Inbox25

Amazon, Alexa and Customer Engagement

Amazon is having an enormous influence on the economy through its prominence in online commerce. The company recently held its “Prime Day” holiday, which may have generated up to $2.9 billion in sales. It also previewed how the company plans to utilize Alexa, its voice-powered virtual personal assistant, to define engagement with customers using voice. Echo Dot, a device that connects Alexa to any speaker, was the bestselling item. The rise of voice is disrupting conventional marketing paradigms that treat the search engine results page as a major cornerstone of digital marketing efforts to date, and there have been challenges adapting the traditional models used for AdWords and Facebook Ads to voice search. Google’s equivalent to Alexa, Personal Assistant, was the subject of controversy in March 2017 when new owners of the Google Home smart speaker expressed outrage over receiving advertisements for the opening of a new Beauty and the Beast film.

Currently, the potential routes to reaching a customer via voice seem relatively limited in number. Regardless, marketing departments will have to adapt, as roughly 20% of all searches on Google are made using voice. This trend suggests two major takeaways for digital marketers:

1. The current era of SEO marketing could very well be in its twilight. Strategies that were once dominant now result in negative outcomes. Advertising by hypertargeting search will become a more competitive and less accessible vehicle for marketing as customers increasingly use voice assistants. Advice coming from marketeers attempts to translate traditional strategies to suit the emerging rules for voice, but wisdom emerging from experts will continue to change alongside the rules of the game. Content marketing, however, is a constant. There will always be a benefit to aligning content with customers and catering to target audiences.

2. Data is the new oil–the economy runs on it, and analytics are only going to become more important. Voice search integrates personal data even more than previous mediums, and companies such as Adobe are beginning to focus on gathering data regarding voice communications and interfaces due to their projected proliferation in the years to come.

By using a marketing automation platform, crucial processes that would otherwise be highly labor-intensive can instead be governed by automated flows. This gives users time to support the formation of marketing strategies and goals. By automating the monotonous, marketers can spend their time focusing on what they know is important and on figuring out and adjusting to an ever-changing environment. While suggestions that focus on using old perspectives to evaluate new trends in order to adapt mechanisms to changing times have their use, marketers must have a long-term vision and strategy, or else the individual bits and pieces of a marketing effort, no matter how shiny and modern they may be, will fail to cumulate in the fulfillment of business objectives. In the meantime, a marketing automation platform can help you efficiently profit from the remainder of the SEO/PPC era. Furthermore, automation platforms greatly simplify the process of collecting and organizing data, which will ensure that the user has a database replete with clean and easily managed information!

It is near-certain that the rise of voice search will spur a frenzy to find the next radical marketing strategy that perfectly exploits the unique properties of the medium. For now, Amazon, Google and Apple will likely shape trends and behaviors due to their hardware dominance, software/artificial intelligence expertise and massive data economies of scale; will the rest of the B2B and B2C space stand by idly?

Introduction to Drip Campaigns

Drip marketing is a cornerstone of our platform due to its prominence in contemporary digital marketing. With the release of Content Stream, INBOX25 allows for nuanced delivery schedules, dynamic targeting strategies and time-sensitive content distribution. Drip Campaigns compose the core functionality of Content Stream, and INBOX25 streamlines the entire creation process to vastly simplify execution. We’ve expanded our feature set to allow for more flexibility when designing drip marketing campaigns.

Drip Campaigns keynote features:

  1. Dedicated tool -- requires no complex automation logic.
  2. Add lists, segments and CRM records to drip campaigns with one-click
  3. Effortlessly add individual targets to a drip campaign directly from the Timeline.
  4. When a new record joins a drip campaign, immediately send them their first email instead of waiting until the next delivery date.

In this series of articles we will explore and break down every aspect of Drip Campaigns, from creation through execution and management. For easy navigation, click on any of the following article links below.

