Discussing How Marketing Automation Makes Lead Management and Nurturing Effective

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I hear it often; I need to acquire more customers like my “most valuable” customers. But what makes a customer “most valuable”? What are the characteristics and/or behaviors that make a customer “most valuable”? This simple question is anything but simple. Let me explain through an exercise. Let’s say that you work for an airline (note: this exercise works equally well with other customer-centric industries such as hospitality, gaming, entertainment, retail, credit cards, financial services, telco and insurance). You have been asked to identify the airline’s “most valuable” customers. This information will be used to prioritize marketing, sales, support and product development efforts. As part of your analysis, you identify three different customer scenarios and need to determine which of these customer scenarios is “most valuable”: Customer A is a long-time membe... (more)

Will PR Firms Survive The New Media Avalanche?

http://twitter.com/fuatkircaali Last week I received an email from Lindsey Miller at Ragan Communications. I answered her questions for a story she was working on here. The following is the full text of my reply to her on this subject. What kinds of PR firm will survive the "fast-approaching new media avalanche"? What steps will firms have to take to ensure that they make it through? I know a lot of PR firms that are chasing new accounts among publicly traded companies, which are seen as cash cows in the business. I also know a lot of firms whose sales teams are larger than their senior account staff which will actually get the job done. These firms have armies of new college-grad telemarketers spitting out press releases to the media. For a while you can get away with both approaches. Once the laws, rules and regulations change, the first group of PR firms will disapp... (more)

Twitter 101 Guide for Business

Twitter on Ulitzer As more and more people are using Twitter, there is more effort being made by individuals and businesses to leverage Twitter as a business tool. Twitter recently published a Twitter Business Usage Guide.  There are three sections to this guide that include Getting Started, Best Practices and Case Studies. Here is the usage guide intro from Twitter, I encourage you to read the actual guide. Every day, millions of people use Twitter to create, discover and share ideas with others. Now, people are turning to Twitter as an effective way to reach out to businesses, too. From local stores to big brands, and from brick-and-mortar to internet-based or service sector, people are finding great value in the connections they make with businesses on Twitter. When people working in the Empire State Building twittered that they were craving ice cream delivery, ... (more)

Ulitzer vs. Ning - a Quick Review

Having used both sites for about two weeks, there is still a great deal I am learning to do with both Ulitzer and Ning, but a reader asked if I would do a quick comparison, so I will. The obvious point for me is that the sites have two different objectives for the writers.  For Ning, the writer is trying to be involved in a niche social network from scratch.  For example, I have built my own social network for marketers and salespeople called BuyerSteps.  I created BuyerSteps as a way for other professionals to join in a conversation around the 21st century buyer.  So, Ning represents a way to build a community. In the case of Ulitzer, as a writer I am focused on getting readers from within an existing audience.  There are already thousands of readers coming to the Ulitzer site, so if they are interested in my topics such as marketing, they will find my articles as ... (more)

Best-Selling Author Scott McKain Joins Ulitzer

Business leader, best-selling author and Hall of Fame speaker Scott McKain joined Ulitzer with his blog syndication at http://mckainviewpoint.ulitzer.com. Scott McKain is the Co-founder and Principal of The Value Added Institute, a think-tank that examines the role of the customer experience in creating significant advances in the level of client loyalty. He is Vice Chairman of Obsidian Enterprises, a dynamic holding company with 19 companies in diverse industries, that was named one of the "fastest-growing companies" in America, and is also Vice Chairman of Durham Capital Corporation. Scott's new book, "The Collapse of Distinction: Stand Out and Move Up While Your Competition Fails" has already reached the #1 spot on Amazon.com's list of Customer Service Bestsellers! He is the author of two #1 additional business bestsellers (Amazon.com & 800-CEO-READ): "What Custo... (more)

