sales and marketing aligment

Why Should You Align Your Sales and Marketing Strategy?

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Sales and Marketing are two sides of the Coin. In the simplest of terms, while marketing focuses on creating awareness and evoking a desire to buy a particular brand’s product/service, sales focuses on converting a potential customer into an actual one. That being said, it’s pretty obvious that their ultimate goal is the same: business growth. Coming together with a common goal of increasing revenue, these two pillars of a successful business can drastically increase marketing ROI, sales productivity, and profits.

There is an immense scope for improving business performance by aligning sales and marketing functions; an idea that is often overlooked due to deep-rooted misunderstandings.

Why is it then that marketing and sales teams view each other as competitors, as opposed to collaborators?

A difference in their approach is one reason. Marketing strategies are created for the long haul: creating brand awareness, recognition, and retention, building a solid foundation, nurturing leads etc. Sales strategies tend to be short-term, dealing with meeting monthly, quarterly, and yearly quotas. They need aid from the marketing team that will help them close a sale today.

Another reason for discord between sales and marketing teams is the difficulty in measuring the results of marketing activities, unlike the quantifiable outcomes of sales efforts. This often leads to marketing efforts not being taken seriously or considered important by the sales team.

Demand Gen & Inside View conducted a survey amongst sales and marketing professionals to understand the main issues faced in aligning marketing and sales. The results provide proof of the problems stated above 49% of those surveyed cited communication as the main challenge, followed by broken or flawed processes (42%), use of different metrics (40%), lack of accurate data on target accounts (39%) and reporting challenges (27%).

Acknowledging the problem is the first step in solving it.

Benefits of aligning marketing and sales

Before stating the measurable benefits of aligning sales and marketing, let’s go over the real and potential losses that arise out of non-alignment.

As per Wheelhouse Advisors:

  • Companies are losing closing to $ 1 trillion per year due to lost sales and wasted marketing expenditure.
  • 79% of marketing leads don’t close.
  • Only 27% of leads given by B2B marketers are pursued by the sales team.

The advantages on the other hand are:

  • According to Wheelhouse Advisors companies that ran sales and marketing strategies in tandem achieved 36% higher customer retention and 38% higher win rates.
  • A report by Aberdeen Research states that companies that have aligned sales and marketing saw an average of 20% increase in annual revenue, as opposed to a 4% decrease in companies that didn’t.

As per Sirius Decisions research B2B organizations having well-aligned sales and marketing functions saw 24% more rapid growth and 27% more rapid profit increase over a period of three years.

The good news

There is an increasing desire to work in collaboration, especially being voiced by Sales. A survey of 300 Sales heads by Sirius Decisions states, “The top third of the sales cycle has gone away. Salespeople believe that the beginning of the traditional sales process has evaporated and that buyers are self-servicing their needs instead of engaging with salespeople.” This shift in buying behavior has made Sales more dependent on Marketing.

Time to get Onboard

Given the real and quantifiable benefits of aligning your sales and marketing strategy, especially in today’s digital era where consumers are well informed and knowledgeable, it is imperative to implement policies and create an environment that brings these two vital functions together. A well thought out integrated Sales-Marketing plan is what will make the difference between growth and sustainable growth negligible.

What happens if you choose the wrong metrics?

What happens if you choose the wrong metrics?

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Marketing Data Analytics comes in handy with lots of data insights and everyone in the team wears the throne of Gold Digger. Various analytical solutions thrive in the market, choosing them is not the science; choosing the right metric is.

So why?

  • Is it so that the same analytical platform performs better for one entity but reaps zero results for the other?
  • Do the CFO’s treat marketing efforts as mere expenditure oriented tasks?
  • Is marketing treated as a money drain?
  • Is the value marketing team creating?

The answer lies in the prominent belief of Marketing as merely a head under the umbrella but not the one holding it. Changing this perspective demands a treasure trove of data showing a rerouting of money back into the entity multiplied manyfold. That’s how the efforts can be counted, every other alternative is just a namesake option. No matter how the rain treats the umbrella, the holding hand should treat the umbrella the same way. When the responsibilities shift into confident hands, the umbrella works better. It’s not the fault of the rain.

A reason why marketing still stays on the back foot in most of the organisations is due to the wrong selection of metric. Yes, you need metrics to measure. But you need to decide what to measure and what not?

Nothing comes out of the wrong metrics, except wrong conclusions.

