Martech

Making the most of your martech stack

How to optimise your existing marketing tools and empower your team to use them effectively through agile ways of working

The world of martech (marketing technology) can be quite a murky place. What tools are out there? Which ones are best for your needs? And how do you make them work for you to achieve your goals? Let’s wade through the muck to find the answers.

Picture this: You’ve got data spread across your organisation in various CRMs, data lakes and even a few Excel sheets. To put it plainly, your data has more duplicates than an identical twin convention – but you know there’s valuable customer and prospect data hidden deep within, just waiting to be utilised. If only you had the tools to get it all in order, you’d be the marketing Rockstar of your organisation!

And so begins your quest for the latest and greatest martech tool, suffering through demos with approximately 34 different sales reps. They make each tool look better than the last and you agree that you would like to use every single one. But, here’s the catch – you don’t actually need them. Well, not all of them at least.

Fix before you buy

Like the old adage that your mother used to say, “we have food at home” – or in other words, take a look at what you already have, then decide what you really need. So, before you go on that endless hunt for a new marketing tool, make sure you’re really making the most of your current tools and take a real look at the goals you want to achieve. To do this properly, there are two crucial places to start: data and education.

Get your databases clean, up to date, and most importantly, compliant, before deciding on your next steps, or you risk falling into the same pitfall as many organisations before you. You’ll take your bad data from one tool to the next which then won’t deliver any tangible business benefits, because guess what? The data you’re feeding it is terrible. You’ll need a solid foundation to clean your database – clear targeting criteria and personas.

The next step is to make sure your team is using your marketing tech properly. Take marketing automation tools for example – we love them for the power they give us to run campaigns, send emails, create landing pages and much more with great ease. Their downside? That power is available to all your colleagues, and the temptation to abuse it is strong – why not send this email to a few more personas? Will it really hurt the click / open / bounce rate? Yes, yes it will.

And on top of that, marketing automation tools will happily put restrictions in place to stop unnecessary email sends that may hurt their bounce rates. Suddenly that great tool you had doesn’t look so shiny and bright when you have one hand tied behind your back because the new marketing intern sent the quarterly newsletter to your entire database. How can you avoid this? To quote a mid-90’s Tony Blair, ‘education, education, education’.

Inject agile into your marketing

A simple solution is to adopt agile ways of working.

With a test, learn and build approach, your team will gain the skills and know-how for using and optimising your tools properly and effectively. With an expert team you can trust, you’ll make the most of your existing tools while testing new tools with ease. What’s more, you’ll learn to integrate and maximise the value of your automation tools across your business as a team – streamlining marketing activities and delivering reports with clear KPIs.

It’s easy to assume that the perfect martech mix is only achievable with the latest top tools on the market.  However, the more you invest in your current marketing tools with greater support, knowledge-sharing and training within your team, the more value your users will get out of your system – making it more effective and better performing. A winner all round. Rock on, Rockstar.

Want to learn more about agile marketing? Check out our agile marketing hubs.

Nick JohnsonMaking the most of your martech stack
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3 ways that Marketing Automation can help your B2B marketing activity

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Companies are always looking for ways to make their job easier, work more efficiently and make their marketing campaigns more effective; that’s why 55% of B2B companies around the world have adopted marketing automation.  

By definition, the term ‘marketing automation’ refers to a set of tools designed to streamline and simplify some of the most time-consuming responsibilities of the modern marketing and sales roles. All of the day-to-day tasks that marketers have to action as soon as someone enters your sales cycle can be automated, freeing you up for valueadd work. 

Here are three ways you can use marketing automation to improve your B2B marketing activity:

Lead Scoring

The first goal of a company is to get a prospect or sales lead into their pipeline, but once marketing starts to pick up and the number of leads increase, it becomes more important for companies to focus on the prospects that are the most interested and most likely to buy – this is when lead scoring is needed. Lead scoring is a methodology used to rank prospects against a scale that represents the perceived value each lead represents to the organisation.  

You can set up your CRM or automation software to detect form submissions, click-throughs or page views to rate/score your lead. This will help your marketing team determine how valuable they are and what their specific interests are, in order to drive them through your sales funnel.  

