The link between customer relationship management and content marketing is clear, but how can a CRM system serve as a basis for content marketing?

The logical link

If we look at the definition of content marketing, we find the following description: “Content marketing is any form of creating, publishing and sharing content with the aim of acquiring or retaining customers.” The link with customer relationship management is contained in the definition of content marketing. How can content marketing and customer relationship management work together to achieve better results?

Sales vs. marketing

If content marketing is aimed at either acquiring or retaining customers, the link to customer relationship management is obvious. In practice customer relationship management and its tools are still often seen as sales tools. However, a good CRM system can also provide valuable insights for the marketing department, especially those involved in content marketing. For example, the sales staff register a wealth of information and questions from (potential) customers in the CRM system. If this data can be made transparent and presented to the marketing department, the content strategy can be adapted to the needs of the target group.

Case: the lease printers

Let us take a fictitious case as an example Company X is active in the market for business printers. Several representatives visit potential customers, equipped with a neat folder with information about the products. The best selling product is the lease printer. The website contains a number of blog articles on various topics that might interest the target group. Lease printers are also described in detail. No more unexpected costs for maintenance. The benefit is clearly described in the articles and on the product information pages.

CRM as a basis for content marketing

The problem

However, the representatives still encounter a number of problems. For example, the potential customers regularly ask about the tax regulations that apply to leasing the printers. Of course, the seller knows the answer by now, but they are not found in the folder of information that is left behind. And so the representative’s phone regularly rings with requests to provide this information or to put in on the mail. If the representative calls again later in connection with the offer, the question comes up again. It costs the representative a lot of e-mails and phone calls. Selling could be a lot faster if the potential customer could reread this information. And that would make the seller’s life a lot more pleasant.

And the solution

The most logical solution is to use this data to adapt the content of the information folder to the needs of the target group. Writing a blog article, in which the tax regulations are clearly explained once more, is an equally logical step. And yet, in practice, this often does not happen. Why not? The marketing department often lacks the insights gathered in the CRM system. If the marketing department with access to the CRM system had this data, company X’s website might look very different. And then the sales rep could spend a few hours a week actually selling the leased printers, with the help of a folder containing information that would be of real use to the customer.