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An Innovative Marketing Team

TeslaI was thinking today about how amazing Tesla’s marketing team is.  Their budget is dwarfed compared to their competition.  In fact, I have read reports that Tesla spends just $6 per car sold!  Toyota, their next most efficient competitor spends 40 times more for a car that costs 1/5 the price! A very small percentage of the population has owned (or even sat in) their car, yet a very high percentage would say that they would like to own one.  Tesla launched in 2003, and has slowly built up a fan base of customers… who don’t drive Tesla’s (yet).

How have they done this? After doing some research, I found these things:

  1. They had a vision before others.  The oldest millennials were only 12 years old, and had not developed a consumer personality, when Tesla was founded in 2003.  They realized that their immediate buyers would pay a premium to work out the technical kinks of developing an electric vehicle; while also buying time to build a long term brand focused on a new generation.
  2. They told a story.  Elon Musk, cofounder, CEO and Chairman of Tesla Motors, has promoted his vision, much like Bill Gates (a computer in every home) or Henry Ford (a car for every family) did before him.  This story was told over and over to people whom Tesla would not even target as potential buyers… for DECADES!
  3. Low cost communications.  The days of large media spends are dwindling in a new, hyper targeted communication’s economy.  No longer do effective marketers dominate market share through spray and pray communications such as TV and radio.  Instead, innovative companies are looking for ways to win the hearts of customers through personalized messaging.
  4. They have harnessed the halo effect and emotion.  Buyers of a Tesla see something sleek, innovative, and different.  As Americans, we are drawn to elegant design and prestige. Tesla has tapped into those emotions.  By playing to the heart of your consumer, they do not need to “sit” in a product to know that they will like it when they do.

Often times, in the world of marketing, we forget about relationships and emotions.  We can focus too heavily on strict budget and ROI analysis.  Our communications tend to be centered around “Fact Sheets”, price, and comparative analysis…  and we ignore the negative consequences that such approaches have on building the brand.

Likewise, most marketers tend to focus heavily on top and middle of the funnel prospect acquisition; instead of leveraging their core competency as chief communicator to touch on the hearts of the people that are going to buy from you.

Would your owners/investors/executive suite support you in taking a long term branding approach to achieve exponential success?  What creative means might you employ in your organization to build loyalty and a “cool” factor for your offering?  How would you change your core messaging and approach if your goal was to be the most successful company in your industry over the next 14 years; instead of being focused on next quarter?

Lead Liaison’s marketing automation encourages marketers to focus on long-term results and long-term relationships. Let one of Lead Liaison’s experts show you around our software. You’ll be surprised what all we support, and how easy it can be to shift gears.

5 Ways to Keep Your Marketing Organized

I was working with one of our new clients the other day and they asked how successful companies get started with marketing automation. Without hesitation, I answered “they get organized.”

It sounds simple, sure, but when you’re dealing with a database of thousands of prospects and hundreds of pieces of content, it gets a bit more intimidating. Sure, you could send generic emails and event invites to your whole database, but are you going to get great engagement? Probably not. Unless you’ve got a way to personalize content and track ROI, you’re just throwing stuff at the wall to see what sticks.

Luckily with Lead Liaison you don’t have to do it on your own. Let’s look at five awesome ways you can keep your marketing team on top of everything.