However, just because someone downloads a report or spends a lengthy amount of time on your landing page, it doesn’t mean they are automatically the right target for your business. Lead scoring will gather the information about the prospect that is given to them and will rate the contact based on a number of factors. For example, for a B2B company, a persons’ job title, company size or revenue could be the information that is most valuable to your business. Using this rating, your Sales team can then follow up, knowing a bit more information about the contact. 

Lead scoring is an ideal way to enhance the productivity of your Sales team, improve sales & marketing alignment and higher conversions of qualified leads to opportunities.  

Social media

Having an automated social media strategy is a must if you’re looking to gain hot leads. This new marketing activity is the most productive use of your time as you let it work its’ magic and do the job of an Executive. Sending messages to prospects on LinkedIn can seem like such a long-winded and monotonous task. By automating your LinkedIn outreach, you can search for your ideal customers, select the level of engagement you want to initiate and let your software bring in leads. This software works in three ways – invites, auto-replies and mass messages. 

You can also send automated direct messages to people once they follow you on Twitter – this is a tactic that is used a lot more frequently nowadays so beware of blending into the crowd of other companies doing the same. Send a message that is more personalised by using the followers first name for example – this will engage the follower and keep them interested in the content you are publishing. 

Drip marketing 

Ever wanted to keep prospects warm but struggle to find the time to keep up with, draft and send a stupid number of emails? Implementing a software that allows you to automatically send emails the moment they move through your sales funnel is essential. Drip marketing (or essentially, automated email campaigns) aims to support marketing communication planning by sending out emails automatically through your schedule. Certain triggers – or responses – will automatically generate next steps that are relevant to each subscribers’ actions.

Many B2B companies face long sales cycles, which is why drip marketing is essential for lead generation. It allows you to build relationships with your recipients over time. In a study conducted by IBM; it’s stated that sending regular, personalised mailings to prospective and current clients will average a 48% increase in repeat sales. The best part of this tool is that once you have initially set up your drip marketing campaign and trust that is it working, you don’t need to make any changes unless you feel there is a need.

The only way to truly understand drip marketing is through experimentation – only then can you begin perfecting your strategy.

Marketing automation can help innovate your company, ensuring it remains agile during a time where customer expectations are constantly changing. It increases productivity, maintains a consistent tone of voice and improves your ROI. CMO of InfusionSoft states that the best marketers are using both inbound marketing and marketing automation together, and they are getting great returns.” Marketers knows that their ultimate job is to increase the company’s revenue – marketing automation can help this by generating more and better-quality leads which will eventually turn into new customers.

Bright is an agile consultancy specialising in providing marketing services for some of the fastest growing technology and IT services company. If you are interested in finding out how you can improve your marketing ROI and build pipeline, please get in touch.

Lydia Kirby3 ways that Marketing Automation can help your B2B marketing activity
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3 key google analytics tips to impress your boss

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In this blog, I will take you through the 3 best analytics tips I’ve been given to track website performance and impress your boss. Make good use of them.

Tip 1: Customised dashboards

It can be easy to get overwhelmed with data from Google Analytics but your colleagues are still expecting you to create amazing reports, to share analysis with them and to spot opportunities or issues. Relatively unknown but very useful, Google Analytics offers customised dashboard to help you monitor your performance.

You can easily use customised dashboards for social media, for SEO, traffic acquisition, branding and content marketing…  You just need to have a look and choose what you need.

They are free and accessible in just a click. Since every business is different, the monitoring objectives are, so you will need to make some changes or get inspired to develop your ideal table edge.

1. Select the customised dashboard you want (you can also use the search bar to look for relevant terms)

2. Click Import

3. Select the website you want to monitor (in select a view)

4. Click create

Tip 2: Customised alerts

It can also be frustrating not to be instantly aware of what happens in real-time on your website. You cannot afford to spend every minute of your day on Google Analytics trying to to spot unusual behaviours. The ability to spot in real time a particularly successful campaign or an issue could be invaluable

After identifying the key performance indicators, you can associate a tolerance level to be told when there is an unusual behaviour on your website. Whenever the tolerance level is reached, Google Analytics will notify you and you can take the required actions to change the situation.

1. Click on Admin

2. Under View, click on “Custom alerts”

3. Click New alert

4. Create your alert and click save

Get some inspiration with the 5 examples of customised alerts by Google

Tip 3: Send reports automatically

After building multiple dashboards that will respond to your needs, you can easily share these reports with your colleagues.