Additional Articles 

Creating and Managing Drip Campaigns

Drip Campaign Analytics

 

Account Based Marketing with SugarCRM

Account-based marketing, abbreviated as ABM, is one of the latest trends that B2B marketers are scrambling to understand and implement in order to jockey for better positioning in the martech landscape. ABM is not a recent perspective, but it has witnessed increased adoption by small and medium businesses as advances in martech have enabled companies without enterprise resources to use the strategy to great effect. 

Traditional approaches to business marketing emphasize a focus on mass communication, on casting a wide net over various digital channels and hoping that from a sea of prospects, some will be interested. Traditional inbound channels like SEO, PPC, content marketing and social marketing target indiscriminately; controlling and directing the flow of inbound leads becomes a waiting game. Adversely, account based marketing prioritizes digital communication efforts to a pool of accounts that are considred to be high-value targets. Each account is treated as a market of one, necessitating a deep understanding of how the organization is structured, how decisions are made and who the decision makers are. With this information in hand, tailored content and personalized messaging can be used to try and address apparent and important challenges that individual members of the target account face. 

Using ABM can reduce uncertainty by increasing the amount of control over the criteria and attributes of accounts that populate your marketing funnel. Account based marketing values quality over quantity. Attention and resources can be efficiently invested into crafting bespoke marketing campaigns for each account. 

Let’s talk about our approach to Account Based Marketing for SugarCRM.

Our vision for account based marketing via INBOX25 using SugarCRM was to preserve as much of the existing CRM data structure as possible in order to provide a seamless experience for our users; users would be able to maintain all of their existing Account-to-Contact relationships that were already present in their CRM.

As a result, we feel that the core feature that makes INBOX25 the sweetest solution for ABM with Sugar is the structure of our data integration that links Accounts, Contacts and Opportunities. 

With ABM enabled, SymSync gives INBOX25 a mirror of the native CRM data structure in order to maintain the relationship between Accounts (parents) and Contacts (children) even after they’re imported into our platform. In effect this means that launching your ABM program will not require the redundant task of configuring these relationships for proprietary marketing lists in an entirely separate marketing platform.

In addition, we wanted to create a robust, unified reporting solution that would give sales agents easy and immediate access to key marketing touch-points (Contacts) across an entire company (Account).  

With Account Based Marketing and SymSync you can easily: 

  1. Engage Contact records by targeting data fields and objects that exist in the Account record that a Contact is related/assigned to. 
  2. Interact with Contact records by targeting data fields and objects that exist in Opportunities. 
  3. Monitor opportunities and understand which Contacts are driving the most influential activity for the Account (from a single report). 
  4. Maintain separate lifecycle stages and lead scores for each Contact to ensure each message is always personalized and relevant while maintaining the ability to examine performance from a high-level view. 

Targeting, Grouping and Nurturing

By preserving the native SugarCRM data relationships between Accounts, Contacts and Opportunities within INBOX25's data structure, we enable you to create sophisticated targeting groups for automation and nurturing. Our Automation wizard, in conjunction with our SymSync  integration engine, allows you to target Contacts based on data (such as custom fields) that is stored within Accounts or Opportunities.

The targeting and automation possibilities allow you to leverage data objects that are natively linked together in Sugar. Once you define your conditions, our Automation engine can then execute an array of business logic or marketing processes.

Content Delivery with ABM 

Deploying the right content to the right contacts (at the right time!) is critical to any outbound strategy. With INBOX25, you can quickly engage with specific Contacts, or all Contacts, at a company, depending on your strategy and the subject matter of your content. As we mentioned earlier, targeting Contacts based on their role within a company or even data contained within the company-account profile is a breeze. We take the personalization approach one step further by enabling sales agents to easily enroll Contacts into nurturing drip campaigns with just a few clicks.

Account-level Timeline Profile Report

Tracking the activities of your most valuable prospects and reporting their engagement in an easy-to-read format is a critical benefit to using a marketing platform like INBOX25. The intelligence can be invaluable to your sales team and fast access is crucial to identifying sales-ready targets as soon as possible.

To make it easier to manage the potentially massive amounts of information that will aggregate as you examine multiple contacts within a company, with ABM enabled we will create a new, cumulative Timeline report at the Account level that will include all activities and behaviors that are tracked from each individual Contact.

