People, Integration and AI: The Future from MarTech 2018

May 7, 2018 | Marija Sekularac

If MarTech’s 2018 conference in San Jose proved anything, it was that this fledgling industry has grown into a tech powerhouse—and has yet to grow even further.

Just look at the Marketing Technology Landscape infographic created by Scott Brinker, Chief Editor of chiefmartech.com: the industry has grown from a mere 150 brands in 2011 to nearly 7,000 martech solutions in 2018. Marketing technology shows no sign of slowing down.

The MarTech 2018 conference was chock-full of brilliant presentations and innovative insights, and it would be impossible to cover all of them with the depth they deserve in a single blog post. But there were definitely key threads that run through the entire program:

People-based technology stacks

Over two days companies like LogMeIn, Meyer, and VMWare shared how they built their marketing tech stacks and the thought process behind their creation and refinement. The individual tools all differed based on need: LogMeIn, for example, ran heavy on content creation and team collaboration tools while Bedrock Data focused on a single content-focused tool and focused its effort on data collection, management, and reporting solutions.

But the key unifying theme of these martech stacks was an emphasis on people. What would make life easier for an employee to do their job? What would make it easier for the customer to connect with the brand? Nearly all the martech stacks presented went out of their way to ensure employees could rely on the tools to help them do their jobs effectively and efficiently, no matter what the back-end looked like.

And that leads me to the next point:

Integration

The average tech stack at MarTech 2018 ran from 10 to 20 software solutions, each specializing in their own niche function. That’s a dizzying amount of data, interfaces, and features to keep track of. How can an understaffed marketing team be expected to keep track of it all?

The answer lies in integration. Most modern martech solutions use an open API to connect with other tools and expand their functionality. There are also solutions like IFTTT and Zapier that help simplify the process of integrating with other tools.

In one presentation, Tony Ralph, VP Marketing Product for Walmart eCommerce, shared that the ideal way to build a consolidated marketing tech stack isn’t to buy an all-in-one solution, but to assemble a diverse collection of tools that are each the best at what they do (for you), but connected via API or other integration methods. This allows you to swap out or upgrade individual technologies without you having to replace the rest of the set.

AI

Artificial Intelligence can be a hard sell to jaded marketers just because it’s so much of a buzzword. But Adelyn Zhou, CMO of TopBots, and Dejan Duzevik from Concentric were on-hand to show MarTech 2018 attendees just what the future held.

The most visible sign of AI’s progress in martech is the emergence of chatbots—those automated response boxes where customers type in questions and get useful responses. We are seeing a sharp rise in companies that offer these solutions, and machine learning is getting very good at picking up natural language, to the point that it can be hard to tell who’s a real agent and who’s not.

Machine learning also makes a significant contribution towards predictive analytics, customer sentiment analysis, and data management. It can tackle higher levels of complexity than a human administrator can.  

Over time, more martech solutions will appear, grow, and evolve. But there is one thing they’ll never do:

Go away.

What’s in a name? Multichannel vs Omnichannel Marketing

March 13, 2018 | Marija Sekularac

Marketing is an industry full of buzzwords, and at first glance the terms multichannel and omnichannel marketing seem to be describing the same thing. Both involve reaching out to customers in a variety of ways, and both involve keeping those touchpoints consistently awesome. While there are similarities there are also significant differences. Marketers need to know what those differences are so that they decide which goal to shoot for.

So what is the difference between multichannel and omnichannel marketing?

Multichannel marketing involves communicating with customers across multiple platforms and channels. It increases brand presence and gives customers the ability to choose their own favored method of interaction and engagement. Which is good, because 98% of Americans switch between devices multiple times in a day. A consistent multichannel experience makes it easier for customers to reach out to the brand when they’re ready to buy.

