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Marketing Automation News & Analysis

3 Messages to Personalize, 3 to Automate

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Customers not only expect outstanding support, they deserve it. In this digital age, client inquiries should receive a response within 24 hours. If you fail to do so, chances are your customer is moving onto another company that can.

To provide the quickest, most efficient and most helpful support, a combination of personalized and automated messages promises the best results. The challenge lies in deciding when to take the time, energy and effort to customize a personal response and when to provide a quicker, more efficient automated response.

Keeping Up with B2C: How B2B Suppliers Keep Customers Happy

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B2B suppliers are trying to keep up with the standards set in the B2C world by expanding their e-commerce platforms and overall omnichannel capabilities. And that's a good thing, according to a new study that found consumer shopping habits are influencing how B2B purchasers expect to buy from suppliers.

Nearly half of business buyers (49 percent) prefer making work-related purchases on the same websites they use for personal purchases — prompting a whooping 83 percent of B2B suppliers surveyed to recognize a need to upgrade their e-commerce capabilities.

More than half of all business buyers expect at least half of their purchases to be made online within three years, according to the study, Building The B2B Omni-Channel Commerce Platform of The Future, conducted by Forrester Consulting in North America, France, Germany and the United Kingdom on behalf of Accenture and hybris.

Random Digital Biz Predictions: Tricks or Treats?

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Boo. It's trick-or-treat night.

For those who don't celebrate, it's that Oct. 31 tradition where people dress up in costumes and hypnotize themselves into believing that chocolate has zero calories. 

Kids knock on neighbors' doors, asking them, "Trick or treat?" The adults usually go with the treat answer and give the kids candy (of course, not the good candy. Adults save that for themselves for late-night snacking).

But the trick or treat thing is applicable to the digital business world, too. Predictions on marketing automation? Trick or treat? Larry Ellison "stepping down" and losing influence. Trick or treat? Big data vendors are awesome. Trick or treat?

We wondered. So we asked.

Leverage Data-Driven Marketing to Measure Business Impact

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As the growing reliance on data reshapes marketing, many CMOs wonder which metrics to collect and how to use them to boost company profits. There's a secret to that. In fact, there are four.

Heidi Bullock, vice president of demand generation at Marketo, outlined those yesterday in a CMSWire webinar, The Survivalist's Guide to Data-Driven Marketing. The session was sponsored by Marketo and you can watch it by clicking on the frame at the end of this story.

Bullock explained that marketers need to understand the close connection between their budgets and the company's financial success. For example, they could ask themselves what impact would a 10 percent increase in the marketing budget have on their company's profit?

Constant Contact has the Toolkit for Growth

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The main growth levers at Constant Contact continue to point in the right direction, as the company — a provider of cloud-based digital marketing solutions for the small and midsize business (SMB) market — gains traction with its Toolkit online marketing platform.

Thanks to Toolkit, introduced in April, Constant Contact is seeing better customer engagement, higher average revenue per user (ARPU), improving retention rates and increased lifetime customer revenue, according to CEO Gail Goodman. 

A Signpost on the Road to Marketing Automation

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As technologies mature, two nice things typically happen: the price falls and capabilities rise. Soon almost everyone can take advantage of it.

Consider cell phones. They were expensive, bulky status symbols when first marketed, but 4.55 billion people will use better, cheaper phones this year, according to eMarketer. Computers? Over the past 20 years, the price of a medium-quality PC has fallen from about $2,000 to a few hundred dollars. And today's computers are much better.

So it shouldn't come as a terrible shock that a Software-as-a-Service startup is now offering a marketing automation system with basic cross-channel customer relationship tools for $200 a month, or $180 if you pay in advance. The company's target? Mom and pop businesses.

Marketo Hits its Mark, Delivers Strong Q3 Revenue Growth

It’s clear from the latest quarterly numbers out of Marketo that the company is sitting in the sweet spot of engagement marketing. Revenue in the third quarter rose 54 percent, billings advanced 50 percent and the addition of 140 new customers brought the company’s installed base up to 3,499.

More organizations are turning to San Mateo, Calif.-based Marketo after realizing that it’s now much more important to develop relationships with their customers instead of simply talking at them through advertisements.