Download our Whitepaper here!

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out.

SugarCRM Agrees on Importance of CRM Integration

Laurence Leong from SugarCRM came out with an informative read stressing the importance of CRM integration with marketing automation technology. He emphasizes five critical points that we wanted to share and link to aspects of INBOX25, with stress on how important a tight and expansive integration with a CRM is for a marketing automation platform. We touch upon similar elements of the decision making process in a previous blog post that can be read by clicking here

From Leong's article:

Data synchronization –  An automatic and configurable synchronization between data objects like leads, contacts, and opportunities in your CRM and marketing automation systems is an absolute must. This ensures that the two systems can share data. Look for an ability to configure data mapping, frequency of synchronization, and conflict resolution. Ideally the synchronization can be two-way. And, since most marketing automation and CRM deployments have their own custom fields, make sure the synchronization supports custom fields in an upgrade-safe manner.


With INBOX25's real-time, bidirectional sync with versions of SugarCRM 6.5 and higher, you can count on our platform for sophisticated data synchronization. We also sync with all native modules of SugarCRM, including stock and custom data fields for powerful automation, segmentation of data, lead capture, form field mapping, intelligent lead scoring and personalization with digital communications (email or SMS). Due to our contant sync with SugarCRM, you never miss out on critical touchpoints when leads are most interested in your brand.

An important point about CRM data:

The ability to create prospects lists in CRM according to specific criteria, and to supply those lists as input into a marketing automation program. When setting up new programs or campaigns in your marketing automation tool, what better place to start than with the data in your CRM system, which represents what you already know about customers and prospects?


We agree 100%! And that is why we allow the CRM to be the data repository, meaning that all lists can be maintained within the CRM; there is no need to duplicate your database, sparing you from performing more manual labor. Utilizing INBOX25's automation engine, the end-user can dynamically populate or remove individuals from Target Lists based on a host of complex criteria from the CRM like other data-objects or touchpoints. 

Great insight on workflows:

Automatic lead alerting between marketing automation and CRM. You want the ability for highly qualified leads in the marketing automation system to be automatically pushed over to CRM. The ability to apply workflow is helpful here. Workflow can be used for lead routing or assignment to a sales rep, as well as for lead escalation or reassignment (eg a lead that isn’t followed up on within 3 days gets reassigned with notification to the first level manager). Workflow can also be used to trigger notifications to the rep, like an email or text to notify the rep of their new hot lead(s).


In the process described by Leon, the 'middle man' is cut out of the equation and your data is maintained directly within SugarCRM. With INBOX25, by using powerful lead-scoring formulas, the end-user can assign a record to their sales team once a lead has accrued a user-defined amount of points. Not to mention that the sales reps can receive real-time Email and/or SMS alerts once a lead has completed a certain event (i.e visiting a specific page, converting on a form or clicking-through a communication). Mirroring the examples above are all possible with our automation engine.


From the perspectives of sales or support roles:

The ability for CRM users (like sales and service reps) to see full context from marketing automation. When a sales or service rep goes into their CRM system to work a lead that has been automatically created from the marketing automation system, you want that rep to be able to easily see what the lead did in marketing automation that resulted in the high score. Which emails did they open? Which websites did they visit and what did they look at on those sites? What digital offers did they respond to?  If sales and service can’t see this, they will provide an inconsistent experience to the customer. If, on the other hand, they can reinforce previous digital interactions, then you have created an optimized and consistent customer experience across channels.


INBOX25's Timeline Intelligence Report addresses this point directly. Viewable by any and all users of the SugarCRM instance, this report is made available within the individual record profile inside SugarCRM. We go a step further by enabling the Sugar user to be a part of the marketing and sales process and commit actions like enrolling the record into one or more drip campaigns, augment their lead-score, send an SMS, generate a support ticket or enroll in an upcoming webinar 
all without having to leave the screen. This is useful in situations like when a rep needs to create a Sugar opportunity on the fly while engaging with the record.

