Never underestimate the power of collaboration. When your customers can bring up to 250 participants together–with a single click, from any device–great ideas and winning strategies are the result. #Office365 features Skype for Business, a complete online meeting solution with audio, video, and web conferencing. Attendees can record their meetings, share screens, and edit files in real time–even use a whiteboard and poll features to make their meetings more productive. With today’s globally dispersed workforce, powerful collaboration tools are the key to innovation without boundaries.
We live in an age of personalization. Armed with more data than ever before, businesses now have the opportunity to move away from mass marketing ‘blasts’ and toward increasingly targeted, personalized messages. Consumers across industries are welcoming this opportunity. Ad blocking is on the rise, with an estimated 86 million U.S. internet users actively suppressing promotional messages online this year. At the same time, personalized marketing and particularly email messages generate significantly higher attention, engagement, and transaction rates than their non-customized counterparts. Increasingly, your audience expects personalization. And fortunately, the ability to gather and utilize data about your audience has made the process significantly more realistic for small and medium businesses to implement. The Rise of Big Data and Data-Driven Marketing A few years ago, big data officially became a topic for businesses. The rise of online marketing has enabled us to collect a large variety of information about our audience, allowing us to draw insights that can help create more relevant and personalized messages for potential and current customers. That rise of data, in turn, has led to an emphasis on data-driven marketing. As Ad Week points out, basing every marketing decisions on data you have gathered about your audience has turned from a novel approach into an integral business process in the course of just a few years. Your audience knows that you’re collecting information about them online. Now, they expect you to actually turn that information into value for them. Turning Big Data into Actionable Insights Of course, there’s a significant problem with big data and data-driven marketing that has long plagued small and medium businesses: the resources needed to accomplish that feat. Thanks to advertising platforms like Facebook, Google Analytics, and more, everyone can gather the sort of data needed to personalize your marketing. But few organizations actually have the budget and manpower necessary to turn that data into actual, data-driven insights and actions. As a result, the last few years have not just given rise to the importance of data. They have also widened the gap between audience expectations and small/medium business capabilities. Your largest competitors may be able to interpret and use real-time data, but if you can’t, you’ll fall behind in the eyes of your audience. Fortunately, the past may be the past. Increasingly, thanks to machine learning technology, data collection and pattern recognition are becoming more available to businesses of all sizes. In fact, machine learning has officially entered the sphere of possibilities in small business marketing. How To Personalize Your Marketing Using Data Every business can collect data about their audience. And thanks to machine learning, even small businesses can now use that data to create actual, personalized marketing strategies. The reason, as Tech Emergence shows, lies in the increasing availability of technology. Tools like IBM Watson, for example, allow businesses of all sizes to recognize patterns in their data and even predict user behavior for a reasonable cost. But pattern recognition still does not get to the core of the potential advantage […]
In today’s digital environment, even small and medium businesses can benefit significantly from customer relationship management software. Find the right CRM, and you can grow your business by more efficiently reaching out to potential and current customers, enhancing both your customer acquisition and retention efforts as a result. No less than 74% of businesses now use a CRM, and that number increases to 91% when only counting businesses above 11 employees. The increasing data availability, along with the fact that simply integrating the software into your business processes can raise your productivity by 30%, accounts for that adoption rate. Still, simply installing CRM software may not be enough. If you don’t connect it with a marketing automation solution, you may be missing out on a significant opportunity. That’s why ClickDimensions is such a perfect partner product to a powerful CRM like Microsoft Dynamics. ClickDimensions: An Overview ClickDimensions, at its core, is a marketing automation tool. In other words, it’s a software solution that helps you automate your marketing processes, saving both time and resources in the process. The software accomplishes this feat through a number of individual features that range from email marketing to reporting. Combined, they help businesses of all sizes create a more comprehensive and consistent marketing strategy designed to get prospects into and through the sales funnel. But unlike most other marketing automation tools, this one does not operate in isolation. Instead, it integrates directly with your Dynamics CRM solution, helping you take advantage of the sales data and processes you have already established for more personalized, effective marketing. The Marketing Features of ClickDimensions To accomplish its goals, ClickDimensions offers a number of individual features that are worthy of discussion. Each of them is related directly to marketing and marketing automation: Email marketing. Through a native email tool within Dynamics CRM, you can create beautiful marketing emails with a simple drag and drop system. Email data, such as open and click rates, is reported both on a comprehensive and individual level within Dynamics. Marketing automation. Dynamics uses workflows to help you create a set of automated emails. In ClickDimensions, the process is even easier. Create visual communication flows with multiple branches, sending automated email series based on actions that your visitors and leads are taking on your website. Landing pages and web forms. Any business focused on lead generation needs effective web forms to capture these contacts. Within ClickDimensions, you can create these forms, along with the landing pages on which they’ll live, using a similar drag and drop system as email creation. Data is dynamically filtered back into Dynamics for more comprehensive lead profiles. Integrated event management. Does you company rely on events or webinars to generate leads and convert customers? If so, you’ll love the integration with software like GoToWebinar and WebEx, helping you manage each registrant and recording information related to their attendance. Reporting and Surveys. Naturally, the tool helps you improve your marketing reporting abilities. It also allows you to create surveys, which help you […]
