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Inbound Marketing and Marketing Automation Make a Great Team

greg-headBy Greg Head, CMO, Infusionsoft

Inbound marketing attracts traffic with great content that gets found, educates and is worthy of spreading. Marketing automation continues the conversation with subscribers, prospects and customers, primarily through email marketing. 

Sounds simple, right? Not if you are keeping up with industry discussions.

Adding ‘Gamification’ To Content Collateral: Strategies Shared at Custom Media Day 2011

With content marketing emerging as a key part of demand generation programs and strategy, marketers are challenged to develop a deeper understanding of how to effectively engage prospects and encourage content sharing.


Given the popularity of Farmville-type gaming, and the increasingly critical need to create more interactive BtoB brand experiences, “gamification” has become a hot topic of discussion to drive engagement and quality leads. During Custom Media Day, hosted by the Custom Content Council and Content Marketing Institute July 27 in New York City, the sessions focused on extending the life of your content collateral. Chris Sullivan, Regional VP of Sales at gaming platform provider Bunchball, shared key insights into how gamification is helping brands integrate game dynamics into their web sites, services, community, content or campaigns to drive participation.

Marketers Advised To Leverage A Content Mapping Strategy

As BtoB marketers are tasked with making messaging more relevant at every phase of the buying cycle, content marketing has emerged as a key component of the sales and marketing process.

In a webinar last week titled, “Content Mapping: Where to Start, What You Need and How it Works,” a panel of industry experts offered strategies to effectively leverage a content mapping strategy as a supplemental approach to BtoB marketing.

“Influences are now throughout the Internet and our prospects are engaging with them and not necessarily with your messaging, which is where content marketing comes into pay,” said Scott Mersy, VP Marketing, Genius.com.

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).

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