For the marketeers out there:

Many marketing teams create great assets (like well thought out, rich email templates) and programs (like sophisticated multi-touch campaigns). Yet many sales and service people can’t easily reuse these assets and programs. A well-integrated CRM and marketing automation system will allow the CRM user to seamlessly reuse existing email templates from marketing automation, and will allow a CRM user to drop a prospect into an existing marketing automation program.


Our extensive library allows users to re-use previously created and/or deployed content right within their automation projects or for standalone campaigns. We also have a great cloning feature built into the automation manager for end-users to quickly re-create their successful marketing campaigns while maintaining the ability to make minor edits and adjustments.

 

 

Why SMS Marketing?

We are quickly noticing a buzz around the capabilities of SMS marketing. As spam filter belts tighten and ISP's (internet service providers) become increasingly hostile towards your marketing communications; there is an untapped channel at your disposal in the form of SMS engagement. 

Why is this important?

Two things to know with SMS marketing.

1) 100% deliverability (assuming you have the correct mobile number and we're not in a post-apocolyptic world)

2) Unavoidable! You can be sure, that at least for a nano-second..someone looked at your text. You may not know they did, but let's face it, who isn't glued to their phone in 2016? 

How will this increase engagement with my communications or traction to my website?

Well with INBOX25, our Twilio integration enables the end-user to not only send 1:1 sms communication to their marketing records, but also internal alerts to their Sugar users as well. So there's a two-pronged approach here.

Examples:

A) Sales Rep John Smith just got off a great call with Sally, who's highly interested in your brand but wants a day to think about it. With the Twilio integration enabled, John can send Sally an SMS letting her know he enjoyed their talk and will be speaking with her tomorrow; all within the Timeline Intelligence report viewable right within Sally's record in SugarCRM.

B) Sales Rep Susan finished a meeting with Robert. As soon as Susan logs her meeting with Robert in Sugar as 'held', INBOX25 will automatically send a personalized sms to Robert thanking him for his time today and looking forward to continuing engagement in the future.

C) Acme industries will be hosting an event on Friday. Acme has a list of recipients who have confirmed attendance and have already sent out a targeted message to the attendees of additional info (found on Acme's website). Ten minutes after the email gets sent out, Acme then sends an sms to all of these attendees, directing them to the link on the site (link generated by using a Click Campaign) with all of the event info.

D) Lead comes in from Acme's 'Request a Quote' form. Not only will INBOX25 route this lead to Sales Rep Mark, but Mark will receive a handy-dandy sms alert letting him know a lead from the request a quote form has been assigned to him, and to ensure he reaches out within the next 10 minutes. So if you're on your smoke break Mark, we can still alert you to finish it off quickly and get back to your desk, INBOX25 has some work for you to do! 

Automating the Sales Process

There are countless processes you can configure with INBOX25's robust automation engine integrated with SugarCRM. There are many reasons why we are sweet on SugarCRM, but the approaches to sales that Sugar enables are particularly noteworthy. 

Within SugarCRM, the sales team can log interactions with assigned prospects, leads or even customers via the Call or Meeting modules. There is a central location for all of these interactions to be logged while also supplying a direct relationship with the specific record involved. 

A typical sales process would follow an initial introduction call or meeting. The goal is to qualify the lead to the next stage of the sales cycle, whether it be providing them additional information, scheduling a follow up call with them or directing them to a specific resource (signing up online, complete the order, etc). All of these examples involve an email communication to the lead from the sales rep, typicall after a call. The substance of the email is personalized in nature, and in many cases the sales rep is writing the email and sending it out themselves. With the new features of clients like gmail and outlook, the sales rep's life can be made easier with stored responses, and indeed, there is a plugin an individual can get to track their personal emails..but what about tracking all email communications? More importantly, how is a sales rep able to gain insight as to what the lead does after the initial campaign response (i.e do they visit other pages on the site, fill out a separate form, did they leave location data?).

