Be the first to know. Get our weekly newsletter.

newsletter_popup Join 25,000 of your peers. Get our stories delivered to your e-mail inbox every week.
Edit Interests

Articles Selected for You

No unread stories
ViralBlog Logo
Close this box

Sign-up to get the content you like

Our readers can personalize ViralBlog in Zite alike ways, and schedule e-mail alerts to get the most relevant answers to their specific questions.

Choose your sign-up method:

Could not connect to Twitter. Refresh the page or try again later.


By signing-up you agree upon our terms and conditions

08/10/2011 by

CRM Your Way Through The Marketing Funnel

Social CRM is going to be the backbone of all your community and consumer communication. The value of e-mail databases is eroding and providing our consumers with the means to communicate is increasingly becoming more important.

Some marketeers still believe that with a clever campaign, or an idea that will live a couple of years, they can actually build their brand, increase sales and stimulate loyalty. However times are changing; no more quick wins, but beneficial relationships for both parties: win – win.

Throughout the customer journey our beloved consumers have different needs and need to be provided with the information they need. I once already wrote about it is not only about getting reach, to create awareness (click here) and how to get people through the social funnel.


Now lets take a deepdive into the marketing funnel and project this to your CRM system (please tell me you have a CRM strategy?).

How can the above McKinsey model help track and guide your average customer throughout the sales funnel? It will strengthen your marketing and will provide understanding the behaviour of your customer, it enables you to:

  • Plan your marketing campaigns
  • Highlight prospect and customer areas in order to improve your conversion rate
  • Evolve and maximise your sales processes
  • Design your customer relationship management (CRM) system


Several models of this funnel have been published; they vary according to the nature of the product, service or consumer and this translates into the number of stages, the names of the stages and shape. They may all differ, but the fundamental stages stay the same.



We know our audience, we know their needs, however in this phase they do not know us. Start mapping where they are and who their key-influencers are. Build relationships with their peers and save and collect all data in your CRM.


Align your communication message with your targets and KPI’s; then setup your great content (content is your key asset). Pull and Push your message towards the consumer:

Start communicating to your owned channels (e-mail database, websites, inpack promotions, social plaftorms ect), earn attention with digital PR and Buzz/ seed your content to those key-influencers we have mapped before and finally roll our your paid media plan.  Your target will be made aware of your brand and stimulated in the desire to purchase, comment or share.  Make sure you collect all information and data on your consumer in your CRM driven system, you will be able to tailor their needs better next time and build better relationships. You will coin on your relationship.

Research and Familiarity/ Consideration

Make sure we give our consumers the information they need to establish trustworthiness; they will scour the web and consult with friends. Reading reviews, learning features, asking the opinions of their peers. What happens if they cannot find the information they need? No trust, so you will not sell. Make sure you have your content on the web and facilitate people in their information need (reading, sharing, commenting, weighing). A Best Practise here! At this point people will be 80% of making a decision so they will map it, write a mental note or bookmark your site.

Decision and Purchase

The biggest influencers in this phase are peoples direct peers. How to make sure that their peers give a good recommendation? Make them a celebrity! They will take the plunge to buy your product and service. Make sure you have optimised your sales steps; reduce steps, keep quiet and hold still. Let your consumer be!

Brand and Product Advocate (or Haters)

Congratulations!! You have just made a sale and your consumer has just bought that product or service he or she needed. Why not congratulate them? Make sure they can share their purchase directly and instantaneously though social channels (twitter, facebook ect.). Give them an incentive to sign-up for news, offers or fun information. It is imperative that you make this step as agreeable as possible, because if you piss them off; they will shout out! Remember what peers do (they’ve just turned into a peer)?

Repurchase Intention

Retaining clients is one of the most difficult things there is, however it is a well established fact we all know that existing customers are significantly easier to convert into another sale. They will at some point have to buy a replacement, an extra one or they will want to upgrade. So stay connected with them and help them. You do not want to spend all you marketing budget on re-building relationships time after time?


Preconceptions and Experience

Have you provided what you have promised them? Ask them what they thought could be improved and ask them what they thought was great. Perhaps you can offer them an alternative or upgrade. Through your CRM you can give them what they need.



Although the customer probably has a good idea about your brand, they will want to familiarise themselves with your current product range, and with your competition. Should they upgrade to the next item in the product range, stick with the most recent version or swap for competitor? Now customers continue through the funnel as before, with final considerations, a decision, and eventually a second purchase.


Loyalty and Advocacy

Make sure we have our consumers repurchase, upgrade or endorse our product or service. How?  Set-up a loyalty program.  Some benefits are:

– Shift – Acquire new customers

– Lift – Increase the spending of existing customers

– Retention – Improve the natural churn rate of customers

– Profit mix – Shift spending to higher margin products


Here we engage with our consumers, they will turn into brand ambassadors. Why? Because we are building win-win relationships. Sounds far fetched and difficult? Have you heard of Nike+ 😉


Social CRM

All funnels vary depending on the DNA of your business, the customer journey will be different for a wine webshop then for a cleaning company. However, keeping in thouch and buidling a relationship throughout the process is imperative and can be realised through CRM (have a look at this article). You will be more cost effective, engaged and a better partner!


Benefit Of A Relationship? What’s the ROI On Your Mother?

I’ll close off with a video my one of my heroes; Gary Vaynerchuk. Scroll to 1 minute 26!

YouTube Preview Image

Follow Category?

Follow Author?

Neil Draper
3 more

Follow Tags?

crmFollowUnfollowgary vaynerchuk. mediaFollowUnfollowneil draperFollowUnfollownikeFollowUnfollowsales funnelFollowUnfollowsocialFollowUnfollowSocial MediaFollowUnfollow

Comments (1)