What does CRM-Driven Marketing Actually Mean

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Nicholas Holland
Nicholas Holland



We've reached peak martech saturation. Just look at this graphic:

Copy of Marketing Hub Keynote Blog Post-3

The first Martech map was created back in 2011. It had 150 solutions. In 2019, the number has exploded to more than 7,000. And we're not slowing down.

More and more martech solutions will pop up on this map next year, because marketers can't get enough of them. In fact, Blissfully estimates that small companies have, on average, 20+ SaaS solutions -- and larger companies usually have more than 100.

This trend of adopting different martech solutions has hit our customer base, too. We've swapped our "all-in-one" marketing solution for an "all-on-one" platform that sees our average customer plugging in seven different tools to get the most out of HubSpot.

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I'd argue that marketers are more in-tune with their tech stack than anyone else at a company. In 2018, most companies spent about 30% of their marketing budget on technology -- with CMO's often driving more tech decisions than even CIOs.

Technology is no longer optional -- it's essential for today's modern marketer.

The advantages of being an early adopter of technology are long gone. Every single marketer has access to the same tools and resources. We're all jostling for position amongst a sea of marketers that are all employing the same tools and tactics to help grow their companies. How does anyone get ahead in this?

Tools can be replicated. Remarkable customer experiences cannot.

Why You Need to Leverage Your CRM for Experience-Driven Marketing

The marketers who get ahead today are hyper-focused on the customer experience. Experience driven marketing puts your customers at the center of everything you do as a marketer.

It's a major reason why HubSpot has adopted the flywheel. When focused on the customer experience, marketing attracts & feeds into sales. Sales engages and feeds into service. Service delights and feeds back into marketing. And all of this is only possible when the customer is at the center, managed by a CRM.

Leveraging your CRM

Leveraging your CRM is the secret to experience driven marketing. Experience driven marketing isn't just a buzzword -- it's your secret to growth. Forrester research found that companies who said they were focused on experience grew 40% faster and increased customer lifetime value by more than 60% versus those who weren't.

Very few marketers have all of their tools and tactics tightly integrated into a CRM -- which often leads to disjointed customer experiences, siloed data, and an inability to know what's working.

This is why we're investing so much effort in tightly integrating HubSpot's Marketing Hub with the CRM -- to give your team a unified view of the customer experience, which allows you to create truly personalized experiences across all channels, and to help you properly measure your success as a marketer.

When your entire team operates out of a CRM, you get information that allows you to develop a customer experience from first touch, all the way through the delight phase. More importantly, your entire team is keying information about the buyer into the CRM -- giving you the ability to work hand-in-hand with your sales and service teams. Marketers should absolutely create campaigns in the engage phase to drive renewals and win-backs, and also in the delight phase, driving feedback and referrals.

Chargebacks911, a SaaS company that helps online merchants manage the refund and chargebacks process, shows exactly how the CRM is creating a unified vision of the customer journey for their team. They took the data they had stored within their own CRM, and used the flywheel model to map out their customer experience. Across the flywheel, they marked different points of force and friction that were influencing their customers:

Revenue Wheel - Frictions and Forces

By leveraging the data in their CRM, and sharing it across teams, they were able to uncover a significant point of friction in their on-boarding process that was actually leading to negative momentum in their flywheel. They noticed their marketing materials were not clear enough for prospects evaluating their software, there was slow response time from the sales team on inbound leads, and there was a misalignment between what the sales team sold, and what the service team delivered during on-boarding.

Once they mapped out where their points of friction occurred across the buyer's journey, they could start addressing them. First, they changed their marketing message to be more clear in the value Chargebacks911 provided.

They then focused on creating cross-team alignment. They began adding sales reps into service on-boarding calls to ensure the handoff between those two teams went smoothly. They also began hiring a number of cross-functional roles across marketing, sales, and service to sure up any gaps between the teams.

Jarrod Wright at Chargebacks911 says "Leveraging the CRM ensures we're all speaking a common language. Sales informs our marketing message, marketing creates sales collateral, and we can easily see how this is impacting the customer."

