Marketing Automation Begins With Consumer Intelligence

Marketing Automation Begins With Consumer IntelligenceConsumer intelligence comes first. Walmart pioneer Sam Walton was adequately prepared to open his Bentonville, Arkansas dime store to offer customers low prices on daily needs and even niceties for children. Through his small scope in customer interactivity, he was able to affect an entire community – and do so one customer at a time. In today’s budget conscious eco-friendly society, consumerists are jumping straight for automation of customer marketing, taking lesser amounts of time with each campaign in actually segmenting and learning the human’s decision changes before running their diatribe of marketing materials across social media and email marketing platforms. Before any successful automated marketing solution can transpire, proper intelligence into customer needs, desires and budget constraints needs to be passably performed prior to automation if companies want their overall ROAS (return on ad spend) showing up above the red.

Research Habitual Activities

Since marketing automation relies heavily upon proliferation of consumer purchase habits. Since in order for purchases to happen a customer will research, study and interact with certain questions, automated marketing programs will cease effectiveness if specific polls, studies and lead scoring aren’t performed prior to campaign launches. Demographical data, such as geo-specific customer locality and types of products or services being sought online, needs scored along with social media data to propagate factual information sets to be considered when marketing automation processes commence. Since humans are creatures of habit, spending the time to study these habitual activities will provide information your competition fails to collect due to haste.

Giving Away Reaps Equivocal Returns

Another heavily used and plausibly marketable source of collecting customer intelligence is through giveaways such as eBooks, DVD’s or coupons via email or snail mail. Through carefully asked questions placed in data collection fields, you can understand buying habits, collect useful customer database fillers and even learn frequencies of social media interaction – along with what sects are being connected with the most such as family, groups or games. The initial revenue drop experienced through giveaways can easily recuperate with valuable customer information collected.

View Tracking

Commonly called mystery shopping when done in person, another way one can implement customer intelligence into marketing automation betterment would be tracking views in online storefronts. By seeing what customers are looking at but not buying, product offers can be price-adjusted to placate customers who may show interest yet lack funding for your marketed products or services. Views can be tracked through cookie integration or server-side programming which self-tracks pages visited by IP address.

Customer Intelligence Is Obligatory

Marketing automation, undoubtedly, has won the aggressive marketing company and small business over with easy methodologies of handling multiple segments and niches. In order to ameliorate the human error factor, performing customer intelligence prior to sequestering marketing campaigns is an imminent marketing gorilla which must be adamantly tamed through more exacting data collection, scoring and redirection efforts. Without intelligible customer data practices, you’ll begin automating for naught. Spend the quality time in giving away samplings, asking direct questions and viewing your targeted niche from a distance to substantiate, then propagate, more effective marketing automation efforts altogether.

Five Factors to Consider before Choosing Marketing Automation Software

Five Factors to Consider before Choosing Marketing Automation SoftwareThere are five factors to consider before choosing marketing automation software. Those five factors are your marketing department’s capabilities, your marketing needs, your software requirements, transition time and budget.

Your Marketing Department’s Capabilities

This is by far one of the most important factors to consider in choosing marketing automation software. Before actually making a purchase, assess your business’ marketing department. Is your marketing team tech savvy? Are they able to use new software with comfort? If they are used to using complex software, will simpler software make them feel like work is too mundane? Since there are so many choices of marketing automation software out there, an honest assessment of your marketing department significantly narrow down the choices.

What Are Your Marketing Needs?

Lead management or lead acquisition? Fully integrated software to simple marketing software? Discuss your marketing needs in a meeting with your marketing department during the assessment. Compile a list of these needs to find the marketing automation software that’s right for you.

What are Your Software Requirements?

What exactly is it that you need the software to provide? What do you expect out of it? What results are you looking for? These are questions you should be asking yourself in order to narrow down the choices for the best marketing automation software.

Key features to analyze include:

● Landing page management
● Customer segmentation
● Web site activity tracking
● Email distributions
● Real-time notifications
● Form tools
● Survey tools

There are many more features offered by marketing automation software providers, these are just some of the more important features to consider.