Omnichannel marketing is multichannel marketing evolved into its purest and most ideal form: a consistent and cohesive customer experience across all channels and types of engagement. It covers every possible interaction with the customer across all channels, from pre-sales to post-sales and everything in between. Every single touch point with the customer has to be seamless and generate warm and fuzzy feelings of satisfaction.

Is omnichannel marketing worth it?

If omnichannel marketing sounds like it’s a lot of work, that’s because it is. Maintaining that level of consistency across multiple channels, platforms and teams is extremely difficult. 61% of customers can’t easily switch from one channel to another when dealing with customer service. Most companies simply don’t have the infrastructure or process required to make omnichannel work.

But the payoffs are enormous when it does work. Businesses that successfully adopt omnichannel marketing strategies achieve 91% greater year-over-year retention rates over those that don’t.

So how can you get your business to that level?

One step at a time.

Take your first step towards omnichannel marketing

We recommend focusing on one area first, then move on to others once you’ve established a standard of quality. This “pioneering area” so to speak has to have the greatest impact for the investment. For most businesses this usually means customer service.

Customer service is the thorniest part of the omnichannel marketing experience because it has the most impact on a customer’s happiness, and yet is the most difficult to get consistent. Disconnected systems and uncoordinated databases break up the flow of a support call and force customers to repeat the same information—especially if calls transfer from one agent to another.

A proper call management and tracking system helps solve these problems by:

  • Coordinating omnichannel information between marketing, sales and customer support
  • Alerting call center agents as to the nature of the call prior to actually starting the conversation
  • Scalable personalization of the call experience
  • Tracking call metrics for better marketing insights

Retreaver’s call tracking platform layers onto existing phone systems to do just this. Get started on your omnichannel marketing strategy by improving your contact center performance and provide valuable metrics to marketing, sales and customer success. Visit try.retreaver.com to learn more!

HubSpot tips that blend online/offline marketing efforts

February 7, 2018 | Patrick Icasas

Any dedicated HubSpot user will tell you that it’s a great tool for managing all sorts of marketing and sales related tasks, from inbound marketing to social media to SEO — all tied together with a powerful CRM. And with over 31,000 users in over 90 countries, it’s pretty safe to say that what HubSpot does, it does well.

There are, however, certain things it doesn’t do. And most of these limitations have to do with HubSpot’s challenges in tracking offline activities. After all, how can one expect a digital marketing solution to track how many people see a TV ad? How can HubSpot tell if the same Bob calling your help desk is the same Bob you emailed a week ago? It’s simply not possible.

Right?

Wrong.

HubSpot integrates with best-in-class service providers with solutions that can track and measure what out-of-the-box HubSpot cannot. Here are three offline examples where Hubspot partners shine:

Event attendance and interactions

Hosting a live event is a great way to engage new prospects and connect with existing customers, but coordinating event leads with HubSpot is a major time sink. It’s difficult to research names pre-event, as most of the time you’re picking names from one list and searching them in HubSpot to see if they show up. Updating the list with new names is only marginally faster, as they have to be manually imported into the HubSpot CRM.

This is precisely why the Eventbrite-HubSpot integration is so valuable. With it, marketers can sync Eventbrite registrations with existing HubSpot contacts and, if necessary, automatically create new contacts on the fly. You’ll be able to see how these contacts engaged with you before and after the event.

This automated contact management process makes it easier to track your event’s success. How many conversions did the event generate? What’s the ROI for this single event, and how does it compare to the overall ROI of your marketing program?

The integration gives you access to all this information and more.

Direct mail and traditional advertisements

While HubSpot is unmatched at tracking the performance of digital content assets, print and offline assets are a whole different story. After all, how can HubSpot reasonably measure how many people read your direct mail or how many drivers read your billboard?

Savvy marketers will accomplish this through judicious use of tracking URLs and landing pages. You can have either multiple tracking URLs that take you to a single common landing page. Or you can generate multiple landing pages, each unique to the direct mail asset you sent out. HubSpot accounts for both scenarios and gives you insight into which asset performs the best.

