Recently, I came across a really depressing statistic about the marketing automation buying process: According to a study done by VentureBeat, 70% of marketers who purchase a system are either unhappy or only marginally happy with their software. But even though marketers are unhappy with their purchases, they're still pumping serious cash into the marketing automation industry -- it's projected to be a Read More
You know those weeks where you feel drained, unproductive, and every little task you do seems to take forever, sucking up all of your energy? Other times, it's the exact opposite -- you feel energized and ready to take on the world.
How do we have more of the latter days and less of the former?Read More
There have been hundreds of thousands of words spilled over the new mandate to drive CIO and CMO alignment. A Google search with those words in quotes produces more than 19,000 results. There are white papers, articles, blog posts, events, and even entire websites dedicated to the alignment of the technology and marketing agendas.Read More
How much content do I need to “fuel” my marketing automation system?
This was a question that was asked of me recently as I spoke at an industry event. The question is a compelling one as more and more, marketers are putting time, money, and energy into the content creation process. However, the question in and of itself may be the wrong question.Read More
The term “marketing automation" may make you a bit nervous.
I mean, just that term -- marketing automation -- it sounds so cold, so mechanical, so impersonal. Are the robots taking over? Is Arnold Schwarzenegger going to be knocking on my front door informing me that all of the human marketing positions have beenRead More
Michael Freeman wasn’t psyched about having to migrate from one marketing automation system to another. But it had to be done. Last year Freeman’s employer, a telecom companyRead More
When you hear the phrase "marketing automation," what do you think of first? A detailed diagram of emails sent to different segments, broken out by email engagement, drawing a line from lead to customer? This has become the norm, yet it is among the least effective automation paths you can set up as a marketer.Read More
Marketing automation is often thought of as just software to help nurture contacts more efficiently. It consists of email, workflows, lists, and social tools that work with a large database of contacts to nurture them down the funnel.
But there's more to it than that. Marketing automation done right:Read More
In almost any organization, Sales and Marketing have the same arguments. Sales wants more leads -- they have quotas to hit, after all. Marketing believes they're sending Sales plenty -- they just want Sales to actually work the leads they're sending.Read More
The following post is an excerpt adapted from our new ebook, "The 'Yelpification' of the Software Buying Process: A CMO's Guide." Download your free copy if you want to learn about new firms that take a crowdsourced approach to doing research about business software programs.Read More
Do you ever wonder how much hidden potential is buried in your lead nurturing pile? The truth is, many businesses have leads that slip through the cracks. Maybe on the surface it didn’t appear to be a good lead, maybe the timing was off because they weren’t quite ready to buy, or maybe your inside sales team was just spread too thin at the time the lead cameRead More
Human-to-human connections are the heart and soul of marketing. You don’t need statistics to prove the value of personalized messages, multi-channel marketing, and high quality content. It’s common sense -- consumers are more responsive to brands that care.Read More
Last month, David Raab, an expert in the marketing automation field, estimated that the industry will grow roughly 50% in the upcoming year alone. That’s exciting news for providers like us, but it also creates a significant challenge for potential buyers, many who are first-time buyers of large marketing systems.Read More
So you've got a marketing problem -- one that happens to the best of us. It's not that you're not attracting visitors to your website and converting them into leads -- you've got your business blog, social media, landing pages, and marketing offers down pat.
But once you get your leads in the door, they get stuck in your marketing funnel. They aren't readyRead More
We've talked about the basics of marketing automation workflows quite a few times before. If you're reading this post, you are probably already running a few workflows. So I'm not going to talk about how to get them started -- though if you want a refresher, here is a pretty comprehensive guide. Instead, I want to talk about what to do after you've got a few workflows under your belt.Read More
Not too long ago, my colleague Katie Burke wrote a great article, "The Right Way to Think About Your Marketing Software RFP," and it got me thinking about my own experiences as a buyer of marketing technology. Particularly I realized, more often than not, I was thinking about automation the wrong way.Read More
A glance over the top Twitter users reveals an interesting pattern. Most of them are celebrities, well known media outlets, or sports teams. Every single account in the top few hundred most followed Twitter users is famous outside of Twitter. They didn’t get into the top lists because of their Twitter behavior; they got there because they’re famous.
