Six Signs You Need Marketing Automation

As a B2B marketer, life can be hectic—and that’s an understatement. At any time, you’re probably juggling a million different tasks, from email marketing to babysitting the lead funnel to content creation. And just when you think you have a second to catch your breath, another dire request gets sent your way.

Sound familiar? Then it might be time to invest in marketing automation software, which takes over some of the heavy lifting for you. Marketing automation has quickly become the “go to” tool for B2B marketers, as it allows them to streamline, automate and measure various marketing tasks and workflows. If you’re currently using marketing automation, and your work life is still crazy, stop reading this blog and click here for a small respite.

Okay, back to the MAP newbies. Apart from being able to save time and increase efficiencies, the software can assist in things like nurturing relationships with leads, building alignment with sales, proving marketing ROI and increasing customer retention. But enough about what it does… how do you know you need it? Below are six telltale signs you’re ready for marketing automation:

  1. Your leads require nurturing: If you’re like most businesses, the majority of your leads are not sales-ready. You may have a nurturing process in place, but if leads are continuously falling through the cracks, this is a strong indication that you need marketing automation. The software allows you to push your non-sales-ready leads into nurturing tracks and continuously communicate with them via automated, perfectly-timed messages.
  2. Your reporting is nonexistent: Now more than ever, marketing is being held accountable for its spending. If you’re struggling to accurately calculate your marketing ROI, then you may want to consider marketing automation, as the software helps you seamlessly track lead-to-revenue time and measure program ROI.
  3. Your sales team sees you as the enemy: Tension between your department and the sales team is at an all-time high because sales can’t tell a good lead from a bad one. If this sounds familiar, then marketing automation is right for you. The software helps marketers accurately score leads based on demographics and activity, so sales won’t waste time actively pursuing unqualified leads. Your data quality might also contribute to this, but I’m not here to sell you on marketing data management… well, not in this blog anyway.
  4. Your team is overwhelmed: If your marketing team is spending so much time performing repetitive manual tasks like building manual workflows or recreating programs, that they don’t have time to concentrate on new strategic initiatives – you’ve got a problem. And, your team is probably very bored. Marketing automation mechanizes your most common marketing processes so you can save time, allowing you to spend time on the important stuff, like taking the latest Buzzfeed quiz on What’s Your Ikea Spirit Name?
  5. You take a “one size fits all” approach: Your engagement levels are down because you send the same tired message to everyone in your database. Your excuse? You don’t have a way to prioritize and engage your prospects. Marketing automation centralizes all of your marketing data including detailed prospect and customer interactions/behaviors, so you can segment the right message to each customer.
  6. Your content is going stale: Do you have a backlog of content that you’re not using effectively? Don’t worry, even us marketers using marketing automation have trouble with that one. But creating standard emails, landing pages, and automated programs that you can clone for each piece of content will definitely help. Developing and cloning your ideal marketing campaigns for each channel will become your new favorite thing. I promise.

Those are the six telltale signs that you’re ready for marketing automation. The good news is that this skillset is in high-demand, so getting your hands dirty with it now should yield excellent results for your career in the future. Have other reasons you think you desperately need automation? Share them in the comments below!

Great Marketing Starts with (Even) Great(er) Data

Earlier today we announced that NetProspex has been acquired by Dun & Bradstreet and I couldn’t be more excited to be sharing it with everyone here and digging into a bit more about what it means. I am excited for, proud of, and extremely thankful for all our employees and our customers who have been on this journey with us. I believe this is tremendous news for B2B marketing and sales leaders who are increasingly focused on demand creation and business growth – and increasingly challenged by ensuring they have the right data to do that effectively.

Over the past 6 years we’ve built a company focused on understanding professional contact data and the process required to maintain it at a very deep level. We’ve helped hundreds of B2B marketing teams better reach their target markets and improve their ability to create interest and deliver demand (in the form of qualified leads) to their sales teams. More recently, we’ve productized our data factory and processing plant to help marketers plug-in and unlock value in the data they already have – and in the new data they collect every day through their (expanding) set of marketing channels. The goal, as always, is to ensure our customers have accurate, complete and actionable data at their fingertips. Because great marketing starts with great data.

So, the combination of our professional contact data and data management capabilities to the world’s largest commercial database is exciting stuff and I am really enthusiastic about the combined value we expect to bring to you as we move forward under the Dun & Bradstreet umbrella. Better targeting, smarter segmentation and improved insights about companies and the decision makers who run them enable you to find and communicate with your ideal customers and grow your business.

