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Integrating CRM and Social Media for Enhanced Marketing Success

Written by:

Howard Tillerman is the Chief Marketing Officer for Making That Sale and an award-winning marketing professional.

Edited by:

Sallie, holding a Ph.D. from Walden University, is an experienced writing coach and editor with a background in marketing. She has served roles in corporate communications and taught at institutions like the University of Florida.

Integrating CRM and Social Media for Enhanced Marketing Success

Integrating CRM and Social Media for Enhanced Marketing Success

In this engaging interview, we have the pleasure of speaking with Gizem Gündüz Bora, an accomplished professional in marketing and customer relationship management. Gizem embarked on her professional journey as a social media specialist at Hepsiburada, where she sharpened her skills for nearly two years. She then transitioned to Netmarble Turkey, where she excelled in senior marketing communication for another two years. A testament to her adaptability and expertise, Gizem has also cultivated technical knowledge in digital visual design, allowing her to create sophisticated marketing materials independently. Currently, she continues to expand her skills and impact in her role as the Marketing and CRM Manager at Logitrans Logistics.

Throughout the interview, Gizem will be sharing insights from her extensive experience, highlighting her journey in the dynamic world of marketing and CRM. Her expertise in areas such as digital design, social media management, and marketing communications makes her a valuable voice in understanding how to effectively engage customers and drive marketing success in today’s digital landscape.

Journey to Marketing Excellence

MTS – Can you share a bit about your background and what led you to a career in marketing and CRM?

Gizem – My name is Gizem Gündüz Bora, and I have been working in the marketing teams of various companies since 2017. My interest in a marketing career originated from my business management studies at university. The global marketing courses taught by expert professors were particularly influential in guiding me towards this field.

I began my career at Hepsiburada, one of Turkey’s largest e-commerce companies. There, I focused on honing my skills in customer relations and social media marketing. Subsequently, I joined the social media team at Netmarble, a prominent global gaming company based in South Korea. This experience allowed me to further develop my abilities in social media and team management.

In 2020, I moved to Logitrans Logistics, where I currently work. My role here has provided me with the opportunity to expand my knowledge of conventional channels and offline marketing, in addition to digital marketing and social media management.

Crafting Effective CRM Strategies

MTS – What are the key components of an effective CRM strategy in today’s market?

Gizem – An effective CRM strategy in today’s market can be likened to a living organism that constantly changes and evolves. However, much like any living entity that undergoes development and transformation, certain core elements remain constant in CRM management. These foundational aspects include customer and solution orientation, data management, multi-channel integration, customer service excellence, and continuous improvement. It’s important to note, though, that when delved into individually, each of these elements reveals the complexity of managing a CRM strategy effectively. It is by no means a straightforward process.

Social Media’s Impact on Marketing

MTS – How has social media changed the landscape of marketing and customer engagement?

Gizem – Social media has revolutionized the landscape of marketing and customer engagement. Nowadays, users and customers seek the quickest possible access to news, products, and services. The internet, social media, and digital channels often exert significant pressure on users both to consume remarkable content and to do so efficiently.

In this environment, managing customers in a way that doesn’t make them feel pressured is immensely valuable. This shift has given rise to social media management agencies, advertising firms, and a new breed of influencers. The measurability of the data collected by these new business domains ensures that the right customers can purchase the right products at an optimal cost.

Today, consumers evaluate not only the quality but also the price-performance ratio in their consumption of services and products. Consequently, in the realm of social media, companies are compelled to continually devise innovative ideas for the most advantageous marketing campaigns.

Aligning CRM with Content Marketing

MTS – In your role as marketing and CRM manager, how do you align CRM strategies with content marketing to enhance customer engagement and loyalty?

Gizem – Creating a loyal customer base is indeed a challenging task, but there are several key elements that can aid every CRM manager in this endeavor. These include:

  • Personalized content creation — Crafting content that caters specifically to the interests and needs of different customer segments
  • Targeted campaigns — Developing marketing campaigns that are aimed precisely at targeted groups of customers
  • Feedback requests — Proactively soliciting feedback from customers to improve products and services
  • Social media interaction — Engaging with customers on social media platforms to foster a sense of community and maintain direct communication
  • Loyalty programs and rewards — Implementing programs and offering rewards that encourage repeat business and strengthen customer loyalty
  • Time-sensitive content — Producing content that is relevant and timely, capturing the interest of customers at the most opportune moments

Success Stories in Marketing Campaigns

MTS – Can you share a successful campaign you’ve managed and what made it effective?

Gizem – In the international logistics industry, participating in global logistics exhibitions is of great value. Reflecting on my experiences, I can confidently say that the most significant project I orchestrated and managed was our company’s participation in six different fairs across six different countries in 2023.

This initiative significantly boosted our brand value and awareness and indirectly led to an increase in our turnover. We were present at the industry’s largest fairs, spanning diverse geographies on different continents.

The process proved invaluable in terms of fair participation, enhancing communication, evaluating new contacts, initiating new collaborations, and strengthening existing ones.

In 2023, we strategically planned and executed these participations in Europe and Asia. We focused on transit transportation, which has seen a substantial increase in volume. Each event was managed in a target- and result-oriented manner, adding measurable value to our company.

Evaluating Marketing Strategy Success

MTS – How do you measure the success of your marketing strategies?

