- Why you need Marketing Information System
- CRM to support the collection and the marketing funnel management
- HubSpot CRM for free. Interesting features
One of the very first things that I want to know when taking the management of a new marketing department is how does the firm collects internal marketing information. This is important because it evaluates the performance of the marketing activities and support the strategic marketing decisions.
Setting up a system using an efficient CRM
During my career I was surprised to realise that a lot of firms had no clue of the number of leads or opportunities generated, the sources and the most frequent requested services. So, basically no control over the marketing funnel and the performance of individual media channel.
Further more, there were vast amounts of financial resources allocated on media channels that despite bragging with hundred of thousands of readers did not generated any traffic back and obviously no leads.
In one particular case when I’ve asked about it, the decision makers were confident that the main source of qualified leads are the referral, but actually, after we analysed the data, it was instead the internet.
My point being, failing to set up a marketing information system your marketing budget is prompt to be inefficient. It doesn’t have to be something fancy but effective. Introduce a system that requires sending relevant information to marketing and introduce the data in a computer program or app that will enable you to analyse it.
The marketing information system is mandatory for controlling the budget, setting up a marketing funnel dashboard, brand management, cost per acquisition or just simply in order to know some basic conversion data about your marketing investment. The reason a lot of companies are considering marketing just an expense is because they haven’t got this set in place and do not collect conversion data.
For some of this objectives, a simple excel file will work just fine but there are some many available Customer Relations Management (CRM) software and business process management systems that can be used, so you have no reason not to set it up.
Just type on the search engine ‘free CRM software for service industry’ and you will have a list of at least 10 good software apps to choose from.
HubSpot CRM is one of the most common and appreciated one, and the reason is that this fully powered system delivers all functionality for free. While most CRM providers out there reserve premium capabilities for pay-per-use clients, this customer relation management system gives it all for free. It comes with an automated engine that tracks customer interactions via several channels (email, phone, meetings, and social media); it stores leads on a clutter-free timeline instead of messy and shared inboxes as I have experienced it more to often in many SMEs; and blends easily with third-party systems and similar applications. You can sign-up for HubSpot here.
Imagine setting up a manual system for collecting leads from the reception desk, colleagues and general email addresses promoted on web and then having to put all of these leads in an excel file so you can make sense of the information. Believe me its a struggle because I had to do this exercise more than once.
Some cool feature are the email Log CRM that will automatically update the data base with the new email contact.
HubSpot can give you social media input for every contact so you can be relevant. Or the user friendly Drag & Drop Funnel functionality that will allow you to see the customer journey of any new Deal.