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Marketing Technologies

Marketing TechnologiesMarketers have a plethora of diverse marketing technologies to help with advertising, social media, operations and other aspects of their job. The overwhelming abundance of marketing technologies pulls marketers in different directions. It’s often times helpful to take a step back, re-focus and look at marketing technology from a 10,000 foot view. Scott Brinker, www.chiefmartec.com, created a diagram of the various marketing technology groups. We thought we’d share it with you. Scott groups marketing technologies into three domains:

External promotion (orange) such as advertising and social media marketing
Customer experience (blue) that you operate and control, such as your website
Marketing management (green) that runs the organization behind the scenes

Where does Lead Liaison fit into this diagram? The toughest part is sticking our software into a box. We’re not just a single product or technology, rather – a platform. Our revenue generation software overlaps with marketing automation, email marketing, landing pages and micro sites, sales automation and business intelligence to improve customer experience and facilitate marketing management. As our platform evolves we’ll likely leverage core feature sets from other marketing technologies to continue to expand our platform while enhancing our value to sales, marketers and executives.

Want a demo of our revenue generation software?

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Strategic Marketing Tools

Strategic Marketing Tools

Millions of marketing teams struggle finding the right strategy to market their solutions. Marketing tools help marketers do their job more effectively and efficiently; however, finding the right set of strategic marketing tools can be a bear. Fortunately, we’ve compiled a list of strategic marketing tools for you and encourage you to help us build upon this list. We categorized each tool into its respective marketing bucket. If your marketing team doesn’t have these tools to support their campaign, go get them! Note, we’ll keep this list dynamic and continue adding tools to it over time. What are your favorite strategic marketing tools?

Finding Professional Business Contacts

Data.com
Hoovers (primarily executives)
LinkedIn
Lead Liaison
ZoomInfo
NetProspex

Finding Companies

Hoovers
Lead Liaison
Data.com (limited company search)

Social Media

TweetDeck
AddThis
Facebook
LinkedIn
Twitter
Radian6 (owned by Salesforce.com)

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEOMoz
SeoQuake (+ plugins for Firefox)

Analytics

Google Analytics
Adobe Online Marketing Suite (Omniture)

Revenue Generation Software

Lead Liaison
• All the other wanna-bes

Email Marketing

iContact
Constant Contact
Vertical Response
Lead Liaison (closed loop)
ExactTarget

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Salesforce.com
SugarCRM
Microsoft Dynamics
NetSuite
Maximizer

Press Releases

PRWeb
PR Newswire

Disclaimer: Lead Liaison has no affiliation with any of these tools, except our own 😉

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Do Not Complicate Marketing, Simplify It

Don't Complicate Marketing - Simplify ItScott Brinker, a marketing technologist and author of the chiefmartec.com blog, recently posted an article on Why marketers should learn how to program. We couldn’t disagree more with several of Scott’s thought-provoking concepts. Do not complicate marketing – simplify it.

Technology changes marketing – without question. Social media, blogs, online surveys, email marketing, YouTube are all examples of technology that inspires marketers to think differently about marketing strategies and campaigns. Learning to program doesn’t help a marketer harness marketing technology. Computer programming is not for everyone. Some marketers are technical and some are not. For the ones that aren’t technical or analytically-minded, don’t try telling them to program as the solution. You’ll have better luck asking an English teacher to become a microbiologist. There are many types of programming (C/C++, Java, PHP, ASP…the list goes on), all programming is different (web based, machine languages) and learning is not an overnight endeavor. You’ll just confuse the marketer. Make their life simpler, not harder. The answer to how to embrace new and innovative marketing technology is…hold your breath, new and innovative marketing technology.

Technology can improve processes and also simplify them at the same time. Scott is correct; there are a growing number of choices for marketing software. However, marketers must choose wisely. They must be careful to not adopt software platforms designed by engineers – which virtually requires a programmer to configure. Adopting marketing software designed by sales and marketers, instead of engineers, is vital. These packages were built to offer simplicity and ease of use that marketers expect. Case in point, Scott showed a screen shot (snippet below) of a complicated flow chart depicting a marketing campaign. If you want marketers to run then show them a flow chart like this.

Marketing Campaign Flow Chart

Scott also discusses a few other points. He suggests the cast of players around a marketer is growing and learning programming will help you speak their ‘native tongue’. Why not learn from the players themselves? Surely the players don’t understand some of your marketing terms. They might be interested in a quick lesson. Collaborating with your colleagues will only foster intra-company relations and build moral. Maybe you could send them to Douglass Karr’s The Marketing Technology Blog to read about these marketing terms.