  1. Segmentations – The way you segment your database is key to how successful any campaign will be. We can automatically build segmentations based on your prospects’ individual profiles. All you do is tell our system what to look for. Do you want to market to all CMOs in the state of Georgia in the entertainment industry? Great, we’ll search your database, find all of them, and make a custom marketing list. Best of all, we’ll add new prospects as they come in and remove them if they no longer fit your criteria. Learn more about segmentations here.
  2. Tagging – Tags are one of the best ways to keep track of who is interested in what. When a prospect engages with your content, attends a show, views a webinar, or any other engagement you can think of, we can automatically tag them. Say they attended your 2017 We’re Awesome Webinar. We can tag them with the event name automatically when they attend. Later, if you want to build a nurture drip campaign around attendees, just search for prospects with that tag. Easy! Oh, and it’ll be even easier at live events with some cool things coming down the line.
  3. Campaigns – When we say campaign, we’re talking about your marketing efforts around a specific topic or event. Say you have a new product coming out. Your marketing for that product would go into a Lead Liaison campaign. And, because we’re not just an email marketing platform, we would also track your multi-channel marketing pieces. Since you can add a cost to the campaign, you’d have a super easy time finding your ROI. And because you’ve segmented and tagged your prospects for targeted content, that ROI will look pretty nice.
  4. Programs – Think of a program as a campaign of campaigns. While you would have a campaign for a specific trade show, you would have a program for all trade shows that year. And yes, this includes the costs of the individual campaigns. This could help you answer that age-old question, did you actually make money from the trade shows you attended this year? In my book, that’s a must-know for any B2B organization.
  5. Folders – Folders are great. You can put any list, segmentation, automation, campaign, or program into a folder. Want to see all of your marketing content that’s geared toward CMOs? Look in your CMO folder. Want to see all of your drip campaigns? Look in the drip campaign folder. Forget searching through pages of content if you want to make a tweak. Yes, it will take some initial setup, but you’ll be paid back the time spent tenfold.

The big takeaway is that organization will streamline your marketing pushes. Imagine being able to send truly relevant content to the right people, and then having the time to figure out who really is a qualified lead. I can tell you this, the sales team will love you for it, and the execs will love the detailed ROI.

Want to learn more about who Lead Liaison can help you organize? Give us a shout!

 

Why Blogging Should Be a Key Part of Your Marketing Plan

BloggingDid you know that 70 percent of the links that people click on online are organic?

In other words, 7 out of 10 internet users ignore paid ads and click on natural links, like blog posts and articles, instead.

While there are many ways to attract organic traffic, blogging is the best option. Companies that run blogs have 434 percent more indexed pages than companies that don’t blog. That means they have 434 percent more chances to get those organic clicks.

With amazing stats like that, you probably think that blogging is hard to do. In reality, it isn’t just effective. It’s also incredibly easy.

Easy Content Creation with Blogging

Blogging has never been easier than it is right now. Software like WordPress allows companies to create and manage their blogs for free. The simple interface is easy to use, and you can even customize the design without any technical knowledge. These simple tools have leveled the playing field and made it easy for everyone to blog.

Creating your blog is one thing, though. Running it effectively is another. Follow some tips so you can get the most out of blogging.

Tips for Blogging

First and foremost, you need to write blogs that people want to read. Use your social media channels to pick your followers’ brains. Find out what they want to read about and then write about those topics.

You can also repurpose some content for your blog. Take an e-book that you’ve written and break it up into blog posts, or turn an interesting press release into a blog. This will make it easier for you to keep coming up with new content.

Next, you need to remain consistent with your blogging. If you post once a week, post on the same day. Don’t miss a week or people will think your blog is dead.

You also need to use keywords in your blog posts. That way, people will find you. Use the AdWords Keyword Planner or another tool to find your keywords. Also, don’t go with simple keywords. Use long-tail keywords so you reach your target market.

Finally, use social media to promote your blog posts. Share your posts across all of your social media channels and write a short snippet of what each post is about. This is a great way to get more traffic.

Now, you finally are ready to start blogging. Download the software and fine-tune the design. Then, write your first post and introduce your new blog to the world. It won’t be long before you reap the benefits of blogging.

Interested in tracking the activity that your blog receives, and having the ability to continue to nurture those potential clients in new and inventive ways? Request a demonstration of our marketing automation software from one of our experts!

 

The #1 Mistake that Prospective Marketing Automation Buyers Make

marketing automation decisionsWe won’t beat around the bush.  The number one mistake that prospective marketing automation buyers make is delaying a decision.