So, in case you consider giving the growth of an organisation a boost, try growing with the right metric. Short sighted metric are the short term goals and may disagree with far-sighted metric associated with the long-term success of your organisation. So, listen to the alarm, try to figure out the wrong metric and you will end up finding the right one. Establish a rerouting of money and efforts of the marketing team. Or, hit the snooze to send the  growth into a deep slumber.

9 Shades of Marketing Automation

9 Shades of Marketing Automation

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Marketing Automation is a new game in town. Also, It gives both small and medium businesses the freedom to run complex marketing activities and that too with success and optimum utilisation of time.

Why would Marketing Automation platform be useful?

1. Generate Leads – Integrated Approach

Did you know? Lead Generation gets way better with Automated Marketing.

Yes, It is a cake walk.

Marketing Automation can help you get your database through predefined entries which is also known as cookie tracking techniques and all in the form of importing data of leads from the forms through online campaigns

2. Software As a Service – SaaS

Well, Isn’t it interesting guys that you don’t necessarily have to master software development techniques. And also, Marketing Automation offers you an explicable platform where you can design as well as mould your dynamic marketing goals.

3. Information Analytics

I have so much of Data.

Can I Clean, integrate and transform this data ?

Can I get a meaningful information in numbers or figures?

Oh Yes!!

First, all of the information get stored in the Database and

Second, it get analysed then sorted through a set of algorithms

And finally it depicts all the results for the queries that you need to explore.

4. Multi-Channel Campaigns

Can I make my presence visible to all my potential leads on the various platform?

Yes !

By all means, I can

Emails, Social Media, SEOs and Web pages etc can build up my online presence. Eventually, Lead generation as well as conversion with the help of brand awareness.

5. A Condensed Market Savvy

Isn’t it amazing when your marketing tool does the predictive analysis and real-time marketing for you?

You have heard it right!

This automation helps you in precisely mining the data so that you can predict the trend of the market and also, the other aspects you want to unfold.

6. CRM and Automation work separately

For executing a marketing automation process, do I always need a CRM ?

Well..Not necessarily,

Without using a CRM, you can relatively attach a Lead List for importing the data which leaves no space for CRM models to get working and that’s how CRM and Automation can work separately.

7. Automates the marketing mix judiciously

What if I say I want a platform where I can monitor marketing tasks and workflows more efficiently and effectively?

The extended marketing mix of Product, Price, Place, Promotion, People, Process and Physical Evidence can be very well monitored to increase operation efficiency and to let the revenue get on board faster with much higher pace in integrated automation amongst all of these recurring workflows.

8. Harmonising Social Channels

So we have a platform where in I can provide the links of my workflows so that I can get recognised through social media.

Let your work be noticed through the different social media channel and only with one automation tool that can customise your promotional activities and that too per the designed framework and helps you achieve both short-term as well as long-term goals.

You can easily monitor all the channels simultaneously and analyse the success of the promotional activities and also can track all the trends.

9. Faux Pas

Email Marketing is synonymous to Marketing Automation. Guys, it’s a social error! Market Automation and Email Marketing aren’t same at all. Email marketing works as a subset of the operations handled by the Marketing Automation tool. Design Campaigns are positioned in the lead collection through the links of webpages and that’s why email marketing is getting embedded. Also, with email you can only track email behaviour while in automation there is web behaviour tracking

Automate your Marketing Motives!

Automate your Marketing Motives – Marketing Automation

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With so much of automation and revolutions penetrating into the technological arenas, adroit notions need to get revolutionized. The biggest pillar for any organization or a business entity is its projection of expertise. Marketing platforms help any business to reach the target audience through Automated Frameworks for hassle-free approaches.

Can you Automate your marketing revolutions through a well-constructed and controlled platform?

YES!! The Ideas Are Prodigious and so is the platform!

We are here in this page to break the Love-Hate relationship between Technology and Automation.

Nurture your Ideas and we shall give the platform to Make them go live. There is a Win – Win situation for both Business seeking and business rendering establishments. That is possible because the ideas are distinctly being communicated to the user who in turn takes that as an input to process its business. So Automating your ideas to make them more distinct can help build better and stronger relationships between the business where things eventually get doubtless.

3 THINGS TO GET THIS PROCESS GOING:

  • Identification of the business goals which helps in formulating the Automation Design to communicate to the onlookers.
  • Picking the right set of Infographics shall fetch more constructive designs to your thoughts through such automated platforms where you save your time, gain your subscriber, display your prowess in the expertise and deliver the solutions.
  • Letting it go live at different Testing and Deliverable Domains to get the accuracy of end result which gets in sync with the business standards.

You can follow us here for more updates regarding the Marketing Automation Queries and we would love to hear it from you regarding any of the questions which you can feel free to post. Let us make this platform more interactive to reach to your business needs.