Whether it’s marketing terms or marketing software, let’s not complicate marketing, let’s simplify it.

For a simplistic, yet amazingly powerful, software package that increases effectiveness of your sales and marketing team check out Lead Liaison’s Revenue Generation Software.

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Marketing Campaign Messaging

Marketing Campaign MessagingMarketing campaign messaging is important, but it’s more important to think about who you’re messaging to. When building a campaign, it doesn’t make sense to make a one-size fits all message. Sales and marketing people need to tailor messaging around the recipient. Similar to giving a presentation, before you present you’ve got to know your audience. You must know who you’re presenting to. Are they engineers or marketers, technical or business savvy? If you don’t know the exact title or role of your recipients then try categorizing them into organization levels. We suggest using three levels; C-level, Director/VP-level and everyone else (rank and file). Here are some tips on how to focus your marketing campaign messaging around these organizational levels:

C-level

Focus campaign messaging on outcome and results.

Director and VP-level

Focus campaign messaging on process and improvement results.

Rank and File

Focus campaign messaging on features and benefits.

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Marketing on a Small Budget

Marketing on a Small Budget

Are you a small business owner who needs marketing on a small budget? If so, you’re not alone. New businesses are popping up every day. The number of businesses in the US alone is pushing 25 million, many of which are B2B businesses. How do you generate more business in such a competitive environment? Here’s the good news, marketing on a small budget is possible by doing four basic things:

1. Purchase and setup a CRM system
2. Create a systematic approach to content creation
3. Start blogging, with references to your content (or a blog post as your content)
4. Procure Revenue Generation Software to automatically filter hot leads and maximize your first three investments

I remember when we first started Lead Liaison. It was embarrassing to monitor Google Analytics and only see three to four website visitors per day. No one could find us. Since being found we’ve increased our web traffic by seven fold, up 775%! We did it with a $0 marketing budget. To get found, you’ve got to get on the internet. The easiest thing to do is to create a blog system that automatically optimizes your pages for SEO. Create SEO-enabled content by optimizing your page around certain phrase or keywords and watch your traffic sky rocket. In fact, we’re writing this page with “marketing on a small budget” as our keyword. There’s no better way to market on a small budget than to create blog posts, for free!

Continue feeding your blog posts with valuable content. Check out our post, 101 Business to Business Lead Generation Ideas and Tips to get some content ideas. Here’s a quick tip, use an existing whitepaper, “section it off” and blog about each section. Also, use 3rd party content and blog about that – blogs don’t have to be ideas of your own or unique content. Just avoid copying/pasting content. Search engine spiders are smart.

Finally, get the most out of marketing on a small budget by purchasing Revenue Generation Software to rev up your marketing engine. Revenue Generation Software provides CRM integration, email marketing, lead distribution, lead generation, lead management, lead nurturing, lead qualification, marketing automation, sales prospecting and sales force automation in a single package. Most systems can be purchased for the price of a trade show. If you’re struggling to budget for Revenue Generation Software drop a trade show or pull back on direct mail and consider the ROI of Revenue Generation Software. Your team will see a significant boost in operational efficiency, more leads, more qualified leads and adopt a systematic approach to your sales and marketing process – which small businesses usually struggle with.

Let us know if you’d like to learn more about marketing on a small budget, creating a blog that’s automatically configured for SEO and what Revenue Generation Software can do for your business.

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Increase ROI of Inbound Marketing

Increase ROI of Inbound MarketingWe recently had a meeting with one of our prospects who told us they do no outbound marketing (or “push marketing”) and focus solely on inbound marketing. At first, they said they didn’t need Lead Liaison because they don’t do outbound marketing. They couldn’t be more wrong. Coincidentally, if you’re only doing inbound marketing you can’t afford to not have Lead Liaison. This meeting as well as the overall public debate on inbound marketing vs outbound marketing sparked a discussion internally on how to increase ROI of inbound marketing using Lead Liaison’s revenue generation software. We documented some of these reasons for you, enjoy!

Using technology to increase ROI of inbound marketing

Lead Liaison provides a revenue generation platform that boosts ROI of inbound marketing. Here’s a list of how our solutions can help you:

Lead tracking

As prospects find you as a result of your SEO, content and social media strategies (three core components of inbound marketing) they’ll eventually find their way back to your website. Lead tracking technology identifies the name of the business visiting your website along with business intelligence information (revenue, location, description, etc.), telling sales when someone is interested – all in real time. Lead tracking also records a website visitor’s online behavior including pages viewed and keywords used in searches to help sales and marketers understand what prospects care about.