With INBOX25 you can easily automate an end-to-end sales process. Before I explain how, let me start by outlining the benefits

Time: Time is money, and with an automated sales approach your sales reps no longer need to worry about crafting an email based on how  the call went - it's done for them. So the question is what are you going to do with all of that time saved?

Legacy Tracking: You can track lead behavior past the email campaign to view future web activity to see if they initiated a chat session, opened a support ticket, et cetera. With this level of data collection you'll be able to create workflows even more complex than what is going to be briefly outlined below. All of this is logged within the Timeline Intelligence Report. 

The Process:

Due to our in-depth integration with SugarCRM, the calls module can be customized to include custom call 'statuses' and/or call 'types'. INBOX25 can leverage custom data-fields and subsequent values as criteria to enter a lead into a particular automated workflow. This makes it incredibly easy to send an automated email to the lead based on the call status as well as the call type. Call statuses would be categorized by the result of the call (i.e was it a good call, bad call, did they not answer?).

For example, say a sales rep called a lead as part of the on-boarding process and they didn't pick up. The call is logged in SugarCRM, and based on how it was logged the lead will then receive a specifically worded template based off of the status. The system can then generate a date for a follow-up call for the sales rep so they don't have to worry about determining when they should be attempting again.

Calls can be leveraged as a condition with our automation manager. So in this example, you could create a workflow for each corresponding call status. If multiple no-response attempts are made, you may wish to use unique content with similar goals to continue engaging with leads if they miss appointments, and thus additional call statuses.

In the example below, a lead will receive a 'sorry we missed you' email once a call has been logged with the status of 'no response' and type of 'on-boarding' and then a 2nd call is generated for the sales rep... all in a matter of minutes!

What's New: Landing Page Enhancements

Landing pages are often the first step of your marketing process that leads experience as you attempt to inject them into your marketing program. These enhancements allow for greater flexibility and accessibility when leveraging our landing pages/forms. 

Recent enhancements: 

  • Allow Conversions From Existing Targets Only
  • Disable Auto-Fill for Known Targets
  • Limit Total Submissions
  • Disable Field Editing for Known Targets

Let’s detail out the specifics of each enhancement below.

Allow Conversions From Existing Targets Only

When selecting the checkbox “Allow Conversions From Existing Targets Only” you’re limiting this form to only accept submissions from existing records within INBOX25. The email address will be used as our key identifier to detecting existing records.

A powerful use case for this enhancement arises when forms are intended for specific recipients or to control the creation/updating of new data.

Disable Auto-Fill for Known Targets

When selecting the checkbox “Disable Auto-Fill for Known Targets” you’re removing any auto-fill functionality from the landing page. By default, landing pages will auto-fill fields from known targets within our platform. A known target is defined as a record with a unique tracking cookie embedded on their browser from either an email link click or a form conversion. Learn more about visitor tracking

Limit Total Submissions

When selecting the checkbox “Limit Total Submissions” you’re prompted to select a submission limit on the number of total submissions your form will accept. Upon hitting the submission limit you’ll have the option to:

  • Show an Alert Message
  • Redirect to a Page
  • Hide Submit Button

This enhancement becomes beneficial when leveraging our forms for RSVP or event sign-up with a certain attendee capacity. Upon reaching the submission limit, your form will no longer accept new submissions and follow the options listed above.

Disable Field Editing for Known Targets

When selecting the checkbox "Disable Field Editing for Known Targets" you can define certain fields to be non-editable when data is auto-filled. 

This enhancement is field specific, meaning you can leverage/activate this enhancement on individual fields. (ex. Remove access to edit name and email address field once auto-filled but allow mobile number field to be changed.)

 This enhancement, when leveraged properly, can be a powerful tool for those concerned with data integrity and cleanliness. You can remove the risk of known visitors using alternative email addresses and avoid unintended data changes in your CRM. 

SugarCRM Target List Manager

SugarCRM target lists represent the primary tool SugarCRM users utilize when segmenting their database. With target lists playing such a key role, our integration syncs directly with your SugarCRM instance to sync over all SugarCRM target lists within your database. Using our Target List Manager you’re provided specific insight into the health, status and makeup of your target lists from one streamlined UI. For those on our Pro-Marketer plan this report allows target lists to be converted into identical list segments which are used when sending batch outbound email communication. Let’s begin by exploring the core functionality found in our Target List Manager.