Transition Time

Transitioning from your current method of lead management may take some time. Some businesses that use marketing agencies assume that obtaining this software will totally replace all of what the agency does immediately. This is not true. Marketing automation software like any other software has a learning curve, so it will take some time to actually gain full benefit from it.


How much can your company afford to spend on marketing automation software? Keep in mind that you will need to factor in the cost of the software as well as the cost for training and support. Once you decide what your company needs the software for, make an assessment of how much you can spend on it.

Understanding the Lead Management Process

Understanding the Lead Management ProcessA lead is any person, organization or company that could become interested in your products who has not yet made a commitment to buy. Regardless of where you get your leads (trade show, purchased leads, online lead generation, or referrals), you will need a systematic way to receive and evaluate your leads. Your methodology should be consistent and efficiently formatted to expedite entry into your database and distribute it to your sales force. It is important to nurture your contacts more proactively and qualify leads faster, especially if you want to get ahead of your competitors.

The goal of an effective lead management process is to ensure that all sales opportunities are taken advantage of without dropping any qualified leads through cracks in the sales funnel. It will also improve the odds of turning potential leads into new customers. A good lead management process will plan and execute strategic campaigns and effectively measure your marketing ROI.

Did you know that more than half of your leads are not ready to buy after their first experience on your website? If you don’t sell them on your business in the first visit, you may not get them back again. You need to put a lot of work into attracting leads, but how you manage them after the conversion is what will determine if it was time well spent.

In business, time is money! Proper lead management will make your sales team more efficient and effective. Your sales force is paid to make sales and their time needs to be used wisely. It is important to ensure that your sales team is only working on the most qualified leads. Lead management will help you filter out the unqualified leads, so you better understand the buying cycle of those leads with the highest potential.

An effective lead management process helps target more specific customers, which is a more cost-efficient way to generate increased revenue. Inbound marketers put out a lot of new and relevant content on a regular basis. The secret to success comes from knowing exactly which content has attracted someone’s interest. Lead management enables you to identify which content and channels brought in your best, most qualified leads so you can focus your marketing activities and time on those.

A strong lead management system will also create a better experience for your prospects and leads. In a lead management system, content delivered to leads is targeted and tailored to their personal interests. In addition, because lead management documents the full history of their interactions with your company, your leads won’t have to spend as much time educating your sales team about their interests. Sales and marketing are already aligned and have an inside advantage into the customer. Lead management is more than just a software program. It is the secret to converting more sales leads into revenue.

Email Marketing vs Social Media

Email Marketing vs Social MediaThe social media craze among consumers has many B2B marketers thinking about their social media strategy. Often times, email marketing is compared to social media as part of the analysis. Should B2B marketers do one or the other? This raises the question of email marketing vs social media, which one is better and which one should you use? The answer may surprise you.

In the past few years, the focus on email marketing has been dwarfed relative to the focus on social media. It’s taken B2B marketer’s mind share aware from the email marketing. Nielsen recently published e-mail’s share of time declined 28%, putting it in third place, while social networking, the leader, climbed 43%. With so much attention on social media, email marketing strategies have suffered. Its important B2B marketers do not forget to make investments in email marketing though.

42% said they prefer to receive ads for sales via e-mail compared to just 3% who said the same for social-networking sites and 1% who preferred Twitter.

You can bet those numbers are even higher in B2B sales. When’s the last time you were attracted to a B2B solution by browsing Twitter? My guess is you probably haven’t. Moreover, unless you’re in marketing you probably don’t spend much time at all on Twitter or Facebook while at work. But you probably spend time managing your email. Awareness of solutions commonly start from email marketing campaigns.

Email marketing has significant benefit over social media for B2B companies; especially when email marketing is used on conjunction with marketing automation software. Marketing automation software includes email marketing capabilities and enables B2B marketers to execute intelligent campaigns that are highly relevant to buyer’s interests. Email marketing does have some clear advantages vs social media.