If you're an ecommerce business, the image at right probably makes your cringe. Every day, ecommerce businesses lose out on sales when potential customers abandon their online shopping carts. In fact, shopping cart abandonment reached a record high in 2011, at 72%, and is steadily rising. Sound like a missed sales opportunity? Think again. Many of these people will return, and some more qualified to purchase than before. Let's explore how you can leverage abandoned shopping cart lead intelligence with marketing automation to boost your ecommerce remarketing activities.
Face it: you've heard words like "engagement" and "transparency" used to describe social media so much that they’re more played out than a Lady Gaga song. Whatever adjectives you use to describe it, letting your personality shine through your brand's social media account is crucial to its success. But there’s a dichotomy in social media--a ubiquitous cloud looming over our online relationships and interactions. The evolution of technology has forced nameless corporations to become human and empowered small organizations to reach audiences on social media like never before. However, as soon as "human business tools" like Twitter and Facebook emerged, we found ways to automate our humanity.
Inbound marketers are getting even better at attracting visitors to their websites. But as we all know, in B2B environments, eyeballs don’t pay the bills. Getting visitors to convert into leads and ultimately sales is the name of the profitability game. With today’s modern analytics and marketing automation tools, marketers can play a bigger role in that ‘middle of the funnel’ conversion path with the power to re-engage interested prospects and tee up their sales teams for success.
There's a lot of buzz around whether marketing automation software is worth the investment of time and money, or whether it's a waste. Here's the thing: marketing automation can be a really great complement to your inbound marketing strategy IF it's used correctly. Many marketers, however, have come to believe some things about marketing automation that simply aren't true, which leads to misuse of the software and ultimately ends in a lot of disappointment and dismal results. Let's clear up 5 of the most common misconceptions that surround marketing automation and highlight both the dangers and merits inherent in marketing automation.
Successful inbound marketing is about more than just driving traffic to your site and converting it into leads. What happens to those leads after they become part of your database? If the answer is "nothing," or "they get contacted by the sales team," then your inbound marketing strategy needs some serious marketing automation love.
Marketing automation is the use of technology and software to help move prospects and leads through your sales funnel. As part of a whole inbound marketing philosophy, you can use marketing automation to help take the leads you're generating from blogging, social media, and other sources, and make them more sales-ready. While marketing automation doesn't help you generate new leads and can be challenging to use effectively, it's important to be knowledgeable about it and understand when marketing automation can or can't help your business grow.
You have a problem, and this is an intervention. Let's face it, your marketing automation addiction is out of control, and it's no longer working. You send out hundreds, if not thousands of automated messages every day. Your marketing behavior is hurting your prospects, leads, and customers.
Ecommerce sites lose out on many potential sales simply because customers abandon their carts in the middle of shopping, and it’s not always because they’re no longer interested in purchasing the product (although that might be true in some cases). A great way to recover these customers without investing a lot of cost and effort is through the deployment of abandoned cart emails.
In a classic I Love Lucy episode, the red-headed comedienne and her sidekick, Ethel Mertz, take a job working the conveyor line at a chocolate candy factory. Noting their early success on the production line, the foreman yells, "Speed it up!" Soon, the pair demonstrates everything that can go wrong with automation. It's classic Lucy as well as a classic example of automation gone awry.
Would you believe it? Email spammers have taught us honest email marketers a thing or two over the years. Mostly, it's what to avoid if you don’t want to end up in handcuffs. But in their own twisted way, spammers have helped us figure out some email marketing best practices to keep in mind as your email marketing, lead nurturing, and marketing automation campaigns get underway.
The B2B marketing automation industry will reach $325 million in revenue in 2011. Despite this growth, 50% of companies surveyed in a 2011 Focus Study say they have not yet realized a return on investment for their marketing automation. There are any number of reasons this could be -- from an over-reliance on email, to a skills gap, to technical limitations of the tool itself. Getting the most out of your marketing automation tool requires integrating it into a complete inbound marketing strategy and using it as a support rather than a replacement. Here are a few ways to get creative with your marketing automation.
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