Friends, family, memories – they all cross the mind as things we’re thankful for around Thanksgiving. But for b2b marketers, there are probably some technologies they should be thankful for as well.
So as you get ready to carve the turkey and pass the mashed potatoes, we outline 8 technologies marketers are grateful to have in their arsenal.
1. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Systems
Imagine everyone you have a personal or professional relationship with sitting down at one table for Thanksgiving – admittedly, it’d probably be a pretty big table. Then again, maybe not as big as you’d think – some theories suggest that the average person has a cognitive capacity for maintaining only about 150 relationships.
But those in b2b marketing and sales have hundreds, thousands or even millions of contacts in their databases. CRM systems allow companies to give everyone a seat at the table to cultivate strong, lasting and valuable relationships.
2. Web and Mobile Apps
Appointments to plan, communications to send, projects to coordinate and so much more – the modern marketer has to do it all, and do it on the go. Thankfully there are web and mobile apps to marry all these functions into one device.
3. Social Media
Whether used as a support channel, a direct line for listening to the needs and wants of a target audience, a platform for engaging and empowering brand advocates, or all of the above and more – social media has thrown the doors open for marketers who want to connect with their prospects and customers to drive real revenue and value.
4. Smart phones and Tablets
These devices continually support more and more computing power in smaller and smaller forms. Aside from the obvious screen size, the differences between phones and tablets continue to blur. What’s clear for marketers though is having the utility of such power on the go. In fact, according to a report by Christina Kerley “72% of the U.S. workforce is already mobile, 64% of B2B decision makers read their email via mobile devices, and more than 70% of executives under 40 consider mobile their primary communications tool.” So not only are marketers thankful for an invaluable tool, essentially, mobile technology has also created yet another highly effective channel in which to market.
5. Webinars, Teleconferencing and Virtual Events
Traveling around the holidays is undeniably brutal. Then again, travelling in general isn’t exactly a walk in the park. Fortunately for marketers who need to have in depth conversations or attend events with customers, prospects or peers, web conferencing and teleconferencing can be a time and mile saving substitute for face-to-face engagements. And virtual events can be a great way to reach prospects without hopping on a plane.
Like a carpenter’s old faithful hammer, email has become the digital marketer’s most reliable tool. As new technologies and communication channels keep popping up email has still proven to be one of the most effective ways to generate leads and engage prospects throughout the funnel.
An old Dilbert comic suggested marketing is “just liquor and guessing.” Maybe true for the Mad Men era, but today, thanks to digital tracking technologies, marketers can get an idea of a potential buyer’s digital body language, have statistics on what content and campaigns are most effective, target highly relevant and specific audiences and use data to drive decisions verses pure gut instinct. Perhaps it’s just the marketing nerds who are thankful, but because of online analytics the uncertain art of marketing is becoming a well-refined science.
8. Marketing Automation
With all these technologies, it’s particularly beneficial to have one that can tie them together. Integration with CRM systems, connections to apps in the cloud – mobile or otherwise, social media activity tied to lead scoring, campaign messaging distributed to traditional and mobile inboxes alike, targeted webinars to fill the top of your funnel, and all of it measured and reported on is exactly what a marketer gets from marketing automation. In other words, the hundreds of things a marketer must do on a daily basis are organized into one powerful platform.
How about you? What are the technologies you’re thankful for? Share with us in the comments section.