Marketing automation tools are like superchargers for marketers, propelling their campaigns to new heights. Yet, there's a secret ingredient that can take this power to the next level: the right audience data.
What better than an organization’s CRM to power it?
The good news is that many marketing automation tools are embracing CRM API integrations to drive greater adoption and results. However, with the increasing number of CRM systems underplay, building and managing CRM integrations is becoming a huge challenge.
Fortunately, the rise of unified CRM APIs is bridging this gap, making CRM integration seamless for marketing automation tools. But, before delving into how marketing automation tools can power integrations with unified CRM APIs, let’s explore the business benefits of CRM APIs.
10 ways marketing automation tools can maximize results with CRM API integration
Here’s a quick snapshot of how CRM APIs can bring out the best of marketing automation tools, making the most of the audience data for customers.
1. Customer segmentation and content personalization
Research shows that 72% of customers will only engage with personalized messaging. CRM integration with marketing automation tools can enable the users to create personalized messaging based on customer segmentation.
Users can segment customers based on their likelihood of conversion and personalize content for each campaign. Slicing and dicing of customer data, including demographics, preferences, interactions, etc. can further help in customizing content with higher chances of consumption and engagement. Customer segmentation powered by CRM API data can help create content that customers resonate with.
2. Enhanced lead nurturing for higher conversion
CRM integration provides the marketing automation tool with every tiny detail of every lead to adjust and customize communication and campaigns that facilitate better nurturing. At the same time, real time conversation updates from CRM can help in timely marketing follow-ups for better chances of closure.
2. Churn prediction and customer retention
As customer data from CRM and marketing automation tools is synched in real time, any early signs of churn like reduced engagement or changed consumer behavior can be captured.
Real time alerts can also be automatically updated in the CRM for sales action. At the same time, marketing automation tools can leverage CRM data to predict which customers are more likely to churn and create specific campaigns to facilitate retention.
3. Upsell and cross-sell campaigns
Users can leverage customer preferences from the CRM data to design campaigns with specific recommendations and even identify opportunities for upselling and cross-selling.
For instance, customers with high engagement might be interested in upgrading their relationships and the marketing automation tools can use this information and CRM details on their historical trends to propose best options for upselling.
Similarly, when details of customer transactions are captured in the CRM, they can be used to identify opportunities for complementary selling with dedicated campaigns. This leads to a clear increased revenue line.
4. Automated campaign workflow to reduce operational overheads
In most marketing campaigns as the status of a lead changes, a new set of communication and campaign takes over. With CRM API integration, marketing automation tools can easily automate the campaign workflow in real time as soon as there is a status change in the CRM. This ensures greater engagement with the lead when their status changes.
5. Event triggered campaigns for faster TAT
Marketing communication after events is an extremely important aspect of sales. With CRM integration in marketing automation tools, automated post-event communication or campaigns can be triggered based on lead status for attendance and participation in the event.
This facilitates a faster turnaround time for engaging the customers just after the event, without any delays due to manual follow ups.
6. Lead source automation
The integration can help automatically map the source of the lead from different marketing activities like webinars, social media posts, newsletters, etc. in your CRM to understand where your target audience engagement is higher.
At the same time, it can facilitate tagging of leads to the right teams or personnels for follow ups and closures. With automated lead source tracking, users can track the ROI of different marketing activities.
7. Tailored social media campaigns and multi-channel marketing
With CRM API integration, users can get access to customer preference insights to define their social media campaigns and audience. At the same time, they can customize scheduling based on customer’s geographical locations from CRM to facilitate maximum efficiency.
8. Data enrichment for enhancing lead profiles
With bi-directional sync, CRM API integration with marketing automation tools can lead to enhancement of lead profiles. With more and more lead data coming in across both the platforms, users can have a rich and comprehensive profile of their customers, updates in real time across the CRM and marketing tools.
9. Lifecycle marketing automation
Overall, integrating CRM API with marketing automation tools can help in automating the entire marketing lifecycle. It starts with getting a full customer view to stage-based automated marketing campaigns to personalized nurturing and lead scoring, predictive analytics and much more. Most of the aspects of marketing based on the sales journey of the customer can be automated and triggered in real time with CRM changes.
10. Customer reporting and analytics for decision making
Data insights from CRM API integrated with those from marketing automation tools can greatly help in creating reports to analyze and track customer behavior.
It can help ensure to understand consumer trends, identify the top marketing channels, improve customer segmentation and overall enhance the marketing strategy for more engagement.
Real-world Struggles of CRM Integration in Marketing Automation
While the benefits of CRM API integration with marketing automation tools are many, there are also some roadblocks on the way. Since each CRM API is different and your customers might be using different CRM systems, building and maintaining a plethora of CRM APIs can be challenging due to:
Data transformation inconsistency and campaign blunders
When data is exchanged between two applications, it needs to undergo transformation to become normalized with data fields compatible across both. Since each CRM API has diverse data models, syntax and nuances, inconsistency during data transfer is a big challenge.
If the data is not correctly normalized or transformed, chances are it might get corrupt or lost, leading to gaps in integration. At the same time, any inconsistency in data transformation and sync might lead to sending incorrect campaigns and triggers to customers, compromising on the experience.
Delays in campaigns
While inconsistency in data transformation is one challenge, a related concern comes in the form of delays or limited real-time sync capabilities.
If the data sync between the CRM and the marketing automation tool is not happening in real time (across all CRMs being used), chances are that communication with end customers is being delayed, which can lead to loss of interest and lower engagement.