Post-IPO HubSpot Still Playing Competitor Catch-Up

marketing automation, HubSpot Gains in IPO, Still Needs to Play Competitor Catch-Up

If competitor stories are valid precedent, HubSpot's IPO last week was a good move.

But it certainly won't be an easy road for the Cambridge, Mass.-based marketing automation provider that made its NYSE debut last week. Not with future investment in marketing automation from competitors and not with recent advancements like Oracle's integration with BlueKai, according to a marketing automation analyst. 

"IPOs worked for Marketo, Eloqua and Responsys, so the precedent is good," said Gerry Brown, senior analyst for customer engagement and marketing technology for Ovum Research. "Competition for HubSpot will become intense as other vendors, such as Sitecore, offer marketing automation as an add-on. HubSpot needs to make sure they don’t get distracted from execution by the razzamatazz of the IPO."

Wait Before You Invest in Hubspot

Yes, it's fun to see a technology startup make it to an Initial Public Offering (IPO). The Hubspot team deserves credit for making it to last week's IPO, with its stock now trading under the symbol HUBS on the NYSE. 

But for investors, it's a totally different story. It's time to take a wait and see approach.

Discussion Point: Who'll Win the Digital Marketing Arms Race?

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Sitecore CEO Michael Seifert caught our attention last month when he claimed the "arms race" among 1,000-plus digital marketing vendors is hurting the industry.

"Frankly, I think it's getting absurd," he told the crowd at his company's annual symposium in Las Vegas. "Marketing technology is starting to fail the marketer."

His argument was that the smaller players only operate on the channel they serve. Seifert believes Sitecore's comprehensive approach puts it among the marketing cloud superpowers -- like Oracle and Adobe -- that will thrive while smaller players fade away.

5 Ways Analytics Enables Smarter Action

2014-10-October-Action.jpgAnalytics has become the backbone of digital marketing success, and when used correctly, is a fundamental tool for smarter, data-driven marketing. Using analytics effectively means marketers are in a better position to recognize trends, uncover insights and take action such as personalizing content and remarketing in real time.

But the value of data to the business diminishes if it doesn’t enable timely action. That’s the reality that digital marketers face. They’re under increasing pressure to manage the deluge of data, extract real value and take action quickly.

Stock Market Makes Room Today for HubSpot $HUBS

Tech companies have spent billions on marketing automation in the last few years. The big guys. The kinda big guys.

More investors can get a piece of the pie now.

HubSpot, the Cambridge, Mass.-based marketing automation provider rivaling the likes of Marketo, Act-On, Pardot and Eloqua, had its IPO today. It's stock was valued $25 a share. HubSpot is coming off its annual conference last month and prior growth announcements. 

Marketo's Real Time Personalization Buy - 10 months Later

It's been about 10 months since B2B marketing automation provider Marketo bought Insightera's real time personalization platform for $19.5 million.

Personalization is still all the rage, and some think it will be for quite some time.

Are digital marketers ready to take the personalization plunge? A Marketo official told CMSWire the number of converts to the former Insightera brand is surpassing financial expectations. And all was well in the numbers for Q2 for Marketo in general.

But is a real time personalization platform in general an automatic, no-brainer dive for digital marketers? Not quite, according to Lori Wizdo, marketing automation analyst for Forrester Research.

Oracle Seeds BlueKai into its Cloud #OOW14

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Oracle's multibillion-dollar buying spree of marketing technology companies bore new fruit today as it announced the integration of its BlueKai data management platform with Eloqua's marketing automation tools.

The move allows the use of anonymized data from Eloqua with the analytical tools in BlueKai. That, in turn, allows marketers using the Oracle Marketing Cloud to identify additional characteristics about the people who respond to particular campaigns. 

Act-On Marries Marketing Automation, Web Phone Calls

digital marketing, Act-On Software Marries Marketing Automation with Web Phone Calls

People still make phone calls?

Act-On Software believes so. And the marketing automation provider is teaming up with a company whose platform tracks calls from websites and provides call analytics.

Act-On and Ifbyphone partner today in a merger where marketing automation meets call tracking. The companies announced the news today at the SMX East conference in New York. The merger enables Act-On's digital marketing customers, officials from each company say, to leverage Ifbyphone’s data to track calls from website visitors.

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