Streamlining Business to Business Marketing

June 18, 2012 Today if you were to ask who I am I would say I'm a native of New Orleans, a college student in Mobile and a current intern in Houston. It's clear to see that my life has experienced quite a number of changes in the past few months and I'm happy to say I find my mind constantly saturated with new information. I'm opening the doors to the world of marketing and stepping in to find great people, strong work ethics, diverse networks, and an infinite supply of experiences. This week marks my fourth week as a member of the Blue Sky Marketing team and for me to put into words what I have learned thus far would be simply impossible. However, I would like to share... What I learned during an opportunity I received last week. I attended an AMA Houston Sig event entitled: Tricks of the Trade, focusing on ways to optimize/improve business-to-business marketing and CRM. The event featured three speakers: Todd Brown: Director at Access Sciences, Pete Di Stefano: Director of Marketing at PROS  David Zahn: VP of Marketing at FuelQuest. Each offered a slice of their lives and experiences, helping to streamline our understanding of business-to-business marketing and everything else that comes along for the ride. Throughout the Presentation: I quickly submitted terms such as automated marketing, governance, process, and marketing/sales funnels to memory and then grew to fully understand and love them because (as I have discovered) they are essential for business. I learned everything from the details of a VITO campaign to what it takes to create an effective sales and marketing process integration.  Instead of going in to detail about all that my mind now holds these are the top pieces of advice and ideas I took from the AMA event. The takeaways:
  • Technology: Microsoft Silverlight, Marketo, or Eloqua may seem familiar names because they are the most advanced new technology in automated marketing. Each speaker stressed the importance of implementing these for more effective business because they offer endless services such as enhanced lead generation to sales insights. However, it is equally as important to research and find the program that fits your company the best.
  • Process:  Technology often seems like the answer to all questions. Its easy to be overwhelmed with enthusiasm due to the capabilities today's software offers a company. However, each of the speakers strongly emphasized the need for process. Don't forget human beings are still involved in business and require planning and training to understand the thrilling new technology! Remember: process, process, process. [caption id="attachment_404" align="alignright" width="300"] Example Marketing Funnel[/caption]
  • Streamline: After process (planning) and technology, streamlining becomes essential yet easy. Use formats such as a marketing funnel to work through each stage of a client from inquiry to final sale. By using the correct software and involving employees, a streamlined plan to bring potential clients to actual clients can be achieved.
  • Hygiene: Keep the systems and files clean! Whether new software is being implemented or an old one is being revamped, make sure the information is clean. Coming from our speakers, no information is often easier then bad information.
  • Questions to ask: Before any of the aforementioned tips are even considered, the most important action a business can take is to create a roadmap. Take the time to ask: What is my company's goal? Where are we now and where are we trying to go? What type of clients do we service? And what services do we offer those clients? Once these questions are answered and a roadmap is formed, the journey to efficient business-to-business marketing can begin.
And in the end: As a student intern I will honestly admit, there were a few aspects of the presentations I was unclear on before hand. However, guided by the three speakers Todd Brown, Pete DiStefano, and David Zahn, I navigated my way through unfamiliar business terms and found myself on the other side with a new and concise understanding of business-to-business marketing. -Bridget Oswald, Blue Sky Markeing Intern

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