How A Start-up Grows and Becomes so Big They Need CRM To Increase Sales and Reduce Costs

Trek Bicycle began was founded in 1976 by Richard Burke, president of flooring and appliance distributor Roth, and Bevill Hogg, owner of a chain of bike stores. With $25,000 in seed money from Roth’s parent company, Intrepid, Trek started to build bikes by hand in a Waterloo, Wisconsin barnTrek Bicycle began was founded in 1976 by Richard Burke, president of flooring and appliance distributor Roth, and Bevill Hogg, owner of a chain of bike stores. With $25,000 in seed money from Roth’s parent company, Intrepid, Trek started to build bikes by hand in a Waterloo, Wisconsin barn.

Today, Trek designs and develops its bikes at its worldwide headquarters in Waterloo, Wisconsin or at its design facility in the Netherlands. The manufacturing of its bikes takes place in the U.S. and Asia (under Trek oversight), with select town bikes assembled in Hartmansdorff, Germany. Trek Bicycle sells its bikes around the world through about 1,700 retailers in North America, subsidiaries in Asia and Europe, and distributors in 90 countries. Trek’s 2011 sales totaled more than $800 million. The company sold 1.5 million bikes worldwide that year. Richard Burke’s son, John, runs the company as president.

From its beginning, Trek targeted the prestige bike market. The firm introduced its first mountain bike line in 1983 and the first bonded-aluminum road bike — the Trek 2000 — in 1985. The lightweight Trek 2000 was greeted enthusiastically by serious riders. This was followed by a carbon fiber road bike in 1986. Hogg departed from the company in 1986. And Burke, who had held an advisory role, took over day-to-day operations and presided over the company’s return to profitability.

Amid a U.S. bike industry slump in the early 1990’s, Trek focused on overseas sales and overcame European snobbery toward American bikes. It also moved into accessories and began manufacturing helmets in 1993. That year, the company bought Gary Fisher Mountain Bike, founded by the inventor of the mountain bike. Trek bought two more mountain biking competitors, Bontrager and Klein, in 1995.

“We wanted to spend less time managing servers and infrastructure and more time developing features which provide value to our customers.”Adam Salvo, Development Operations Manager, Trek Bicycle Corp.

Intrepid, Trek’s parent company, changed its name to Trek in the latter half of the 1990s as the company divested itself of its non-biking businesses. In 1997, Burke’s son, John, became president of the bike company. In around 1989 also Trek expanded into foreign markets, opening subsidiary offices in the UK and in Germany. To increase production efficiency, Trek stopped bonding its aluminum bikes in 1998, adopting the more common practice of welding .

In June 2002, the company’s president was appointed to the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. Seeking to further boost its European presence, the company purchased the bike division of Villiger, a diversified Swiss company, later that year. The purchase included bicycle factories in Switzerland and Germany.

Although it’s a global leader in bicycles, Trek maintains the spirit of a small company. This includes its close-knit, collaborative staff and independent bike shops that sell Trek bikes and gear. These trusted partnerships are the backbone of Trek’s business model. When sales reps leave or retire, it can take years to rebuild the depth of knowledge and the rapport that the reps had established with the bike shops in their territory.

“In my job, there are always a couple of things I am trying to kill: bad process and hardware. Microsoft has helped us to do that. The less stuff I have to manage, the more time I have to focus on the important things in life.” David Peterson, Enterprise Collaboration Manager, Trek Bicycle Corp.

Ultimately, Trek’s success depends on close, supportive relationships between its sales reps and the owners of the stores it sells through. Trek is committed to its 5,000 independent bicycle retailers around the world. To support them, Trek offers an Ascend retail management system that manages inventory, places orders for parts, tracks work orders and processes customer’s purchases.

Trek worked with a data center provider to operate and support these services. As the company grew, supporting these services got more expensive and complicated, requiring more servers and IT staff at both Trek and the data center. This began increasing operating costs. And it could take from two to six weeks to install a new server at the data center, which was not fast enough to easily scale with demand for bikes.

But with so much information coming in, the bicycle maker realized it needed a more efficient and effective way to capture and manage the wealth of information its sales reps accumulated as well as to facilitate employee collaboration that would result in better customer experiences, loyalty, advocacy and referrals.

