Archive for the ‘Thought Leadership’ Category

Planning for marketing automation success in the year ahead [video]

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

We had a great session with Brian Hansford of Heinz Marketing yesterday talking about the critical success factors for marketing automation and what you can do now to get things pointed the right direction for the year ahead.  The full replay of the webinar is posted below and Brian has made his slides available for download on Slideshare.

Download slides: http://www.slideshare.net/brianhansford/marketing-automation-success-in-2014-loopfuse

Upcoming Webinar - Marketing Automation Success in 2014

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

Join us Tuesday, November 12th at 1pm ET/10am PT for this Q&A session with marketing automation expert Brian Hansford of Heinz Marketing.  Brian will share insights on how organizations need to plan and prepare their marketing automation initiatives to support a demand generation strategy.  Topics we’ll cover include:

  • Build your Demand Generation Strategy
  • Focus on the Metrics that Matter
  • Database Health – Take care on your database now.
  • Content Strategy – content is the fuel behind any marketing automation initiative.
  • People – Your most important resource. Make sure they’re trained and supported.

Register for the webinar!

How to win at marketing automation and your next chili cook-off

Monday, October 28th, 2013

Yes, that's Richard's chili

If you’re a frequent reader of The Mouth of the Funnel, you’ll know that I like to relate Marketing Automation posts to my everyday activities like building a shower or making salsa. That’s because the process of implementing a successful Marketing Automation program can be broken down and implemented just like you would a construction project or a recipe. There are ingredients or materials that need to be combined in a particular manner to end up with the desired result.

Every endeavor that you take needs to have basics in place to make it successful. For example, if you want to create an entry for your next Halloween or Fall Festival chili cook off then you need to assemble the right ingredients and then put them together in the right way to get a great-tasting combination. Marketing Automation, just like chili, can be as complex or as simple as you want it to be. Using the same ingredients you can create anything from acceptable to award winning, but if you don’t use them to their potential they can also create a miserable failure that makes you not want to even try it again. Now you might think this post is like the one I did for Salsa back in 2012, but not entirely. That one talked about refining and tweaking your process. Today we’ll talk more about the structure of a good marketing automation program and how it all comes together for savory goodness. (more…)

Check out our new Activity Stream for a real-time view of marketing performance

Monday, October 7th, 2013

We are very excited to announce the addition of our Activity Stream to the LoopFuse marketing automation platform.  This is a rolled up and real-time view of all major prospect activities from email campaign actions (opens/clicks) to form completions to web pages viewed.

You can access the new Activity Stream from the Dashboards menu (Dashboard>Activity Streams).  You’ll then see your very own Activity Stream and can easily filter your view by selecting (or deselecting) what you want to see from the “Filter” drop down menu in the upper right.

We are releasing the Activity Stream in “preview” mode so there may be some bugs and room for improvement so please let us know about both and we’ll get cranking on the next version.

Also, here is a quick video overview that covers major functionality and use.

Enjoy!

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LoopFuse Adds Activity Stream for Real-Time View of Marketing Performance

New Dashboard Shows Prospect Activity and Campaign Performance As It Happens

Atlanta, GA, October 7, 2013 – LoopFuse, a cloud-based marketing automation software company, today announced the availability of its new Activity Stream dashboard designed to give both marketing and sales professionals a real-time view of their online marketing activities and prospect actions.

Available with all paid and trial accounts in “preview” mode, the Activity Stream includes the ability to filter results by prospect action as well as drill down to specific prospect details including lead score, full pageview history, and all email campaign activity.   Actions reported in the Activity Stream include:

  • Web page views by both prospects and anonymous visitors

  • Email campaign opens by prospect

  • Email campaign clicks by prospect

  • Form registrations by prospect

“We consume status updates from our favorite social networks in a feed format,” said Robert Pease, CEO of LoopFuse.  “Applying this same concept to a business tool like LoopFuse allows our customers to see in real-time how their marketing campaigns are performing whether they are sitting at their desks or on the go with their mobile devices.”

To try the Activity Stream, sign up or log in to LoopFuse and select “Activity Stream” in the Dashboard menu: https://www.loopfuse.com

LoopFuse offers an on-demand marketing automation platform for small-to-medium sized businesses and is unique in the industry with its “try before you buy” FreeView version which provides access to the benefits of marketing automation at no initial cost.  Read more about Plans and Pricing.

About LoopFuse, Inc.

