The CRM Marketing Handbook: 5 things you need to know

calendar Apr 13, 2023 2:33:52 PM
author Written by Artur Glukhovskyy

customer relationship management

The customer lifecycle. No, we’re not going to start with a David Attenborough narration of how mankind came to be. In fact, biology will play only a tiny part in the CRM business. This is all about the journey a customer goes through.


From being unaware of who you are or what your brand does, to managing every step in the sales process.


It’s important to keep track of these things, because it’s easy to forget why Bill from Company X calls you at 5PM on a Thursday afternoon.

If you start the phone call with “Hi Ben, you were the guy from Company Z, right?”, you’ve lost a sale.


By being prepared with a proper Customer Relationship Management,  you’ll never forget a single detail , tailoring your communication to what the client needs. Let’s see how that works.



1. What is CRM?

2. The three types of CRM

3. What can CRM marketing do for you?

4. Top CRM tools 2023

5. The benefits of using CRM marketing

6. Conclusion

7. FAQs



What is CRM?

 CRM stands for ‘Customer Relationship Management’.  It kind of works like a big ledger where you keep track of all the hotel guests you’ve interacted with.


That’s how the waiters know you like that Chandon Imperial champagne when you’re a regular. They serve it without you even needing to ask. The same goes for an efficient marketer and their clients. 


With CRM marketing, you can:


  •  Keep track of the stages  your leads are in (e.g. sent an email but no response yet, or had a phone call and planned a new meeting).
  •  Manage your sales team  to assign the right person to the right lead. 
  •  View in-depth data  about the current lead campaigns. 


What are the 3 types of CRM?

When you mention CRM marketing, people might ask about various aspects of it. They might think of the CRM technology, the process itself, or the strategy behind it.


And believe it or not, within those types are three categories of CRM software: Analytical CRM, Operational CRM, and Collaborative CRM.


Analytical CRM

This is all about  data mining.  You can spot patterns and relationships and you’ll be able to use that information to solve marketing problems.


This is the way to go if you love data-driven marketing. If you have a marketing intelligence person in your team, they’ll be thankful you’ve invested in such a platform.


Operational CRM

This type of CRM software is  designed to improve customer retention  and help you get you new customers.


For marketing this is important because it’ll help you nurture those leads using intricate email sequences, for example - you’ll know exactly in which stage of the customer journey they are.


Collaborative CRM

This one’s more for the sales department, but as a marketer, you can use this type of CRM in tandem with email campaigns. This’ll allow you  to assign the hottest leads to the right salesperson  to seal that deal.


You’ll know exactly which segment is ready to buy, and the salesperson knows exactly which campaign they come from.



What can CRM marketing do for you?

CRM marketing can help you keep track of a myriad of details otherwise lost in a sea of interactions. Details you can keep track of are:


  • Email
  • Telephone number
  • Website
  • Social media profile
  • Status of lead
  • Client personal preferences


All this information  can help you maintain a healthy relationship with your prospects. Some CRM software can even keep track of your lead’s company updates.


That way you can stay on top of everything and adjust your marketing based on those developments. 


Apart from simply collecting data, you can hook a CRM up to your next marketing projects such as: 


  • Landing Pages
  • Ads
  • Email sequences
  • Automation (prospect visits website but does not buy - gets sent an email)

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 CRM marketing is perfect for getting the best out of every interaction you have with a prospect.


 You might not see the use of it when you’re just starting out as a freelancer for example, but once you reach a good number of clients, you’ll need that CRM to stay on top of things.


Some might say you’ll even get to know your prospect’s intentions - the most valuable marketing data there is.


What is the best tool for CRM? 

According to a curated list by, the following CRM tools are top rated for marketing in 2023:



Gets the title of  ‘Best CRM marketing tool overall’  and comes with a  $45 price tag (per month) .


They offer marketing software to help you get the right leads, convert visitors into paying customers, and allow you to run large-scale marketing campaigns. It’s important to note that there is also a free subscription with some basic functions.




Hailed as the  ‘Best free CRM for marketing’  and offered with a  $9.99 monthly price tag, Mailchimp can offer SMEs everything their marketing department needs.


The Mailchimp CRM offers marketers an audience dashboard, segmentation, predicted demographics, and personalisation. Small business owners praise this CRM as it is very easy to use and offers free templates to get your campaigns started quickly. 




This one stands on #3 of the Top 10 created by and is granted the title of  ‘Top marketing CRM for chatbots and messaging’ .