Automation and Digitalisation

Best Friends Forever..

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Must be Guessing who these besties are?Well, they are the Automation and Digitalization Duo!Digitalization is the process of collaborating digital technologies into business models for more progression in the digital revolution. Whereas Automation is the process of making the procedures automatic for seamless communication to prevail. The same story can be applied to Digitalization in marketing practices and Marketing Automation.

Is there really a difference between these friends?

Some argue that digitalization is just a way of extending automation. But the fact is Automation is just making the process self-sufficient to run on its own. In short, it is a self-made recurring activity for marketing domains. The digitalization runs around using technology for looking at different concepts or shades of an instance you define.Digitalization and Automation go hand in hand when there exists a need for revolutionizing marketing ideas. Moreover, Digitalization paves the way to Automating Marketing tools to leverage value addition onto operating vectors.

What happens if you choose the wrong metrics?

Google AdWords – How does it work and How to use it?

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In the space of Digital Marketing, Display ads and Search ads, Google AdWords holds a high importance. It is very effective if you do it Correctly. The key to how Google AdWords works is the Quality Score. Quality Score is generally how well an ad group, keywords, ad and landing page relate to what a person is searching for, and how likely someone is to click on the ad. Here is Google’s page for “Check and understand Quality Score.” Now let’s get into some basics and learn how Google AdWords works.

What is Google AdWords?

Google AdWords is an online advertising service where advertisers pay to display brief advertising copy to web users. It is Google’s own advertising service through which you can place search results for your website on a search engine results page (SERP) by paying for them. Earlier, New sites needed to wait a lot to increase their ranking organically. Now with AdWords, you can see immediate results in your ranking and conversion goals.

Paid Searches

Broadly speaking, paid search marketing is, as the name suggests, when you pay to get search results. Those search results which have been displayed under caption “Ad” for some specific search query. For these type of searches, a user needs to pay Google some amount of bucks based on PPC, CPC, etc. campaign running under Google Adwords. These paid results are always displayed above the organic results.

How does Google AdWords work?

Suppose you are an entrepreneur or have a business, you will have some specific, highly relevant keywords to your particular business. These keywords or phrase are those queries which a searcher puts in a search engine to find you. There are a lot of other business/companies with the similar keywords competing for the search result. Now, what basically happens is that you bid for those keywords in Google AdWords. The whole process goes through an auction within a fraction of seconds and winner’s ads are shown on top of the results.

Understanding auction process

Now every time someone does a search on Google, an AdWords auction is created. Every advertiser who has a keyword match to the search query competes in the auction. How well each advertiser competes is based on their Ad Rank. Again, using a slightly simplified version:

Ad Rank = Quality Score * Bid

Ads are placed in order based on Ad Rank. The highest Ad Rank gets the top spot and so on down to either the last ad qualifying for the auction or the last position on the page.

Bidding price is the highest amount an advertiser is willing to pay. But, in reality, What an advertiser actually pays is the lowest amount necessary to beat the Ad Rank of the competitor below them. You can learn more on best bidding Strategy and practices in our upcoming blogs.

Do you pay exactly what you bid?

No, Bidding price is the highest amount an advertiser is willing to pay. But, in reality, What an advertiser actually pays is the lowest amount necessary to beat the Ad Rank of the competitor below them. For a winner, it is always less than what he bids for. In a nutshell, if you have the best Quality Score, you control the auction unless others outbid you. You can learn more about how final bidding price is calculated and how much a bidder actually pay.

How to use Google AdWords effectively?

  • Know the Basics
  • Define goals for sales, traffic, subscriptions and accordingly deploy your budget.
  • Negative keywords are must avoid, focus on marketing keywords.
  • You need to focus on all levels of your campaign creation:
    • Targeted audience
    • Location
    • Campaign keywords
    • Ad Groups
    • Ad copy
    • Budget adjustments
    • Landing Pages
What happens if you choose the wrong metrics?

How much a bidder actually pay in Google AdWords?

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In our previous blogs, we have learned what is Google AdWords, how does it work and what is a bidding process. Now let’s understand how much AdWords charges a bidder.

We already know that how well each advertiser competes is based on their Ad Rank. Ads are then listed in descending order based on the result of the equation.

Ad Rank = Quality Score * Bid

Now, understanding how Ad Rank is influenced, will make more sense when we learn basics.

What is Quality Score?

Quality Score is a variable used by Google, that can influence both the rank and cost per click (CPC) of ads. To determine the order in which ads are listed, each ad has the following formula run against it: bid * Quality Score.

