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Is it Time to Shake-up Your Marketing Strategy?

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The Benefits of Operational Technology in Manufacturing Management

Businesses are seeing great value in installing converged Information Technology and Operation Technology (IT/OT) to gather and organize data and then applying out-of-the-box manufacturing analytics to have an insight to production losses, the efficacy of the labor force, and the efficiency of material as it moves through their plants — not just locally but globally. These new business insights will support significant increases in overall production volume for the entire business.

Market share, new product innovation and revenue are no longer driven merely by traditional sales, but by the business insights that an combination of data from the whole operation can provide. As the substructure the OT traditionally manages develops increasingly connected, OT teams gains access to data through the organization’s plants. In order to take benefit of that data and develop meaningful insights that result in improved capacity, faster NPI (New Product Introduction) and revenue-driving change, OT needs to imagine their enterprise more broadly, offering high-level viewpoints on what answers they need from the data being generated by installed software, production assets, and even their workforce.

They can ensure this by leveraging the knowledge of their IT teams and asset performance data to get new operations online faster, spot anomalies more quickly and accurately, and find inefficiencies in their supply chain. OT can use data intelligence to improve their decision making, material and asset utilization, reduce waste, and create accurate and timely insights into operations.

To put this simple, a procedure engineer might traditionally assist multiple plants across a wide geographic area at a given time. In many cases, cloud-based manufacturing execution systems (MES) are no longer deployed fragmentary in the field and no longer require independent software installations, saving around 50 percent in support and rollout costs in most cases. All the services, software and data are hosted in a global data center that allows access to one set of complete, actionable data. Once cloud-based monitoring and analytics solutions become a foundational component of the business model, each plant becomes geographically omnipresent; engineers can settle into an office location of their choice and remotely monitor and analyze performance in real-time. This scenario is becoming more popular as the security capabilities of cloud services have become more forceful.

The development of cloud-based analytics makes the conditions for IT and OT to partner and create a business environment in which it is much simpler to develop global benchmarking and where size can be performed daily instead of weekly or monthly. Remote engineers are able to use the same tools as those who are on-site, which vastly increases the rate of failure detection and dramatically decreases the time needed to get an asset back to full health.

What Do We Know so Far from Merchants Services Leads?

Merchant acquiring is an integral part of card payment transactions processing. Acquirers enable merchants to accept card payments by acting as a link between merchants, issuers, and payment networks—providing authorization, clearing and settlement, dispute management, and information services to merchants. The merchant acquiring industry is dominated by a few large players across the globe, with the top ten acquirers in the world handling nearly 50% 1 of the global cards transaction volume in 2010.

 

Merchant acquirers enable merchants to process credit and debit card payments and help in increasing sales by accepting the most popular cards to attract customers to their businesses. Typically, a card payment transaction involves two sides: the first between the cardholder and the bank that issued their card; and the second between the merchant and the acquiring bank.

The acquiring side of the industry typically involves interaction among various stakeholders including merchants, acquirers, processors, independent sales organization (ISO), and payment networks. Each of the stakeholders has an incentive to play its specific role in completing the payment transaction:

  • Merchant: A merchant accepts payment from the cardholder by swiping the user’s card at its terminal, increasing the chance of a sale by accepting popular cards used by cardholders. For example, retailers such as Walmart who accept these cards have higher chances of sale compared to local retailers without card processing capability
  • Acquiring Bank: The acquiring bank provides payment processing services to the merchant, enabling him to accept payments from cardholders. The bank levies a merchant service charge (MSC) on every transaction at the merchant’s point of sale (POS) terminal to generate revenue. The MSC is usually 2% of the transaction amount and contains an interchange fee, the fee paid to card network associations such as Visa and MasterCard, and the acquirer fee
  • Independent Sales Organizations (ISOs): The ISOs solicit merchant accounts on behalf of acquirers and charge a service-based fee from the acquirers. ISOs also manage risky merchant accounts with a higher possibility of credit fraud, for which they charge a higher fee. Examples include: Cornerstone Credit Services LLC, and Bankcard Systems of Newport
  • Third-Party Processors: Third-party processors provide transaction processing services to acquirers as they possess economies of scale and advanced technological systems for cost effective processing. Processors charge a service based or fixed fee from acquiring banks based on the type of pricing contract. Examples of third-party processors include: Global Payments Inc. and First Data.
  • Payment Card Network Provider (Card Association): Card associations, such as Visa and MasterCard, act as the link between the issuer bank and the acquiring bank. The payment card network validates the availability of credit or funds with the issuing bank and communicates the same to the acquiring bank. The payment card network provider charges a fee for each transaction processed through its branded card by the card issuer/acquiring bank.