This results in:

  • Lost opportunity cost for your company
  • Jeopardizing your current and future employment opportunities because you are missing out on providing your organization a basic necessity
  • Giving your competition a bigger head start in marketing
  • Failing to support your sales staff (and we’ve never met a sales manager that said “let’s not sell anything for the next few months… while we get our ducks in a row.”)

Now, let’s look at some of the reasons that you might delay your decision (and why you are wrong if you do):

1. You don’t want to be “tied down” to a technology until you are sure that you have found the right one.

The reality: Most commitments are only one year in length.  If you look at three marketing automation providers and choose one within a month, you might be questioning your abilities as a marketer.

2. You want to make sure you have all of the features that you need.

The reality: While this is a very justifiable goal, the reality is that this is a moving target. It’s far more important to do something today, than to worry about not being able to execute an advanced functionality 8 months from now. Why? Well, first of all, 8 months from now you won’t be in a position to use that functionality because you are so far behind already. Secondly, if you lack that functionality at that time, you can make plans to upgrade vendors as you learn from doing. You will still be 8 months ahead of schedule!

3. You are “too busy.”

The reality: If you are telling your management team that you are too busy to maximize the success of your sales and marketing team because you can’t automate, you clearly are not looking to end your struggles anytime soon.

Cost

There is a HUGE cost in going through too many rounds of reviews (or looking at too many vendors). Consider one company who went through at least 5 rounds of reviews as they whittled their list from 20 to 3 vendors! Each review had 3-6 employees involved. A conservative estimate is that they spent 450 person hours thinking about which software they would buy. To put another way, they spent $30,000 to make sure that they didn’t overpay for a $15,000 software decision. This doesn’t even factor in the $100,000+ that they lost in missed sales opportunities during that time.

So, what are our recommendations?

  1. Look for products that are highly rated on vendor review sites.  Pay particular attention to reviewers that are in your line of business. G2 Crowd & Capterra are perhaps two of the best sources of legitimate reviews for software products.
  2. Be prepared with 2-3 core strategies that you would like to execute in the first 30-60 days. Insist that the prospective vendors are able to meet those needs.
  3. Once you know you can accomplish your central needs, focus on the marketing automation vendor’s reputation for execution and support. Software is only 40% of the equation. The other 60% lies in how the well that vendor actually performs and supports their clients. We’d much prefer a vendor that has excellent support and onboarding over someone with an esoteric plug-in!

Here are a few tips for success:

  • Have a plan before you speak with any vendors.
  • Know what your budget is.
  • Know what you want to do.
  • Know who will have the final decision on the project.

That information will give you much more leverage to negotiate the best deal for your company and your potential marketing automation partner.

Most of all: Don’t be afraid to pull the trigger. Regardless of who you chose to work with; you are going to learn more (and experience more success) by doing. Don’t fall victim to paralysis by analysis in your marketing automation decision-making process.

 

Interested in seeing what a great demonstration should look like?

Tips on How to Be More Personable on the Phone

phone

There’s a good chance that you spend a lot of time on the phone for work. You might have to prospect for clients or speak to existing clients. Whatever the case may be, you need to be as personable as possible. Follow these tips and you’ll be more personable and engaging in no time at all.

Keep Good Notes

Keep good notes when you interact with people on the phone. Then, you can refer to those notes to add a personal touch during later phone conversations. For instance, the person you are speaking with might mention that he or she likes pizza. Nest time you speak, you can talk about a pizza joint that you found in the area. Your client will be touched that you remembered that detail, and it’s simple to do when you take good notes. It also strengthens your relationship with that person, allowing them to trust you (and your business) more.

Have a Personal Conversation

It’s normal to want to rush off the phone, but it’s hard to make a personal connection if you’re always in a hurry. Set aside a few minutes at the start of the call to have a personal conversation. Ask about the person’s family or talk about what he or she did over the weekend. Share some of your own personal details as well. But, try to also be respectful of their time and pick up on hints that indicate that they want to get straight to the point.

Use the Prospect’s First Name

Some people think that you need to use Mr. or Mrs. when talking to clients or prospects since the formal title is a sign of respect. However, Mr. or Mrs. sounds very formal. Instead, use the person’s first name when appropriate, but do it in a polite way. You can even ask, “Do you mind if I call you Mark?” before proceeding.