The results speak for themselves. Chargebacks911 was able to reduce customer churn by 30%. At the same time, they increased their closed leads by 10%. This is real business impact driven by focusing on the customer experience, through the lens of the flywheel, mapped to the data in the CRM.

A CRM Helps You Personalize Your Marketing Offers

Rooting your marketing in a CRM also lets you create personalized experiences across every channel. Personalization continues to be the holy grail for delivering a great experience. In this hyper competitive environment, it's harder than ever to win attention -- and we all know that the more you personalize, the greater your chances are of being noticed.

What does real personalization look like to me? Real personalization is when the content on your site changes, recommending content that your visitor hasn't read yet. Or when that visitor has shown interest in one topic, so you show them an offer that's related. Or when you have CTAs for customers and different ones for prospects. Or when the chat bot on your site remembers not only their name, but who their sales rep is. All of this is possible through CRM-driven marketing.

Without a CRM, personalization is largely a parlor trick.

Piloxing, a global exercise brand that hosts in-person and virtual classes in 92 different countries, leverages the HubSpot platform to create a personalized experience for their customers.

They've worked with both Media Junction and Impulse Creative to develop and integrate the platform to share personalized content for each of their three main personas -- fitness instructors, class participants, and gym managers or owners. They needed a simple way to create content and marketing materials for each.

Through our tools, they're able to create gated content for trainers and customers alike, personalize the content on their website based on previous interactions, and leverage data across the buyer's journey to inform their email and ad campaigns. Personalization at the scale that Piloxing requires would normally require multiple custom solutions. But by leveraging the CRM, CMS, and our Marketing Hub together, they're able to cater to each of their personas in one unified system.

CRM to personalize your marketing offers

Your CRM Measures Your Business's Success

Finally, let's shift gears and talk about measuring your success. I'd wager that most marketers aren't given the credit they deserve for driving growth at their companies. I believe CRM-driven marketing gets marketers the most credit for the work they do to drive revenue and overall growth.

Your CRM is your system of record. It's here where you look at your business' overall success. You can see how efficient you are at closing deals, which pipelines are driving the most revenue for your business, and where your leads are coming from. When you root your marketing tools in this system of record, you get one single place to report on both marketing activities and overall business impact.

This is something that HubSpot customer Automox is keenly aware of. Automox offers cyber hygiene solutions that give IT Managers confidence about the status of their system security. Automox knows that 80% of cyber threats can be avoided simply by automating cyber hygiene fundamentals, and offering attackers a more difficult target to exploit.

The problem? Too many companies are relying on detection and response efforts in isolation. As a result, Automox's marketing team is focused on creating marketing materials that not only drive sales, but also educate the market on the importance of adopting a solution like theirs.

Camille Stauffer, a content marketing manager at Automox, wants to know that the content they're creating is impacting their bottom line. Whether it's enabling sales to close a competitive deal or it's educational content that is driving awareness of the Automox brand, it's critical for Camille to understand which marketing actions are making an impact so they can better allocate their resources.

This is a hard question to answer given that a customer's journey is rarely a simple, clean line. Any potential customer might interact with a wide variety of marketing assets before ultimately deciding to buy.

Potential customer interacting with a variety of marketing assets in the buyer journey

As a product guy who builds software with marketers in mind, I view it as my job to ensure marketers like Camille and the rest of the team at Automox are able to answer seemingly simple questions like "which marketing materials do paying customers interact with?” Combining our CRM with all the marketing tools you use to engage your customers provides us with a strong foundation -- now it's time to surface the data necessary to give marketers the credit they deserve.

We announced that we're working on multi-touch revenue attribution at INBOUND this year, and I cannot wait to bring this to all our customers soon.

I strongly believe that marketer's are the architect of the flywheel. By taking ownership of the flywheel and leveraging their company's CRM to ensure that customers are at the center of their business' growth, marketers can start to build the delightful experiences that will truly differentiate themselves from the pack.

This content is derived from Nicholas Holland 2019 Keynote at INBOUND. Holland is the GM of HubSpot's Marketing Hub.

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