So Trek decided to make some changes to how they did business so they could have a more complete picture of customers and their data and as a result, they could provide better customer experiences and service.

Integration between Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online and other enterprise data sources, including Trek’s JDE ERP system, has helped develop a more complete picture of Trek’s retailers and customers, while the introduction of Yammer has enabled people to collaborate within Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online—replacing email and instant messaging for certain workgroups. And Microsoft Dynamics Integrated CRM Solution helped Trek to support sales reps in bringing all of their customer information into one place, standardizing workflows, and making it quicker and easier for its employees to find vital information.

Trek was also able to improve web sales and customer service by connecting Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online to its public website, where the system captures customer inquiries from a Web form and routes them to the appropriate technical representative. The automated workflow attached to these forms has reduced response times from two weeks to only a few hours, increasing customer satisfaction.

There’s lot’s more that David Peterson’s team did… so make sure to get the full report!

@drnatalie

VP and Principle Analyst, Constellation Research, Connecting Marketing, Sales and Customer Service Through Great Customer Experiences

Join us for the Connected Enterprise Conference at Half Moon Bay – Oct 29-31st!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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How Will Agencies Get the Attention of the CMO? Publicis Groupe Adobe Multi-firm Announces Always-On Service Delivery Platform /

How will agencies get the attention of CMOs for marketing optimization and big data analytics? Here’s one approach: Publicis Groupe and Adobe announced a strategic partnership to deliver the Publicis Groupe Always-On Platform™, the first end-to-end marketing management platform from Publicis Groupe that automates and connects all components of a client’s marketing efforts.

This unique platform will standardize on Adobe Marketing Cloud, and for the first time in the industry, all agencies across Publicis Groupe will be able to create engaging content, access marketing intelligence, identify and build audience segments, deliver campaigns, and track and measure marketing performance through a unified technology and data structure.

Available to all agencies in the Publicis Groupe network, the platform will be anchored in VivaKi as an open framework so that every agency can deploy and brand it uniquely for use. Agencies currently slated to access the system include BBH, DigitasLBi, Leo Burnett, MSLGROUP, Publicis Worldwide, Razorfish, Rosetta, Saatchi & Saatchi, Starcom MediaVest Group, VivaKi and ZenithOptimedia.

The collaboration is expected to drive growth across the two companies, and accelerate Publicis Groupe’s goal to make combined digital and emerging market revenue 75 percent of its multi-billion dollar business by 2018.

It is a great partnership. My only concern is that this type of implementation requires organization change management on behalf of each organization and great leadership that understands their current organizations and the vision of the future state and where the agencies are going….. It will require the right leadership in each organization and the skill sets — people who are not only excited about using the technology, but is not so busy that they can learn to use and then optimize it. I believe it’s possible and that these firms can make it happen. They are well positioned to be the leaders.

That’s my take!
@drnatalie

VP and Principle Analyst, Connecting Marketing, Customer Experience and Customer Service

See you at Constellation’s Connected Enterprise, Half Moon Bay, CA Oct 29th-31st, 2014

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5 Easy Steps to Solve Your Digital Marketing Challenges Using Big Data Analytics: A Clear Path Forward for the CMO

The world has gone digital, and no one feels the pressure more than the CMO. Customer segmentation presents challenges that are not possible to uncover with traditional methods. According to Forbes, “Gartner analyst Laura McLellan recently predicted that by 2017, CMOs will spend more on IT than their counterpart CIOs.” Those who don’t embrace analytics fully will lose their seat at the C-suite table. 