Data-Driven Lead Nurturing Program for B2Bs

We all understand that the pressure for immediate results drives strategic decisions. But identifying and making use of the buyer’s position in the overall life cycle with the right approach can yield more fruitful results, compared to pushing the hard sell at the wrong time.

data driven lead nurturing

Larger business purchasing decisions lead to longer sales cycles, today taking anywhere from 18-24 months. Faced with a potentially lengthy courtship, view your Lead Nurturing process as a series of “micro conversions.” Until you determine if there is real interest or are able to build on the current level of interest, you shouldn’t assume your Prospects are ready to commit. But with continued nurturing and patience, you can qualify them at a higher level, deliver real value, and begin your relationship even before they make a purchase.

Take simplified approach, it’s worth it.

“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.”—Albert Einstein.

Or in other words, just keep it simple. It’s not necessary to take on your entire data base in one fell swoop. Hone in on a specific segment to begin with, measure your progress and optimize accordingly. The key is to take incremental steps while keeping it as simple as possible to reduce complexity while learning the ropes.

Use your audience understanding to create targeted communications.

Getting “the right message to the right person at the right time” is what every marketer seeks. Technology has provided access to a wealth of information and subsequently created a paradigm shift that has changed the marketing perspective to a consumer-focused one rather than product focused. This shift has ushered in the Age of the Customer. 1 In its wake are the “one-to-many” communications containing generic information sent to broad audiences, discarded in favor of “one-to-one” communications that are responsible for propelling Prospect leads closer toward a purchase. Using a targeted approach, each person is guided through their personal stage in the life cycle. Segmenting your database by behavior or developing personas (snapshots of your segments), can enable you to deliver targeted communications to drive success in your Lead Nurturing activities.

 

Personalization goes beyond a name and address.

What’s the single most important word to a person? Their name! A proper Lead Nurture campaign is powered by data; but to truly realize the potential, you have to put that data to use. This concept extends past addressing your leads byname; it involves using their digital body language to determine what content is useful and relevant to them. Research from Marketing Sherpa showed that 82%of Prospects identified content targeted to their industry as more valuable, and 67%found content targeted to their job function to be more valuable. By personalizing content, you make it more relevant, while moving your Prospects through the nurturing phase. Embrace their unique qualities to get more out of your nurturing efforts, while increasing the life time value of your customers.

 

Lead Generation: Make Your Offer Creatively

In direct response marketing – regardless of media – people don’t respond to award-winning creative, clever prose or flashy design. They respond to offers.

Your offer is the key leverage point for determining both the quantity and quality of response – which affects both your response rate and your conversion rate.

We start this process with the offer in part to emphasize the importance of the offer no matter what tactic you are planning to use for lead generation tactic.

When you see the offer as the centerpiece – and not an afterthought – you will begin to see how the offer can be manipulated to deliver the response you need.

What is a lead generation offer?

Many people think of an offer as some variation of “buy one, get one free” or “10% off.”

To be sure, these are offers for certain types of products and certain types of direct response applications – but not for generating leads for professional services firms.

In lead generation, we want offers that provide educational information – a free white paper, a how-to guide or a special report covering a topic that is closely aligned to the service you provide. Much like what you are reading right now.

Typically, these are free offers that are made available to your target audience with very little commitment other than sharing some contact information. If your firm produces articles, reports, research or other helpful information, you likely already have the content to produce an effective offer.

Choose of a compelling title

Picking the right topic is essential, but after that, choosing a compelling title can make all the difference in the world.

You need a title that will not only summarize the report, but will also get the attention of your audience.

But don’t rely entirely on your personal preferences. Test out two or three titles to see which pull best. You could see significant changes in response with different titles.

Become a thought leader

For professional services companies, when you write these reports, you also help to position yourself (and your company) as a thought leader and the expert solution provider on the topic.

This could also help to build your reputation within your industry. Over time, you may be able to create several of these reports which could make your website a popular destination for anyone doing research in your field.

Tweeting Though Audience in Social Media Marketing  

No content marketing strategy is complete without a strong social media strategy. As Jay Baer says, social media is the fuel to set your content on fire. According to 2013 research from CMI and MarketingProfs, B2B marketers use an average of five social media channels to distribute content, whereas B2C marketers use four. Whether you’re just getting started with social media or looking to fine-tune your plan, this guide is for you.

