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Posted on October 11, 2012 at 12:48 pm
Fresh brands are rooted in integrated technologies. Understand, organize and manage your marketing ecosystem.
Imagine a Consumer Reports® for marketing technologies. Find out the most highly rated technologies in eleven separate categories of brand management. Call for your copy of our research now.
For better or worse, brand communications—from building awareness at the treetops via advertising, pr and websites all the way to your direct sales efforts through events, pitches and proposals—are rooted in technology. The irony is that the promise of technology—more marketing efficiencies and effectiveness—often makes for more complexity, not less. It has never been easy to get different software to grow in the same backyard, but the rapid evolution of marketing technologies makes your back sore just thinking about it. We’ve set out to chart and explain the marketing ecosystem, so you can make decisions to grow on. Our methodology is simple but rigorous:
We organized all of your marketing functions into permanent media (stationery and other elements of the brand) and promotional media (pretty much everything else), internal and external.
We scoured the Internet for tools that manage the deployment of those tactics (email marketing, for example).
We discovered that many of the management tools available are industry-centric, which makes sense since the business structure of—and terms related to—individual industries are often unique. But we explored beyond professional service industries to see if other tools might be superior to tools with which you are already familiar.
We searched wherever possible for independent verification of the effectiveness of the technologies listed in this poster. Those listed are either highly ranked or highly recommended.
We urge you to compile your own research and make your own decisions, but isn’t it nice to have the problem framed and the process begun? For our part, Greenfield/Belser is a brand design firm that lives and breathes technology. We’re in the dirt. With you.
How do you…
Manage the Brand
How can I give widely distributed sales and marketing teams a way to create, customize and deliver brand-compliant marketing materials easily, on-demand?
If you build it, will they still ignore the standards? Brand standards intranets and extranets, some quite elaborate, have served large firms and marketing functions for 10+ years. As you might expect, Interbrand and other brand design firms have leveraged software they’ve designed for themselves and others into stand-alone management software. As firms grow, the pdf graphic standards manual you now use will not grow with you.
Other brand management solution providers include: Marketing Pilot Software, Brandworkz, Intelligence Bank, BrandMaker, Webtreepro, Widen and BrandWizard.
Manage Employee Data
How can I integrate our HR database with our website, proposals, events, etc.?
Migrating data across borders. Yes, the HR database needs to be integrated with web and other content systems for the sake of efficiencies and your sanity. But you won’t find a system to do that. You’ll need smart, multilingual programmers to build a pipe for your HR data to communicate with your website so you can use that information online and in proposals.
Other employee data management solution providers include: SAP, Thomson Reuters Elite and Oracle.
How can I find an event management piece of software that will do everything to manage an event, from start to finish?
More time to attend to the event itself. Cvent, RegOnline and Ungerboeck automate online registration and follow-up. But so do many email and CRM systems. Choosing the right one depends on the volume and complexity of your events. We use and love Campaign Monitor because it satisfies our needs and isn’t complicated, but we’ve also heard good things about Cvent.
Other event management solutions include: RegOnline
How can I find a proposal management software that will answer these important questions:
Can I leverage current IT investments? Is the platform extensible? Can we access from anywhere and collaborate without working in HTML? Is reporting versatile?
No pain. First-generation proposal management systems help leverage public website content, but working in HTML is neither user-friendly nor compatible with collaboration. Simple solutions like Greenfield/Belser’s eBriefcase and robust second-generation solutions like ANSOR are pain free—allowing packages to be assembled or proposals to be built in Word, integrating seamlessly with SharePoint, the darling of IT directors. We also urge you to check out Deb McMurray’s Content Pilot proposal generator, too, just ’cause we’re desperately trying to be honest and forthright in these critical reviews.
Other proposal management software solutions include: FirmSeek
Manage Email Campaigns
How can I find email campaign management software that creates, sends and tracks all without needing the help of my IT department?
Create, send, track without a techie. Email marketing is still underappreciated by professional service marketers. Of all the digital tools in your arsenal, email wins hands down. Smart marketers now create campaigns and adjust on the fly by seeing who opens email, which links are clicked and if mail is forwarded through social media. Ease of use and efficiency rule. Surveys say Constant Contact and Benchmark Email are very good, but iContact is better-rated.
Other email campaign software solutions include: Campaign Monitor
Manage Social Media
How can I find social media management software that automates my distribution across all social media channels?
Making sense of the hubbub. Social media was basically born yesterday. So expect software that helps manage your social media distribution to grow up as social media grows up. Many players, such as HootSuite and Moxie, promise a centralized way to source contacts, distribute campaigns and measure/monitor. At Greenfield/Belser, we signed up for Sprout Social.