Avoid Hands-Free Devices and Speakerphone

You’re going to sound much more personable if the prospect or client has your undivided attention. You can’t give that when you’re using a hands-free device or a speakerphone. You’ll start shuffling papers or completing other tasks, and that will make it hard to be stay focused. Speak directly into the phone so the prospect or client knows that you are concentrating on the conversation.

Provide Verbal Feedback

Verbal feedback gives you the opportunity to connect with others. Let people know that you’re listening to them by providing this feedback. Remember, they can’t see you! The only way they know that you are listening is if you make comments that indicate you are listening and absorbing everything that they have to say. This will help you form another connection with the person at the other end of the line.

Use each of these tips when you speak on the phone. Soon, the actions will become second nature. You will find yourself going back to your notes, offering verbal feedback, and more every time you talk on the phone.

Interested in practicing your phone skills on us? Give us a ring! We’d love to talk to you about other tips that we can offer marketers, sales people, and business people of all kind! 1 (888) 895-3237

Buzzwords in Marketing Automation: Clickthrough Rate (CTR)

Clickthrough Rate (CTR): its meaning and how to apply it. A part of the series Buzzwords in Marketing Automation.

Companies dedicate a lot of resources to creating marketing content. But what’s more important is measuring the effectiveness of that content, so that you know where to spend those marketing dollars going forward. The calculation of a particular content’s clickthrough rate can be an effective tool to measure how well your keywords and ads are performing. It calculates the number of clicks that your link receives divided by the number of times your link is shown,  formatted as a percentage.

clickthrough rateA Quantifiable Number

These days, it’s hard to measure the emotional reaction to a piece of virtual content. Measuring the clickthrough rate allows you to see who engaged with an ad or call to action (CTA) in an email campaign – indicating that they were interested. A high CTR says that people want to know more. A low CTR indicates that your ad might need some improvement, or possibly that your call to action was not relevant enough.

Observation

Another way to measure interest in your content, particularly sales emails, would be with a tracking plugin. This allows you to observe the clickthrough. Lead Liaison has a Google Mail plugin called Send & Track, which allows senders to track 1:1 emails by reporting if and when the recipient opened a link within the message. What’s more, when a recipient clicks on the link within your email, Lead Liaison’s ProspectVision™ is then able to connect that person to all of their actions within your website.

The key is to find out what’s working and what’s not. Paying attention to this information will help justify resources spent, and will make you more prepared to make content decisions going forward.

Reflections on Marketing Automation in 2016

Reflections on Marketing AutomationWe live in a time of extraordinary change. Marketing has come a long way in a small amount of time. And the industry is just continuing to refine itself! To be able to entirely appreciate the current state of marketing automation, it’s best to briefly acknowledge where it has been.

Marketing automation first came into existence in 1992, focusing on email alone. Businesses did not have a lot of online presence at the time, so there wasn’t really a huge opportunity for it to take off until the late 2000’s. Now, it has grown its capabilities so greatly that it is able to help companies deliver various marketing content through different channels to customers based on their online behavior.

As digital platforms become increasingly more powerful, there is more untapped data at our fingertips than ever. The need for organizing, integrating, and maximizing the benefits of that data has become essential. The phrase “work smarter, not harder” rings true. We have access to increasing demographic, psychographic, historical, and behavioral information. It’s information overload!

Marketing Automation now has the ability to capture all of this data, listen to it, interpret it, and utilize it in the most effective ways possible. The field of marketing automation is something that started small, exploded, and is now refining itself. Technology is more intuitive. Platforms are becoming easier to navigate. Consequently, the tools are more often used to their fullest potential.  Companies such as us have mastered content personalization, customizable resource centers, and integration.

What’s to Come in Marketing Automation

The marketing automation industry is somewhat saturated. This can be beneficial to the end user, in that companies must listen to their clients’ needs, wishes, and dreams. Even more customization, personalization and integration (with systems like mail or additional CRMs) is in the near future.