Tweeting Though Audience in Social Media Marketing  

Tell a story through your tweets. Present a consistent voice to tell the story of your industry and your brand. Each post should be compelling in its own right, but an inconsistent tone confuses the audience.

Make use of hashtags. Including 1-3 relevant hashtags with your tweet makes it simple for people to find your content. Creating an original hashtag and linking it to a specific campaign is an even better use of the tactic.

Use it as a testing ground. Tweet your original content, and keep tabs on which pieces of content get more shares. Use this information to direct your future content efforts.

Cover industry events. To offer insights in real time, live tweet coverage of events that are significant for your audience. That way, your brand can act as the eyes and ears for individuals who can’t make it to the event.

With 270,000+ followers, food chain Taco Bell has found a great social media niche for its nationwide brand.

  • Even followers with small influence get retweets and responses. The brand’s voice is down-to-earth and (at times) hilarious.
  • Events and promotions get great visibility.
  • Hashtags, especially trending topics, ensure even non-followers can find the brand’s tweets.

Tweeting through Twitter has become an enormous lead for businesses to showcase their virtual presence. Through Twitter, an organization can make banner announcement that can be responded by different use leveraging the social media marketing to the fullest.

A Revisit in Lead Generation Services for Kick starters

Lead generation services includes identifying prospective customers and qualifying their likelihood to buy in advance of making a sales call through multi-media marketing strategies. In short, it’s about motivating prospects to raise their hands to sign for your product.

Lead generation service is the single most important objective of any business-to-business (B2B) marketing department. Other objectives, such as brand building, brand pioneering, public relations, and corporate communications are also on the list, to be sure. But, providing a sales force with a steady stream of qualified leads is job one.

A Revisit in Lead Generation Services for Kick starters

A business lead is a prospect that has some level of potential of becoming a business partner. We need to distinguish a lead from a business inquiry or from a mere list of names, with which leads are commonly confused. Mailing lists or contact lists of business prospects are often presented as “lead lists,” a misnomer that generates not only confusion but even ill will in the world of business marketing. A passive list of prospects (or, more appropriately, suspects) does not deserve to be called a list of leads, they are just contact lists and call them through telemarketing services.

The same holds true for inquirers. Simply because someone has expressed a modicum of interest in your product or your company does not mean that person or that company is ready, willing, or able to buy. But an inquirer has plenty of value. You can continue to communicate, nurture that interest, and keep a relationship going until a sale is imminent.

Marketers must deliver a lead to the sales team only when the lead is truly qualified, and they must do so by criteria developed in consultation with the sales force. Consistent delivery of qualified leads that convert satisfyingly to sales and meet sales quotas—that is the hallmark of successful B2B lead generation.

The Four Basic Benefits in Having A Telemarketing Services in Your Business

  • Four Basic Benefits in Having A Telemarketing Services

    Four Basic Benefits in Having A Telemarketing Services

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It’s a marketing conundrum that the telephone offers the most direct method of getting through to potential business partners, but also has the greatest capacity to irritate them. And with the volume of telemarketing increasing year upon year, it stands to reason that your own telemarketing campaign must be highly targeted and professional to get results. Failure in one or both of these areas can result in wasted resources and damaged business reputations. So where and how can business to business telemarketing actually work for you?

Telemarketing can form an integral part of a sales and marketing campaign, either as a tool for gathering the data that will be the foundation for your direct marketing approaches, as a follow up to other forms of direct marketing, or as an up-front weapon for identifying your best sales prospects. The four basic benefits of having a business to business outbound telemarketing include:

Improving marketing data: at a basic level this may include gathering the contact details of decision makers and their usage of products and services relevant to your market, but further probing can deliver more in-depth information – perhaps on distribution channels for example.

Verification of your existing data: it’s your data, but is it a valuable asset? Only if it’s clean and accurate. A professional team of telemarketers can ensure that your data doesn’t embarrass you or let you down.

Lead generation: using a team of dedicated telemarketers to do this tough, up-front work can make more cost-effective use of your often highly paid field sales or telesales executives by allowing them to focus on closing sales rather than chasing business prospects.

Company profiling: this offers the opportunity to go beyond the type of superficial prospect data held by most businesses and gain a full understanding of how potential customers operate. Information on aspects such as their decision making processes and who they currently purchase from enables much better tailoring of sales and marketing approaches.

