We must’ve hit a chord today, as our analytics are going through the roof. Here’s what we have for you: an opinion as to essential Marketing Technology Stack, why good content delivers bad leads, marketing automation features to stop avoiding, a free email marketing benchmark study for Q1, using marketing automation to maximize your webinars, and Facebook finally uses hashtags. In addition, the normal collection of charts and infographics.
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Featured Marketing Automation Article
What are the most important tools a marketer needs to complete his or her marketing goals and business objectives?
The marketer’s essential marketing technology stack is:
- Marketing Automation: The organizations who can adopt and master it fastest will be the ones that outpace their competition. As with everything, of course, if the attempts at marketing automation do not align with marketing and business objectives, then it will probably be a waste of time.
- Content Management: What also makes content management systems powerful from the marketer’s perspective is the ability to create websites with dynamic, personalized content. A (good) CMS provides marketers with the tools needed to create a very specific user experience and engagement plan. Marketers can effectively map out the paths they want their visitors to take when they visit the organization’s web site.
- Portals and Collaboration: Another type of portal is a sales portal. Employees can log in and see the progress of the other salespersons in the organization. It has a competitive aspect, and this type of portal isn’t limited to just the sales department. The portal could represent how each franchisee is performing in the region and other franchisees can compete to increase their revenue or decrease whatever negative metric they want. Perhaps a law firm has a portal that keeps track of all the cases acquired and won per lawyer, and when each lawyer logs in to the portal, they are notified of their current standing.
- Social Media: You’ve probably seen it before, but if you’ve ever opted to “log in with Facebook account” on a website, you just participated in a marketer’s attempt to better understand you as a user. Marketing can collect valuable data from their users by integrating social into their digital marketing plans. Not only that, but marketers can then recognize and better serve users as they hop through different channels – both socially and internally.
What’s missing? Analytics engine across the whole stack. Regardless, a great way to look at the industry, although more than a few pieces are missing.
Sometimes, those bad leads mean you are doing a great job. Here’s why and how you should (and shouldn’t) respond.
No, of course you don’t want to focus on just getting more leads that aren’t in your market. But embrace the fact your content draws an audience looking for the information you are offering!
- Take a long term view. If you are just looking at the immediate results from your program, you are overlooking much of the value your content marketing program is creating.
- Segment and nurture responders. Some contacts will be appropriate for immediate followup or a nurture program built around an active buyers journey. Others should be added to a slow drip that continues to educate and provide additional stage zero content.
An all too common mistake is to focus on content that is only useful to immediate prospects.
A lead may be classified as “bad” should it not fit the needs of the sale team. Is that the right arbiter as to defining “bad?” Here’s a great example: email campaign goes out with great content. Excellent response rate, but the leads do not match that which is being offered. Ergo, crap leads. Yet the offering was adjusted to match the responses…guess what happened next? A miracle.
Here are three crucial steps to take immediately after buying marketing automation that’ll set you on the path to software success:
1. Sync your CRM and/or migrate your email database
2. Take inventory of your content
3. Meet with Sales (and then Customer Service)
This is one approach, and these are three must do’s. But there may be other more important items: 1) Do you have the staff in place to manage and support MA? 2) Are your objectives clearly established? 3) Have you drawn up your MA schema? Nice article with detail, but keep an open mind.
I believe that engaging content should be at the heart an SEO plan with keyword research as its foundation. The other elements are still vital and form the core structure, however the focus is on the former should the structure be correct (which is still very important).
1. Build the right foundation. It may be tempting to start doing SEO without carrying out an in-depth Keyword Research phase but this can be one of the biggest mistakes that people make, especially as the search terms are the foundation of all our “SEO” work going forward.
2. Using Keyword Groups or supporting keywords can be much easier to achieve your overall goal. Optimising and including keywords which support an overall high volume and broad keyword achieves the same goal but with far less competition and more ease. For example, ranking for “best architect in surrey 2013” will be much easier to achieve than “architect” or “best architect” but they all work together to optimise for the head terms and can show success along the way to achieving your main goal.