Microsoft Dynamics CRM: Top Sites and Downloads

If you are a Microsoft Dynamics CRM client or you are considering Microsoft Dynamics CRM, this is a good place to start.  From Microsoft: Microsoft Dynamics CRM Visit crm.dynamics.com. The Microsoft Dynamics CRM Web site is the place to go for information on all things CRM. You’ll find everything from an introduction to CRM and its value to your business to white papers, product specifications, customer testimonials, links to CRM communities, and much more. Resource Center Visit rc.crm.dynamics.com/rc/default.aspx. The Resource Center is a one-stop shop designed to help you get started, maximize your efficiency, and build your business. Using a community-centered approach, the Resource Center brings some of the best ideas via blogs, forums, and newsgroups right to your desktop. But if you like to explore them on your own, you’re just a click away. Ramp up now and ga... (more)

Ulitzer vs. Ning

My original post in late June was based on two weeks of using Ulitzer and Ning.  I've added additional thoughts after two months of use. The obvious point for me is that the sites have two different objectives for the writers.  For Ning, the writer is trying to be involved in a niche social network from scratch.  For example, I have built my own social network for marketers and salespeople called BuyerSteps.  I created BuyerSteps as a way for other professionals to join in a conversation around the 21st century buyer.  So, Ning represents a way to build a community. In the case of Ulitzer, as a writer I am focused on getting readers from within an existing audience.  There are already thousands of readers coming to the Ulitzer site, so if they are interested in my topics such as marketing, they will find my articles as well as others.  Ulitzer allows the writer the ... (more)

Fish Where the Fish Are: Content Distribution on Partner Sites

How well have you planned your content distribution on partner sites to help buyers? You have to fish where the fish are and often it is at another company's website.  Providers need to make their content available that matches the buyer's steps at their partner's websites.  If planning has been applied that involves distribution and measurement, providers can collect solid data on the value of that partner site, messaging traction and the performance of their content. Do Not Confuse Brand Value With Buyer Value Companies really should focus on being partners when it benefits a common set of buyers.  Too many times, providers join up because of the brands involved, but the result is little added value to the buyers.  This can be expensive and shows a lack of buyer consideration by both companies.  The worst part of this is the energy could have been directed at a b... (more)

Has Selling Changed Forever with the Technology Revolution?

Has technology forever changed selling? There's no question about it - Over the last two decades selling has changed, massively. Is it for the better or are we worse off from where we started? To help answer this question we've brought in:   Sam Jefferies: Digital Marketing Executive at Workbooks CRM. Providing CRM Software aimed at small to medium sized businesses. To find out more sign up for their 30 Day Free Trial. Ian Moyse: Sales Leader for Rackspace and Board Member of Eurocloud.   Q. So what exactly has changed? Ian begins: "Sales has moved on a great deal from my early days of a fax machine, no mobile phone and a PC tied to your desktop. In those times you did not have an inbox full of emails, were not expected to be always accessible and would work from paper maps when on the road, using the now rare red telephone box as your friendly reach back to base.... (more)

How Do We Respond to Change? (Buyers Are People, Too.)

In the 21st century, the U.S. Labor Dept. predicts that today's learner will have over 10 jobs by the time they are 38. Being able to adapt to changing conditions in your job status and the status of your buyers is an important strength in 2009. I used to have to go to Europe quite a bit and I remember seeing this sculpture in the Louvre. This piece of art is quite beautiful and it really does make you think about how these captives must have felt. It's universal because we have all been there. The four reactions of their captivity depicted in the sculpture are revolt, hope, resignation and grief. We all have the power of choice over our own emotions. It's not the event that defines us, but our response to that event. A few hundred years ago when we lived in a feudalistic society or a monarchy, hope was hard to come by. But this 2009 with so many technology tools and... (more)

Dell Outlet States Promotional Success Using Twitter

Dell Outlet is stating through a blog representative that Twitter's ability to announce their promotions is meeting with success. This is an interesting development as it portends the future of one-to-many instant messaging as a marketing tool. From Stephanie N at Dell: "There was some buzz back in December around Dell generating over $1 million in revenue by posting offers and responding to questions on Twitter.com/DellOutlet—there’s still mention of it on Twitter even today. Since we started back in 2007, we’ve earned more than $2 million in revenue at @DellOutlet, attributed directly to our Twitter activity. We’ve surpassed $2 million in revenue in terms of Dell Outlet sales, but we’re also seeing that it’s driving interest in new product as well. We’re seeing people come from @DellOutlet on Twitter into the Dell.com/outlet site, and then ultimately decide to pur... (more)