In this webinar, I will share my expertise on how CMOs can navigate the challenges of their evolving roles. Her marketing optimization framework enables assessment and evolution of marketing efforts as well as integration of analytics to improve bottom-line results.  We’ll use a 5-level maturity capability matrix to show how you can progress your marketing capabilities.
 Christy Maver, Director of Product Marketing at Actian, will present a set of Customer Analytics Blueprints designed to give CMOs a roadmap to address big data marketing challenges.
Reserve your seat to hear how Actian can help you accelerate Marketing analytics!
@drnatalie
VP and Principle, Constellation
Marketing, Customer Experience and Customer Service
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Content Marketing: BrightEdge Announces Community Edition Including the Data Cube To-Go

Most brands didn’t realize the digital disruption and revolution mean that they would become digital publishers. But at the end of the day, that’s exactly what happened. So what are great digital marketers doing to optimize content? That’s what this blog post is about: How are you optimizing your content? So if you are a CMO or Digital Professional, I don’t need to tell you that content is “it.” In fact, According to the Custom Content Council, 42 percent of the $43.9 billion spent on marketing in 2013 was allocated to content marketing. If you look on, LinkedIn there are nearly 2 million professionals working in the content marketing field today.

What’s really important to these professionals is to make sense of what content works and what doesn’t.  Marketers need help to navigate content marketing by making their most powerful technologies available to the entire digital marketing community. Access to this type of technology offers marketers the powerful insights they need to make informed decisions and drive tangible business results.

Along these lines, BrightEdge, content marketing platform, unveiled BrightEdge Community Edition. For the first time, BrightEdge is opening its technology up to the entire digital marketing community at no cost. The Community Edition includes access to Data Cube To-Go, a massive data repository of billions of pieces of content from across the web and Content Optimizer To-Go, a proven recommendation engine for content optimization. Marketers can download the Community Edition at no cost as an extension for Google Chrome and gain immediate insight into the performance of digital content, competitor content, and receive performance-enhancing recommendations.

BrightEdge CEO and Co-Founder Jim Yu said, “BrightEdge is committed to the success of the millions of people around the globe focused on content marketing. We are taking our most powerful technology and putting it in the hands of the entire marketing community. Whether you are a BrightEdge customer or not, you will have access to rich data insights to inform strategy and best practices. We believe this bold move is the best way to help the community deliver content that performs and delivers positive business impact.

Lemuel Park, CTO and Co-Founder at BrightEdge said, “With Community Edition we have made it possible for anyone to take two of our most powerful and innovative technologies with you as you browse the web. We took the massive scale and power of the Data Cube and made it portable with Data Cube To-Go. We used the proven power of Content Optimizer and made it available for any page on the Internet with Content Optimizer To-Go. I am excited to see the impact our most powerful technology will have now that it is out in the wild.”

So what do customer’s who are using the technology saying?Insight from the Data Cube is proving really useful for us as we start to really understand who is appearing in spaces that matter to us, the reasons why, and other areas we can potentially win,” said Dan Patmore, search strategy manager for Argos.

How Does The BrightEdge Data Cube To-Go and Content Optimizer To-Go Work?

When looking at any piece of web content, marketers can open the BrightEdge Community Edition and instantly bring up a simple and powerful display with insightful data on how their content is performing. Unique insights powered by Data Cube To-Go and Content Optimizer To-Go include:

  • Check the pulse on content performance: Community Edition includes the Data Cube Pulse, BrightEdge’s powerful content performance rating. Data Cube Pulse is calculated at scale on the massive repository of information in the BrightEdge Data Cube for each piece of content. With Data Cube Pulse, content marketers can understand the likely success of a piece of content at a glance.
  • Explore trends and travel in time: Community Edition will also include the Data Cube Time Machine, enabling marketers to see performance over time to understand what content is successful. With Data Cube Time Machine marketers access a unique month over month performance comparison to arm them with the insights needed for exceptional content performance.
  • Keep an eye on the competition: Marketers can open Community Edition on any website on the Internet, including competitors’. By seeing which content and topics competitors are finding success with, marketers can gain a deeper understanding of content performance web-wide and make more informed decisions about their own content strategy. Further competitive insight is provided by Data Cube Pulse and Data Cube Time Machine.
  • Optimize content with proven recommendations: Community Edition includes the revolutionary power of BrightEdge Content Optimizer. Previously available only with Adobe Experience Manager, Content Optimizer To-Go offers all marketers access to the industry’s largest and most proven set of content optimization recommendations. Content Optimizer To-Go makes use of the same powerful advice that is built into the BrightEdge S3 platform for any page visited with Community Edition.

BrightEdge Community Edition is available on a limited basis and will be rolled out to the wider public over the following weeks. For more information visit BrightEdge athttp://www.brightedge.com/getCommunity.