3. Get focused! Treat it as if you are initiating a sales call and you are trying to identify whether this potential customer is wasting your time or not. You increase the chance of a sale by using qualifiers. In the sales world it’s the four W’s – Who, What, When, Where, but relating it to search these still apply.
4. Take it to the Tools. Once you have brainstormed with the broad and targeted keyword areas along with the qualifiers, this is when you can take it to the keyword tools. There are obviously many tools available and we all have our own personal favourites but my favourites include Adwords Keyword tool, Keyword Spy and Ubersuggest which uses Google’s autocomplete data to suggest keywords.
5. Make your case. When I’m trying to find out how hard it will be for a client to rank for the chosen terms I use a few tools but I always start by running a few manual search queries on the terms to see what the competition is like. I go into Google and search for a few terms taking down the top competitors and collecting their URL’s to take into Moz’s opensiteexplorer comparison tool (OSE).
Great insight! It just reinforces what the basics are for SEO before anything else: great content that is SEO-optimized.
The number one feature to stop avoiding is dynamic content — because with it, your opportunities are endless. By learning how to implement this easy-to-use feature, you can create a more targeted and personalized experience for your prospects on forms, landing pages, emails, and your website. And set-up is simple: based on specific criteria that you set, prospects will see a variation of your content wherever you embed the generated code on your website or email.
SEO Keyword Monitoring: If the idea of becoming an “SEO expert” sounds intimidating and has you avoiding the topic altogether, take the first step and let your marketing automation platform show you how you rank for important keywords in your industry. Drill down further into each keyword to see historical data on your rankings, compare your rankings against those of competitors, and set up a weekly report to keep tabs on things.
Lifecycle reporting can give you a high-level overview of the health of your sales cycle, and is a good place to start. See the number of net new prospects for a particular date range, understand how quickly prospects are moving through your pipeline, and drill down into specific prospects to see their full “lifecycle.” With these insights, you can begin to get an idea of how well your sales and marketing teams are coordinating — and find areas that need improvement.
And there are many more features found in MA applications. Keep peeling away the layers to the onion and discover what your MAP has to offer: it’s not a 6 wheeled snowblower that is a bloated software app.
The following report details the overall email marketing trends for the first quarter of 2013 as well as the key performance indicators (KPIs) that shaped the success of Experian Marketing Services clients’ email programs over the past two years.
- Email volume rose by 11.6% in Q1 2013 compared to Q1 2012.
- Unique open rates were up year-over-year by 9.7%
- Unique click rates matched those seen in Q1 2012
- Revenue per email held steady year-over-year at $0.1
Data to benchmark by. See yesterday’s Eloqua scoop for the conversion rates by industry.
Here are two ways marketing can prove to sales that they should actually be the biggest advocates of marketing automation.
Systematically measure marketing like you systematically measure sales. For sales, CRM makes successes and failures visible for all to see. It’s only fair that we move accountability upstream and turn a watchful eye on marketing, but we need a system to track, monitor, and measure marketing success (and failures). That message should resonate with sales. Marketing automation aggregates customer engagement, automates rules for real-time interaction, and tightly integrates with sales processes and systems. No more questions about who contributed what to the pipeline; just tangible results, inside a system of record for marketing accountability.
Quantifiably prove that qualified leads from marketing are truly qualified based on sales accepted criteria. Sales has targets and measures; why shouldn’t marketing? The first step is to identify the exact attributes that make up a qualified lead. This involves a sales-and-marketing joint analysis of the buyer’s journey, the characteristics your best customers have in common, and lifetime customer value. Each stage in the qualification process: marketing-qualified, sales-accepted, sales-qualified, should be identifiable by markers. This creates clear agreement about when – and why – marketing hands a specific lead to sales. Once the qualifications are set, a lead’s attributes and actions can be scored, applying values that sales and marketing determine together. Marketing technology then automates the process, systematically targeting and prioritizing leads based on the scored factors, and moving them to CRM for sales follow-up at just the right time.