You will hear a lot more from us about this news in the coming days and weeks. Suffice it to say, our ability to help you focus on the right companies and maintain the right data for your go-to-market activities just got a whole lot better. In the meantime, you can get some more great insight on the news on the D&B Connectors blog including some video commentary from both of our executive teams.

I want to thank all of our employees – all of which are coming with me over to Dun & Bradstreet – for their innovation, energy and customer-first attitude every day at NetProspex. I am proud of the culture we built together. I also want to thank our customers and partners for taking a leap with us. No start-up makes it to this point without people like you making a bet on us. Your trust in us as a data partner, your feedback and guidance on our product direction, and your belief in our company and people simply mean the world to me, and every single employee of NetProspex.

Looking forward to taking the next step. Stay tuned!

Calling All Customers and Prospects: Help Us Feed America This Holiday Season

Part of the holiday celebration for most families includes gathering together around a table for a feast of delicious foods. This picturesque scenario is a far cry, however, from the holiday experiences of thousands of families that don’t have enough food. In some communities, as much as 89 percent of households with children are food insecure or lack reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food.

We want to change that. And that is why we’re joining forces with Feeding America to achieve two goals at once. We want to help feed the less fortunate this holiday season while also spreading the word about how simple it is to feed your marketing technology systems with great data. As the largest domestic hunger-relief charity in the United States, Feeding America boasts a nationwide network of 200 member food banks that provide groceries and serve meals to an estimated 46.5 million people each year, including 12 million children and 7 million seniors… many of whom face significant health challenges.

It is our goal to raise $20,000, but our CMO has challenged us to break the (food) bank with this drive. For every introductory meeting we set up with a new prospect, and with every quote, online review or case study from existing customers we receive through December 31, 2014, we will donate to help provide a holiday meal for a family in need.

If you are an existing NetProspex customer, click here to join the cause. Your actions will result in a $250-$1000 donation made in your name.

If you have been meaning to learn more about NetProspex and our data management platform but need a little extra incentive, click here to set up a meeting and we’ll donate $50 to Feeding America.

Odds are someone in your life will be visiting a food bank this holiday season. Help us help those families in need. Join us today.

Fall is in the air, Deals are closing, sales are high, Interested? Come join.

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Screen Shot 2013-07-31 at 2.08.08 PM

A little haiku for you all out there. As the small yet insightful haiku states, sales are high and NetProspex is hiring talented sales executives to join our quickly growing team. What we couldn’t fit in the haiku is that we are offering $10,000 to join our Strategic Account Executive or Account Executive team by the end of December.

Yes, Q4 is a busy time for closing business and knuckling down but are you actually excited to show up to work everyday? If the answer is no, NetProspex could be for you. UNCAPPED commission, lucrative commission structures and market-leading compensation plans are just some of the reasons why you should join our team.

In addition, we have an amazing leadership team with perks and amenities to boot. We just had a team Thanksgiving potluck and many of the folks stated how grateful they were for working at a company with such an amazing culture. Need more proof? Check out our past blog entries… we offer free yoga, happy hours, nerf gun wars and more. Not enough? Check out some of the awards that line our trophy shelves.

If you are looking for a fast growing, flexible company then let’s talk. $10,000 could be yours faster than you know.

Check out our Account Executive and Strategic Sales Executive positions now. Not in sales? We are hiring for other positions too!

Hate Rejection? Three Ways to Turn Rejection Into Opportunity

rejection

Rejection hurts. Salespeople don’t like to hear the word no, but the sound reverberates in their ears a lot more than most of them would care to admit. Instead of putting your head in the sand and admitting defeat, buck up! True selling doesn’t even start until you hear the word no.

Most salespeople learn early on how to constructively handle rejection: Keep emotions in check and don’t take it personally. But great salespeople know how to turn rejection into an opportunity. Below are three ways you can turn a no into a yes (or at least a maybe):

  1. Find out what they don’t like: Oftentimes, prospects say no because it’s the easiest and fastest way to get rid of you and get back to what they were doing, not because there’s no interest. When a prospective buyer says no, find out why and have him or her clarify what exactly is undesirable about your offering. It could just be that the intended target needs more information about the product or service, or they have a minor concern.
  2. Get rid of the “I”: Most salespeople make the mistake of approaching prospects with a slew of “I” statements—“I provide X, Y and Z,” “I can help you …”—which turns buyers off. Prospects care most about their own needs, challenges and concerns. If you focus the conversation on them, they’re more likely to engage with you. Replacing the “I” with a “you” can make a world of difference.
  3. Don’t take no for an answer: People—especially C-suite decision makers—often say no as a first reaction. Don’t let them. Instead, show your willingness to work with them and prove that you’re truly interested in helping them better their businesses. Do your homework beforehand and have talking points ready for every possible objection they may throw at you. Remember that polite persistence usually pays off.