Why Quality Score?

The purpose of introducing Quality Score is to improve the experience of users who click on paid advertising links. It is reasonable to assume that users who have a great experience when clicking on ads will click on them more frequently, thus increasing advertising revenues for the search engine.

Factors affecting Quality Score

  • Your click-through rate (CTR).
  • The relevance of each keyword to its ad group.
  • Landing page quality and relevance.
  • The relevance of your ad text.
  • Your historical AdWords account performance.

The exact weight of Quality Score versus bid has not been revealed by any of the major search engines, and each company has stated that they reserve the right to continually adjust their ranking methodologies.

Understand how much winners pay?

In a way, understanding this process is the key to really unlocking AdWords.

Let’s understand it with practical examples:

Suppose, Company A has a website named meetironman.com and has a QS = 8. Now, A, participated in a bid for a phrase say, “get iron man caricature”.

Let’s say company A want to show up in the 1st position on the page no matter what. We can’t guarantee this, but we can certainly be pretty certain by over bidding the keyword to say $100/click with:

Ad Rank of A = 800 = (QS 8 * $100 Bid)

To beat A, a competitor (Company B) would have to get an ad rank > 800. This means even if they had a QS10 keyword, they would have to bid $80.01/click to get the top spot. Assuming they have a more realistic bid (generally $100 bid is high enough) of $10/click

Ad Rank of B = 100 = (QS 10 * $10 Bid)

And the amount A would pay in the auction is calculated as follows:

(100 Ad Rank to beat / our QS 8 + $0.01) = 100 / 8 + $0.01 = $12.51

So even though A bid $100, A only pay $12.51.

If Quality Score of A on that keyword in that auction was 10, then the amount A would pay is:

(100 Ad Rank to beat / our QS 10 + $0.01) = 100 / 10 + $0.01 =$10.00

Here’s where it really gets interesting; the person in the top spot could actually pay LESS than the people in the spots below them.

Unexpected, right? Here’s why that happens.

Assume the same crazy $100 bid for the top spot, but now let’s say the next competitor (Company C) only has a Quality Score 5 keyword on a $10 bid, the position 3 (Company D) has a QS 7 keyword on a $7 bid and the position 4 (Company E) has a QS 5 keyword on a $9 bid.

Position 1:

Ad Rank to beat C = 50 = (QS 5 * $10 Bid)

Position 1 pays= (50 Ad Rank to beat / (QS of A) 8 + $0.01) = 50 / 8 + $0.01 = $6.26

Position 2:

Ad Rank to beat D = 49 = (QS 7 * $7 Bid)

Position 2 pays= (49 Ad Rank to beat / (QS of C) 5 + $0.01) = 49 / 5 + $0.01 = $9.81

Position 3:

Ad Rank to beat E = 45 = (QS 5 * $9 Bid)

Position 3 pays= (45 Ad Rank to beat / (QS of D) 7 + $0.01) = 45 / 7 + $0.01 = $6.44

In this example, our QS 8 keyword in position 1 actually pays less than positions 2 and position 3. This same calculation holds true no matter what position you show up in, so the person in position 3 could pay less than position 4 and so on.

If you have a Quality Score 10 keyword, you control the auction.

With a Quality Score 10 keyword, you know that not only are you paying the least amount possible for the position you are getting, you are forcing EVERYONE above you to pay the MOST!

What happens if you choose the wrong metrics?

How to Use Google AdWords Effectively?

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We already know how Google AdWords works and how much the bidder actually pay. These are the fundamentals and key for a successful AdWords campaign. If you don’t know you may refer to our blog Google Adwords – How does it work. How to use it? and How much the bidder actually pay?

Know Your Customers

To quote Douglas Adams “a common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.”

You may think that you have an idea of your customer’s search habits, you may be surprised by the variety and complexity of the behavior of a typical internet user. A broad customer profiling is very important to determine the type of keywords he or she may be searching.

  • Know who they are.
  • Know what they are searching for.

Relevance

Know what is in your store! Sort your keyword according to relevance and their search volume. Selecting the final keywords depends on your budget and goals. For example: If you have a large budget and lofty goals, you may use an ad group with high volume keywords (although they can be expensive).

If your budget is tight, you may refrain from general keywords. There is another problem with the high crowded group is that, if your CTR is low (which mostly is the case with new websites) your Quality Score decreases and so is your ranking.