If you have not heard about BrightEdge and what they are up to, here’s more details on their overall solutions:

BrightEdge is the essential content marketing platform for modern business. It transforms online content into tangible business results such as traffic, revenue and engagement. BrightEdge’s S3 platform is powered by a sophisticated big data analysis engine and is the only company capable of web-wide, real-time measurement of content engagement across all digital channels, including search, social and mobile. BrightEdge’s 8,500+ global brands include leaders like 3M, Microsoft, Netflix and Nike.

Website: www.brightedge.com
Blog: www.brightedge.com/blog
Facebook: www.facebook.com/seoplatform
Twitter: www.twitter.com/brightedge

So what are you doing to optimize your content? And make sure all those dollars going towards creative are paying off?

@drnatalie

VP and Principle Analyst, Constellation Research — Covering Marketing, Customer Experience and Customer Service

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Join Me at Constellation’s Connected Enterprise

Join me at Constellation’s Connected Enterprise, an immersive innovation summit for senior business leaders. The theme of this year’s Connected Enterprise is Dominate Digital Disruption. Join 200+ other early adopters at Connected Enterprise to discover and share how digital business can realize brand promises, transform business models, increase revenues, reduce costs, and improve compliance.

This 3-day executive retreat includes mind expanding keynotes from visionaries, interactive best practices panels, deep 1:1 interviews with market makers, new technology demos, The Constellation SuperNova Awards Gala Dinner, a golf outing, and an immersive networking event.

Register before September 30 to take advantage of early bird pricing. Use code BBLG14 for VIP privileges throughout the event.










See you there!

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Salesforce.com Announces New Salesforce1 Fund from Salesforce Ventures to Fuel Mobile Innovation for the Internet of Customers

What’s new in the land of start-ups? Well Salesforce.com just announced Salesforce Ventures which has allocated $100 million to invest in companies building innovative mobile apps and connected products that extend the power of the Salesforce1 Platform. The first wave of Salesforce1 Fund investments include DocuSign, i.am+, InsideSales.com and Skuid. The idea is that with Salesforce Ventures, portfolio companies can leverage the expertise of the Salesforce.com Foundation to make giving back part of their business model from the beginning.

Salesforce Ventures invests in the next generation of enterprise technology to help companies connect with their customers in entirely new ways. Portfolio companies receive funding to accelerate their growth and gain a competitive edge through access to the world’s largest cloud ecosystem and the guidance of salesforce.com’s innovators and executives. With Salesforce Ventures, portfolio companies can also leverage the expertise of the Salesforce.com Foundation to incorporate its 1-1-1 model of integrated philanthropy to make giving back part of their business model.

It makes sense since technology continues to transform the way companies connect with their customers. By 2020, according to Cisco, there will be 50 billion connected things and a trillion connected sensors on the Internet of Things—from smartphones and wearable smart devices to jet engines and cars. But what matters most is that behind every device, every app, and every product is a customer. This is really the Internet of Customers, and the opportunity for companies to revolutionize how they connect with their customers has never been greater.

More on the companies they are funding:

●      DocuSign—DocuSign’s Digital Transaction Management (DTM) platform empowers mobile Salesforce users and their customers to go 100 percent digital so that anyone can transact anything, anytime, anywhere, on any mobile device securely – all from within Salesforce1. 

●      i.am+i.am+ is a fashion and technology brand that makes aspirational garments and accessories with functionality and untethered communications.

●      InsideSales.com—InsideSales.com integrates core telephony features like Click-to-Call™ and Lead Management—powered by a predictive analytics engine—into any Salesforce1 mobile experience to make field reps more productive and accelerate sales.

●      Skuid—Skuid allows customers to quickly create powerful, gorgeous apps for any device without code.

 The Salesforce Ventures portfolio includes innovative cloud companies such as Anaplan, Box, DocuSign, Dropbox, Evernote, FinancialForce, GainSight, Kenandy, Layer, MuleSoft and StayClassy. Salesforce.com has invested in more than 100 enterprise cloud startups since 2009. Looks like Salesforce Ventures is furthering salesforce.com’s commitment to creating the world’s most innovative cloud ecosystem that extends the power of the Salesforce1 Platform to help companies connect with their customers in entirely new ways.