LoopFuse offers a B2B marketing automation platform that tells you who is visiting your website, helps you capture their information, sends lead nurturing emails, scores the best opportunities, and integrates it all into your CRM system with advanced reporting.  Once in place, you’ll see more qualified leads, shorter sales cycles, increased marketing and sales efficiency, and the automation of once manual and repetitive tasks. In short, we help you generate revenue faster.  For more information on LoopFuse, please visit http://www.LoopFuse.com.

Don't ignore the long tail of your email campaigns

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

Most email campaigns are one-offs intended to push information, announce a promotion, or otherwise bring attention to something immediately.  Marketers have mastered the sent/open/click scorecard as a way to prove that marketing is working and the efforts put into email marketing activities are truly worth it.

After the first 24 or even 48 hours, interest in the campaign performance wanes and it is on to the next email campaign and all the excitement that leads up to it.

But what about all that activity that occurs after the first day?  What about the repeat opens that get registered long after the campaign has been forgotten?  Clicks on the links that register days, weeks, or even months later?

Welcome to the long tail of an email campaign.  Yes, some of this can be triggered by a mobile device, email application of choice, or other random web-based nuance BUT it is important to track and pay attention to as much of it is genuine signal of interest.

Someone who opens your email then marks it as unread to read later as a way to bookmark it or “stars” it a la Gmail as they triage their inbox are all actually much more interesting behaviors than an open within the first 3 hours of sending.  Multiple opens by the same recipient especially distributed after the initial send are worthy indicators of interest.

We suggest scoring these activities so that these interest signals are factored into your lead score and those most interested can be easily identified over time.  At a very minimum, run the Email Campaign Detail report daily to see what type of activity is registering from old email campaigns and who is doing what.

You’ll be surprised at just how much life all those email campaigns have long after you’ve moved on to the next one.

We would love you to try out LoopFuse here.

To find out exactly what LoopFuse does, click here.

You can try Nearstream for social lead generation here.

To add LoopFuse to Salesforce.com, click here.

You can follow LoopFuse on Twitter here or join us on our Facebook fan page here.

The B2B Marketing Technology Adoption Curve

Monday, September 30th, 2013

We spend a great deal of time looking at the market, evaluating adoption trends, and otherwise looking at the key inhibitors and accelerators of continued adoption of advanced marketing technology.  Marketing automation takes a platform approach in linking up lead capture, prospect tracking, lead scoring, email marketing, social marketing, and advanced analytics all in one package. This often is too much for a marketing team to digest out of the gate leading to under-utilized systems and, at times, frustration.

As we look towards the future, we mapped out our version of the “B2B Marketing Technology Adoption Curve.”  This leans on research conducted by awesome Aberdeen Group analyst Trip Kucera along with our own quantitative and qualitative input.  We chose a technology adoption curve as the best way to present this information so it resembles a bell curve with innovators on the left and laggards on the right – so it is not a cumulative curve but more a representation of where marketers are on the adoption journey.

Key takeaways:

1. Most marketers, at this point, understand that email marketing must be part of their playbook. Newsletters, bulk email campaigns, etc.

2. As you work from right to left, capabilities become more advanced and adoption becomes less so. This is the land of lead nurturing (rules based email campaigns), lead scoring, and dipping into the land of social media.

3. Innovators are trying and seeking tools that allow them to better identifies “signals” of demand and want to used advanced analytics to tap the promise of predictive data.

4. We cover this curve from end to end including our ability to do email campaigns to our Nearstream social campaigns pieced designed to identify and engage around social demand signals.  We are doing some additional things around activity streams and predictive analytics that will see the light of day soon as preview features.

The Continuum of Customer Service

Monday, September 16th, 2013

My wife is in the job market and has been looking at some Account Management opportunities. She’s excited to be looking for new opportunities but somewhat concerned about the focus of some positions she’s seen so far. She feels that some are focused on the bottom line “numbers game” a bit too much. Since I’m in a Customer Service oriented position as well, this conversation led to an interesting discussion about something I called the “Continuum of Customer Service” at the time. This idea has developed gradually, especially while working with the talented individuals over here are LoopFuse, who have taught me quite a bit over the years. Basically it’s the concept that, no matter what you do, customer service reigns. Whether you are trying to find new customers, close a deal, or keep them within the fold, a good product is not the end of the customer experience. How the customer perceives your company and the interactions they have with you will go a long way in determining if they will stick with you for the long term. (more…)

Take Our 2013 Marketing Trends and Opinions Survey

Friday, September 6th, 2013

We love hearing what’s on the minds of marketers and have put together this quick 10 question survey to find out.  We did this survey last year and uncovered some really interesting things about budgets, priorities, and new technologies.  Will budgets continue to rise?  Have the reporting gaps been covered?  We’ll see…

Click here to take survey

You could win a $50 Amazon.com gift card too!