Negative Keywords list

Know what is not in your store! Update and extend your negative keyword lists at least once a week. After few weeks you’ll have good data about searches that lead to your site. Download actual search data, and in excel search for keywords/phrases, you don’t want to appear, highlight them. Filter them and add them to the relevant negative keyword list. You can use exact match negative keywords if it’s needed.

Irresistible offer

Know what your competitors are offering! There is nothing better than providing relevant offers to customers for campaign effectiveness. This has dual benefit as it gets you higher CTR and also, google gets pleased as well. This is where the magic happens.

Call To Action

Know what do you want your customers to do! If you don’t have a pre-designed proper call to action, the searcher will be confused after the click and eventually will leave. This will harm your conversion rate and Quality Score. Remember, always send the traffic to the most relevant page.

ROI based Optimization

Know what do you want out of your ad campaign! Do ROI based optimization for effective results.Always make bidding strategy and campaigns keeping your return goals in mind. You can add column cost/value, determine what is the minimum ROI you want to reach e.g. 10, and increase bids for those keywords which have better cost/value than 10 and lower where metric doesn’t reach 10.

Conversion Tracking

Know what is going on your website! It is very important to track activities of your users on your website. Where are they coming from? What are they searching for? Put tracking mechanism in your website before running a campaign. Make a proper plan for CTA (call to action) where you want to send your customers, subscriptions or downloads.

Work Smarter

The end result of your ad campaigns is to increase your ROI. You should already be prepared with some homework and budgeting. Here are few things you should focus to get most out of your money.

  • Know your budget! Monitor your budget allocation and determine how much you spent on certain devices. Focus on the device which gives you more conversion. For example: if you have a high conversion on mobile and low on the desktop, lower your bid on the desktop and focus more on mobile.
  • Know when it is enough! If you find out some low-performing keywords that have low CTR and are costly at the same time, remove and refrain investing on them.
  • Don’t get paranoid over updating your campaign. Update your “negative keyword” list so that you get a relevant audience to your business and improved quality score. But, remember too many changes may diminish your campaign effectiveness. So optimize your campaign in moderation.
What happens if you choose the wrong metrics?

What should be your Bidding Strategy for lead generation?

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For a business, it is very important to generate leads and nurture them in an orderly fashion. There are multiple ways to nurture a lead. But to do that you first need to acquire the lead. So how do you generate more leads for your database? To get more leads, search engine marketing is the best way to bring the visitor on the site and ask them to fill in the form so that their contact details enters your database.

Each campaign you run on Google AdWords for search engine marketing, your marketing team will be required to create multiple campaigns and multiple ad sets where you might have 1000+ keywords. Now the big question is how do you make sure that your bidding strategy for each keyword works.

So now you must be wondering which bidding strategy to be used while running campaigns? Well, we all have been there. Depending on which networks your campaign is targeting, and whether you want to focus on getting clicks, impressions, or conversions, you can determine which strategy is best for you.

Each bid strategy is suited for different kinds of campaigns and advertising goals. For the purposes of bidding, you’ll need to consider three basic types of goals.

If you are looking for more traffic on your site, cost per click might be the best strategy.

If you want to increase brand awareness—not drive traffic to your site—focusing on impressions may be your strategy.

If you want customers to take a direct action on your site, and you’re using conversion tracking, then it may be best to focus on conversions. Cost-per-acquisition (CPA) will work nicely for your campaigns.

Well now on each campaign you may have multiple ad sets and each ad set will multiple keywords in it. How do you manage all without losing the users? Well, Google AdWords dynamic auction let you do that.

How does it work?

Dynamic or real-time bidding takes many factors into consideration when adjusting bids. Not only that, those bidding decisions are made uniquely for each auction that you enter from Google. It’s highly specific bids, made efficiently and at scale.

Keyword-wise bidding is one of the most used ways to optimize your bid, but even with that, you can’t set precise bids for the many different queries that can match to a single keyword. To get those users on your site. This especially helps advertisers to get those users where partial of their search queries matches with your keywords.

Beyond that, keyword-wise bidding for your exact match keywords can’t account for the wide array of user contexts connected with a search. Only auction-time bidding has the level of precision required to set a bid matched to a user’s actual search query and context.

How does Google’s automated bid adjustment work?

Automated bids adjust your bid at the moment of the auction for each impression based on all the factors in play. So instead of a few basic adjustments, google gives more power to advertisers by giving more control on their campaigns.

All things can be factored in at the moment of an impression so you get a bid that makes sense for you and your business goals. With Google’s automatic bidding, every time you enter the action this process runs.

So it is always better to use the automatic bidding tactics when you are running search engine marketing campaigns for lead generation or any objective you have.