While there are a variety of tips sales agents can keep in mind when dealing with rejection, adhering to these three bits of advice will help them inch closer to closing deals.

Why Can’t We Tackle Personalized Marketing?

zilch-blurred

It’s completely natural to jump on the business buzzword bandwagon. It’s exciting to get behind the new shiny toy and expect something magical to kickstart our business. Once upon a time, we were excited about “big data”. Then, we fell in love with (and are still enamored with) “predictive analytics”. In a former life, I worked for a company that invested major marketing and product dollars to increase the “virality” of its product.

Over time, these concepts will get widely adopted and become part of standard business lexicon. For instance, big data today is merely … well, data.

Interestingly, year after year, one concept seems to just hang around: “personalized marketing”. Personalized marketing is the act of segmenting and marketing to specific audiences using relevant content to maximize engagement. Its promise – at least in the B2B environment – has yet to be realized. At a recent marketing event, personalized marketing was being trumpeted by vendors, speakers and attendees alike.

I was curious as to why personalized marketing hadn’t yet taken off so I reviewed one common marketing channel: my work inbox. Most emails started off with “Hi John” (a good start I suppose) but the personalization ended there. The messaging failed to relate to my role, company, location or purchasing history. I had advertisements for IT security (I’m in product management), a software workshop in San Francisco (I’m in greater Boston) and a general promotion for a new creative design software solution (I already owned this product at the time of the email). Yikes. Well, at least they knew my name.

The truth is that personalized marketing is still not widely adopted and has been a steep mountain to scale for most companies operating in a B2B environment. Why? Personalized marketing is a two-prong approach requiring a solid data foundation coupled with clever content strategy. Many companies focus on one of the two when both are attainable with the right solutions and personnel.

The two prongs – data and content – were recently outlined in a New York Times article which described the struggle that political campaign marketers have with connecting to voters. According to the article, the “science” of collecting data for personalized advertising is outpacing the “art” of creating effective campaigns leaving marketers to scramble to develop the content.

Unfortunately, many B2B marketers face challenges on the scientific front. According to NetProspex’ 2014 benchmark report, 88% of over 61 million data records analyzed were missing basic firmographic (company) data attributes. Good content is rendered useless when a marketer can’t segment across key attributes like industry, revenue, company size or location.

The challenge of understanding and implementing a personalized marketing program creates problems for many companies but incredible opportunities for those who can pull it off. By truly knowing who your customer is and curating effective messaging toward that audience, a marketer can present relevant opportunities, start meaningful conversations and solve real problems. This extends well beyond knowing a potential customer’s name.

NetProspex Ranked in the Top 10 Places to Work by the Boston Globe

BostonGlobe_BestPlacesToWork_2014

BostonGlobe_BestPlacesToWork_2014

I could not be more proud to share that NetProspex has ranked 10th in the midsize business category of the Boston Globe’s annual list of the Top Places to Work in Massachusetts. This recognition is another in a long line of recognition we have received from prestigious award programs including Inc.’s 500/5000 and the Boston Business Journal’s Innovation All Stars. These are all huge honors, of course, but there is something really special about this one. That’s because the Globe’s ranking is based on surveys completed by the people who know the companies best – the employees themselves.

I’m a firm believer in the notion that you are only as good as the company you keep. So at NetProspex, we place a huge emphasis on attracting – and developing and maintaining – the cream of the crop. Of course, we offer attractive benefits packages and fun perks like yoga sessions, food trucks, and (the occasional) free beer. However, what I think is most impactful is our supportive, engaging, and open corporate culture. Every single NetProspex employee is treated as a valuable asset to the success of our business. Starting at the executive level, we focus on getting input and ideas across the organization, especially our newest employees – many of whom are recent college grads. I think that’s pretty cool. And, I would argue, it’s critical to building a great company and a culture that attracts more of the right kinds of employees. Every person on our team brings value, and having each of them know they are important goes a long way.

When I see accolades like this – or stats like how more than 50 percent of our new hires in the past year came from internal referrals – I’m psyched because it means we’re doing something (the most important thing) right. People believe in what we’re doing and want to be a part of something great. I don’t think it gets better than that.

For the full scoop, check out the Globe’s Top Places to Work special feature out Nov. 16, or visit the site here.

 

NetProspex Named an Innovation All-Star by the Boston Business Journal

Netprospex in Boston Business Journal

It’s been a banner year for NetProspex – from our Series C funding, to our inclusion in Inc.’s prestigious 500/5000 list, to being named a finalist for MassTLC’s Private Company of the Year. And now we’re beyond excited to announce that the company has just been recognized as an “Innovation All-Star” by the Boston Business Journal. This awards program recognizes “the most innovative and enterprising tech companies fueling the regional economy, attracting VC funding, adding jobs, and transforming the ways we live and work” – so it’s kind of a big deal!

