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IBM’s Unica Acquisition Heats Up: M&A Talk In Automation Space

Last week’s announcement that IBM would acquire Unica Corp. for approximately $480 million fanned the flames that other acquisitions could be on the horizon in the automation space.

The acquisition, which is subject to Unica shareholder approval, applicable regulatory clearances and other customary closing conditions, is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2010.

The IBM announcement emphasized the growing role automation is playing in today’s business world, stating: “Marketing professionals are increasingly investing in technology to automate and manage marketing planning and execution to help them better analyze customer preferences and trends and in turn, predict buying needs and drive relevant campaigns.”

LeadMD Prescribes Conversational Approach For Automation Adopters

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LeadMD, a new marketing services company focused on organic lead generation was launched last week by Justin Gray. The former CEO & Founder of MaaS Impact, created LeadMD with the purpose of helping companies prepare for and leverage marketing automation technologies.

LeadMD’s services are focused on helping companies implement conversational marketing, enabling meaningful interactions based on rich content that educates the buyer and allows them to consume information at their own pace. Based on those interactions, and buyer personas that LeadMD works with clients to define, prospects can be engaged at their peak level of interest.

Sixth Time Is The Charm To Convert New Leads, Contact Research Shows

New inquiries should be called immediately and in 2 subsequent time windows during the first day until contact has been made, according to new research from Leads360. More specifically, the report said, calling 3 times during the first day, once on day 3, again on day 4, and a 6th and final time on day 11 or 12, is the optimal call attempt strategy for marketers. If contact has still not been achieved, calling on day 3, 4, and day 11 or 12 will help maximize contact and conversion rates, without requiring additional calls or time investment from agents, besides automated email follow-up.

Aprimo Launches Mobile Solution For On-the-Go Marketers

Mobile_App_phoneAprimo yesterday announced a new offering, Aprimo Mobile, a marketing solution designed to enable marketers to manage anywhere and anytime critical initiatives like campaigns, activities and reports generated in Aprimo Marketing Studio On Demand from any smartphone device.

Aprimo Mobile is aimed at the growing need for on-the-go marketing solutions, enabling out of office marketers to maximize productivity. The solution is designed to provide marketers with the ability to access and approve digital and creative content, pull reports and access crucial customer data and digital profiles on the go.

DemandGen Report Glossary

 

Demand Generation - Focused on targeted marketing programs, demand generation drive awareness and interest in a company's products and/or services. Predominant in BtoB marketing, demand generation marries marketing programs and structures sales processes.

There are multiple components of a stepped demand generation process that vary based on the size and complexity of a sale. These components include:

  • Building Awareness
  • Positioning Relevance
  • Supporting Validation
  • Mitigating Customer Evaluation

 

Lead Generation - To obtain information to expand business scope, lead generation starts by utilizing items like computer programs, databases, the Internet or a specialized service. The practice is focused on increasing sales revenues, looking for a job or for new clients, or conducting specialized research. Leads can consist of the names and addresses (or e-mail addresses) of individuals, corporations, institutions or agencies. Lists of leads can be gathered or filtered from targeted databases such as telephone and Internet directories. For a fee, lead generation vendors conduct research and provide clients with a list of leads.

Inbound Marketing - Traditionally, “inbound marketing” has referred to the process of preparing a product for the marketplace by identifying potential customers, matching product features to their needs, determining the best styling, packaging and pricing to attract them and comparing the product to similar offerings by competitors. Recently, the term “inbound marketing” has become popular to describe the process by which customers find suppliers rather than the other way around.

Outbound Marketing - Traditionally, “outbound marketing” has referred to the process of presenting the product to the marketplace by a variety of means such as advertising, trade shows, direct mail or email, telemarketing and promotions. An outbound marketing strategy refers to any technique that is proactive and takes one to the consumer, rather than being inactive, waiting for the consumer to come to them. The problem with too many marketing strategies is that they depend on visitors voluntarily coming back to a web site. Examples outbound marketing strategies include: reminder notices, profiled information streams, e-newsletters, discussion list participation and online conferences.

Content Marketing - The underlying philosophy driving techniques like custom media, custom publishing, database marketing, brand marketing, branded entertainment and branded content. Content marketing is the creation or sharing of content for the purpose of engaging current and potential consumer bases. In contrast to traditional marketing methods that aim to increase sales or awareness through interruption techniques, content marketing subscribes to the notion that delivering high-quality, relevant and valuable information to prospects and customers drives profitable consumer action. Content marketing has benefits in terms of retaining reader attention and improving brand loyalty better than traditional marketing techniques. Content marketing products frequently take the form of custom magazines, print or online newsletters, digital content, websites or microsites, white papers, webcasts/webinars, podcasts, video portals or series, in-person roadshows,

Drip Marketing A direct marketing strategy that involves sending out several promotional pieces over a period of time to a subset of sales leads. It was developed in response to the "Law of 29" in which many marketers believe that an average "prospect" will not turn into a client until they've viewed their marketing message at least 29 times. The method of drip marketing is designed to help avoid the sell-produce curve. An effective way to use drip marketing is to consistently do something each month to keep your name in front of your current clients and prospective clients.

Lead Nurturing - The process of building a relationship by conducting an informative dialogue that helps qualified prospects who are not yet sales-ready, regardless of budget, authority, or timing — and of ensuring a clean hand-off to sales at the right time. Marketers strive for winnable opportunities in their pipeline. They care more about quality (defined as likely to drive revenue this or next quarter) than quantity. The implication is that leads should live in marketing, and that marketing should nurture leads until they are ready to become opportunities.

Social Media - Media based on conversation and interaction between people online, where media means digital words, sounds and pictures, which are typically shared via the Internet. Social media has been modernized to reach consumers through the Internet. Brands utilize social media to reach customers and to build or maintain reputation. As social media continues to grow, the ability to reach more consumers globally has also increased. Social media has become a new toolset for effective business marketing and sales.

Marketing Automation - Software platforms designed for marketing departments and organizations to simplify processes by automating repetitive tasks. Marketing departments, consultants and part-time marketing employees benefit by specifying criteria and outcomes for tasks and processes which are then interpreted, stored and executed by software, which increases efficiency and reduces human error.

Software as a service (SaaS) - is deployed over the Internet and/or is deployed to run behind a firewall in your local area network or personal computer. With SaaS, a provider licenses an application to customers as a service on demand, through a subscription or a “pay-as-you-go” model. Saas is also called “software on demand.” SaaS was initially widely deployed for sales force automation and Customer Relationship Management (CRM).

New Resources Showcase Results Of Wikipedia, Other Social Strategies

LeadForce1It’s no secret that social media is the popular new kid on the block in marketing circles, but few companies have cracked the code as marketers have struggled to quantify ROI and establish the ultimate value of social media.

BtoB marketing thought leaders are aiming to remedy the need for social strategy, as new social media resources have recently emerged. Eloqua recently released its Social Media Playbook, a 42-page guide dubbed, “Everything Your Company Needs to Know to Succeed on the Social Web.” The e-book is available for free to marketers striving to deepen their company’s social media presence.

Don’t Buy Marketing Automation and Let It Collect Dust

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7 Common Missteps That Slow The Success and Limit The Impact of Marketing Automation Systems

In this white paper, DGR will outline 7 key areas companies must address in order to successfully integrate marketing automation tools and processes into their prospecting. In addition, the paper will present real-world accounts of recent implementations to highlight best practices, as well as the positive impact that well-executed marketing automation rollouts can have on the business.

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