In many ways, MailChimp is the ideal email marketing solution for small businesses and startups. Its pricing model is reasonable, while building emails is both simple and effective. Designing attractive emails is possible even for novices in digital marketing. But at the same time, using the software in isolation may cause you to lose out on some significant opportunities. MailChimp, at its core, is an email marketing tool. If you’re looking for a more comprehensive marketing approach, you may want to consider combining it with Customer Relationship Management software. Here are 5 reasons your business benefits from this type MailChimp and Microsoft Dynamics CRM integration. 1. Build Beautiful Emails for a Relevant Audience The intuitive and simple email design tool may be MailChimp’s biggest selling feature. Through a simple drag and drop mechanism and a variety of existing templates, users can build completely custom marketing emails designed uniquely for their audience. The wide variety of examples online today showcase just some of the possibilities of the design tool. Unfortunately, using the software in isolation may mean beautiful emails that never quite reach the intended audience. MailChimp’s contact management system is basic, allowing for some list segmentation but generally limiting itself to uploading lists and sending one-off or scheduled emails. Integrating with Dynamics allows you to take advantage of MailChimp’s strength while eliminating its weakness. Now, you can use the same design tool while also making sure that your emails will reach a relevant audience at the right time. 2. Collect Lead and Customer Information for More Targeted Marketing Wouldn’t you love to know which of your potential and current customers, open, click, and maybe even convert on your emails? MailChimp can record all of that information. But if you use it in isolation, it’s difficult to actually take advantage of the data you collect. Microsoft Dynamics, on the other hand, strives on data integration. It collects relevant actions by your audience in their lead and customer records, allowing you to build targeted marketing campaigns. For example, you can build an email campaign designed specifically for users who have clicked on another, relevant email in the recent past. MailChimp collects the information, while Dynamics allows you to put it to sound marketing use. 3. Combine the Simplicity of MailChimp With the Power of Dynamics MailChimp continues to outpace the email marketing software landscape significantly, with almost 50% in market share among businesses. The reason, as mentioned above, tends to come back to its simplicity, allowing even marketing novices to build beautiful and convincing emails. And yet, an email marketing tool is far from possessing the same power as a CRM. Microsoft Dynamics, for example, allows marketers to perform actions that range from response tracking and lead scoring to conditional, branch and child workflows. If you’re ready to advance your marketing from simple one-off emails to complex workflows designed to engage your audience, you need a CRM. Similarly, if you want to optimize your lead to customer conversions, you better have a system in […]
You need marketing automation. But why? It’s easy to make that claim; backing it up, however, is more important. Especially if you are looking to grow your business and connect with your customers, automating your digital communications with interested members of your target audience should be a key part of your marketing efforts. What is Marketing Automation? Put simply, marketing automation describes the process of setting up automated workflows that send out regular messages on your behalf. Here’s how HubSpot, a leader in the field, describes the concept: [Marketing automation allows companies] to nurture prospects with highly personalized, useful content that helps convert prospects to customers and turn customers into delighted customers. This type of marketing automation typically generates significant new revenue for companies, and provides an excellent return on the investment required. Typically, the process depends on emails that are triggered by audience actions. For example, a lead entering your database may trigger a workflow to send them a set of automated emails designed to guide them through the sales funnel and become a customer. Similarly, a customer’s purchase may trigger emails that encourage them to return. As business communication has increasingly moved into the digital realm, marketing automation has risen in importance. It can be a crucial part of helping your business grow, and here are statistics that back that up. 1) Email Marketing Continues to Succeed Marketing automation, as described above, relies heavily on mass-customized emails to reach your leads and drive them through the sales funnel. Its success relies on the continued prevalence of email marketing as a whole, which is why it’s comforting to know just how powerful commercial emails can be in today’s digital environment. A study by the American Direct Mail Association, for example, showed that emails had an average return on investment of $38 for every $1 spent. Especially compared to other digital marketing opportunities, email is relatively affordable; but its continued preference by audiences everywhere continues to drive that success. Research firm MarketingSherpa found that 72% of customers prefer email as their prevalent source of business communication, far ahead of second-place direct mail. Marketing automation, in other words, works because the medium it uses continues to be successful. 2) Audiences are Cutting Out Ads Part of the reason email marketing has continued to be so successful across industries is the decline which many digital ads have seen over the past few years. Ad blocking is on the rise, in large part due to the fact that audiences are becoming increasingly cynical toward banners and other types of paid advertisements. The outlook is bleak. This summer, eMarketer found that almost 70 million Americans use an ad blocker, a 35% growth over 2015. In 2017, the research firm projects another 24% increase. How do you reach an audience that does not want to see your ads? Simple: through more relevant content that reaches them in a more effective spot. Marketing automation builds on leads who have already expressed interest in your company, and will be receptive to more […]