A Day in the Life of a Strategic Market Manager at Crowe LLP

Ryan Plourde
| 1/29/2019
A Day in the Life of a Strategic Market Manager at Crowe LLP
To be successful in the role of a strategic market manager, access to data is critical. Without proper and sufficient data, a market manager cannot perform strategically. An organization’s CRM system plays a major role in organizing and optimizing data for strategic use.

Recently, I sat down with Kurt Gilmore, a strategic market manager with Crowe LLP, to learn about his daily work, the data he uses, and how he measures the success of marketing campaigns.

What do you focus on in your role as a strategic market manager?
Kurt Gilmore:  My role is like an orchestra conductor because I coordinate with many different individuals within the firm. Each person is responsible for different components of our business. I draw upon many pieces of information to create an action plan, build a go-to-market strategy, and coordinate resources. My objective is to help build sales pipelines, strengthen the Crowe brand, support new product development efforts, and increase revenue.

In a role with so many different moving parts, how do you meet the challenge of working within an industry specialization?
Kurt Gilmore:  Experience is key. While I rely on my years of experience as a strategic market manager, I am always eager to learn about new industries and their unique details. I recently added the firm’s construction and retail dealership industry verticals and service segments as internal clients. I wasn’t familiar with the macroeconomics of those sectors, so I've had to do my homework.

What other industries do you work with?
Kurt Gilmore:  I work with three different industry verticals in the public services sector: government, not-for-profit, and higher education. Although each industry is different, the organizations share characteristics such as being tax-exempt.

As a strategic market manager, how do you leverage your internal CRM system?
Kurt Gilmore:  Crowe uses the Microsoft Dynamics 365™ solution as its CRM system. I depend on it because I rely heavily on data. For example, I want to know which organizations in our CRM system fit a certain market segment. If we decide to focus on a specific industry or company size, I use Dynamics 365 to see the information we have on those companies, including whether they are prospects, current clients, or past clients. I also can find out which marketing campaigns they have received from Crowe. Later, I use the data in Dynamics 365 to help me build campaigns, track behavior, and evaluate results.

Can you provide an example of how you use the data in Microsoft Dynamics 365?
Kurt Gilmore:  When Crowe was preparing to introduce Crowe BenefitsBridge, our Dynamics 365-compatible tool for the insurance industry, we selected about 100 strategic targets and developed an integrated, nurture-based campaign for brand-building and product line development.

When I plan a campaign within Dynamics 365, I can track the results for every touch. For example, did we get click-through from a specific marketing communication? If so, what did the recipients do next? Did they watch the video or did they click for more information?

Our CRM system enables us to access many benchmarks. If we met or exceeded sales goals, the campaign was successful. For less-successful campaigns, being able to look at the campaign metrics or at a particular tactic within a campaign allows me to think through why Piece A was successful yet Piece B was not. Going forward, we can do occasional beta testing on different marketing concepts.

As strategic market managers, we focus on whether the campaign helped to create a sales opportunity, if the prospect made it into the pipeline, and if the opportunity was converted into a win.

Do you think that Dynamics 365 helps you tie the marketing efforts directly back to revenue?
Kurt Gilmore:  Yes. If we have the right data inputs and the right tracking in place, we can determine the revenue created by a particular marketing approach.

Dynamics 365 enables us to uncover critical data points that tie back to marketing. For example, if we know we connected with a prospect 10 times and it resulted in a win, we can consider the campaigns we sent, when the prospect entered the sales funnel, and when the prospect converted. We can learn from that data.

At a company with multiple business units, like Crowe, how do you make sure you are marketing the right opportunities to our existing clients?
Kurt Gilmore:  I find that the greatest strength and the greatest weakness of CRM centers on the user base. At Crowe, many people across the globe use the system and many people add data. The strongest contributors understand that unleashing the power of Dynamics 365 requires adding good data, good information, and good insights to the records. Some of the soft elements of capture – such as the software our clients use and the opportunities to cross sell within the organization – are driven by the end user and the owner of the records.

Since Crowe is such a large organization, how do you standardize information? For example, one team might use “attorney” and another uses “lawyer.” That discrepancy can make it challenging to pull information in a uniform way. 
Kurt Gilmore:  The success of the CRM system depends on the accuracy of recordkeeping, and that is a shared responsibility. Our marketing team includes data stewards who assist with data research, standardization, and completeness. They are responsible for tracking changes in records, making sure those changes are correct, and maintaining a high level of CRM data integrity. Our data stewards are integral to our Dynamics 365 adoption. If the users trust the data, they will be more apt to use it and leverage it.

In your role as a strategic market manager, is it fair to say that you think good data is the key to your success?
Kurt Gilmore:  Absolutely. I'm greedy when it comes to data because I want it all. Crafting a successful strategy depends on the dataset and the integrity of that data. As a strategist, I rely on strong data so I can gain insights. Dynamics 365 helps me create my sales and marketing strategy.

Thank you, Kurt, for these real-world insights.

Visit CroweCRM.com for more information about Crowe CRM services for Microsoft Dynamics 365 software. Have a question or interested in evaluating the CRM functionality in Microsoft Dynamics 365? Contact us today.

Microsoft, Microsoft Dynamics, and Microsoft Dynamics 365 are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

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Ryan Plourde
Ryan Plourde
Principal, Microsoft CRM Leader