Look, marketing automation is not just about lead generation. It’s about engagement with all aspects of the marketplace so as to achieve quantifiable objectives established by your company. The secret: metrics, metrics, metrics.
Marketers tap a variety of communication and engagement tactics across all channels to build relationships and interact with prospects and customers.
Here are 6 tips to leverage marketing automation for your next webinar:
- Trigger event excitement- Send an interactive asset to registrants, such as a video or podcast, highlighting the theme of the event, to get people excited about the content and encourage social sharing.
- Collect Q&A information- Record the questions asked by attendees during a webinar and integrate that data into your CRM to provide sales with deeper intelligence and context for follow-up calls, and to further qualify the opportunity.
- Segment your audience into groups based on key attributes, such as industry vertical, geography, or specific preference. This helps you refine your message and understand which prospects are most likely to convert and why. Segmenting can help reduce list decay and shorten the buy cycle.
- Build drip email campaigns to help move webinar leads from one stage to the next, and progress to conversion. Integrating automation with your webinars offers greater visibility into buyer stage, so you can improve your tactical approach.
- Match your content to your channel or target your invitations to people who you know have expressed interest in your topic. Rather than focusing on the need to cover a ton of ground, focus on exploring one topic in detail to support sound prospect education.
- Score the names generated from webinars- This will support your sales teams so they don’t have to waste time placing calls to the wrong leads. While many names sourced through webinars are early stage, lead nurturing will ensure those names are cultivated over time and scoring will ensure that they automatically get routed to the right person for follow up when the time is appropriate.
You could probably substitute “webinar” with “trade show”, “event”, etc. Tips on how to best leverage MA to get a few layers deeper, and begs the statement “we should really get smarter on webinar marketing.”
Recommendations from friends carry weight, both in person and online. With millions of Internet users interacting via social media every day, search engines have to account for the power of social interaction.
In a previous post, I wrote about many of the scarier myths that are floating around about video in email and gave a few reasons why now might be the right time to put aside those fears and give it a try.
It’s true that not every email client will support video delivery. So, it’s important to know which email clients support HTML5 and also to know your user base.
It’s a little early to claim there are gold standard best practices, but there are a few recommendations that I can make.
- Put the word “video” in the subject line.
- Auto-play should not be an option.
- Provide clear calls-to-action close to the video. Because click-throughs cannot be embedded in a video, you’ll need to provide users with something to click on, whether it’s a button or just a hyperlink near the video.
- The chrome surrounding the video player will vary by email client. Some players are elegantly self-contained; others have bars and buttons that extend the dimensions of the video box. Provide enough whitespace around the video to accommodate the variation in player dimensions.
- Shorter is better.
- Aspirational, experience-based videos tend to do better than how-to’s or overly promotional messages.
For the B2B marketers, we just don’t know if this is viable.
Perhaps I haven’t had enough coffee this morning, but my question:
Can email support an embedded Vine?
An effective lead scoring system can help your marketing, sales and lead generation efforts be more successful. Here are 5 steps your business can take.
1. Define Your Lead Scoring Goals
2. Understand Your Lead Scoring Criteria
3. Establish a Lead Scoring System: Most scoring systems fall into two main categories: demographic scoring or behavioral scoring.
- Demographic: The key demographic factors you’ll want to pay attention to are title and department, company size, revenue and industry. More managers are involved in the buying process than ever before so pay attention to demographics to provide each lead and decision-maker with relevant content.
- Behavioral: The behavior of a prospect includes their website visits, responses to email campaigns, content downloads and willingness to complete an online form.
4. Create a Plan of Action
5. Measure and Refine Your Process
If you’re a MA newbie, this is a nice article that explains what needs to be done for lead scoring (it’s simple…honest). Click through for the details.
mycleveragency have collated a lot of the information and cut through all the jargon and here is a basic guide to what they think makes the ‘perfect
As a guy that manages half a dozen Twitter accounts (personal, book, company, blog and community), I have to disagree with #8 on this infographic.
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