Google Analytics provides automated emails for your reports so that you can you all have a shared vision of your website performance.

1. On each dashboard, click on email

2. Complete the pop-up with

  • The recipient
  • The frequency
  • The format

(if the structure of the dashboard were to be changed, the next report will automatically adjust to the new structure)

Sian Heaphy3 key google analytics tips to impress your boss
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How’s your digital health?

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Many B2B companies have yet to embrace digital with quite the same zealous that the B2B industry has. But this seems like a waste. Since there are many opportunities for B2B brands that do harness the digital space, to grow and to drive demand. However, those who do put the power of digital to use are often unable, or unsure how, to quantify the success or the value of the investment.

Digital audit

Digital marketing is vast and ever changing, so, for companies without a mass of resources, keeping up with its evolution can be difficult. It can be a challenge to simply identify the right channels in which you should be involved.

The digital audit is there to assess the health of the business’ current online strategy. It provides you with a quick overview of what you are doing currently, and what the next steps might be to improve your digital presence.

Benchmarking your activity against that of your competitors, using enterprise level analytics tools and against our experience of your market as a whole.

From this initial ‘health check’, recommendations are drawn out to create a short, medium and long-term strategy to move your business forward, and ensure that you make the most out of any digital investment. Crucially, this online plan of action is always aligned with your wider business goals in order to maximise success.

Website

  1. Website performance
  2. SEO – Search Engine Optimisation
  3. PPC – Pay Per Click
  4. Design and content
  5. Engagement

Social media

  1. Optimisation
  2. Engagement
  3. Content

Email marketing

  1. Design
  2. Content
  3. Data
  4. Engagement

Data to drive digital strategy

Reviewing the data that emerges from these main areas will highlight any glaring omissions, and point to any success stories from your current digital strategy.

Employing SWOT analysis to this information will give you a clear set of actions for both short and long term success.

Organic

Assessing the health of your SEO is an important aspect of this process. It is important to ensure that nothing is stopping you from performing well in organic search. You want your website to be optimised for keywords to drive organic traffic.

PPC

Likewise, if you are running PPC campaigns, you need to ensure that they are optimised and delivering the best results for the cost of clicks. If you aren’t running PPC campaigns – should you be?

Responsive Design

Considering the recent changes that have been made to Google Ranking, website responsiveness is now an essential consideration. Google will soon be negatively scoring any sites that are viewed as unresponsive, or not user friendly across devices.

Why is it important?

The digital audit or health check is a short-term engagement that will give you an overview of your online performance and provide you with actionable insights for both a long and short term marketing strategy.

Directing resources towards these activities will offer you an outline of where your business is today, and provide a strong platform from which to drive your business forward in the digital age.

Still not convinced that you could benefit from a digital audit? Have a think about these…

How did Penguin affect your website?
What about Panda?
What’s your industry average bounce rate?

If you want answers to the above, or just to find out more, get in touch.

 

Sian HeaphyHow’s your digital health?
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8 tips for growing your email sign-ups

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Email marketing is well established as a key part of any marketing strategy, providing measurable results and a reliable platform for communication. However, according to a recent survey conducted by Econsultancy, 54% of respondents stated a top barrier to conducting effective email marketing is the quality of the company database.

We’ve put together our top eight tips all businesses can implement to increase their database with engaged and quality contacts.

1. Building the database

Having established that email marketing is important and all businesses should do it, the first step in starting your email marketing is to build a database.

2. Use other channel to promote sign up

  • Most businesses will already have a network of contacts which are easy picking to convert into email subscribers
  • Use your corporate email signature to direct attention towards the sign up form
  • Promote newsletters on social media and, where appropriate, printed material can be a great source of data collection.

3. Embed a data capture form

Instead of linking to a sign up page, embedding the form keeps your readers on the page and engaged with the main website content.

4. Placement of the sign up form a/b testing

  • Using the concept of Minimal Viable Marketing™, set the sign up form live and then test it
  • Only test one variable at a time in order to draw actionable conclusions.

5. Keep the form short

  • Don’t put all your work into researching clients/prospects. A simple name, address and company should be enough information for you to work on categorising the contact
  • Remaining contact information can usually be found with an online search, where you will be able to identify job title, industry sector and influence level
  • This is about making it as easy as possible to sign up.