Inbound phone calls

Despite the breadth of features HubSpot offers, inbound phone calls have been a consistent blind spot when assessing marketing performance. Yes, contact agents can gather information and put it in the HubSpot CRM. However, doing so manually prolongs call time and the unnecessary questions turn off prospects. As a result, agents aren’t always able to collect enough information about who calls a hotline and why.  

That’s what Retreaver’s Integration for HubSpot is built to solve. Retreaver gives HubSpot users the ability to generate unique telephone numbers and tie them to HubSpot campaigns. The unique phone numbers can also be used on ads, and even individual keywords. Marketers can determine which sources are driving conversions and helps you prioritize where you should be spending your marketing dollars.

Customers benefit from the service as well. The integration synchronizes your calls with HubSpot so that you can instantly know who you are talking to and can easily update new data on the fly. Your sales team doesn’t miss a beat, purchase paths are shortened, and marketing gets the info it needs.

Learn more about how Retreaver makes caller insight happen by clicking here!

Introducing the New Retreaver Integration for HubSpot! What It Means for Your Business

February 1, 2018 | Marija Sekularac

Retreaver has recently announced an exciting new integration for HubSpot, a leading CRM platform used by 37,000 customers in 90 countries around the world for one sole purpose: learn more about their customer journey. With the rising importance of phone calls (contrary to belief – see article), businesses need a reliable call tracking and data collection service. The new Retreaver Integration for HubSpot is an exciting evolution for this realm. So what does it deliver for the customers and users on HubSpot?

Track Calls Regardless of Source

Setting up fresh campaigns with Retreaver Integration for HubSpot is easy. It enables marketers to track all calls to a specific number regardless of the original source. New campaigns are configured and named within the platform. The phone number of the agent that should answer each call is added and tracking numbers are assigned. That individual number, and source, are now ready to use in marketing content. Unlimited data tags and attributes are also tracked, including landing page URLs. In this way, marketers can track calls from Google Adwords, Facebook Ads, and other marketing content. Retreaver makes it easier than ever to track inbound calls and accurately attribute call-based conversions to each individual marketing source right through to your HubSpot contacts.

Capture Unlimited Caller Data

There is no end in sight to the variety and amount of caller data that marketers can capture with each individual call tracked with the Retreaver Integration for HubSpot. With the new Retreaver Calls Form (or map to an existing form) map a wealth of information in a variety of ways. Each new caller is added as a new contact, their data subsequently collected and analyzed. Data such as last call date, call start time, last visited URL, email, phone number, and caller number will be collected. Giving data driven marketers the ability to better understand the path to purchase for each individual caller.

Shorten the Path to Purchase

Lead forms work in some industries, but phone calls are increasingly valuable to both consumers and businesses alike. With HubSpot and Retreaver integration, users can give consumers the option to skip filling out a lead form and make a direct connection with technology such as click-to-call features. HubSpot allows users to setup personalized interactions for each user, triggering the perfect follow-up step automatically to help lead rates skyrocket. The Retreaver integration provides phone-based interactions which are now part of this same system and easily tracked within HubSpot. Allowing marketers to shorten the path to purchase for each and every consumer interacting with marketing content.

Manage Multiple Portals at Once

When the Retreaver integration for HubSpot is set up, the accounts work together and collect data on phone calls. Whether you have one or multiple portals, you will be able to manage all of them seamlessly through one interface. As a result, users can manage multiple companies, from direct clients and brands to sub-divisions.

HubSpot and Retreaver are a natural combination in the digital age. Phone calls have long been a blind spot for many companies. Now that information can be seamlessly and instantaneously routed to agents to close the gap between digital marketing content and phone-based conversions. Agents can react in real-time, workflow will improve, and actions can be automated to trigger instantly.