Content creation

Revenue generation software helps marketers spin up new landing pages and web forms in minutes. Instead of relying on HTML programming or IT support, marketers create professional looking landing pages and web forms using a visual designer. The visual designer is similar to PowerPoint and uses drag and drop technology to construct content. Generous use of landing pages and web forms is typically a good thing. It’s common to create a landing page with a web form for each new content area or content piece in your marketing library. Doing so will increase the probability of capturing leads and increase ROI of inbound marketing.

Database segmentation

As an alternative to buying purchased lists or list rentals, which typically offer ROIs in the 1% – 2% range, marketers can leverage technology and their own internally developed database to increase ROI of inbound marketing. Outbound marketing typically implies buying large lists and sending out generic, non-personal email blasts. Using database segmentation marketers can “carve out” specific sections of their database to deliver optimized content relevant to prospects interests.

Lead nurturing

As new prospects discover you via your inbound marketing techniques, revenue generation software will help you nurture your leads. Lead nurturing delivers consistent communications to your new-found leads based on the prospects interests, demographics, and lifetime interaction with your marketing content. Recycling and nurturing your database will increase ROI of inbound marketing by lowering investments in inbound marketing as highly qualified leads never fall through the funnel or get left behind.

Lead qualification

A growing investment in inbound marketing probably means a growing number of inbound leads. Lead qualification, sometimes referred to as lead nurturing, uses technology to automatically score leads and identify who’s hot and who’s not. Lead scoring helps sales prioritize time effectively.

Emphasizing inbound marketing over outbound marketing while leveraging revenue generation software will shorten sales, produce higher quality leads, and improve organizational efficiency.

See our post on inbound marketing vs outbound marketing for a more thorough comparison between the two marketing strategies.

We welcome your feedback, comments and suggestions. How do you feel revenue generation software can help your inbound marketing efforts?

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Inbound Marketing vs Outbound Marketing

Inbound Marketing vs Outbound MarketingInbound marketing is growing in popularity due to low cost of implementation and efficiency, especially relative to outbound marketing. In this article we’ll compare inbound marketing vs outbound marketing, discuss which is more effective and identify a handful of resources for your follow up.

What is inbound marketing?

Inbound marketing focuses on getting found whereas outbound marketing focuses on finding customers. Inbound marketing typically has three components; SEO, content, and social media. SEO is the process of creating optimized web pages and content based on keywords that people search for. Content is the process of creating many landing pages, web forms, blog posts, images, videos, whitepapers and eBooks to attract interested people. Social media is the process of leveraging facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other social media to promote your content. All three components are important to any inbound marketing strategy.

Unfortunately, we estimate about 80% – 90% of all marketing investments relate to outbound marketing whereas 10% – 20% of all marketing investments relate to inbound marketing. There’s a paradigm shift in marketing though wherein investments in inbound marketing are increasing due to lower cost and better lead generation results. Let’s compare two investments. Classical outbound marketing calls for cold calling campaigns where inside sales people “dial for dollars”. Instead of marketing blindly, a better investment might be inbound marketing. For example, search engine optimize one of your pages around the cold calling message to attract relevant web traffic and layer landing pages and forms around your optimized content. Would you rather attract and market to people interested in your solution or would you rather go on a hunting expedition not knowing what you’ll bring back?

Which is more effective, inbound or outbound marketing?

Inbound Marketing vs Outbound Marketing Book

Inbound marketing tends to be much more effective vs outbound marketing methods since you aren’t interrupting people to get their attention with emails, cold calls, advertisements, email blasts, trade shows and so on. Inbound marketing makes it easier for solutions to be found by prospects already seeking what you offer. Moreover, it’s more efficient since only people who qualified themselves beforehand approach you whereas outbound marketing is making your customers aware of a product they may not know they need.

More info on inbound marketing vs outbound marketing

• Check out the book above by Brian Halligan, Darmesh Shah and David Meerman Scott who combine to write one of the best-selling books on inbound marketing.

• Check back later this week for an article on how revenue generation software like Lead Liaison’s can support and improve your inbound marketing efforts.

We welcome your feedback, comments and suggestions. How do you define inbound marketing vs outbound marketing? What inbound marketing tactics do you find effective?

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Measuring Marketing Performance

Measuring Marketing PerformanceOrganizations must continually measure performance to improve and grow. Measuring marketing performance is critical as marketing plays a vital role in an organizations strategy and execution. The trend in measuring marketing performance is shifting from activity-based measurement to results-based measurement. In this article, we’ll discuss the change in performance measurement and suggest ways to effectively measure your marketing performance.

