Learning About Marketing Automation

Over the past several weeks, our team has been evaluating marketing automation systems, which will help us have quantifiable measurements of our campaigns, a more systematic way of nurturing prospects and scoring leads and a better idea of ROI. I wonder about the adoption rate for these technologies. Our customers range from extremely sophisticated with complete marketing processes and supportive technology in place, to being unaware that these technologies exist. This sophistication seems unrelated to the size of the company. A good friend of mine is struggling to bring his large financial services company up to speed. They are very slow to adopt the processes of tracking, managing and measuring their campaigns. Changing his company’s culture to include measuring marketing success has been a long, exhausting process requiring patience and a lot of yoga. I like working for a smaller company like ReadyTalk because yes, we have our challenges, but being resourceful and implementing economical marketing solutions is definitely not one of them.

We are still in the final stages of choosing a vendor, but I’d like to recap the main decision criteria for our team. Customer support and trust in the vendor's sales team was probably most important, followed by product functionality and usability and then cost. We love how a particular vendor does not make us sign yearly contracts, yet still has a 95% customer retention rate. In my experience, there is a definite trend toward supporting the smaller, nimble, responsive vendors who want to earn your business. It is even possible to overlook a few missing features if you believe in the company and want to do business with them.

Webinar Drop Offs

What causes your participant's to drop off of your webinar? Why are your events consistently losing listeners? Well, MarketingSherpa might have the answers. MarketingSherpa gives us this nifty little bar graph to show the to reasons for webinar drop-off. According to their research, the top reasons are:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Content was not as advertised
  • Presenter read from slides

  • Webinar was too salesy

  • Already knew the information
  • Webinar was 1 hour long
  • Presenter spoke slowly

 

As expected poor content and delivery were the top reasons people dropped off of a webinar. Luckily, ReadyTalk can help you with both. Next week, Jennifer Thomas is giving a presentation entitled "Using Your Voice Like a Pro: Tips from a Vocal Coach to Make Your Teleconferences and Web Seminars Sound Great". We also have an experienced staff of event managers that have done hundreds of webinars and know what works and what does not. If you are thinking of doing webinars, give us a call and find out how we can help you.

 

The 2nd “P” in Podcasting: Pros

 

My peas that I planted this summer are really producing right now. That's more than can be said for my contributions to the ReadyTalk blog lately, ever since I came up with the peas in a pod metaphor a few weeks ago to talk about podcasting. In that blog entry, I introduced the first "P" in podcasting – "Popularity" – and argued that both the popularity and potential for podcasting are growing. (Okay – that was 2 "Ps", but who's counting?)

Spurred into action by my garden, I'll continue with the 2nd "P", the "Pros" (advantages) of podcasting:

  • Podcasting is new and interesting, which makes it fun. People get bored with the same ol', same ol' and are naturally attracted to new things. Just ask my 11-year-old son.
  • Podcasting is inexpensive. In fact, it doesn't cost anything to podcast, if you use ReadyTalk. Podcasting features come standard with every ReadyTalk account.
  • Podcasts cut costs associated with other forms of communication, including postage, printing, paper, meeting expenses, and e-mail storage.
  • Podcasts are a convenient, efficient form of communication. Because your audience listens to them when and where they want rather than when and where you want, they're more likely to actually get your message. Even during a morning jog.
  • Podcasts make information personal because you're talking to your audience. This lets you add depth to your message that an e-mail or document can't convey – the ones that actually get read.


Those are some of the pros of podcasting. Perhaps the biggest pro of all is that if you are a ReadyTalk customer, we do it all for you. As for the cons, there's one biggie: If you record your podcasts yourself, you'll have to get used to your own voice, which I think we can all agree sounds really weird (to you, not necessarily to anyone else). Don't worry, though, you'll get used to it.

 

[tags]B2B, Podcasting, Podcasts, Social Media[/tags]

A Summer in Colorado

I have been at ReadyTalk for one month now and my efforts have been focused on competitive intelligence. This requires me to perform infinite research on a number of ReadyTalk’s competitors. In the past few weeks, web conferencing has become my new best friend. I can tell you who the market leaders are, what features each service offers and why a “free conferencing” service is not really free conferencing.

 

My summer began in Ghana, Africa where I was on a Social and Economic Study Tour. Three weeks later, I returned home to Cleveland, OH for three days and then it was off to Denver, CO and ReadyTalk. This is my last summer as a college student and going into my senior year at John Carroll University I was hoping to have a memorable and educational summer (I’m off to a good start). Coming from Cleveland has encouraged me to take advantage of the Colorado landscape. Just about every weekend, I go to a different mountain resort. Just last weekend, I was in Snowmass/Aspen competing in a grueling 12 mile mountain bike race. If it were not for the daily 26 mile bike ride to and from the office, I probably would not have finished.

 

 

Learning is a key component to my internship at ReadyTalk. I have learned numerous things about public relations, SEO and lead generation. Aside from that, simply attending marketing meetings and observing daily operations at ReadyTalk has taught me things a classroom cannot. I look forward to the rest of my summer at ReadyTalk and the chance to continue blogging. My goal is to blog on topics such as ed cal tracking, competitve intelligence and SEO.  

 

Make Money Making People Happy

The other day I made a phone call to our internet provider trying to fix our connection. After going through the routine questions with the operator, I was transfered to support. After about a half hour of trying to fix the problem, the non-native speaker told me to call back in an hour and then they could fix the problem. I did as was directed and sure enough, when I called back the shifts had changed and I had to go through the whole procedure again. What a bunch of bologna!

Companies in every industry are delivering these miserable experiences every day. Many companies are losing business by frustrating their customers over and over again. What they don't realize, is that there is money to be made when you make your customers happy. Happy customers are loyal, they are repeat customers and they drive your marketing for you. How is your company making its customers happy?

I recently viewed a slide show online about how to make happiness your business model. This slide show explained not only why it was important to make your customers happy, but how to make them happy. Outlined below are the pillars of happiness every customer desires.

  • Autonomy
  • Competence
  • Relatedness
  • self-esteem or set point


Not only do companies need to create happiness, but they need to know what works against it. Below are the barriers of happiness.

 

  • Fear
  • Confusion
  • Loneliness
  • Lack of control


When a company offers these pillars of happiness and avoids the barriers they will thrive in their industry.

 

 

One industry that has set the bar incredibly low for producing happy customers is the airline industry. However, Southwest airlines has turned these unhappy customers into an opportunity to make money by making them happy. SouthWest has applied the pillars of happiness and has avoided the barriers. Their customers truly do "feel free to move about the country."

What is your company doing to generate happy customers? What can you do better to create a happy environment for your customers?

If your company company wants to make more money, then just focus on making people happy.

Check out Happiness as Your Business Model to learn about these pillars of happiness and its barriers.

[tags] SouthWest, Marketing, Customer Service [/tags]