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Intelligent Marketing Solutions: Where to Begin and Why

24 Jun 2015 by William Freed

Insight’s Marketing Vice President Amy Protexter recently posted about the incredible transformation taking place at the intersection of marketing and technology, noting that Gartner predicts Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) will soon spend more on technology than Chief Information Officers (CIOs) do. As part of this radical shift in the tech landscape, the same Gartner analysts predict that by 2020, customers will manage 85% of their relationships with enterprises without interacting with a human.

This is game changing.

Marketing executives face a new business imperative: C-level collaboration between marketing and IT, as well as the need to look to strategies that leverage marketing and marketing automation across numerous, critical customer touchpoints. In other words, intelligent marketing. That’s because 94% of buyers research your company long before they indicate interest by responding to a call to action or interacting with a sales rep. The buyer’s journey is now built around your prospect’s online experience and the value-added content you provide throughout the process.

And, as the graphic in Protexter’s post illustrates, there is no shortage of technology tools to help you as a marketer. But the field is crowded, and the capabilities of solutions can be so broad and diffuse that it is difficult to know where and how to start. So what is a marketer to do?

At Insight, not only do we sell technology solutions for marketing, but we use several of them every day. When presented with this exact scenario — an ocean of choices for marketing technology — we knew that choosing the right ones for our needs would be a challenge. We took a best-practices approach, breaking the choices down into functional areas and examining our needs within each category. Here are some of the key questions we asked, along with a few actionable tips to help your organization:

  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) — You probably have a solution in place, and if it serves your organization well, then perhaps nothing needs to be changed. However, if you are experiencing issues of scale, or integration with other systems, then ask yourself if there’s a solution that can be customized and integrated with your other systems — in particular, marketing automation. We’ve integrated CRM with our marketing automation system at Insight.
  • Marketing automation — How fast can you get leads into the sales funnel? Do outbound email campaigns, social media activity and outbound programs such as webcasts drive leads into your system for quick scoring and routing to the appropriate department or sales rep? A good marketing automation strategy, when paired with a technology solution that fits your needs (and integrates with CRM) can help you achieve hands-off prospect nurturing that the Gartner statistic above speaks to.  
  • Social — Do your social channels provide a venue for you to listen to your customers and prospects? Are you speaking to them and using your channels not only as a way to market but to drive two-way conversation? The right social strategy and tools will help drive engagement with customers throughout the lifecycle, as well as drive engagement with your brand. Publishing platforms will help you proactively manage the content you post while enabling your team to be proactive. Social media listening tools will help you identify larger trends.
  • Analytics — Do you understand the people who use your analytics tools? Do you know their needs? At Insight, our goal with analytics is to provide the resources that help our people make better business decisions within 15–30 seconds — because our philosophy is that time is money, and people’s attention spans are short. Look for easy-to-use tools that allow your team to analyze the data, not clean them and move them from one system to another to get the desired results. Processes and training are critical, because without them, your tool is worthless.

We understand the confusion that arises when looking at the vast number of choices in the marketing space. We’ve been there and faced the same challenge in our organization as we worked toward intelligent marketing. Having this firsthand knowledge, as well as expertise with the best solutions in the industry, makes Insight uniquely qualified to help your organization understand its needs, grasp the process and take you from planning to specification to implementation — and ultimately success, with intelligent marketing.

Visit us online to learn more about what we can do together, or contact us at 1.800.INSIGHT for help with putting intelligent marketing to work for you.