Advantages of email marketing over social media:

For example, email marketing allows:

1) more personally relevant emails to be delivered by:
– demographics like age, gender, geography, company size
– visitors interaction with marketing assets
– time since previous interaction
– position in lifecycle – new customers/prospects are sent different messages from old customers/prospects
– follow up on a website interaction like a search or specific page visit

2) greater overall response as responses occur over 12-48 hours rather than 1-2 hours more typical of Twitter and Facebook

3) offers and content can be inserted dynamically into emails

4) responses measured at the individual level of a campaign or offer

5) better follow-up on customer interest via lead nurturing

Advantages of social media over email marketing:

Social media marketing has its own set of benefits relative to email marketing. In particular, raising awareness and collecting customer feedback, something email marketing cannot do (unless you’re using surveys). Here are the top five benefits B2B companies will get from social media marketing.

• Increasing brand awareness
• Educating potential consumers
• Creating visibility
• Building thought leadership
• Gathering positive online reviews

Each marketing strategy has its own benefits, so which one is better? The answer, neither. We do not recommend B2B companies use one strategy over another. We suggest using both together. Email marketing should be integrated with a social media strategy to increase engagement with customers.

Use both email marketing and social media:

In this case, the whole is definitely greater than the sum of the parts. Social media and email marketing should be viewed as complementary strategies to deepen prospect and customer relationships (vs. maximizing outreach). Take the first step in integrating both marketing channels together by adding social media icons to the bottom of your email marketing messages. Next, procure a marketing automation software package, which integrates closed-loop email marketing, to deliver capabilities mentioned in #1 above and elevate your email marketing capabilities to the next phase.

Marketing automation offers automatic lead qualification (lead scoring), lead distribution, lead generation, lead tracking, landing page optimization, and more to automate manual marketing processes, generate more qualified leads, shorten sales cycles, and further deepen your B2B relationships. It also augments traditional email marketing by closing the loop. Most email marketing systems create a “black hole of activity” after an email is opened and initial click-through. Closed-loop email marketing ties past, current, and future web visits together with email opens to build a more accurate profile of a sales lead and presents hot leads to sales in real-time.

To learn how Lead Liaison’s revenue generation software can help you with your marketing automation, email marketing, and social media marketing needs contact us.

We welcome your feedback, comments and suggestions. How do you judge email marketing vs social media for B2B marketing?

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Six Advantages of Marketing Automation Software

Six Advantages of Marketing Automation SoftwareWhat are the advantages of marketing automation software? In order for your sales to increase, your marketing and sales teams have to work together more efficiently. They also have to work efficiently on their respective teams. Quality information is needed for both teams to do this together and individually. Marketing automation software helps provide the productivity boost that both teams need while increasing your sales. Amongst these benefits are many others that can both increase your marketing and sales team’s productivity and increase your company’s sales.

Identifies Quality Leads

Sales representatives and marketing reps may significantly disagree on what each feels is a quality lead. This not only breeds discord between the two departments, but it can also waste your company’s most valuable asset, TIME. The alignment of both sales and marketing is a crucial part of the success of your business, and getting the two on the same page is a hard task; that’s where marketing automation software comes in. The software clearly defines what a quality lead is by using demographics, behavioral data ad a lead scoring system. This information is then ready to be followed up by sales.

Organization and Management

With the use of the CRM system, marketing automation software helps to create a better sense of organization in the marketing department. The marketing team can use the CRM system to:

● Track prospective customers
● Communicate with prospective customers
● Address concerns

The marketing automation software allows the marketing team to do this all while retaining the prospective customers in the sales cycle.

Increase Sales

Marketing automation software makes the sales team more efficient by providing them with:

● Quality leads
● Behavioral data

The combination of these two points single handedly increases productivity in your sales department by 20 percent.