Key Features

  • View SugarCRM target lists synced to our platform
  • View target list makeup (Who’s in your target list and from what CRM module)
  • Create List Segments for batch email campaign sending
  • Re-sync individual target lists to sync most recent information (If SymSync is not configured for a SugarCRM user altering record data)

Analyzing the Numbers

The Target List Manager will break down your target list health by measuring three statuses. Each status follows in descending order.

1.CRM Count - Represents the hard record value found within SugarCRM. This number is a total record value not accounting for records without email addresses, invalid/opt-outs or duplicates.

2.Imported - The value of valid records synced to our platform. We'll weed out duplicates, records without email addresses, invalid email addresses or records marked as opted-out.

3.Active - The final record count synced to our platform. We’ll scan for records marked as inactive within our platform to reach your final total.

Important Note -It is common for the CRM Count to not match the records synced and active within our platform. The CRM Count is a hard value accounting for all record ids within the list regardless of status. The CRM Count includes records we will never sync (i.e invalid email addresses, opt-outs, records without emails and duplicate records). 

 Creating a List Segment

When sending batch email campaigns through our Email Campaign Wizard, those wishing to send to SugarCRM target lists will need to convert their target lists into list segments. These list segments are identical replicas of the parent target lists, fielding the same name and record count/information.

Creating list segments is a one-click process and will not need to be done again after the initial list segment is created.

Step 1 - Find Your Target List

Find the SugarCRM target list you wish to convert into a list segment. You can use the search bar found at the top of the manager for quick navigation.

Step 2 - Select “Create List Segment”

Found below your SugarCRM target list name select “Create List Segment”. Once clicked, we’ll automatically begin segmenting the list and notify you that the process is active by displaying “Building Segment” in the "Last Imported on" column.

Step 3 - Viewing & Utilizing Your List Segment

As mentioned previously, the newly created list segment is an identical replica of its parent target list. The list segment will have the same name and record count. If the records within your SugarCRM target list contain more than one SugarCRM module (i.e Leads, Contacts & Accounts) then three list segments would be created, one for each module present (as shown in the screenshot below).

If you wish to view your list segment(s) select the numerical value under the segment category. You'll view all records contained within the segment with the ability to export the data to a .CSV.

When selecting these list segments as recipients lists within the Email Campaign Wizard, simply select each list segment with the identical name of it’s parent target list to ensure that all records are added.

Below is the recipient screen found in our email wizard. In this example three list segments are selected as the SugarCRM target list "SymSync Segments 1" comprised of records from accounts, contacts and leads. 

Analyzing Your SugarCRM Target List

Our Target List Manager provides insight and reporting analytics not found within SugarCRM alone. By selecting the numerical value of your target list under "Imported", we'll provide a full breakdown displaying:

  • Target - Display record name, module location & SugarCRM bean id
  • Status - Active, Inactive, Unsubscribed, Opted-Out
  • Date/Time 
  • Score - INBOX25 lead score
  • Lead Source - Origin of record
  • Owner - Owner of record within SugarCRM

Accessible Navigation

For ease of navigation through larger SugarCRM target lists, our Target List Manager allows segmentation using:

  • Name, Email or Bean ID
  • Status (Active, Inactive, Unsubscribed, Opted-Out
  • Module Type (Leads, Contacts, Prospects, Accounts)

Target Not Available in CRM List

Whens records are unable to sync to our platform the Target List Manager will display "Target not available in CRM List". This situation stems from SugarCRM but we can help navigate and troubleshoot the error. 

The Target List Manager will display the SugarCRM bean id found locally within our system. Tracing that bean id back to SugarCRM can tell you:

  • If the bean id no longer exists in SugarCRM, the record was deleted within SugarCRM.
  • If the record does exist but has not synced to our platform, run a manual sync of the records housed module (Leads, Contacts, Prospects, Accounts) through SymSync and a re-sync of the target list within the Target List Manager. 

