If you're considering your first CRM or you're thinking of switching to a different CRM, then you've come to the right place. As Mark Twain said, "The secret to getting ahead is getting started." Even though you might be thinking you should have done this earlier, there's no time like the present.
Throw the names Microsoft and LinkedIn in the same headline with the verb “acquires” and you’re bound to crane marketers’ necks. But, beyond the staggering amount of money reported to complete the deal ($26.6 billion), the news from Monday’s announcement shouldn’t leave our heads tilted for too long. Why? From a B2B perspective, Microsoft’s acquisition of LinkedIn reaffirms that certain strategies we employ for our businesses and clients to generate more leads and sales are on the right track. Specifically, we're thinking about the the following: target marketing email personalization marketing automation list segmentation
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If you’re at all familiar with inbound marketing, then you’ve probably come across more than a few “inbound vs outbound” blog posts and infographics. In fact, we’ve even contributed to the inbound vs outbound discussion. Often, these discussions present the two marketing approaches as a dichotomy at best, and diametrically opposed forces at worst. As for our take, we’re definitely huge fans of inbound marketing, but not to the exclusion of outbound strategies and tactics like trade shows. After all, at the end of the day, it’s about quality marketing methods that get results. And for many B2B marketers, trade shows get results. So the important question becomes: How can we get stronger results from our trade show marketing? And THIS is where inbound marketing fits in. To get more out of your trade show investment, be sure to come prepared with a strong inbound strategy. Here are several before, after and during trade show ideas to help you integrate inbound marketing into your next event.
When it comes to newsletters, the days of email "blasts" are long gone. These days, email marketing needs to align with the needs, interests and lifecycle stages of your target audience. As we described in a previous blog post, HubSpot's Smart Content offers elegant options for dynamically serving up personalized content to email recipients based on their list membership or lifecycle stage. Here's an example of how we integrated HubSpot's Smart Content into a client's email newsletter program...
A TOOL FOR LEAD GENERATION If you're reading this post, I presume you already know what marketing automation is, but just in case you want a refresher, check out What is Marketing Automation Anyway? An Explanation in Plain English. We're often asked about marketing automation software, mostly from marketing people. The salespeople we speak with are more interested in the results of marketing automation (getting more leads, faster), and less concerned about what tools are used to do it. Before getting into any specific software recommendations, I need to make the point that marketing automation is merely a tool. Just like a fancy saw, a sewing machine, or a high-end video camera, you also need to have a plan, or strategy, of what to do with the tool, and have people who know how to operate it, in order for marketing automation to be worth the investment.
During a recent Denamico lead generation workshop with sales and marketing teams, many in the room expressed interest in marketing automation. Beyond the usual questions surrounding tools, tactics, and strategies, most were curious about timing. Specifically, when should their business invest in marketing automation?
When you first begin your digital marketing quest and hear that you should be creating landing pages to generate more leads, you may ask yourself: “Why can’t I just send visitors to one of my existing web pages?” The answer is: you can -- if your product or service does not require extensive research or doesn't have an extended buying process, like ordering a clever t-shirt or a pair of work boots from an online retailer. If that's the scenario, go ahead and direct your online ads and links to a product page. But in the case of buying or remodeling a home, the process is complex, and homeowners are searching online to research the latest trends in design and construction. Linking directly to your "Contact Us" or "Schedule a Consultation" page from social media or a blog post does not provide homeowners with any additional content and most likely results in potential leads leaving your site. By creating landing pages for your marketing campaigns, you can target and nurture leads for specific purposes.
Buying a new home or remodeling an existing home can be a stressful decision. It makes sense then, that many homeowners turn to the internet for research. Through your content marketing efforts, you’re probably generating online leads after a visitor fills out a form on your website, subscribes to your blog, or requests to receive weekly or monthly newsletters. What happens next, however, after they fill out their contact information and hit “submit,” can either build a relationship that ends in a customer or set the foundation for a missed opportunity. Marketing automation allows you to quickly follow-up with leads, provide them with relevant content, and prepare them for your sales team.
Have you heard this catchy phrase? "Your website is your best salesperson." We've heard it, too -- and we've repeated it on our blog because to a point, it's true. However, it may be time to shift that perspective. Rather than thinking about your website as a standalone part of your sales team (constantly generating leads behind the scenes), it may be more beneficial to think about it in terms of sales enablement.