Another thing that is fast-approaching is an upgrade to the customer journey, or more specifically customer journey optimization. Instead of combining many customers’ courses of action into a few general paths, automation is challenged to grow to support infinite customer journeys. According to industry expert David Raab, this is “quite different from pre-determining an ideal customer journey and trying to force customers to follow it.” The industry seems to be taking back control over the user experience, instead of just reacting to it.

It’s an exciting time in marketing automation. With every challenge comes greater exploration and innovation. What do you see on the horizon for the industry? We look forward to hearing your feedback below!

How to Make Your Mobile Marketing Work Harder

This article was posted as a Guest Blog Post relating to Salesforce.com.

Does your mobile marketing match your consumers’ use of their devices? If you’re like most companies, the answer is “Probably not.”

There are different types of mobile users—regular, super, addicts, all of whom can be affected by mobile marketing in some way. How you reach them depends in part on the individual setups they have—push notifications, for example. Of course, push notifications equals more times opening an app. But push notifications can’t and shouldn’t be random. They should be designed to create an experience and action, as should SMS marketing.

The majority of customers wouldn’t mind more contact from brands using SMS marketing. Those messages get the attention of customers in a crowded world, and they often result in very quick review of a message.

There is a great gap between how much time we spend on our phones, and how much (or little) companies are investing in mobile advertising.

How important is mobile marketing

 

How can you make your mobile marketing work harder and smarter? To learn more about the potential in mobile marketing and the various ways to engage customers, check out Marketing Cloud’s article Mobile Marketing Examples to Energize Your 2016 Campaigns.

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Artificial Intelligence and Marketing Automation

Artificial Intelligence and Marketing AutomationAs marketing and technology continue to embrace one another, it seems inevitable that the future holds great innovations, especially in the field of marketing automation. While marketing automation has made many common marketing tasks like copywriting and strategy computerized, there is a field of marketing jobs that are still to be innovated using technology. As technology evolves, the possibilities of artificial intelligence and marketing automation are real.

Marketing automation is a billion dollar market but despite the money being invested into it, we still haven’t figured out a way to consistently legitimize the data and use it to make action plans. All in all, marketing still relies heavily on the people behind the marketing including our biases, beliefs, opinions, experiences, and education. Since the majority of customers are constantly connected via social media or mobile devices, the influx of data received is often overwhelming. Marketing automation can save time and money while increasing efficiency, but still, when it comes to providing us with information about consumer spending habits and buy decisions, those statistics are often confusing and platforms used can’t strategically recommend action plans.

All of these significant problems have one solution and a grand one at that: artificial intelligence. While it may seem like a notion straight out of a science fiction movie, artificial intelligence is actually used among some of the most profitable companies marketing automation programs including Amazon, Netflix, and Facebook. Artificial intelligence is used to turn data into real, marketable experiences that drive traffic and attract customers. Instead of raw data, you get highly personalized content that delivers as if a person with tone, personality, and voice wrote the content. This means that customers and potential customers are more connected to the material and, therefore, more likely to engage and buy.

Natural language, dynamic learning, and hypothesis generation are all traits of a successful artificial intelligence program. Marketing automation uses these programs by adding an intellectual layer to the marketing – this means that content generated is done much faster, more effectively, and cheaper than any employee could ever do. The future of artificial intelligence in marketing automation means that time spent reviewing analytics, writing and scheduling social media posts, copywriting and a variety of other time consuming tasks could be done by your automation program. This frees you up from repetitive tasks and gives you the ability to focus on moving leads throughout the purchasing funnel while establishing important relationships with customers.

Artificial intelligence and marketing automation together  is the next logical advancement in the evolution of marketing automation. Driven marketing tools will deliver more personalized content that’s intelligent – already this technology is being used when delivering online customer service chat sessions. Self-service web, voice response systems, and other marketing automation media incorporating artificial intelligence will be coming to a marketing automation system near you. The future is here!