If you want additional information on this new venture, you can find it here:

●      Learn more about Salesforce Ventures: http://www.salesforce.com/ventures

●      Follow @salesforcevc on Twitter: http://twitter.com/salesforcevc

●      Learn more about the Salesforce.com Foundation: http://www.salesforcefoundation.org/

And if you want to start giving back, join Salesforce Ventures and The Salesforce Foundation at Disrupt SF on Tuesday, September 9 to assemble backpacks for SFUSD students.

@drnatalie

VP and Principle Analyst, Constellation Research

See you at Constellation’s 4th Annual Connected Enterprise

The Executive Innovation Conference | October 29th-31st 
Half Moon Bay, CA | Ritz Carlton

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Data as a Service: Targeted to A Business Use Case & Integrated into Business Applications

If you have not seen the Oracle Data as a Service offering, it maybe something you’ll want to consider. Why? Big Data is now one of the hottest topics. The issue is more data is not helpful unless the data is actionable and it provides insights to act on.  What seems to be on Oracle’s mind is:

  • Separating data services from applications
  • Allowing the data to be used by any application of your choice and
  • Offering external data to enrich business results.

In essence, what we are talking about is making data scalable, have interoperability, portability and well of course — last but not least, secure.

A data-driven business would need the answers to these types of questions, for instance for:

  • Marketing: Who should my prospects be? or How should I segment my list? or What should I say? or What have I said in the past that resulted in high lead conversions rates? The type of data Marketing would need would be information about a prospects shopping interests or past transactions
  • Customer Service: What are customers saying about my products / services/ our brand? Or What types of trends should I be looking for? The data the business would need would be around what are people saying about the brand and what are they sharing about the brand?
  • Sales:  How can I tell if I am talking to the right person in the organization who can answer my question or am I just wasting my time? Or what are all the ways I could get in contact with the company? The data needs there are things like business data and linked social handles to actual people in the company.

The outcome for Marketing would be that the Marketer would have the right prospective audience and be able to service up the right ads and content across any channel. The outcome for Customer Service might be the ability to increase retention with better social listening and sentiment or signals on how customers are feeling about the brand. For Sales the outcome might be improved sales efficiency with better insights and leads that convert to more sales, higher value sales or longer customer lifetime values.

But many businesses are lacking the competitive edge they should have when using data. This is often because the business:

  • Lacks a common data identifier across channels and across the enterprise
  • Finds it difficult to verify the quality of the data from the various sources of data (your own or data from 3rd party sources)
  • Has data in silos and it can not be easily transferable into an action across various platforms
  • Has a bunch of point solutions that don’t connect with enterprise-wide view of the data
  • Has not figured out the complex legal, commercial and privacy rights to navigate with the data and stay in compliance.

One solution to these issues appears to be what Oracle is presenting as Data as a Service (DaaS). This is where the data is offered as a service, and is uncoupled from any application and targeted to a buyer for a specific use case and easily integrated into a business application.

The four components of that are:

  • Data Ingestion
  • Value Extraction
  • Rights Management and
  • Data Activation

across all channels, with an ID unification system or process and a scalable infrastructure.

After the briefing, an example of the use of this type of system was shown for Marketing, where there was a 5x lift in performance vs traditional data and 2.5x in performance goals using data modeling. The audience for this type of Data as a Service for Marketing is targeted at Marketers, publishers, ad networks, exchanges and tech vendors and would be used to prospect at scale, serve up relevant ads and content across online, mobile, search, social and video.

An example of Data as a Service for Social showed a 5x in fan engagement, competitive intelligence, consumer intent capabilities and purchase language insights (i.e., know what your customers are saying when they actually are talking about buying something….) The ability to extract valuable information from unstructured social data is key to understanding consumer behavior and serve them well. The audience for this type of data is Marketers, customer service executives, Sales, e-commerce and social media managers.

To be able to give attribution to what is driving customer behavior, understand that and then use it to make real business decisions means that companies must be able to know more about who the data is coming from and what the data means, which leads us to the idea of  “addressability and ID (identification.) This ID graph is key to making the data operationalized, scalable and result in a business outcome. The question for you is, where are you on the maturity capability of your data and are you using a data as a service vendor or parsing through data in separate systems and trying to tie it together later?