Increasing Data Quality with Lead Capture Forms

The cornerstone of any successful inbound lead management strategy is capturing the right data at the right time.

What does this mean in practice?

If I was conducting research to choose a VoiP service for my office, I wouldn't necessarily fill out a form asking for information like my company name, phone number, title or expected purchasing time-frame unless I was highly interested. Much of the time, I will not have such interest. I'm simply conducting research. I may be inclined, however, to provide my name, email and potential products I am interested in, regardless of how committed I am.

 

Stop! 

From a marketing perspective, the VoIP team I submitted a form to now has a good idea of the content that their new lead should receive, because I spelled it out. While it would be fantastic to also know things like the lead's title, depending on where a prospect or lead is in the buying cycle, there are certain fields on a form they may not wish to answer. The more being asked of a lead from the onset of the engagement, the less likely they are to convert on your form. Now there's a balancing act involved, because if the form is providing important information as well as a valuable call to action, then the prospect/lead may be more enticed to provide more detailed information to receive something like a white paper or a case study. It's all about risk and reward. In this scenario, anyone who fills out this form is a warm to hot lead and immediate action should be taken on them. 

The information you request and collect from lead capture forms will also base your follow up actions upon conversion. From the scenario before, if a lead provided their product/service interests, then it would be an option to enter them into a drip campaign and have a sales rep reach out soon, but not immediately: give them some time to look over your content. This also gives you the opportunity to gently request more information with gated content - or content that is only enabled via conversion on a form.

Moral of the story:

Don't overload your leads with learning their life story. With a Lead or Prospect, it's more important to learn their interests first, to be able to commence their customer journey with relative content. As the journey progresses, you will have opportunities to collect the additional information along the way, graduating them to market qualified or identified. And once identified and/or qualified, now you can pass off to the sales team to learn even more!

 

New Martech vs. Old Habits

Marketing automation as a software isn’t new. In fact, it has been around for many years. But its recent emergence as a popular tool has left marketers scrambling to get their feet wet. Transitioning from a traditional email marketing system is no easy task as the rich feature set and wealth of functionality found in marketing automation platforms can leave unprepared users scratching their heads. Marketing automation platforms often come included with lead scoring, visitor tracking, social integrations and web-to-lead forms, just to name a few of the most common features. Habits are hard to break and transitioning into marketing automation can prove challenging for marketers with rigid notions of what constitutes a good marketing strategy. Email is no longer the exclusive medium. Digital marketing involves the synergistic usage of multiple mediums. Email is no longer the pound-for-pound champion of marketing technology.

Still, email is often chief medium in many marketing strategies. It’s an effective tool for feeding information to your prospects and customers. But as the complexities of digital marketing become more apparent, batch and blast email sending is quickly becoming obsolete. The Direct Marketing Association found in 2013 that “75% of email revenue is generated by triggered campaigns, rather than one-size-fits-all campaigns”. Buyers are happier than ever before to do their own research using the sea of easily digested information at their fingertips. This shift in buyer behavior puts marketers on the defensive in trying to deal with a more informed and knowledgeable audience. It’s the marketers job to understand and analyze their target consumers' behavior in order to deliver fresh, relevant and engaging content. 

Digital marketing is data-driven. It’s a complex web of intertwined resources working as one collective body. Email marketing is by no means obsolete, but the focus has shifted from using untargeted communication towards systematically deploying content depending on user behavior and engagement. With an informed consumer, quality trumps quantity. Digital marketing is predicated on methodical strategies, resulting in a culmination of fresh content, targeted communication and personalized prospect interaction. 

Email marketing is a core feature within marketing automation platforms but the additional functionality available should not be discarded. A successful marketing strategy is one that adapts to change. View digital marketing as a collective body, with each channel contributing a necessary but singular piece to a larger, overarching process. With digital marketing, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. To analyze the collective will only serve to improve the individual by identifying and correcting weak points.