Why a Marketing Database is Valuable
Collecting leads on a show floor is a normal process. Using these leads and having a way to catalog, cross reference, and follow up on them is another job entirely. Many times leads are handed over to salespeople and no one in the marketing department has a way to track them to see if the show was successful. This is where a marketing database is helpful.
There are ways to keep the information available centrally to all company personnel in a manner that can track ROI for the marketing department, while providing access for the sales staff. CRM software allows a marketing person to upload the information into a client database and provide levels of access for salespeople to use this data. If it is the marketing department’s budget that funds the trade show effort, then it is even more important to monitor follow-up sales to get accurate ROI data.
For those of you unfamiliar with the acronyms, ROI means Return on Investment. In other words, you invest money to be in a trade show, and you need to find out if it was worth the investment – simple as that. CRM, which stands for Customer Relationship Management, usually refers to a software system for managing marketing and sales leads.
There are companies that can help identify the best type of software system to match your budget and needs. Exhibit Edge uses a program called InfusionSoft, but there are many others out there so you will have to do your homework. We like InfusionSoft because it provides many resources that fit our needs. You can develop marketing programs called campaigns. It has an e-commerce and shopping cart feature, and it has the ability to cross platform with Outlook to store customer emails, and files, for quick reference just by typing in a customer name. You can be on the phone with someone and put their name into the system and see their entire history of product inquiries, follow-ups, email trails, past sales, etc., all at your fingertips.
Benefits of a Marketing Database
The key benefits of a CRM system are increased sales and better productivity which means lower costs for marketing, sales support, and customer service. Another huge value is increased customer satisfaction which leads to repeat sales and referrals. CRM software for marketing provides targeted launches and streamlines the delivery of a more unified message.
The entry costs to subscribe to a system have never been lower, and the missed opportunity costs of individual hit and miss sales strategies has never been higher. We will continue a look at ROI by seeing some of the new trends for trade show lead capture next week.