This is the second part of a three-part series that delves into the selection and preparation process for CRM + marketing automation implementation.
In this section, we delve deeper into the importance of data, the four types of data, and this will make you rethink how CTAs and web forms work.
In the first series of this series, I explained how to choose marketing automation platform and the four essential pillars needed to support an effective marketing automation plan. The first pillar is data. To elaborate on that, with all the attention and resources put into data collection and analysis, one would think this is pretty good. But in practice, we often see huge wormholes across the data landscape.
Now, let’s narrow our focus to just collecting data that directly impacts marketing communications.
There are a lot of breakpoints that we often see, including things like:
- Poor data integrity – data is not uniform in structure in the data collection points or once in the CRM system. That makes it more difficult or inefficient to use the data.
- Poor data hygiene – outdated, incorrect, missing or duplicate data. Ask yourself when was the last time your customer or prospect data was screened to remove duplicates and merge records? It should be a regular, continuous process, but too often it is not.
- Data warehouse – we see this a lot (we are watching you Ed is taller organizations), where decentralized organizations are not well established to share and consolidate data, even though different departments and departments have common goals. Ironically, smaller operations are often better at this, often with only one database of records for the entire business. But as the size and complexity of the business grows, those bridges to and from data silos are often overlooked or broken.
- Data indifference – includes no up-to-date records of actions or inactivity, source tracking on those commits, no record of what is used and we won’t even start on the model Allocate and score leads. We need a whole new series of interviews on that.
Larger, more comprehensive CRM + MA platforms can do a pretty good job here. But we often see holes in the implementation of those systems or internally — abuse can be too strong a term — inconsistent processes to maintain all desired data flows to and from internal and external systems.
Table of Contents
If access to good data is such a fundamental factor, where should someone begin to sort that out?
Let’s start by going back a step and looking at the data types, of which four types or categories are available. If your organization doesn’t use data from all four categories, ask yourself, “Why don’t we?”
Take a look at this table and add/edit/delete point-specific data relevant to your organization. Categories will probably work as-is, but specific bulleted examples should reflect your current state and ideally your desired future state.
Not every organization needs to thoroughly pursue every potential source of data, that’s not realistic. The benefit of this exercise is to see what data you currently collect, how useful is that data, and is it used for optimal results? If not, determine which additional data collection and data bridges need to be inserted into the process.
and Optimal results means optimal for customers or prospects, sales, marketing and customer service, finance and management teams. When done correctly, everyone are all beneficial.
Data is the key to coverage.
And how relevant is the killer app!
– Jay Baer, Founder and CEO, Persuasion and Transformation
Jay has espoused this fact from major stages and speeches around the country over the past few years, and it holds true today. I will paraphrase here:
Marketers all say themselves a big lie. They tell themselves about our potential customers and customers are too busy to read and see all the great marketing materials we have to offer them. .
And it’s not true. We are all exactly the same 24 -hours in every day. What people do is prioritize How is that time used? And when it comes to consuming marketing material, if it’s irrelevant here and now for that individual, it will quickly be dropped off any priority list. Data is the key to relevancy . And relevancy is the killer app! Good data is the primary basis for relevancy.
Why Good Data Collections Drive a Rethinking of Calls to Action and Form Design
Take a purposeful reverse approach and start with the desired future state of what we envision our marketing automation + CRM to do.
It relates back to the “features and functional requirements” process we covered in the first part of this interview. But data and content are key!
As a simple example, a number of customers recently expressed a desire to introduce text messaging as part of their marketing automation funnel expansion. However, none of their lead-gen forms are established to facilitate text messaging in such a form. The change was really simple, but they had to collect data and permission before doing it. That’s why we work in reverse — data must be collected before its use can be realized.
Another example we see all too often: brands and organizations that want to personalize emails with the recipient’s name. But their crawl form only has one field, labeled, “Name”. It’s a no-brainer for data integrity because you get an inconsistent input array on that field.
- Sammy Hagar
- Grandfather. and Mrs. Sammy Hagar
This should be a solution that is easy to implement on forms and in databases, and many other forms once you define what the desired future state should look like. And when you do that, go back to all currently active records and update those fields accordingly. Always keep data integrity and data continuity in mind.
At Convince & Convert, we personalize emails with name data when available (standard default is “friends”). We make sure to collect this information on as many types of leads as possible. Personalized emails have a significantly higher response rate, so it’s worth it for us to collect names (and possibly reduce conversions a bit).
Updated Call to Action to Collect Data
It’s not uncommon for the main or only CTA to be “Buy Now,” or “Sign Up Now,” or “Schedule an appointment now. “Basically, top-funnel CTAs are way too early in the upper stages of the customer journey.
We like to invent new CTAs, at the top and bottom of the funnel to ease prospects into the journey. We apply a bit of constant disclosure to it and learn what’s relevant to each potential customer. That, in turn, allows us to go home if appropriate. It drives marketing automation, conditional logic, generated or syndicated content. That data is at the heart of everything, and too few lead generation processes we’ve seen take advantage of this.
If you ask an interested prospect a few questions to help them get less contact from you and other relevant information as it is sent out, most people will buy that information. It is similar to dating. But that’s another article. Here’s a quick example of our own Email Preferences Update Form ( you can fill it out yourself ).
We have some great examples of how we introduced opaque CTAs, all new CTAs, that fundamentally changed the way a business looked at lead-gen. Please contact , and I will share them with you.
In Part Three of this series:
The implementation journey is about to begin. But you are not ready. There are a lot of things that can and should be done before anyone starts uploading software to a server.