Gizem – There are various methods to evaluate marketing strategies, and here are my preferred ones that I utilize:

  • ROI (return on investment) — This involves calculating the ROI by comparing the revenue generated from a marketing campaign against its cost. It’s an essential measure of a campaign’s financial effectiveness
  • Conversion rates — Monitoring how many leads convert into customers is crucial. This metric assesses the effectiveness of marketing efforts in driving the desired actions
  • CLV (customer lifetime value) — I assess the long-term value a customer brings to our business. Understanding this helps in tailoring strategies to maximize customer value
  • Social media and website analytics — These tools provide insights into user engagement, content effectiveness, and overall digital presence impact
  • Lead generation metrics — I track the conversion rates of leads and the time it takes for them to move through the sales funnel. This indicates the efficiency of our lead nurturing processes
  • Brand awareness — Conducting customer or user surveys is a practical approach to gauge brand recognition and perception among our target audience

Future Trends in Marketing and CRM

MTS – What trends do you see shaping the future of marketing and CRM?

Gizem – One significant trend is the growing demand for content in which customers or users can see themselves reflected. This means companies and communication agencies need to focus on creating personalized commercials. Additionally, virtual reality (VR) is set to play a larger role in our lives. We’re already witnessing CGI campaigns, and such forms of artificial reality are poised to gain even more attention.

While traditional offline marketing channels like exhibitions and billboards may not disappear entirely, their impact is diminishing, especially among younger generations. These upcoming consumers show less interest in traditional media platforms, including television. To thrive in this evolving landscape, organizations must place a strong emphasis on digital media. Adapting to these trends is essential for staying relevant and effectively engaging with the market.

The Role of Data in Marketing Decisions

MTS – What role does data analytics play in your marketing decisions?

Gizem – Data analytics plays a pivotal role in informing our marketing decisions. It helps us understand which marketing strategies are successful and which are not. At times, when we face uncertainty about whether to continue or discontinue a commercial or campaign, data analytics provides clear insights, guiding us towards the right decision. With the increasing integration of AI in various aspects of our lives and work, leveraging its capabilities enhances our strategic effectiveness significantly.

Staying Ahead in Marketing

MTS – How do you stay updated with the latest marketing tools and techniques?

Gizem – A crucial aspect of our job is to thoroughly understand our target audience. While being aware of all the latest news in marketing is beneficial, it’s more important to focus on and work according to the dynamics of the target market.

This means that following the habits and trends of our target users holds greater significance than merely staying updated with all technological advancements. Nonetheless, I do keep myself informed through some widely recognized channels.

These include Hootsuite’s quarterly and annual reports, Pinterest’s Predicts report, resources from Statista, and insights from the Harvard Business Review.

Advancing Customer Relationship Management

MTS – What advice would you give to businesses looking to improve their customer relationship management?

Gizem – One crucial aspect often overlooked is that customer relationship management is fundamentally about the relationship itself, just as the name implies. However, many of us tend to focus more on managing the relationship rather than building it. Consider it akin to a personal relationship, one that you value deeply. Think about what it would take to sustain and nurture such a relationship.

Key to this is listening to the customer, understanding their needs, and making them feel heard and understood. It’s essential to be solution-oriented, even in situations where a solution may not be immediately apparent. Showing that efforts are being made to find a solution is vital for maintaining a healthy relationship.

We need to offer more than just a transactional relationship that only addresses problems or celebrates special occasions. Imagine being part of that consumer group: What would you need? How would you want to be treated? The key to this relationship lies in understanding, empathizing, and most importantly, striving to find solutions.

Creative and Data-Driven Marketing Balance

MTS – How do you balance creativity and data-driven decision-making in your work?

Gizem – Balancing creativity with data-driven decision-making is essential. It’s crucial to ensure that data doesn’t stifle creativity. The key is in-depth knowledge of your target audience. If you have a thorough understanding of your target customers, you can effortlessly blend creativity with data insights to create and manage effective work.

Key Marketing Lessons Learned

MTS – What’s the most significant marketing lesson you’ve learned in your career?

Gizem – The greatest lesson I’ve learned is the value of simplicity. Marketing doesn’t always need to be complex. Sometimes, managing a crisis effectively is more crucial than executing a large-scale marketing campaign. Knowing when to remain silent can be more impactful than launching a campaign at the wrong time. Thus, being well-prepared and having a contingency plan (plan B) can be a lifesaver in the dynamic world of marketing.

Marketing Strategies for Diverse Audiences

MTS – How do you tailor marketing strategies for different target demographics?

Gizem – Effective communication tailored to each target demographic is key. This involves creating varied content, campaigns, or approaches specifically designed for each group. By analyzing data, we can discern the most effective ways to reach and engage each distinct demographic.

Enhancing Online Presence and Engagement

MTS – What practical steps can businesses take to enhance their online presence and customer engagement?

Gizem – The approach depends on the situation, but strategies like real-time marketing, creating humorous content, or devising new ideas to go viral can significantly boost brand awareness. Staying updated, selecting and analyzing the appropriate communication language for each target audience, and leveraging advanced technologies are crucial for organizations.

In summary, don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Embrace artificial intelligence, data analysis, digital channels, and experimental communication methods with your target audience. Users are receptive to interaction as long as they feel heard and understood.