– by Julie Amos, Chief Strategy Officer
Recently, legal marketing professionals from around the globe gathered in New Orleans for the 2018 Legal Marketing Association Annual Conference. One breakout session titled, “Humanity Isn’t a Trend – It’s the Key to Digital Marketing and Branding Success,” presented by Terry Isner, CEO at Jaffe, was an insightful directive for legal marketers to “remember that, regardless of technology, there is always a person on the other end looking for something … most likely your lawyers’ help.”
Terry’s presentation provided a timely and targeted reminder that no matter the medium, it is vital for marketing professionals to remember the human part of the marketing communications process. It is paramount, especially for those who may be focused on the marketing technology used to deliver communications, to think about who is receiving your communications – busy, intelligent, unique people who are being constantly bombarded with emails, tweets and blog posts. Terry reminded attendees that communication has evolved “from using the head to using the heart,” and given the inherent logic and objectivity of marketing technology systems, it’s the Marketer’s job to ensure that communications reach the hearts as well as the minds of the audience.
CRM – The Heart of Marketing Technology
Client Relationship Management (CRM) systems are the cornerstone of an organization’s communications program and the repository of contact data and the organization’s most valuable asset – its relationships. As such, CRM systems are the heart of marketing technology. They house the key information about a firm’s contacts including their names, companies, interests, communication preferences and much more. From this hub of essential data, marketers can deploy digital marketing initiatives with the hope of reaching just the right audiences at just the right time.
Data Quality – Making It Personal
Effective digital marketing is also impossible without high quality data. It’s the lifeblood of a successfully functioning CRM system. Objectively, data quality can be described as the accuracy, completeness and consistency of data in a system. Subjectively, data quality in the context of CRM is high quality information about people who are important to your organization. These people want to know that you know who they are – for instance, that they prefer to be called Amanda and not Mandy, that they prefer a summary communication once a week instead of multiple emails each day, and that they are interested in information on real estate and environmental issues rather than international tax regulations.
According to The Radicati Group, Inc., the average office worker receives approximately 121 emails a week. Those emails that are irrelevant to their work or address them incorrectly or misspell their name are less likely to get their attention. These types of mistakes make recipients feel that the companies sending you emails either don’t know you or haven’t taken the time to ensure that your information is accurate. Organizations that care about their data quality demonstrate that relationships matter by giving priority to getting their contacts’ information right, which is the first step to developing stronger, personal relationships.
eMarketing – The Conversation Starter
Some organizations view their eMarketing systems as simply an email distribution tool, technology that pushes information out to contacts. But an eMarketing system is so much more. A well-configured eMarketing system allows Clients and contacts to interact with the original sender, which is a powerful feature with tremendous benefits. Terry demonstrated the trend of personalization and interaction in successful marketing campaigns and the importance of the “Human Era” in how we communicate. The Human Era is a term given to the idea that human connections cannot be formed in one direction – that people crave a human interaction.
Smart firms will take a fresh look at their eMarketing system to understand how it can help them begin a dialogue with people instead of pushing out a one-way message. Think of ways to use your system to begin conversations. Request feedback to your communications by adding a feedback form. Consider conducting targeted surveys to solicit relevant data and new perspectives. Listening and being responsive to the feedback will help you more effectively communicate in the future.
Using Marketing Technology to Strengthen Your Brand
Marketing technology supports and contributes to your brand awareness in many ways, but it is vital that your view of those technologies and processes is holistic. As Terry advised, “Are you caring for the data in your CRM system, understanding that the data represents human relationships? Are you viewing your eMarketing system as a one-way email delivery system or a conversation starter that also supports engaged dialogue with your Clients and contacts?” By taking a step back and understanding the humanity within the eMarketing process, firms can harness the full power of their marketing technology systems to nurture their valuable relationships.
– For more than 10 years, the team at CLIENTSFirst Consulting has been helping professional services firms and other organizations successfully select and implement CRM and eMarketing systems to maximize value, adoption and return on investment. If you need help with eMarketing, CRM, Data Quality, Data Privacy Compliance or Client Intelligence, contact us at 404-249-9914 or Info@ClientsFirstConsulting.com.