Marketing Campaign Control

Organizing content is by far one of the most important tasks in the marketing department. Marketing and IT have to work together to create web pages that contain content such as advertisements and promotions for campaigns. Marketing automation allows a marketing rep to create web pages directed at campaigns without needing an IT rep.

Identifies Best Campaigns

Marketing automation software minimizes the time it takes to sort through campaigns. The software automatically recognizes which campaigns make the most sense and which are not beneficial to your company. This not only saves time, but provides a better return on dollars put into your marketing programs.

Improved Content Marketing

Marketing automation software can help with developing a successful content marketing strategy. During the buying process a typical sales person is dealing with 3 to 4 stakeholders. Marketing automation software identifies the roles of those involved in the buying process. This helps you to create content that is more targeted to these people, instead of using ‘existing’ content on the site that may not adequately address their needs.

The Key Functions of Marketing Automation Software

Key Functions of Marketing Automation SoftwareWhat are the key functions of marketing automation software? Although people may differ over the exact definition of ‘marketing automation’, one thing that can be agreed upon is the benefits. Marketing automation software provides a mix of benefits, which include improved sales and improved marketing and sales relations. Now that you’ve decided to use marketing automation, you should understand the main functions that bring about these many more benefits.

Identifying Effective Campaigns

Identifying which campaigns could work for your company and which ones won’t is very time consuming. Often times these educated guestimates do not go without potential risks (and there are a lot of them). Marketing automation software takes the guess work out of effective campaign identification. Through sophisticated data, this software accurately identifies which campaigns are worthwhile and which are not. This not only saves time, but also gives you a bigger return on your company’s marketing campaign investments.

Identifying Quality Leads

This is the lifeline of your company. The sales and marketing departments need to work together to see a potential buyer from the query stage to an actual sale. However, this is not always easy. Why? Because both departments often disagree about what constitutes as a quality lead. This translates to a loss of time and the potential oversight of sale. Marketing automation gathers information from your website such as demographics and behavioral data to identify quality leads. This information is then passed on to sales who can follow-up directly with the potential buyer.

Improving Marketing Content

A lot of businesses rely on stale content to ‘seduce’ a potential buyer into a purchase. However, trouble comes when the information isn’t what the potential buyer needs, or when the content doesn’t address the questions or concerns of a potential buyer. Marketing automation software identifies the needs of the potential customers, which helps the marketing team to create appropriate content.

These three main functions can be split and dissected into literally hundreds of benefits that can profit your business. Most marketing automation software programs have the same basic key functions, although they may work differently to achieve the same goal.

Post Sales Follow Up

Post Sales Follow Up ProcessAre you searching for a post sales follow up process to implement at your company? This article provides suggestions. Don’t forget to use marketing automation technology to pre-configure a post sales process like this that automatically schedules tasks for your sales people in your CRM such as You’ll be well on your way to a systematic approach for post sales follow up.

This document covers a proposed process companies could follow with a new customer after making the sale. Being proactive about your customer relationships is not only beneficial for cultivating referrals, it’s preventative medicine when it comes to client defection. Most clients defect to a competitor due to perceived indifference on the part of their current solution provider or vendor. Experts estimate defection rates are over 70 percent. Defection due to price or finding superior product generally occurs at a much lower rate.

Create a Referral Kit

To support your post sales follow up process we suggest creating a Referral Kit. Shall a customer agree to your Referral Program send them a Referral Kit. The Referral Kit includes essential documents and links they can pass on to other companies.

Benefits of a Post Sales Follow Up Process

Following this process provides your company with the following benefits:

1) Up-sell and cross-sell opportunity
– New products
– Edition upgrades
2) Stronger relationships
3) Referral opportunities
– Customer’s partner network
– Customer’s competitors
– Individual’s personal network
4) Public Relations (PR) opportunities
– Press releases
– Testimonials/quotes for our website
– Displaying logo on our website
– Video testimonials
– Reference letter (which we can include in our standard Proposal)

Incentives for Client Referrals

If a customer is interested in a Referral Agreement you should provide some incentive to them. Every use case will be different and may require a different offer. An offer should only be valid for an opportunity that closes as a result of a referral. Here’s a list of possible offers to consider extending (primarily for subscription-based businesses):

1) Reduction in annual subscription for the next Contract Year (5% or 10%) for every referral that closes.
2) 5% to 10% commission on a sales resulting from a referral.
3) Free upgrade for every two (2) referrals that close.
4) AMEX gift card for $500 for every deal that closes.
5) Discount on first year subscription license for referred customer (5% up to 20%).

