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‘Implementing a CRM Requires Motivation’ – In-Depth Interview with Gareth Cartman

Today we present you interview with Gareth Cartman, a director of digital marketing at Clever Little Design and seasoned expert in content strategy building, CRM and B2B development.

Published: Feb 08, 2022

| Last updated on May 12, 2022

| 10 mins read

Editor’s note: Well-thought strategy is a core for successful CRM adoption, effective marketing campaigns and, therefore, revenue rising and resource optimization. Then arises a logical question – why then many companies suffer failure and damage after implementation of the CRM system? Today we present you interview with Gareth Cartman, a director of digital marketing at Clever Little Design and seasoned expert in content strategy building, CRM and B2B development. In this interview, Gareth helps us to find out what is the primary role of CRM in business running and how to build a successful marketing strategy in the social media world.

1. Can you tell us briefly about your education and key points that brought you to the current position?

It does indeed. I’m living proof that you don’t know your true direction until your late twenties! I was originally a linguist, having studied French, German and Italian, and started my own magazine while living in France. I’ve always been a content man, so writing came easy to me, and I ended up writing a lot of the content for both the magazine and the website. Once the website took off, I learned how to optimise it – at one point we were getting over 10,000 visits a day. So, my first steps into marketing were self-taught, and I had to hone those skills in a professional environment, hence the move back to the UK. I worked across the whole marketing set, and eventually into a focus on digital.

2. Have you ever used CRM by yourself?

Yes, I’ve worked on several CRMs, and I can say one thing of them – they are what you make of them. Whenever I hear someone complain about their CRM not doing what they want it to do, it’s because they didn’t speak up during implementation or they’re not aware of its full capabilities.

3. Has B2B and B2C business the same requirements?

B2B and B2C have different requirements, clearly – the B2B lead cycle requires so much more nurturing than B2C (I’m generalising, but it’s often true). Therefore, the whole set-up of the CRM differs. Implementing a CRM requires motivation – and the ability to motivate otherwise busy stakeholders.

black smartphone near person

4.  Which type of CRM is more suitable for SMBs? Why?

I’m not sure I agree, I think social is more of an evolution of CRM – without it, the modern CRM is nothing. How can you track prospects and sentiment without social integrated into your CRM? It’s not possible… you have a CRM in order to get a bigger picture about your sales prospects and customers. They’re all on social media nowadays, so if you don’t have that element, you don’t have the big picture. That’s why all the big CRM companies have been falling over themselves to spend billions on social media technology.

5. Apart from facilitation of the sales process, the CRM automation reduces budget expenses. Has this process other effects on company performance?

A CRM should bring about efficiencies, and it shouldn’t be seen as a ‘positive side-effect’, it should actually be sought out early on in the process. For instance, getting that link-in to Finance and ERP… if you can remove duplication, you save time, you reduce errors, you reduce spend.

6. What aspects are obligatory for the digital campaigns? 

I’ve mentioned social, that’s more or less mandatory these days. Marketing managers need integration more than anything else – we use so many different solutions these days, from Hubspot-type automation solutions to Unbounce, Jumplead, etc – we need the ability to get that data into our CRMs and use it. Often that’s the responsibility of the other software providers, but it shouldn’t end with them. We just need one single view of our customers, with data flowing in from all directions.

7. Gareth, what approach should be incorporated to customer segmentation within the CRM software?

I learned a lot about data in my last role from a guy you would call a real “data person” – segmentation has to be fluid. You need to be able to split and slice the data any way you want, at any time. The key is first to know your user personas, your markets, where you perform well, where you perform less well – and to restrict your campaigns as much as you can. I work with a telemarketing agency who insist that your data set is as segmented as you can get it – down to industry and job role. That way, the messaging works more often, and you can hit home at the same pain points each time.

MacBook Pro near white open book

8. Can this interaction improve the reputation and trustworthy to the company? Are there any rules or limitations?

So long as you have a defined tone of voice for the company, and guidelines regarding use of social media, then it’s fine. We’re all humans, we all interact on social media, and customers appreciate the speed of response social gives them. I’d say social gives you huge opportunities to improve your brand, improve your repu?ation and gain customer trust – even when things go wrong. It just depends on how you do it!

9. Are there any new approaches to digital marketing? What strategies will be profitable this year?

Digital Marketing never stands still, which is why we like it so much. I see social and SEO getting a lot closer – we’ve seen plenty of examples of social activity affecting rankings whenever there are boosts of activity, and those boosts have been significant. I can see content becoming more ‘clever’ – a case of less is more, and I can see people thinking more like Google, rather than trying to game it. That in itself is a big shift – there will always be people trying to game the system, but now people realise that Google is not their friend, they’re doing better at second-guessing Google. For instance – car insurance companies are seeing their traffic cannibalised by Google who have inserted their own insurance search, even when you Google a car insurance company. So Google’s trying to grab more time from people, and stop sending them through to websites. We have to get more clever to counteract this, and those who have depended solely on Google in the past are increasingly looking for alternative traffic routes.

assorted-title book lot placed on white wooden shelf

10. Gareth, can you recommend must-read books or blogs about digital marketing to our readers?

Don’t read books about marketing – they’ll be out of date before you’ve finished the first chapter. Just do it instead. For digital marketing, try to read / watch Josh Bachynski who talks a lot of sense (he also talks a lot), Glenn Gabe is a reference, Bill Slawski is always ahead of the curve, and obviously, the Clever Little Design blog. As for books, the best and most helpful book I have read recently is The Chimp Paradox by sports psychologist Steve Peters. I hate self-help and business books, but this one is actionable and valuable.

We’d like to thank Gareth for such extensive and profound insights into the peculiarities of modern marketing and CRM technology as a strategy and means of accomplishing business objectives. His professional view and comprehensive examples will assist our readers in the development of their CRM and marketing strategies.

P.S. Considering about extending the borders of your abilities with new CRM? Trujay may help you to transfer your records to the desired CRM platform in an automated and accurate way without any data losses or programming. Start a free Demo and see the service in action or visit and find out more details.

Alina Vashchenko

Hello, I am marketer and admission process specialist. I live in Warsaw. I have more than 3 years of experience in digital marketing, Polish educational system, branding and business strategy across media and educational industries.

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