It’s a huge honor to have been selected among such an impressive group of candidates for this award. NetProspex was deemed the winner in the Advertising Tech category, along with Affinnova. And there’s no stopping us as we continue to push the boundaries of marketing tech (in fact, just last week we announced significant enhancements to our Workbench platform).

Details on the Innovation All-Stars award ceremony, happening Nov. 20 at District Hall, can be found here. We hope to see you all there to celebrate an awesome year in Boston tech!

NetProspex Enhances its Workbench Marketing Data Services Platform to Help Marketers Drive Engagement with an Improved Data Strategy

Workbench-Eloqua

New release easily connects to marketing platforms, providing B2B marketers a single plug-in for continuous data insights, hygiene, enrichment and trigger-based audience acquisition

Waltham, Mass. – Oct. 15, 2014 –NetProspex, the leading provider of B2Bmarketing data management solutions, today announced key enhancements to its Workbench data services platform, including deeper integrations with Eloqua, Marketo, NetSuite and Salesforce.com. The release also expands the scope of the platform, extending continuous data management for marketers to enable deeper analytics and insights into the health and productivity of their marketing databases, as well as providing trigger-based audience acquisition based on ideal target profiles. The enhancements allow marketers to more effectively derive value from their marketing technology investments by ensuring actionable, targeted and accurate data is fueling their demand generation efforts.

B2B marketers consistently struggle with data quality, specifically completeness and accuracy, when building and executing demand generation programs. These challenges can affect segmentation, targeting, content creation and campaign execution. In fact, The NetProspex 2014 State of Marketing Data Benchmark Report found that 84 percent of marketing databases were considered barely functional. Yet SiriusDecisions notes that marketing organizations that regularly maintain their database see 66 percent higher revenue contribution compared to those that do not. “With so much data available to marketers, the ability to manage it effectively has quickly become a competitive differentiator in demand creation. Organizations that can acquire, clean, unify and provide easy access to the information that matters will consistently outperform those that struggle with those processes,” said John Donlon, Research Director, Marketing Operations Strategies at SiriusDecisions. Workbench is now extending capabilities and driving tighter connections into the key applications in which their customers’ marketing data resides to make it easier for all marketers to ensure better data sits at the core of their demand engines.

This release of Workbench brings several important features:

  • Audience insights through direct connections into CRM and MAP technologies enable marketers to analyze health and profile details within existing segments in their marketing databases.
  • Ideal profile analytics derive key attributes at the individual and company level for improved targeting.
  • Integrated audience acquisition enables marketers to augment their targeted outreach for account-based marketing programs or trigger-based nurturing efforts.
  • Improved web form integrations for visitor intelligence toenrich inbound leads as they hit the system and enable accurate scoring and better segmentation for follow-up efforts.
  • User-defined policies for continuous data management give users greater flexibility and control over how they maintain their data. Customers are able to prescribe granular rules for hygiene and enrichment policies across their database. This “set-it-and-forget-it” capability enables marketers to ensure their data is maintained regularly without bearing the burden of manual file transfers and ingestion mappings.

“A robust data strategy is critical for marketers to unlock the full potential of their demand generation efforts,” said Derek Slayton, CMO, NetProspex. “As companies invest in marketing automation and sales technologies to improve engagement with prospects, they need to allocate a small percentage of their program budget to ensure that the data fueling their efforts is aligned with their objectives. NetProspex Workbench now makes it simple and straightforward by providing an integrated platform for advanced data services that ties natively into the technology environments our customers are utilizing for acquisition and nurturing efforts.”

The release can also be found live on BusinessWire

MarketingProfs B2B Forum: Shipping Up to Boston!

Boston-Blog

The leaves are changing and there’s a buzz in the air here in Boston. That’s right, over 700 marketers have started flowing into the city for MarketingProfs B2B Marketing Forum. Here at NetProspex, we couldn’t be more excited for the week.

Getting out of the office for a few days to attend one of the must-see events for the year is always nice, but sometimes you can get trapped in the comforts of the hotel and never really get to see the city you’ve traveled to. When I started as the Events & Buzz Coordinator at NetProspex, I made a promise to myself to never fall into this trap while traveling across the country for events.

Rather than spouting off my favorite spots in Boston, I reached out to my fellow Bostonian marketers for their recommendations! Take a look.

Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.

