIn. The smart business money, across all customer-facing domains, is on social CRM.

4. Connect Campaigns With Always Connected Customers

Leading businesses, in 2012 began to figure out social media. Come 2013, legions of always connected customers will expect every business to have its act together, and marketing must lead the charge.

Accordingly, beyond simply monitoring social networks, CMOs must begin rethinking their campaigns for the social media age, and ensuring they can tie CRM systems to social campaigns. Furthermore, social media pushes marketing–and by extension, CRM programs–in exciting new directions. For example, see Innoveer’s Reply2Fly app, which we built for Dreamforce 2012. Rather than just giving away prizes to people who attended our booth, we combined social CRM and gamification techniques to create a contest that bridges Facebook, Twitter, and Salesforce. The more people played, the more likely it was that they’d win. Even better, all participants’ details were automatically loaded into Innoveer’s CRM system, further illustrating the marketing payoff that can come from practicing social CRM.

Learn More

Looking for more top CRM project recommendations? See our hot picks for sales, customer service, and CRM technology projects.

No matter your current or desired customer service program capabilities, the best project strategy begins by identifying your desired business goals. Then find the right tools and technology for the job, and pursue a rapid implementation that remains focused on achieving your desired, new business capabilities.

Post and thumbnail photos courtesy of Flickr user Images of Money.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Adam Honig
Adam is the Co-Founder and CEO of Spiro Technologies. He is a recognized thought-leader in sales process and effectiveness, and has previously co-founded three successful technology companies: Innoveer Solutions, C-Bridge, and Open Environment. He is best known for speaking at various conferences including Dreamforce, for pioneering the 'No Jerks' hiring model, and for flying his drone while traveling the world.


  1. Hi Adam – Thanks for your insight on this important topic. While CRM tools and marketing projects are changing, there is another important aspect of CRM that should be an integral part of any project – continuous improvement. You can’t just monitor consumer perceptions once, or even once a year – it has to happen every, single day. This is the only way to know if the CRM tactics you are implementing are effective. It’s almost like a puzzle, where if one small piece is missing, nothing can be complete. In addition to experiencing more satisfied customers, you will also find that continuous improvement can have a positive effect on your bottom line. At Contact Solutions, we saved our clients more than $15 million last year because of our continuous improvement practice.

    Justin Lemrow, Contact Solutions

  2. Very solid list, Adam. These are definitely tools that every business will need to start using in order to stay relevant.

    The market is evolving more rapidly than ever before, and the demand for quality, uniqueness, participation, reciprocation, and communication is growing day by day.

  3. Love the list but I think you need one more…

    It’s a new year so start reassigning accounts in the CRM system to reps who will make the calls that others haven’t. Make sure your CRM let’s you know who has visited them or called them so reassigning isn’t a chore.

    Robert Hartline CEO

  4. Thanks for the great information and pointers, Adam.
    It is no longer a surprise that the utilization/implementation of social CRM is mutually beneficial to a business. An emphasis on the effective and accurate flow of data allows worker productivity to increase, along with an ability to understand the needs of each customer. Online cloud-based business suites like Greenrope, are now a necessity for businesses and the flexibility of functions offered are unparalleled. The ease and accessibility along with social media integration, allows social CRM to open channels of communication previously unavailable. Furthermore, this encourages a relationship to form between the business and the client. The immediacy of communication means that there is no longer an excuse for businesses to avoid social media, or social CRM. For optimal performance of the social CRM system utilized, I always recommend that the full adoption of the CRM software must occur in all departments of the business. This will prevent the stagnation of data received, as well as immediately alerting the staff of a customer inquiry. By encouraging client/business relationships, there is a larger possibility of customer retention and through this valuable retention, you are able to have a consistent flow of revenue.

  5. Great list Adam. It’s clear that marketing and IT are blending at the boarders and CRMs are trying to corral the whole customer experience. You have quite a few giants competing to connect social, cloud scaleability, and marketing automation, but you left out behavioral analytics. There’s a big focus right now on utilizing customer data to guide behaviors that produce satisfaction (especially for SaaS and eCommerce). I know at my company Apptegic we’re integrating with the CRMs to enhance the data available to form a complete picture of the customers and model their success. Thank you for helping to inform with this write up.

    – @MrRyanConnors


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