Why Marketing Qualified Leads?

Although many marketers focus on increasing the number of leads, quite often marketers should be in fact aiming to have fewer leads. The key is that this smaller number of leads are Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs), who are genuine sales prospects, instead of people who are curious but have no intent to buy.

Read more

Recent studies indicate that financial advisors expect continued strong demand for their services in the next year.  Russell Investments third-quarter Financial Professional Outlook indicated that Advisors remain bullish about the capital markets looking out over the next three years.

Marketing Volatility and Investor Behavior

Source: Russell Investments

However, they worry about investors’ emotional response to market events that could harm their businesses and their clients’ well-being, The Russell Investments study showed market volatility to be the most common topic initiated by clients.  A Fidelity Advisor Investment Pulse Survey showed similar results.

“When investors make emotional decisions, they decrease the odds of reaching their financial goals,” said John Hailer, chief executive officer of Natixis Global Asset Management in the Americas and Asia.

How can financial advisors set reasonable expectations with challenges like volatility and low-interest rates?…how can they take the emotion out of investor conversations to set realistic goals and stick to them?

Read more

Every company will have different ways of measuring a qualified lead, yet there is a set of factors that you can use to map into a lead-scoring model. Many marketing automation solutions, such as Eloqua, Marketo, Hubspot, Pardot, ShaprSpring, and others, have built-in lead scoring algorithms and pass this information into a CRM system like Salesforce and SugarCRM.


These scores can be set up to deliver marketing-qualified leads based on certain criteria and scores, helping sales teams accept the leads (Sales Accepted Leads) and focus their energies on the top prospects.

Marketing Automation and CRM are both important. We use Sharpspring technology for our small business retainer services to deliver inbound marketing programs and integrated marketing. Sharpspring includes an integrated CRM as well as API hooks into leading CRMs so it is great for small businesses. The life of the lead is a great way to see the flow of the lead through time and the lead scoring approach helps sales focus immediately on the top inbound leads.

Read more

I received these statistics in a recent email and I thought they were worth sharing further with some comments. I am adding some implications as I see them below each one:

Eye-OpeningA whopping 68% of B2B organizations have not identified their funnel. (Source: MarketingSherpa)

  • Without a defined funnel, it is very difficult to develop a predictable forecasting capability.
  • Defining your funnel – with the buyer in mind – helps you develop the specific content you need to engage buyers at different stages.
  • In most of our B2B work we help define a collaborative qualification model between sales and marketing where sales teams have early insight into marketing leads. By taking a “decision support” approach, the organization is not leaving it up to marketing to determine the relative value of a lead – often the sales rep can help make the judgment supported by the behavioral data.

Read more

We are often asked about the business case for marketing automation. In the end, it is a numbers game. There are plenty of operational advantages of course  – sales and marketing alignment, single solution replacing point solutions, etc. But, in the end, it is about revenue.

So how does marketing automation increase revenue?

Here are 10 (plus 1 bonus) metrics to consider and some volume impacts you might expect to get from well run marketing automation (and creative campaigns):

Read more

With all the emphasis on inbound marketing, I thought I would put in a plug for the good old US Post Office.

email_guyThere is no doubt that the shift has happened – we buy and are influenced increasingly via the web. For the organizations we work with – those with F2F and more complex sales and marketing – the disruption has already taken place. We are helping our clients integrate an entirely new marketing-to-sales value chain. But while this is happening, more and more businesses are jumping onto the Content Marketing bandwagon and it is getting noisy. Just like with traditional media, we are able to filter and tune out much of the content coming our way.

Great – especially creative – content is still very powerful for inbound marketing, but what about when your rifle [target] list for a campaign is in the 100s of companies? What about when your contact universe is highly focused? Can you rely on these target companies to search for and find “you” on the web when they are ready to make a buying decision? No!

Enter the multi-touch digital and direct campaign. Sometimes, you need to bring out all the fly-fishing tackle and a range of flies. We are doing this with early success at one of our clients right now. We are running integrated multi-touch revenue programs. Creative campaigns to drive leads and nurture potential new relationships toward highly targeted audiences:

  • Creative and entertaining theme – a serious business messages delivered to real people
  • Direct mail – yes we are sending packages to these clients… just like the old days
  • F2F inside sales – we pre-call, call and post call at each touch point
  • eMail – we continue to use email as another impression – researching to find the right people
  • Content – white papers and video help to reinforce the value proposition
  • Call to action – we make an offer you can’t refuse -attend the briefing /webinar and get a thank you gift
  • Landing pages – using the latest in innovative marketing automation technology
  • LinkedIn ads – LinkedIn ads help you target down to the very specific people you want to reach

So far so good. This audience has been inundated with competitive messages, but we are getting our client’s brand out front with engaging content and enough brand touches to nurture the relationships for the long term.