For $74 a month, you’ll get a business messenger, management tools, a customer data platform, and apps & integrations for your business. The bots can chat, route, and schedule any prospects that visit your website. It’ll then segment your messages based on visitor data and pass this data on to your marketing and sales team.



Access the full list on and take your pick. Be sure to analyse the pros and cons to find the CRM marketing software that fits your business best.


The benefits of using CRM marketing

We’ve always been an advocate of data-driven marketing, and with CRM marketing, you can sink your teeth into all that juicy data.


All this data will be accessible to any team and department that might need, unifying otherwise splintered departments. The  advantages of having CRM  software include:


  • More effective contact management
  • Knowing exactly what has been discussed with the prospect allows the marketer to anticipate any issues and  prevent obstacles from turning into complaints .
  • Increased satisfaction and  customer retention 
  • Positive  ROI 
  • Better products and services
  • Boosted productivity
  • Cross-team collaboration
  • Ability to  forecast  and strategise


Remember that  the data you gather from your marketing campaigns is invaluable  to improving your marketing process and growing your business.


Even a failed campaign is a lesson for the next. That data serves a purpose.


According to a Grand View Research study, over 91% of companies with 10 or more employees use a CRM - even small businesses could benefit from one. 


CRM marketing all starts with tracking relationships and making sure that both marketing and sales make the right move at the right time.


Gathering all this CRM data allows you to experiment and iterate on previously run campaigns. 


  • You’ll know exactly who you’re marketing to

This ensures that  you waste not a single penny of the often tight budgets  marketers have to work with. With CRM marketing, you’ll have all this data in a central location to allow each involved department to easily access it. 


  • Run the right campaigns with the right segmented group

It would be painful to watch a group of prospects receive an email sequence from a campaign that doesn’t have anything to do with them.


 You’ll also know exactly how much a prospect has received in the past.  This keeps you from ‘spamming’ your prospects and scaring them off.


We all know how annoying it can be around the holidays when every business starts sending out their email sequences.


Having a proper CRM allows you to see exactly how many emails a prospect has received already.


If they haven’t responded to any, perhaps it's time to customise an email and react to that situation specifically.


  • Use data to find new prospects

As you continue to gather new data and collect it inside your CRM, you’ll begin to see patterns that allow you to broaden your existing audience.


 You’ll know exactly what they love and would love in the future.  This allows you to tailor your offer to your customer’s needs and demands.


Your boss will love it too, since the budget is used more effectively!


  • Visualise data with ease

Not a single marketer escapes the duty to present data to the higher ups. With a CRM, you can easily visualise this data and convert it to understandable graphs and tables.


By making your boss understand the marketing situation, it will be easier to get the green light for new campaigns and budget expansions. 



There’s not a specific CRM everyone needs. CRM marketing is all about using what your current business needs. 


Whether you’re a small business or a large enterprise, CRM marketing takes your customer interaction to the next level.


Data-driven marketing is a next generation strategy that forges stronger bonds with your prospects and allows you to understand them better.



We suggest you start searching for CRM software as soon as you can and begin building up your database. Use that data to grow into a stronger marketer, a stronger business, and a more agile brand. 


P.S. Are you excited about CRM but think  you need better marketing skills  to get the most out of it?

Take your digital marketing course free!*



 What is an example of CRM? 

An example of a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system is Salesforce. It is a cloud-based software that enables businesses to manage and analyse customer interactions and data throughout the customer lifecycle. Other examples of CRM systems include HubSpot, Zoho CRM, and Microsoft Dynamics CRM.


 Is CRM a software or hardware? 

CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is definitely not a hardware, but more like a software wizard that helps businesses manage their customers like magic. It's a digital genie that allows companies to automate their sales, marketing, and customer service efforts, and grant their wishes of customer satisfaction.


 Is Excel a CRM tool? 

Well, that's a tricky one! Technically, Excel can be used to store and manage customer data, but it lacks the advanced features of a dedicated CRM tool. So while you could use Excel as a makeshift CRM solution, you'll probably find it a lot less efficient and effective than using a proper CRM tool.


*Are you eligible for STAP? 

The staff training assistance programme or STAP offers up to €1000 in funding to get fully certified for in-demand skills such as Digital Marketing, Business & Data Analytics, UX Design and Project Management. 

To be eligible all you need is: 

To be an EU citizen with a BSN number

Are aged between 18-67 

Have earned Dutch income for at least 6 months

For more details on how to apply, click here.


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