6. Highlight benefits

Tell them what value they will get for signing up and how often it will be received. Are there events, news or industry insight? Remember, this is about the recipients perceived value, so it should be more detailed that ‘what we’ve been up to’.

7. Use the sign-up as a call-to-action

…after a blog post or case study. You’ve written lots of great content that is hopefully delivering people to your site. Use the sign up to capture their information and encourage future engagement with the business.

8. Vary content

Depending on where on the site the sign up form is, content should be varied. Placing the form on the case study page will call for a more corporate tone of voice. Therefore, the sign up form should show that more insights will come from emails rather than shorter blog posts.

A blog post reviewing your last events lends itself well to a call to actions to sign up – so you don’t miss out on future events.

In a nutshell

  • Raise profile
  • Make content targeted
  • Don’t make your subscribers do the work

As the email database grow, businesses are able to take advantage of segmentation, delivering more targeted and personalised campaigns to recipients.

This is the future of email marketing. If you’re looking for advice on how to develop an integrated B2B marketing strategy, get in touch. 

Lydia Kirby8 tips for growing your email sign-ups
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Website redesign using agile marketing

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Bright is built around agile marketing – an agile way of working inspired by lean and agile project management methodologies so popular in the tech world.

The concept of agile marketing

Agile marketing isn’t just a principle we apply to our delivery, its something we use internally too and I’m going to talk about how we applied this way of working in the redesign of our own website and some of the key lessons that we took out of the experience.

At the heart of agile marketing is the belief that campaigns and marketing activities should be rolled out to a live audience as part of their development.

Being data driven and using the feedback and results collected are then vital inputs which are applied to optimise it and the cycle then begins again. The idea is that now only do you get faster but you also have campaigns that are actually built on the way your target audience responds rather than theory or guesswork. 

A fast and effective website redesign

Well, you’re seeing the results of MVM in action on this page! The Bright Innovation website, as you might have noticed, has recently undergone a complete redesign. The key point, however, is that what you’re seeing now is not the final version; come back in a week’s time and you might experience a slightly different website.

The website is constantly evolving. Agile marketing allows us to use sprints to test, learn and improve based on feedback and performance analysis. The backlog of issues, opinions and comments, which we created during the testing stage before go-live is as important now as it was three weeks ago. Testing is vital in agile marketing. It’s testing that allows you to make each consequent iteration better.

Additionally, because we only invested one month of our time in getting the (minimum viable) site ready (from concept to going live) we now have spare time and budget to keep improving the website. And, importantly, we can base our improvement decisions on data coming in from real leads.

So how do you go about redesigning your website using agile marketing?

A few practical tips

  • You could spend months or even years re-designing your website and never being happy enough to make it live. That’s not an option using agile marketing. Give yourself a very ambitious, almost unobtainable, time frame and stick to it. This will force you to actually face making data driven decisions rather than hiding from them by ‘exploring other options’ constantly.
  • Don’t boil the ocean – your website doesn’t need every conceivable thing you can think of. Think rather – ‘what are the must haves’? These will be both your goal and your starting point to create a minimum viable site.
  • As with any project, a website redesign is likely to have multiple stakeholders and mobilising them can be tricky. To help yourself out schedule in regular stand up meetings with the ‘high power, high interest’ key players
  • First impressions count. Agile marketing helps you get something up-and-running quickly, but you still need to pay attention to detail. Spelling mistakes, missing content, placeholder text – all of these are easy to miss when you’re pushed for time but it’s these small details that make your site look like work in progress rather than a finished product undergoing evolution (two very different concepts). Balancing the speed of testing and learning with high quality output is the key to a successful agile project.
  • To help with the above point it’s worth considering a fairly extended period of internal testing during which those little mistakes and niggles can be spotted and taken care of. However, for the testing to really be useful you need to have a backlog – whichever way will make it easier to get feedback from your testers. Documenting the comments, issues and changes made, together with date and priority allows you to keep track of the testing phase progress. Once the website is live and you start making new iterations checking the backlog will also help you to avoid previous mistakes.
  • If you’re working with web developers make sure you know how to use the back-end to make edits once your test results start coming in.
Sian HeaphyWebsite redesign using agile marketing
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