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Inbound marketing is more than just a lead generation technique. Marketers can leverage the power of a customer's needs, interests and behaviors by leveraging inbound marketing to create, transform and develop a meaningful customer relationship marketing program (CRM). In turn, customer relationships can be used to improve conversion rates, build brands and increase customer retention, all of which will improve a company's bottom line.
New techniques for CRM
For years marketers have known that the cost of acquiring a customer is much greater than the cost of retaining a customer. According to Kissmetrics, the cost is seven times greater.1 Despite this, many marketers face corporate pressures to grow their business and customer base. Sixty percent of marketers report that customer acquisition is more important and, according to Econsultancy, nearly a quarter of all businesses don't attempt any type of relationship marketing at all.2
A report by the Harvard Business School found that an increase of 5% in customer retention rates can improve profits by up to 95%.3 Building a meaningful customer relationship and improving customer retention are priorities for many companies. Inbound marketing, and in particular, valuable content, can be a viable technique for CRM based on addressing what is important to customers and their behaviors.
Integrating the customer relationship with inbound marketing.
Tracking customer behavior can provide marketers with information to help personalize their inbound marketing and digital marketing experience. Such personalized targeting serves a dual purpose: it delivers relevancy, which is a proven technique in increasing customer value, and improves the company’s chance of cross-selling or deepening the relationship. Marketing automation can enable an effective CRM program by shaping future messages around a customer’s browsing behavior and potential interests.
Applying behavior and interests enables each of the customer's interactions to increase in relevancy, and if communications are crafted effectively, even more personal. This not only increases the potential for additional spend with the company, but also improves the odds of customer retention. Customer behavior can be used to determine which methods of interaction work best to engage specific customers, helping channels or messages align to segments. In the past, such highly focused marketing would be prohibitively time-consuming and resource-intensive. With modern-day marketing automation, tailored messages and true CRM can become a reality for companies of all sizes. To learn different types of content marketing download J&C’s 22 Great Types of Content Marketing ebook today.
Leveraging customer relationships to increase the efficacy of inbound marketing.
Not only can inbound marketing be used to develop a meaningful CRM program, but the opposite is also true: customer relationships can be used to improve inbound marketing effectiveness. Customer behavior and activities can be used to tailor custom content, targeting the user in a personalized manner to increase relevancy and ultimately build loyalty. According to HubSpot, inbound marketing costs 61% less than outbound marketing techniques; when combined with robust customer relationship management solutions, inbound marketing can provide an excellent return on marketing investment.4
Additionally, content that is used as an inbound marketing lead generation technique can be repurposed and promoted for customer use. Content, and in particular, blog articles and downloadable content, is the lifeblood of an inbound marketing program. For years, marketers have found newsletters to be a vital communications mechanism, based on providing valuable information. An effective inbound marketing program takes this a step further by providing useful content when users are online searching for information. Bringing customers back to your website for repeat visits when they are searching for solutions is a winning strategy to drive customer loyalty. Customers will embrace content from a company they already do business with, and those ongoing brand touchpoints will likely result in improved customer satisfaction. Additionally, content can be promoted through existing customer channels to drive engagement and reengagement.
Creating a long-term customer relationship through inbound targeting.
CRM may begin even before the company's first engagement with the customer. Companies today are able to target customers based on a variety of comprehensive analytical approaches. Digital marketing is undeniably a critical component to all marketing activities, whether acquisition- or customer-oriented.
Inbound marketing can provide a powerful tool through which customer relationships can be developed and managed. Today's marketing techniques are predicated on relevancy and behavior. Customer loyalty, customer retention and CRM activities continue to be as critical to many companies as customer acquisition. Inbound marketing, and in particular content marketing, can be utilized across all facets of the customer lifecycle.
Topics: Digital Marketing