Inbound Marketing: Common Mistakes in Making Buyer Personas

As a piece of our procedure of deciding how we will function with customers, we commonly lead an assessment of their general interest generation methodology and execution. We take a gander at what they’re doing to create and sustain drives, how they’re using their site and other advanced (and non-computerized) correspondence channels and how that all adjusts to and associates with their business approach.

I need to concede that this one shocked me. I’m accustomed to discussing buyer personas with organizations that aren’t doing inbound marketing. I assumed that for multi-year veterans, personas would be a given. The gathering that we surveyed fell into two gatherings on this issue:

  • They did not have written personas.
  • The written personas they had were vague and had fallen out of date.

Making personas is hard. Staying up with the latest is much harder. Be that as it may, they are completely crucial on the off chance that you need to pick up and look after qualification.

Making personas requires more than only two or three discussions and working out a passage or two depicting who they are. Powerful personas join two components: an unmistakable perfect customer profile and a top to bottom audit of the key individuals you need to chat with.

When we create personas for our clients, we work to identify three types of personas:

  • Primary personas: These are the decision makers or key players involved in your sale.
  • Secondary personas: These are the people who may or may not be directly involved in a sales/buying process, but elicit significant influence.
  • Negative personas: These are the people who you want to be sure are not in a lead position when dealing with your solutions. For example, we worked with a company that sold HR information systems and in their case, the IT manager was the negative persona. If the interaction was perceived as an IT issue, rather than an HR issue, it represented problems for their efforts.

Regardless of how you create personas, the objective should be to clearly define:

  • What the clear identifiers are for each persona.
  • The challenges they deal with (from their perspective).
  • Their priorities.
  • Their experience in dealing with your products/services.
  • The important questions they seek to answer on an ongoing basis.

Whenever finished, it’s anything but difficult to feel like you’re finished with personas. Try not to commit that error. Personas are never done. They ought to be always changed and overhauled. At any rate, you ought to survey your personas on a yearly premise to guarantee the data inside them is still significant and clever.

5 Tips for Getting more from Social Media Marketing

Traditional marketing tactics such as advertising, referrals, and public relations are still very important, but social media tactics have now become a part of everyday marketing’s fabric and need to be considered at the strategic level of your marketing decision-making process.

So, rather than asking yourself if you should or should not use Facebook or Twitter, the question is: “How can Facebook and Twitter help you achieve your marketing objectives?” It’s the same as asking how direct mail or having two more salespeople might fit into the plans.

From this integrated viewpoint, social media participation can start to make more sense for each individual marketer’s needs and goals. Here are some few tips from Kick Start Sales Force.

1) Integrate: Don’t treat your social media activity as something separate from your other marketing initiatives. Feature links to your social media profiles in your email signature, on your business cards, in your ads, and as a standard block of copy in your weekly HTML email newsletter. Make your social media profiles a part of your address copy block and you will soon see adding them to all that you do as an automatic action.

2) Amplify: Use your social media activity to create awareness for and amplify your content housed in other places. This can go for teasing some aspect of your latest blog post on Twitter or in your Facebook status, creating full-blown events on Eventful or Meetup, or pointing to mentions of your firm in the media. I would also add that filtering other people’s great content and pointing this out to your followers, fans, and subscribers fits into this category, as it builds your overall reputation for good content sharing and helps to buffer the notion that you are simply broadcasting your announcements. Quality over quantity always wins in social media marketing.

3) Repurpose: Taking content that appears in one form and twisting it in ways that make it more available in another, or to another audience, is one of the secrets to success in the hyper info-driven marketing world in which we find ourselves. You can string five blog posts together and make them available as a workshop handout or a bonus for your LinkedIn group. Never look at any content as a single use, single medium, single act.

4) Generate leads: So many people want to generate leads in the wide world of social media, but can’t seem to understand how or have met with downright hostile reactions when trying. Effectively generating leads from social media marketing is really no different than effectively generating leads anywhere—it’s just that the care you must take to do it right is amplified by the “no selling allowed” culture. No one likes to be sold to in any environment—the trick is to let them buy—and this is even more important in social media marketing.

5) Learn: One of the hang ups I frequently encounter from people just trying to get started in social media marketing is the paralysis formed when they stare blankly at Twitter, wondering what in the world to say. The pressure to fill the silence can be so overwhelming that they eventually succumb and tweet what they had for lunch.

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