Example Post Sales Follow Up Process

An example post sales follow up process that spans a period of 12 months is below.

Day 1

Thank them for being a customer.

Send standard Thank You email that is already created using Lead Liaison’s platform.

1 Month

Assess the overall experience.

1) How was the On-Boarding experience?
2) By the way, when is your birthday? Note, get birthdays for the key folks
3) Send Thank You note
4) How are things going?
5) What are you unhappy with?
6) How can we do a better job?
7) Does anyone need personal training?

3 Months

Elicit product feedback. Ask them to be a reference.

Feedback Questions
1) What improvements in our product/service would you like to see?
2) What feature(s) are you using the most?
3) What feature(s) are you not using at all?
4) What new feature(s) would you like to see and how would you prioritize those?
5) What’s different now compared to your expectations going in?
6) Is there anything that you don’t understand or anything that doesn’t make sense to you and/or your team?

Reference Questions
1) Would you be willing to act as a reference for us?
2) If yes, could we also add you to our Referral List which we hand out to prospects who request it?
3) What’s the best way to work with your company on PR opportunities (see #4 above under “Benefits”)?

6 Months

Secure referrals. Invite them to share experiences on blog.

1) Who do you know that might appreciate knowing about our company’s products/services?
2) After you get the first name, say, “Who else do you know?” Repeat the process until your client runs out of names.
3) Would you be interested in establishing a formal Referral Partnership with us?
4) Would you be interested in ghost blogging on our blogging platform (asked to head marketer)?

9 Months

Express gratitude. Warm them up for renewal.

Send key employees a company a T-Shirt.

11 Months

Secure critical feedback to prepare for renewal.

Send customer survey (using Lead Liaison’s software). Update of any contact info – new people, phones, email, office location.

Repeat Cycle Every 3 Months

Keep the relationship warm.

Schedule phone calls every 3 months after the first year. Look for referral, reference and up-sell/cross-sell opportunity

Need a copy of a Referral Agreement? Want to take a look at our Referral Kit? Ping us.

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Why CEOs Need Marketing Automation

Why CEOs Need Marketing AutomationWhy do CEOs need marketing automation? Are you struggling to justify marketing automation within your organization? Use these 5 reasons to sell CEOs on why they will fall in love with marketing automation:

Marketing Automation Can Provide Accurate Metrics for ROI

One of the biggest complaints CEOs have about spending marketing dollars is that there rarely is enough data provided about anticipated ROI. CEOs need to have the ability to accurately ascertain the ROI on every dollar spent on marketing. Until now, this knowledge has been elusive. Marketing automation and lead management processes offer CEOs the visibility they require.

Sales Cost Decrease With Marketing Automation

Why do sales teams ignore more than 80% of incoming marketing leads? The reason is clear; they don’t value the quality of those leads. Companies expend valuable resources to retain sales reps, therefore, the productivity associated with the resources is critically important. CEOs naturally favor ensuring that these resources are used in the most productive ways. Marketing automation can assist in passing qualified leads to sales by providing more sales intelligence. Sales reps can now increase the likelihood of success on incoming leads.

Marketing Automation Helps CEOs Understand How Marketing Impacts the Bottom Line

Most CEOs are frustrated with marketers who keep talking about brand value and brand equity that can’t be directly linked back to results that truly matter: market valuation, revenue, sales, and EBIT. Although marketing automation doesn’t directly assist with determinations on the money spent on branding efforts, it can help with assessing the ROI of marketing campaigns; this can shed light on how to best spend those branding dollars.