Katie-Martell Katie Martell, Manager of Content & Communications

Aberdeen Group

@KatieMartell

Boston’s North End (A short cab ride or Haymarket T Stop on the green and orange line) is a treasure trove of Italian dining, and after-dinner fare. My personal recommendation for the best Italian dinner in Boston is the modern-styled Carmelina’s on Hanover Street, just across from the famous Mike’s Pastry. (Ask for Nick, tell him Katie sent you.) If you do seek something sweet after your hearty Italian meal, across the street is Café Vittoria, a charming old-world Italian coffeehouse known for their cappuccinos and beautiful golden interior. If you’d like to feel like you’re in the Godfather, or cigars and scotch are your thing, head downstairs for Stanza dei Sigari – a classic cigar parlor underneath Café Vittoria (call me). One insider tip: Modern Pastry is better than Mike’s, but they’re all cash-only!

Shop, Dine, Run – We’ve Got it All!

Vanessa-Porter Vanessa Porter, Marketing Manager

SnapApp

@NessieBessie

Whether you’re looking to shop, play, or eat- Copley has it all! I love stopping by the Boston Public Library and visiting the garden for a quick snack then walking across the street to the Trinity Church. Newbury Street is right there, so you must stop by and see the shops. Once it gets dark, don’t venture too far. Some of my favorite places to drink are in the area. Try Towne or Back Bay Social Club for delicious food and drinks. Whatever you’re in the mood for, you’ll find it at Copley.

Vanessa also provided us with her favorite place to get away from downtown!

The Esplanade connects the urban beauty of the city to the nature wonder, you never know if you’ll see a turtle sun bathing in the inner streams or a curious squirrel stopping by to say hello. Who knows, maybe you’ll discovery a free yoga session or concert too!

Oh no! I lost my suitcase!

Megan-TonziMegan Tonzi, Director of Marketing

AG Salesworks

@Megan_Marie_T

 

Looking for a great place to shop? Here’s Megan’s recommendation for best places to shop nearby…

Depending upon your personality and interests Boston has so much to offer, especially the Back Bay (right where the conference is being held)!  I cannot deny that I am a fashionista and I seem to always find myself on Newbury Street wandering in and out of all of the great boutiques.  However, my all-time favorite store is AllSaints Spitalfields which is headquartered in London but conveniently has a store on Newbury!  You can also check out the Johnny Cupcakes shop, which is our local “t-shirt” bakery (side note: they do not sell cupcakes!).

Also, if you become hungry while checking out the shops you can always make a pit stop at Stephanie’s on Newbury for a great brunch.  Or if you’re looking for a great happy hour spot I’d suggest Post 390 (just don’t forget to Tweet me to join: Megan_Marie_T).  And finally, if you’re looking for a one of a kind dinner check out the Top of the Hub or if you’re feeling a bit Francais perhaps Mistral is more your style. 

Work Off that Brunch at Stephanie’s on Adam’s Running Route!

Adam-Vavrek Adam Vavrek, Marketing & Sales Operations Manager

Skyword

@avavrek

Before it gets too cold, take a jog around the Charles River. You’ll get a nice view of the city and the throng of sailboats and kayaks that occupy the water. You’ll run past the Museum of Science and the Hatch Shell where many concerts are held. If you prefer to bike, rent a bicycle at one of the many Hubway docks in the area; the Charles River bike path goes for 23 miles and goes past major universities like BU, MIT, and Harvard.

Enjoy the Taste of Fall in New England!

PowersMichael Powers, Coordinator, All Things Buzz

NetProspex

@powers_m33

As a New Englander, fall is my favorite time of the year. A time for apple picking, sweaters and a personal favorite, Oktoberfest! Now given the fact that we aren’t in Munich, we have to go next best. Boston is home to not one, but three separate breweries. Traditional historic Boston would lead you to think I’m talking about the Sam Adams Brewery, but my recommendation is to head over to the Seaport and check out the Harpoon Factory. Go in, enjoy some of Harpoons newest craft beers and have a seat in the community styled beer hall.

Conveniently enough, you won’t even have to stray far from the Forum to head down there. As NetProspex was working with MarketingProfs on the perfect location for B2B After Dark at the 2014 Forum we thought no further than the Harpoon Factory itself. So stick around Thursday night and head over there at 7:30PM, it’s sure to be a great time!

Don’t forget all the great things that MarketingProfs has in store for us this week. Starting tonight, Wednesday October 6th, 2014 from 5:30-6:30PM, The Welcome Reception at the Westin Copley Place in the Staffordshire Room! Come say hello to your fellow MarketingProfs groupies.

From Boston? Tell us what your favorite hot spots are in the comments below!