Learn more at: try.retreaver.com/solutions/hubspot and take advantage of our special launch package until April 15, 2018: try.retreaver.com/solutions/hubspot/launchpackage 

Why Call Intelligence is Important for Marketers

November 11, 2017 | Marija Sekularac

Hitting the phones is one of the biggest ways to drive business. 5 billion people in the world have a mobile phone – that’s two-thirds of the people on the planet – and most of them like to talk. “Customers have been found to respond better to the human touch than to some other form such as digital marketing,” explains Call Center Outsourcing Consultant Russell Meisman. “Sixty-eight percent of B2B sales were found to involve some form of human interaction such as telemarketing.” However, Meisman is quick to note that it also takes an average of 80 calls to make a breakthrough.

What if you can skew the odds in your favor just a bit more? You can use call intelligence – data gathered from previous phone calls. This data will allow you to personalize the buyer experience for repeat calls and identify more qualified leads. This strategy can improve your paid campaigns, help you attract new customers and give your teams an edge in closing deals. In other words, understanding call intelligence can help you drive revenue.

Here’s why call intelligence is important for marketers:

Call Tracking

The first opportunity that call intelligence affords marketers is analyzing effectiveness through call tracking. This technology can look at the pages your would-be customers looked at before they call you, the ads on which they clicked and the sites they visited. That information is then paired with the subject of the call and its outcome. Marketers can use this information to see exactly where their marketing efforts are driving interests.  Along with information on which ads get the most clicks and what characteristics those ads share.

Revenue Drivers

Call tracking and call intelligence can also help to identify revenue drivers. The technology is perfect for measuring how successful the campaigns are. Data will identify which campaign drove the most sales and which products or services get the most traction. If a particular product line is disproportionately responsible for phone call volume, it might be an area in which your company should further develop. A revenue driver with the opportunity for business expansion or create media to answer common questions. 

Relative Performance

National campaigns can be tracked and allocated to various branches or a small company that needs to understand their customer journey. Call tracking helps your marketing department accomplish those things. It can illustrate the source of calls so you can clearly see what made a person pick up the phone. For instance, was it the ad for which you paid $1 per click or a blog post with your contact information that went viral? You can also see whether your marketing campaigns had a direct impact. Companies may find that the bulk of their business comes from prospecting and inbound sources as opposed to cold calling.  Other companies will experience the reverse. Call intelligence helps you track relative performance. In turn, marketers can use the information to develop better, more effective campaigns – earning you more revenue in return.

Call intelligence is a valuable tool for growing your business. It clarifies which efforts are producing the biggest impact and which are earning you a poor return on investment (ROI). Get your free trial with Retreaver and help your company generate more qualified leads and better serve those people who do call in.

Our Thoughts on Google’s Report: The Role of Click to Call In the Path to Purchase

October 6, 2017 | Marija Sekularac

Source: The Role of Click to Call In the Path to Purchase

The importance of providing consumers an easy way to call your business remains crucial in the age of mobile search. While marketing feels like it’s moving away from phone call call-to-actions, often this is due to a perception that attributing conversions to the calls is hard. In “The Role of Click to Call In the Path to Purchase” Google shows with data why calls are still an important part of your marketing mix, and with call tracking, companies are able to:

  • analyze which marketing campaigns drove the highest calls which resulted in sales
  • understand the online to offline customer journey and when the purchase was made
  • view stats on your highest and lowest performing salespeople and understand which keywords are closing transactions

In the Google / Ipsus-Reid survey of 3,000 mobile searchers who recently made purchases, the role that click to call played in their purchase process was analyzed, with insights delivered such as:

  • 70% of mobile searchers have used click to call to connect with a business directly from the search engine results page
  • 47% of mobile searchers say that if a business does not have a phone number associated with their search results, they will be more likely to explore other brands
  • 61% of mobile searchers state that click to call is most important in the purchase phase of the shopping process

Need more information about why calls are as important as ever? Read the full article here. Need more insight into how call tracking helps you align phone calls to your multi-channel marketing efforts and tracking? Get in touch here.