CEOs Can Effectively Track Increases in Revenue

The ultimate goal of marketing automation is to increase revenue and maximize resources. Over time, marketing automation should assist in providing warmer leads for sales reps. This ultimately leads to quicker closes. Additionally, greater intelligence and insights provide sales reps with a better chance of finding people when they are actively interacting with the website, landing pages, and campaigns.

CEOs Can See How Lead Management Evolves Into a Competitive Advantage

Marketing automation coupled with a process that spans lead generation will inevitably evolve into a competitive business advantage. Marketing automation is one component that leads to revenue increases, qualified leads and frees companies up from bloated and costly legacy processes.

Take Action – Like Barbie!

It’s clear that marketing automation can make things easier and lead to revenue increases and qualified leads. CEOs can measure the data provided on marketing efforts, sales costs decrease, and CEOs can understand how marketing efforts affect the bottom line. Once CEOs are able to effectively track revenue increases and see how lead management leads to a competitive advantage, CEOs will be more willing to invest more resources into marketing.

It’s time to streamline the sales process and achieve a greater percentage of sales successes. Marketing automation can deliver these results quickly and efficiently. Choose to take advantage of the benefits marketing automation can offer now. Your CEO will appreciate the effort and the convenience this resource can offer.

Are you a CEO or C-Level employee that wants to learn more about Lead Liaison’s Revenue Generation Software™ providing marketing automation technology? Ping us!

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Sources: The Aberdeen study performed in 2009 concluded that 80% of marketing efforts to generate leads are ignored by sales teams.

What is Marketing Automation and Should You Care?

What is Marketing Automation and Should You Care?What is marketing automation anyways? Companies need to look for ways to develop marketing strategies in the highly competitive business world today and produce satisfactory results. Studies have shown that companies who have achieved high annual revenue and return on marketing investment were four times more likely to implement market automation.

When it’s time to make a strong business case to upper management for implementing marketing automation solutions, it helps to understand where the benefits can be achieved and what functions can be performed. Before we discuss the tangible and intangible benefits, let’s take a look at what marketing automation means.

Basically, marketing automation is software that automates marketing processes such as defining, scheduling, tracking and creating marketing campaigns.

The benefits to a company are listed below.

Marketing Automation Benefits

● Improved engagement with customers and prospects resulting in more deepened relationships.
● Repetitive tasks reduced so the marketing team can focus on marketing strategy.
● Improved customer satisfaction and retention resulting in quality of sales being improved.
● Reduced costs and increased productivity.
● A marketing strategy can be reviewed and approved through an automation process resulting in quick decisions.
● Marketing campaigns can be stored in a centralized system for easy access to all team members.

There are many functions that can be performed by market automation. Let’s focus on what these functions can do for your company.

Marketing Automation Functions

Lead Management – This process can score prospects and move them up and down in the sales funnel based on who they are and what they do. Only the best leads will be passed to the sales team thereby reducing time wasted on customers who are not ready to buy.
Build Emails – Emails can be automatically created using a database of customers and delivered at the ‘right time’ based on their behaviour on social media or visits to your web pages.
Track Marketing Campaigns – By tracking results of phone or email campaigns you can improve the ones that work and abandon the ones that fail.
Provide Metrics – Reports can be created to provide for strategic planning. Metrics can be obtained from your website by looking at who is visiting your site, what pages they are visiting and what actions they are taking.
Data Collection – Data can be collected from numerous databases to effectively target customers.
Automate Inquiries – Processes can be put in place to handle sales inquiries and comments. Faster response times will increase conversion rates.
Customer profiling – Data can be gathered for a campaign based on demographics such as geography, age, gender, interests, etc.

Marketing automation technology is here to stay. It has become a critical component for organizations and it will be very difficult to compete without it.

We encourage you to learn more about how Lead Liaison’s Revenue Generation Software™ provides marketing automation technology that harnesses the benefits and functionality mentioned above.

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