Replay of The Intersection of Modern Marketing and Sales 2.0 Webcast [Video]

Friday, August 30th, 2013

We had a great session yesterday talking about modern marketing, sales 2.0, and what you can do in your organization to get started and take advantage of the awesome new tools and approaches out there.  Also, huge thanks to the smart folks at Glider for joining us and showing us their powerful sales contract management app focused on making the “last mile” of the sale more efficient.

We would love you to try out LoopFuse here.

To find out exactly what LoopFuse does, click here.

You can try Nearstream for social lead generation here.

To add LoopFuse to Salesforce.com, click here.

You can follow LoopFuse on Twitter here or join us on our Facebook fan page here.

Being a great CMO

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

Greatness can be defined in many ways…

“To be great is to be misunderstood.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.” – William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night

“Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.” – Albert Einstein

So what does it take to be a truly great Chief Marketing Officer (CMO)?  This too can be defined in many ways but we thought we would put forth what we think makes a great CMO:

1.  Be revenue-centric as this ultimately measures the value you bring

Yes, there are definitely many, many ways to measure the performance of marketing and to prove that “it is working” but the one that everyone can rally around from the Board of Directors to the CEO to the brand new employee is revenue.  This is not a truly high bar but can be unforgiving as you seek to find the best mix of programs, messaging, target markets, and products but great CMOs know that the best measure of their success is viewed through the sales pipeline – whether you are building brand awareness in a consumer world or qualified lead flow in a B2B one.

2.  Constantly try new things through lower cost trial projects

The pace of change and innovation in how people consume information, where they focus their attention (and for how long), and the channels available for companies to reach them is accelerating and evolving.  The only way to truly understand what works is to embrace what is new, test and validate that it works for you, and then pour it on when you see positive results.  Figure out what your test budget is and then use that for every new program and channel.  Never tried sponsored content before?  Time to understand how you can insert your awesome content (not ads) into the flow of how people are consuming information important to them.  Always outsourced this type of activity to an agency?  Ask them hard questions and if you are not in a position to experiment and try new things yourself, make sure it is part of your engagement scope.

3.  Replace qualitative with quantitative where possible

Marketing has always combined art and science.  The creative and the quantitative.  The good news is that the tools and behaviors of target customers can be analyzed and measured now on a previous unattainable level.  Wherever possible replace “we think” with “we know”, replace “we assume” with “we measure.”  Implement basic web site tracking and compare today vs. yesterday or last week or last month.  Understand the trends and whether they are going up or down.  Stop doing “one size fits all” marketing and make use of list segmentation for email campaigns or targeted engagement for social media.  Each of these activities can be measured and understood in terms of how they relate to #1 (Revenue) above.

4.  Build the right team mapped to how your customers gather information and make purchase decisions

People matter most and if you have the wrong skills on board or those not interested in learning new things, you are in deep trouble.  Since many new marketing technologies and approaches are not part of the traditional marketing playbook, don’t get hung up on the fact someone may not have “done it before.”  Look instead for those who are interested in experimentation, have a large social footprint, and are quick learners.  Grab the best talent you can that aligns with your industry, budget, and go-to-market strategy hiring veterans alongside rookies and getting them focused on the goals and objectives of your organization.

5.  Be transparent with goals, milestones, and progress

All this new experimentation, measurement, and innovation must be shared across the organization.  Marketing is not an exact science so something that works wonderfully the first time may disappoint the next time.  Own this and the successes and failures.  Marketing is a process and methods you use will determine the outcome so make sure you (and your team) know what you are trying to accomplish then share the results generously with others in your company.

What do you think?  What makes a great CMO?

Thanks to all around great guy and venture capitalist Brad Feld for the inspiration for this post.  He recently published a great blog post on “Being a great CEO.”  Read the whole thing!

We would love you to try out LoopFuse here.

To find out exactly what LoopFuse does, click here.

You can try Nearstream for social lead generation here.

To add LoopFuse to Salesforce.com, click here.

You can follow LoopFuse on Twitter here or join us on our Facebook fan page here.