What Is CRM?

Communications Analytics & Data Video
2 mins


A customer relationship management (CRM) system is a tool that stores your customer's personal information and manages and tracks your communications or interactions with them.

Join us in this latest So video where we break down the features of CRM systems, shredding some light on how they streamline your communications and customer interactions.

From managing contact information and tracking customer interactions to automating tasks, analysing data and curating marketing emails, the right CRM for your business has the potential to help you cultivate long-lasting customer relationships.

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So, what is CRM?

CRM is simply customer relationship management. It's generally a tool that is allowing you to store your customer data and then do something with it. And hopefully that is to be able to personalise what you're doing in terms of your marketing.

But a lot of systems go way further than this. It isn't generally just about storing some information, so when they phone up, you can look up their details, things like that. Lots of three letter acronyms start falling in here. So we've got CRM, Customer Relationship Management, but a lot of them will have an ESP, an Email Service Provider, built into them.

So you can trigger out emails and set all the automation rules. They might well be a CMS, a Content Management System. So you can build webpages, add content to your website as well. I mentioned automation; the whole thing of setting rules, “If this happens in this data, then trigger this”, so I can go through and do all those kind of things.

And actually, conversational design, which is making chatbots useful. “If I know this, put a little chat interaction and say this to them as well.” So the idea is we're building a single customer view, SCV, another great three letter acronym, and we're using all of this stuff to give our target audience a really good experience and personalized journey, so that we cut through all that noise that we've got online.


So, I guess website integration is key then?

Yeah, so you need to be able to get people to your website, collect some data from them, track what forms they filled in, what pages they've looked at, all those kind of things and fundamentally bring that into one place.

But if you can't plug it into your website easily that's going to cause you big problems because that's where you're getting all that data from, that first party data. And without that you always run the risk of asking the same people the same things for every single step. So, you know, there's a lot of efficiencies in there.

When you do that, that quickly destroys the relationship. No one likes filling out forms, so, if you already know my details, why do I have to put them into a form that I've already filled in on your website? So it becomes really important to be able to do that.


So, do you have any other tips?

There are so many CRM systems out there, so you need to start by thinking, what are the actual essentials I need it to do? And then you can work out the nice twos and so on. And you're never going to use all the functionality. But start with your absolute.

Think about it from a user journey point of view, though. So if you go through to targetinternet.com, you'll find we've got some templates and things like that on there that you can use for this. Because you take the, the funnel, or the ‘see, think, do, care’, and you can go through and work out at each stage, how would I personalize the journey, therefore I can work out what I need the CRM system to do.

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