Customer data privacy and security concerns
Any CRM is the beacon of sensitive customer data, often governed by GDPR and other compliances. However, integration and data transfer is always vulnerable to security threats like man in the middle attacks, DDoS, etc. which can lead to compromised privacy. This can lead to monetary and reputational risks.
With the increasing number of CRM applications, scalability of integration becomes a huge challenge. Building new CRM integrations can be very time and resource consuming — building one integration from scratch can take up to 3 months or more — which either means compromising on the available CRM integrations or choking of engineering bandwidth.
Moreover, as integrated CRM systems increase, the requirements for API calls and data exchange also grow exponentially, leading to delays in data sync and real time updates with increased data load. Invariably, scalability becomes a challenge.
Managing and maintaining integrations is a big challenge in itself. When end customers are using integrations, there are likely to be issues that require immediate action.
At the same time, maintaining detailed logs, tracking API calls, API syncs manually can be very tedious. However, any lag in this can crumble the entire integration system.
Finally, when integrating with different CRM APIs, managing the CRM vendors is a big challenge. Understanding API updates, managing different endpoints, ensuring zero downtime, error handling and coordinating with individual response teams is highly operational and time consuming.
How Unified CRM API ensures maximum integration ROI
Don’t let the CRM API integration challenges prevent you from leveraging the multiple benefits mentioned above. A unified CRM API like the one offered by Knit, can help you access the benefits without breaking sweat over the challenges.
If you want to know the technical details of how a unified API works, this will help
Integrate in minutes with multiple CRM APIs
A unified CRM API facilitates integration with marketing automation tools within minutes, not months, which is usually what it takes to build integrations.
At the same time, it enables connecting with various CRM applications in one go. When it comes to Knit, marketing automation tools have to simply embed Knit’s UI component in their frontend to get access to Knit’s full catalog of CRM applications.
Consistent data transfer guaranteed with normalized data models
A unified CRM API can address all data transformation and normalization challenges easily. For instance, with Knit, different data models, nuances and schemas across CRM applications are mapped into a single and unified data model, facilitating data normalization in real time.
At the same time, Knit allows users to map custom data fields to access non-standard data.
Real time campaigns and data exchange
The right unified CRM API can help you sync data in real time, without any external polling requests.
Take Knit for example, its webhooks and events driven architecture periodically polls data from all CRM applications, normalizing them and making them ready for use by the marketing automation tool. The latter doesn’t have to worry about the engineering intensive tasks of polling data, managing API calls, rate limits, data normalization, etc.
Furthermore, this ensures that as soon as details about a customer are updated on the CRM, the associated campaigns or triggers are automatically set in motion for marketing success.
Never miss a data update
There can be multiple CRM updates within a few minutes and as data load increases, a unified CRM API ensures guaranteed data sync in real time. As with Knit, its in-built retry mechanisms facilitate resilience and ensure that the marketing automation tools don’t miss out on any CRM updates, even at scale, as each lead is important.
Moreover, as a user, you can set up sync frequency as per your convenience.
Scale as you go
With a unified CRM API, you only need to integrate once. As mentioned above, once you embed the UI component, every time you need to use a new CRM application or a new CRM API is added to Knit’s catalog, you can access it automatically with sync capabilities, without spending any engineering capabilities from your team.
This ensures that you can scale in the most resource-lite and efficient manner, without diverting engineering productivity from your core product. From a data sync perspective as well, a unified CRM API ensures guaranteed scalability, irrespective of the data load.
Security at scale
One of the biggest concerns of security and vulnerability to cyberattacks can be easily addressed with a unified CRM API across multiple facts. Let’s take the security provisions of Knit for example.
- First, Knit ensures double encryption, i.e. it encrypts data at rest as well as when in transit for exchange. It also encrypts data with an additional layer of application security.
- Second, Knit is the only unified API that doesn’t store any copy of the data and acts as a pure passthrough proxy. Data is only processed in Knit’s server and is directly sent to the customer’s webhooks. Protection of end-user data like this helps you easily gain customer confidence during sales conversations.
- Third, Knit has wide ranging authorization capabilities, including, OAuth, API key or a username-password based authentication. Irrespective of what authorization protocol the vendor has, it can integrate with Knit.
Catch potential errors early on
Finally, integration management to ensure that all your CRM APIs are healthy is well taken care of by a unified CRM API.
- A unified CRM API like Knit provides access to a detailed Logs, Issues, Integrated Accounts and Syncs page for all integrations to monitor and track them along with possible RCA and solutions. This empowers your CX team to solve customer issues immediately without involving the tech team.
- Furthermore, it enables you to track every API call, data sync, etc. as well as the status of webhooks registered for real time visibility in errors — ensuring that you are always on top of your data and minimizes the chances of any errors.
Constant monitoring and on demand customer support
Finally, when you are using a unified API, you don’t have to deal with multiple vendors, endpoints, etc. Rather, the heavy lifting is done by the unified CRM API provider.
For instance, with Knit, you can access 24/7 support to securely manage your integrations. It also provides detailed documentation, links and easy to understand product walkthroughs for your developers and end users to ensure a smooth integration process.
Get started with unified CRM API
If you are looking to integrate multiple CRM APIs with your product, get your Knit API keys and see unified API in action. (Getting started with Knit is completely free)
You can also talk to one of our experts to see how you can customize Knit to solve your specific integration challenges.