Leverage Client CRM Data

Customer Resource Management platforms have been around for over twenty-five years now, and seem to be everywhere. If you haven’t been implemented CRM, or given much thought about your clients’ use of CRM, why should you be concerned about it now? 

You should pay attention to CRM because:

  • 91% of businesses with over 10 employees have a CRM system. (Source: CRM Magazine)
  • 49% of businesses planning to increase spending. (Source: Super Office blog)
  • CRM software revenues are expected to increase from $23 billion in 2015 to $82 billion by 2025. (Source: Grand View Research)

Companies are investing more in CRM because it is working for them, and as they spend more, they’re going to be looking for more ways to leverage the data in the CRM systems to be more competitive and increase revenue. 

Two main CRM considerations for a printing company:

  1. Use it to improve your own sales processes
  2. Understand how you can improve your client’s marketing by leveraging their CRM data.

Let’s dig into how these can affect your business. 

Use CRM to Improve Your Own Sales Processes

Most commercial printing companies are a typical B2B company delivering a range of products and services to their business customers. 

There are four main categories where CRM systems can help:

  1. Customer and contact data management
  2. Improving Sales Processes
  3. Provide more relevant marketing
  4. Improve revenue forecasting

You can read my blog post Four Purposes for CRM to learn more about how and why these help your marketing.  

Leverage Your Clients’ CRM Data – Before You Lose Them

If you do direct mail for your clients, and they are sending you customer lists, you are likely already doing this. If you are printing digital variable data direct mail with many personalized fields based on customer data, you are likely providing very effective marketing services for your clients. 

If not, you and your clients are missing an opportunity, and you may be closer to losing your client’s direct mail business than you think. 

There are numerous direct mail automation platforms, such as PrintSF and Postalytics, that integrate direct mail programs directly into CRM programs or marketing automation workflows. Even email service providers such as MailChimp are adding direct mail postcards into their platforms, making direct mail as easy to send as email. 

While the form, paper selection, and finishing are limited, these direct mail automations are good enough for many programs and they are improving at a rapid rate. Read this MailChimp Postcard Beta – A Printer’s Perspective Print Media Centr blog post for more details. 

So how can a print / direct mail provider compete? 

Show your clients how their CRM data can be leveraged to send personalized email based on:

  • Industry
  • Where the account is in their purchase process
  • Services they’ve purchased
  • Cross-sell and Upsell opportunities
  • Nurturing existing customers with customized messages based on their purchase history and when their last order was. 
  • Any other data in the CRM system.

I normally recommend variable data print can do a great job of cost-effectively customizing each piece in a single print and mail run. But frequently you can define a segment of prospects or customers that share common characteristics, making a single, mass-produced, offset print job highly relevant and effective. 

The key is explaining to customers how their existing data can be leveraged to make relevant communications, and then make it easy for them to get the data to you as frequently as necessary to meet their marketing objectives. This data can come from your client CRM systems or marketing automation platforms. Read my Marketing Automation with Direct Mail SlideShare for tips and information that can help your clients. 

Read the Print Media Centr article How CRM Can Help You Market Your Print Business to get more information and implementation tips.

More posts from Tod


tod_cordill_print media centr
Tod Cordill helps small and medium-sized companies integrate digital marketing channels into existing sales and marketing efforts to more efficiently drive business growth. Tod has worked in a variety of industries including software, manufacturing, printing, and eCommerce and continues to work with similar companies via his work at Moderno Strategies. Tod combines his P&L perspective with engineering problem-solving structure to help clients grow their business. Connect with Tod: @todcordill on Twitter and on LinkedIn

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