Facebook to CRM: Tech trends for sales and marketing pros

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The last 18 months have no doubt been challenging for sales and marketing pros, with customers reluctant to spend during the economic downturn.

Yet advances in technology mean there are now many new, effective ways to connect with customers and partners.

Here we look at the tech trends taking hold in sales and marketing departments.

All eyes on social networking
The rise of social networking has provided a new channel for innovative companies to reach their customers. Some of the more traditionally minded marketing departments may have struggled to understand how social tools mesh with their existing web plans but others have been happy to experiment.

“Facebook is central to our social media strategy,” says Robin Auld, marketing director of Domino’s Pizza UK & Ireland.

The latest addition to this strategy is a Superfans application on the company’s Facebook profile page. Loyal fans of Domino’s on Facebook are rewarded with a promotional code which can be used to get discounts on pizza deliveries. “This application will enable us to leverage the importance of brand advocates in growing our customer base,” explains Auld.

According to recent research from analyst Forrester, use of social networking tools by marketing departments is set to increase throughout 2010 and beyond as companies search for ways to reach out to, and extend, their customer base.

“Social technologies allow for accessible innovation where the risks and costs are not as high, but the return is significant,” says Forrester Research vice president and research director Christine Overby.

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