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  • Writer's pictureCallum Mcleod

A Marketers Guide to CRM Systems

What is a CRM system?

Never heard of a CRM system before? Then look no further!

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management, which, in layman’s terms, are the strategies and processes involved in ensuring that your customers are happy, whether this is through, your Sales team, Customer Service Team or even your Marketing Team. A CRM system is a piece of software developed specifically to make this job easier.

An Illustration showing a range of digital communication methods

Many of you probably just see CRM systems as tools for communicating with your leads and customers, however with the proper development, implementation and integrations, they can be so much more.

A CRM system stores all the information about your customers in a single database, including their full contact information, all past interactions, the companies/industries they work in, associated deals and any related documentation. This provides you and your team with a 360 degree view of your customers, which can be accessed at any time.

You may already be thinking about what CRM system is perfect for you, but hold your horses!

Although there are some “out of the box” CRM systems which can be bought and used right away, if you really want to get the most out of your CRM system, you should consider a tailor built bespoke one on a platform like Salesforce, Oracle B2B, HubSpot, ServiceNow or Zendesk.

A properly utilised CRM system can be one of the most valuable tools for all of your departments, both customer facing and internal.

Here, I will be covering how your marketing team can effectively use a CRM system. (I’ll be discussing other departments over the next few months, so be sure to check back in!).

How to use a CRM system as a marketing tool

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As a marketer, customer knowledge is one of the most important tools in your development of effective marketing campaigns. With a CRM system, your marketing team has quick access to a 360 view of your customers. You can see all past interactions with a customer, get an understanding of your customer’s opinion of you, identify customer preferences, which of your products do best with them and even what messages are resonating with them.

The key to running successful campaigns is being able to effectively monitor all of your KPIs. With a fully integrated marketing CRM system, not only can you launch your email and social campaigns, but you can also easily track their performance, all within a single system. This saves you the time and effort of scrolling different databases to find your key metrics.

You can track metrics like open rates, click-through rates and even whether any customers have unsubscribed from your emails. This saves you valuable time by showing you your key metrics while also allowing you to easily generate reports and dashboards to show the effectiveness of all your campaigns.

Whilst not true for everyone, many B2B marketers will know that no matter how well designed and innovative your campaigns are, all your sales team care about is the quality of your leads. With a CRM system properly integrated between all of your departments, you can monitor, track and report on the quality of your leads with ease. With a full view of your sales pipeline, you can effortlessly compare and contrast your sales data with your lead generation. You can then easily generate reports and dashboards to highlight all of your great work to show to other departments.

3 key features of a CRM system for marketing

Depending on the size of your business and who your clients are, it’s likely that you’ll be using different functions of a CRM system, but here are 3 functions that will be useful tools in any marketer’s playbook

Centralised Customer Data Pool

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  • All marketers know that data is king. With a fully integrated CRM system, you have access to a single centralised pool of data containing all of your customer information, which you can get into from anywhere. You can then segment your customer data, separating them by categories such as age, gender, job role etc. This information allows you to ensure that your customer personas are up to date and that it's being applied to your marketing messages.

Email Marketing

An Illustration showing emails being sent from a computer and phone around the world

  • With your segmented customer data, you can take advantage of the email marketing systems usually included within a CRM system to produce personalised marketing content. You can send different marketing campaigns to different people, meaning that your message will always be reaching who it needs to, when it needs to. These email marketing systems also usually provide you with access to a bunch of really useful metrics including open rates, receive rates and link clicks, which you can then use to measure the effectiveness of your campaigns.

Social Media Integrations

Blue image of a mobile phone with the word Social on the screen, images of people and social media icons, sitting on a keyboard.

  • Unless you’re lucky enough to work for a massive company with a dedicated social media team, it’s likely that as a marketer you'll have to dabble in the world of social media, whether you like it or not. Luckily, most CRM systems either come with social media functions as standard, or they are easy to integrate. With these, you’re able to schedule social media posts, check the performance of your content against a range of metrics, manage your customer contacts through your DMs etc and some even perform things like hashtag research from within the system, letting you know what #s are performing best at any time.

How can we help?

If you’ve made it this far, you should be 100% clear about how you can use a CRM system with your marketing department. The next step now is for you to get started.

Don’t procrastinate, get started whilst it’s still on the top of your mind! If you’re interested, we’ve got guides on how to start using both the HubSpot and Salesforce CRM systems.

If you're ready to take the next step, but not sure where to go from here, then you can always reach out to us. We’re CRM and CX experts with over 25 years of implementation experience in the Industry. We have a proven track record of supporting businesses with their software implementation and maintenance needs.


If you have any questions or want to discuss your CRM system or CX strategy, get in touch, we're here to help.


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