Archive for the ‘tracking leads’ Tag

Is it Necessary to Track Social Media Communications in Your CRM?

We’ve had internal discussions recently on whether or not the new social media tools such as RSS feed, tweets or blog subscriptions, that circumvent traditional CRM database tracking present a problem to your marketing strategy requiring changes in your communication tracking tactics. Or do they represent a new order of marketing communications that one can leverage but not worry about recording in your CRM.

The trick is to balance end user needs for quick, targeted information with the firm’s desire to collect and track information.  We don’t have a perfect solution yet but my thought on the subject is as follows.  With regard to tweets, RSS feeds and blogs, I don’t perceive a need to track every single user.  Wed have lists of thousands of contacts and only a small percentage are actually important contacts to the firm with regard to business development and managing the client.  The rest are using the firm’s communication to to learn while the firm benefits from increased brand awareness. Both end user education and brand awareness are valuable marketing tools, but I don’t believe you need to worry about tracking them.

Rather you should spend you effort on tracking the qualified leads that are critical to growing and maintaining your business.  For marketing communications this generally equates to event management and tracking. These folks have responded to your offer for one-to-one education (in-person or webinar vs. newsletter, alert, blog, etc.)  These folks represent the first cut of contact qualification and they are the ones we need to worry about tracking in our CRMs.  From these you want to identify the truly qualified contacts and step them through the sales pipeline via other targeted marketing efforts of attorney business development activities.

As a practical matter we still manage thousands of contacts in our mailing lists for newsletters and alerts. But this is a achieve economies of scale in processing broadcast emails, as well as ensure consistency in meeting ethical and anti-spam guideline. In truth is all of our communication were switched to new social media with email subscription or following Twitter accounts, we would not lose any value.  Look at your lists and see if you can evaluate the worth of any of those contacts.  The ones that are valuable should be targeted and exist elsewhere in your system so that if you deleted the newsletter list you would still have the influential contacts in your CRM.  And your business practices should be designed to funnel in the non-tracked contacts, such as blog subscribers, into your CRM when they raise their hand to start the qualification process, such as registering for an event.

Now the problem lies in the fact that it is nearly impossible to politically to delete newsletter lists and marketers are established in their existing work process and will resist change that that threatens their daily work habits. But I believe in the long run this is the direction firms will follow as social media matures and firms become more sophisticated in allocating their marketing resources for business development tracking.  Think of the hours saved for marketers if they no longer have to push marketing communications to thousands of contacts that are not critically important to the firm. Instead they can focus their time and energy on the percentage of contacts that can make a difference to the firm’s success.

 I’d like to see what others think on this topic as we are in the midst of changing and shaping our policies during this social media revolution.  My opinion above is certainly not the only one out there. And it have been evolving over the past few months and will likely continue to change in the months ahead.