From activities to results

Historically, marketing performance has been measured on activities. For example, consider a trade show event. Marketers were typically measured on number of trade shows attended in a given period along with number of leads collected from the show. Similarly, consider email marketing. Marketers were graded on number of email opens or click throughs. It’s true, what gets measured gets done. When measuring marketing performance focus on what really matters, results. Instead of counting email opens and number of cards collected from trade shows, measure marketing based on revenue. What percentage of contacts results in an opportunity or a closed deal? If marketing and sales are both measured on revenue performance companies will benefit from closer sales and marketing alignment.

How other companies are measuring marketing performance

A recent study conducted by MarketingSherpa on more than 900 marketers asked which key performance metrics helped them evaluate marketing ROI. Interestingly, the top 5 measurements each pertain to a deal (end of the sales cycle) and cost of the contact (beginning of the sales cycle), which both greatly influence the revenue cycle.

Marketing Performance Measurement

How to impact important marketing metrics

With a renewed focus on revenue results and new metrics in mind, marketers can execute their revised strategy. To accomplish this, many marketers use technology, such as marketing automation, to achieve their goals. Lead Liaison provides revenue generation software, which includes marketing automation, for this reason. Here’s how Lead Liaison’s technology supports each metric:

Closing percentage. Lead nurturing uses customer/prospect profiles to send scheduled, intelligent communications that build relationships and close more deals. Lead scoring automatically qualifies leads to send only the best leads to sales. Sales remains focused on sales-ready leads and optimizes their time around revenue, resulting in more wins and higher close percentage.

Cost-per-acquisition. Lead tracking and lead generation technology creates leads from various inbound marketing activities. Leads opt-in to Lead Liaison via web form submission, response to an email campaign, or manual opt-in to become a lead in the system. Generating more leads with the same amount of inbound marketing results in higher marketing ROI and lower cost-per-acquisition.

Cost-per-lead. Marketing segmentation allows marketers to segment a database based on a number of demographics (revenue, location, etc.) and activities (product interest, recent website visits, etc.). By re-marketing to an existing database, a company’s most valuable asset, marketers get “stale” leads on nurturing programs. As a result, marketers do not have to acquire as many leads via list brokers or trade shows. By using what a marketer already has they reduce cost-per-lead.

Average deal size. Companies end up paying more for quality solutions from trusted advisers whom they’ve built relationships with. Lead nurturing builds the necessary relationships with customers and prospects over time while establishing the vendor as a trusted authority.

Time to close. Lead nurturing ensures companies are in constant communication with leads using relevant messaging. Leads will always have the company and/or solution at the top of their mind. Additionally, leads won’t “stray”. In totality, these factors result in shorter sales cycles and less time to close.

We welcome your feedback, comments and suggestions. How is your company measuring marketing performance?

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What is Lead Nurturing?

What is Lead NurturingAnswering the question, “what is lead nurturing?”, is difficult for many companies especially those that think they already do lead nurturing. Lead nurturing is vitally important to lead management processes these days because of the fundamental change in the B2B buying process. B2B buyers are reluctant to engage with salespeople until they are deep into the buying cycle. In recognition of this paradigm shift, businesses should conduct a careful assessment of their lead generation processes and “get real” about what they have and what they do not have.

70% of the B2B buying cycle is complete by the time sales people engage. – SiriusDecisions

Let’s first discuss what lead nurturing is not

• Emailing periodic newsletters
• Sending out random product releases
• Sending out random company announcements
• Spending all your time creating fancy html layouts for your email marketing campaigns
• Not understanding your prospects persona
• Not running marketing segmentation on your database
• Blasting out email messages to your entire database
• Calling leads just to touch base with the intent to see if they are ready to buy

Well then, what is lead nurturing really? Lead nurturing is the process of engaging prospects or customers using relevant and timely communications to build a trusted relationship, generate interest, and raise awareness until they are ready to speak with sales. In summary, it’s the process of realigning the timing of sellers and buyers. Let’s itemize activities that help define what is lead nurturing.

Sending content after listening to your buyers

• Sending content based on timing
• Sending content based on product or solution interest
• Sending content based on a previous conversation
• Sending information that is relevant to your buyer’s problem
• Making calls based on touch point data that adds value to the interaction
• Sharing content that’s relevant and valuable even if they never buy from you

Sending content by understanding your buyers

• Sending an email that includes content based on the recipient’s role in the company
• Sending content based on your buyer’s location
• Sending content based on your buyer’s industry

Sending content that matters

• Sending content that is useful to them such as tools, calculators, or programs
• Sending content that helps your buyers expand their knowledge
• Sending content that raises your buyers awareness

By understanding what is lead nurturing and what lead nurturing is not your organization will better understand lead nurturing and you’ll be able to identify whether or not you need this critical sales and marketing technology.