Big data brings big promise. It also brings with it big issues if one is not skilled in the area of data addressability and ID to result in business outcome attribution. Where do you think most companies are on this Data as a Service maturity capability scale?

@drnatalie
VP and Principle Analyst, Constellation Research

See you at Constellation’s 4th Annual Connected Enterprise

The Executive Innovation Conference | October 29th-31st Half Moon Bay, CA, | Ritz Carlton 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Marketing Automation is Not Just For Marketers: Sales & Customer Service Need It Too!

As I was taking a briefing this morning by the CMO and team at Act-0n Software, I really saw the connection that is sorely needed between Marketing and Sales and Customer Service. Sales can often be found complaining that they’d have more sales if Marketing gave them better leads. And Marketing can often be found saying to Sales, “You’d have more sales if you just acted on the leads we provided.”

What I saw in Act-on’s presentation was the fact that Marketing and Sales both benefit from marketing automation software. It’s not just Act-on’s software that provides this. What is really important is whether most of the money spent on marketing activities especially B2B marketing where a lot of money is spent on educating the buyer via webinars, white papers, case studies, etc… is generating sales and great customer interaction experiences.

Marketing Automation is Not Just for Marketers Anymore

Marketing Automation is Not Just for Marketers Anymore

The point is really to make a great customer interaction experiences. Marketing and Advertising let customers know what is new, exciting and available. But once that is done, how many Marketers know the marketing “activities” really drove sales? Of if the Marketing Automation platform can connect with the CRM database is to see if someone, who is receiving the marketing message, is a customer already?

What helps Sales is when they can see what the prospect (who is either a current or potential customer) has done with the company – i.e., what interactions they have had with the marketing content they were sent. Did that prospect open the emails, download the white papers, watch videos — i.e., that behavioral data is key to determining buying signals from a customer.

And today, the marketing funnel is not so linear. Someone who is having a customer service issue might display, right in the middle of a marketer’s campaign #fail with respect to the service they got (or lack there of) and can detour a customer from either turning from a prospect into a customer or turning from a current customer to a defector.

Software that connects separate databases and connects the ability of Marketing, Sales and Customer Service to connect and understand the behavioral data of prospects and customers is key to a company’s success — because it all drives great Customer Interaction Experiences.

And that’s how I see it.

@drnatalie

See you at CCE: Constellation’s Connected Enterprise

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Delta Uses Microsoft to Transform Flight Operations and the Customer Experience

In 2013, Delta Air Lines sought to reduce the amount of paperwork the pilots carry in their flight bags by implementing an enterprise managed tablet system. The average flight bag contained thirty-eight pounds of paperwork. Multiplied over thousands of flights, the paper in the pilot flight bag represented a loss in fuel costs, emissions, convenience and customer safety and experience.  The transition from paper to tablets reduced the number of pounds of paper on flights, thereby affecting the overall carbon footprint as well as providing better customer safety and customer experience.

Pilots needed an electronic solution that not only reduced the weight of the flight bag, but also put critical information at the pilot’s fingertips via an electronic tablet, which can enhance the pilot’s situational awareness and improve customer safety and hence the overall customer experience with the airline. These requirements meant the solution needed to be compatible with Delta’s technology systems and have the ability to run Jeppesen’s FliteDeck Pro. 

This case study examines why Delta Air Lines chose the Microsoft Surface 2 as their digital paperwork solution, how Delta implemented the devices, and the ROI of the project.

Download the study here.

@drnatalie

SAVE THE DATE!
Constellation’s 4th Annual Connected Enterprise 
The Executive Innovation Conference | October 29th-31st 
Half Moon Bay, CA | Ritz Carlton
Submit a Case Study for CCE

 How to work with Dr. Natalie  VP & Principal Analyst | Constellation Research, Inc.