Other social media management solutions include: Lithium, Awareness and Radian 6
Manage the Content Mother lode
Are relationships and corrections easy to make and populate across a rich site?
SAAS in the cloud guarantees the future of your software. The features war is over. All CMSs will sooner or later match the features of the others. But you’ll have to wait for those updates unless you use Greenfield/Belser’s Point & Clique V6. Version 6 follows the Software As A Service model, hosted in the cloud, so new features are available to you as soon as they appear. Open source is appealing to many buyers, but once Drupal or Joomla is on your server, you are responsible for enhancements. Actually, in truth, all software is proprietary, even open source, once it lands on your server. Problem is, you are the proprietor! Cloud-based CMSs are always cutting edge. Meanwhile, check out all our friends above. We never said we were the only game in town. We just believe we’re the best.
Other content management systems include: Content Pilot, Saturno, OneNorth, FirmSeek, Site Core
How can I sort experience by client, date, industry, location, value, service area, etc., to create a beautifully designed table of relevant experience?
What have you done and for whom? That’s the question executive buyers of professional services want answered. Trouble is, marketing data float like spores around your firm. We like new tools like Track Record (part of V6) and ANSOR for very robust experience management collation, tracking and reporting. We didn’t include Hubbard One’s logo because we understand that their proposal system and experience manager did not travel with the new firm.
Other experience managers include: Saturno, FirmSeek, Site Core
Ask if the software will… crawl the site frequently and alert us to issues we need to fix and how to do it, make on-page, specific recommendations, give us a snapshot of our competitors?
If you want to get found, find a consultant. Software can help, but the rules of the game change so often that you simply must have an SEO consultant on contract. We don’t believe even a full-time staff person is your best investment. Seomoz.org and Conductor are two leaders in the field. Both are approachable in ways that Google Analytics is not.
Other SEO management tools include: Search Metrics, IBP11, ThunderSEO, SEO Clarity, Web CEO, Raven
Manage Website Effectiveness
How can I find a software solution that deciphers Google’s Analytics by linking Google’s data to design and coding strategies that improve your website’s effectiveness?
Analytics provide data, not insights. We invented a category called “web effectiveness” because we believe your site should be constantly reviewed for its effectiveness in converting visitors to leads. There are a host of options providing analytics, including the best-known—Google Analytics. But Google’s goals are different from yours, and its Analytics are almost impossible, frankly, for management or marketing to understand. Respected pundits say you need a range of tools, not one, to assess your site. More important, you need talent to sort, select, interpret and make sensible recommendations from the data.
Other tools to manage your website’s effectiveness include: ClickTale, Web Trends, Adobe Omniture, Core Metrics
Manage Client Relationships
How can I find a CRM system that provides me with the most features and access?
Battle-scarred marketers know that people and process make or break a CRM system. But in broader B2B marketing, Salesforce.com rates best for features and functions. SugarCRM and NetSuite also top charts. Professional service favorites are still InterAction and ContactEase.
Other CRM systems include: Microsoft Dynamics AX2012, CDC Software, Oracle, NetSuite
Order your research poster immediately by calling 202.775.0333. Ask for the Marketing Ecosystem poster or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted on May 16, 2011 at 3:46 pm
This year’s story is a refrain of the last: “Every time we, as marketers, think we’ve seen it all, we see it again; something new, that is.” Last year we were pounding the table about SEO and SEM—those ingredients simply had to be in your cupboard. Now, just as the services world is beginning to perk up and take notice, another challenge has risen to which we must attend…The world is going mobile. And much faster than we imagined.
By 2013, the Internet will be accessed by mobile devices more often than by desktop computers. But what is your next step? Should you run to the kitchen and create another app to add to the millions already out there? Or is your time better spent elsewhere?
(By the way, we’ve just begun with the metaphors. Hang on to your apron!)
Digital Cookbook 2011 will tell you how to serve up the best menu, even with meager resources. Expect to keep hearing about the slightly more familiar eTerritory of websites, SEO and SEM. As with our Digital Outlook 2010, our goal is to bring you up to the minute so you can make a solid case for your next marketing step. We’d also like to alleviate your anxiety on the one hand while encouraging you to ratchet up your efforts on the other. Our groundbreaking study in 2002, Why Firms Fail, Why Firms Succeed, determined that only 43% of the business issues that firms thought critical to their survival really were. We want you to focus the right dollar on the right problem. Then, relax and enjoy the meal. You’ll have done all you can.
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