Lead Liaison is pleased to extend a free consultation service to help you assess your company’s lead nurturing capabilities and needs. To speak with Lead Liaison and learn about our lead nurturing technology please contact us.

We welcome your feedback, comments and suggestions. What is lead nurturing to you?

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Top Marketing Books

Top Marketing BooksBeing the best marketer on the planet doesn’t happen overnight. Marketers learn from experiences, each other, and great marketing material. To help our fellow marketers we’ve compiled a list of the world’s top marketing books. If you see a book you would like to have included in our top marketing books library, please contact us.

The BuyerSphere Project is a “perspective changing” look at how businesses buy from other businesses, especially in the age of the Digital Market Place. It’s based on an extensive and ground breaking research project that took a fresh look at organizational buying behavior. The results will make you smack your head and exclaim “Of course, that makes so much sense”; leave you wondering why you didn’t see it before. Just remember, the important thing is that you see it before your competition!

Get The BuyerSphere Project now! 

The Truth About Leads is a practical, easy-to-read book shedding light on the secrets that help you focus your B2B lead-generation efforts, align your sales and marketing organizations and drive revenue. Written by prospect development expert and PointClear founder and CEO Dan McDade, The Truth About Leads debunks traditional thinking while uncovering the truths that lead to additional, larger and more profitable wins for your organization.

Get The Truth About Leads now! 

Are you a trusted seller? Are your product and service offerings easy to find on the web? Do you inform, educate, and entertain through your content? Do you listen and engage people through online channels? Today’s buyers want to be engaged differently than in years past, and many traditional marketing tactics simply do not work anymore. Social media marketing is a revolutionary way to build solid relationships with buyers long before first contact. Marketing 2.0 demonstrates through strategies, tactics, and real world examples that the greatest risk to businesses is NOT adopting these indispensable social media marketing techniques.

Get Marketing 2.0 now! 

About Marketing Metrics in Action Talk about marketing accountability has become almost commonplace. And most marketing executives get it. They understand the need to know the numbers. The real question is, Which numbers? Marketing Metrics in Action: Creating a Performance-Driven Marketing Organization answers those questions and addresses those problems with a balance of sound theory and technique and practical application. The author, a veteran of marketing on both sides, the client side and the consultant side, explains how you need to make marketing metrics work for you. First, every company s product makeup, competitive situation, resources, and internal strengths and weaknesses differ. So do its needs for particular metrics. It is necessary to be able to identify which metrics matter to your organization s circumstances. Next it is necessary to create a culture of accountability. Everyone in the organization has to be and be seen as being on the same side and on the same page. Finance can t be seen as the enemy, and Sales and Marketing need work especially hard to coordinate their efforts. But this sense of accountability needs to extend from the C-Suite to the customer service and order entry people. Everyone must be on board. With buy-in from the entire organization, using quality approaches and sophisticated ideas have a much better chance of success in the marketplace. A metrics audit will help establish where you are now, and mapping will enable you to align processes to better develop your dashboard. Chapters on systems and tools and skills and training, with important contributions by key industry thought leaders, conclude the main body of the book. A glossary and an appendix of sample process maps end the book. Newly minted MBAs, flush with confidence, are often heard to say, Forget that other stuff. Just give me your number. Tell me what metric you re using. Marketing Metrics in Action does much more than just give you a number or a one-size-fits-all formula. It provides wise counsel for identifying which metrics matter most to your organization and practical guidance for putting all the sophisticated marketing tools to profitable use in your company.

Get Marketing Metrics in Action now! 

B2B markets are fundamentally different from consumer markets. Decisions are made on value, not impulse. Buying cycles are complex, often with many stakeholders involved. Relationships and support are critical. Bet-the-business decisions demand discipline, knowledge, and lots of information. This hands-on guide covers topics unique to this segment, including cost justification, prospecting and lead generation, matching tools to the sales funnel, building, B2B search engine optimization, social media monitoring, social media policy development, long-term client relationships, gaining stakeholder support, building a more transparent organization, and what’s coming next.

Get Social Marketing to the Business Customer now! 

Marketing Champions will show you how to make marketing matter to corporate leadership. Unlike all other books which help you improve your marketing work, this book guides you to effectively manage marketing inside your organization.

Get Marketing Champions now! 

We welcome your feedback, comments and suggestions. What are some of the top marketing books you have read?

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