Skype: drnatalie007 | LinkedIn | Google+

Catch my latest:
• Thoughts at www.DrNatalieNews.com 
• Upcoming book series: “7 Steps To Digital Customer Experience Mastery” (working title) 

 

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Act-On’s New Platform Capabilities Give Marketers More Flexibility, Power, Control and Enhanced Usability

Act-on Software provides marketing automation for small and mid-sized businesses. Their latest platform enhancements are designed to empower marketers to customize individual user experiences as well as reports for marketers based on unique business processes. Act-On focused its product innovations on feature sets they found to be most vital to its customers’ needs, i.e., simplifying the user experience through customization capabilities, while making the system more intuitive with personalization and dynamic reporting.  This means that marketers can have more flexibility and while still having control.

When I talk to clients, more and more of them are adopting marketing automation. The new features Act-on is providing are based on customer influence as well as market needs. This is because is Act-On paying close attention to the “whole customer experience” to ensure that Act-on’s clients realize the business success from marketing automation and remain delighted throughout the customer lifecycle.

Act-on’s New Marketing Automation Capabilities Include:

  • Funnel Reports – Marketers can better define the stages of their marketing and sales processes and measure the results of their efforts through those stages. Unlike static, traditional reports that provide results for a given period of time, Act-On’s Funnel Reports take continuous snapshots of information in order to measure the overall flow and velocity of leads, track prospects through important conversion points, and compare results across different time periods. These reports can utilize data from multiple sources, including the Act-On Marketing Automation Platform (MAP), CRM systems and other external sources of data.
  • Customizable UI & Dashboard – The new dashboard enables users to better manage their marketing assets by organizing them into groups, selecting favorites, and quickly accessing most needed items. They can also configure their dashboards into an instrument panel that gives them an immediate view of their favorite campaigns or performance reports.
  • Responsive Design Content Management Editor – Act-On’s new content editor allows marketers to create content that is both responsive and adaptive, rendering properly on any device type. The drag-and-drop editor enables marketers to create attractive campaigns without needing to know HTML or CSS (cascading style sheets).
  • New Integration Architecture with Expanded Integrations – A new integration layer provides native integration with all major CRMs, including MS Dynamics, Sugar, NetSuite and SalesForce.com. These high performance integrations give users the flexibility to switch CRM systems without losing any marketing automation functionality.
  • Google Chrome plug – Act-On also adds a new Google Chrome plug-in to its growing list of email connectors, enabling users to send email through their corporate email systems like Gmail, Google Apps, and Microsoft Outlook, while using Act-On’s email design templates, personalization and message tracking.

Some Thoughts from Act-on Clients

We’ve been working with Act-On because it’s the most user-friendly, easiest to implement, and fastest to start up of the marketing automation platforms we’ve used,” said Brandon Larocque, Managing Partner at Access Marketing Company.  “With Act-On Funnel Reports, our agency now has the ability to create a view into the most important output of our marketing automation service — customer movement through the funnel from top to bottom. The new reporting feature unifies marketing performance data from Act-On and our CRM, and allows us to show our clients how marketing is contributing to their bottom line.”

The Act-On Funnel Reports have opened up a whole new avenue of measurement and analysis,” said John Stalnaker, Marketing Manager at Extensis. “The new reports provide incredible insight into our various marketing channels. We know which channels produce the most leads, opportunities, and revenue — it’s a great alternative to ‘last touch’ campaign tracking that we report through CRM. Because Act-On is our marketing database of record, only Act-On knows all the channels a prospect touches. I can’t get this kind of report out of CRM alone.”

So if you are a small to midsize business, the importance of automating your marketing has never been more important than ever. And what’s great is that marketing automation, which was once only available to larger enterprises is now available to smaller companies. With the ability to scale marketing activities, small companies have the opportunity of a lifetime to grow very quickly, like never before.  And that’s the way I see it.

@drnatalie

SAVE THE DATE!
Constellation’s 4th Annual Connected Enterprise 
The Executive Innovation Conference | October 29th-31st 
Half Moon Bay, CA | Ritz Carlton
Submit a Case Study for CCE

 How to work with Dr. Natalie  VP & Principal Analyst | Constellation Research, Inc.

Skype: drnatalie007 | LinkedIn | Google+

Catch my latest:
• Thoughts at www.DrNatalieNews.com 
• Upcoming book series: “7 Steps To Digital Customer Experience Mastery” (working title) 

 

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