Marketing Archives - PGi Blog https://www.pgi.com/blog Resources for Virtual Events and Global Collaboration for Businesses Wed, 02 Mar 2022 13:54:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.1 4 Tips for Planning the Perfect Webcast for Demand Generation https://www.pgi.com/blog/2022/02/webcast-for-demand-generation-tips/ Tue, 22 Feb 2022 15:00:40 +0000 https://www.pgi.com/blog/?p=28969 A webcast can be a highly effective tool for demand generation and lead generation. But only if you can engage audience members to get them thinking fondly about your offerings and create customer loyalty. A basic lecture or “talking head” product presentation won’t cut it for today’s audiences, who expect more from nearly every entertainment …

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A webcast can be a highly effective tool for demand generation and lead generation. But only if you can engage audience members to get them thinking fondly about your offerings and create customer loyalty. A basic lecture or “talking head” product presentation won’t cut it for today’s audiences, who expect more from nearly every entertainment experience — even an educational or marketing webcast.

Here are some webcast tips to boost audience engagement which, in turn, should expand the capacity it has for lead generation.

  1. Use a Variety of Media throughout the Webcast

    Talking heads on the screen can be boring. But so is a plain old PowerPoint presentation. Mix up the media during your webcast for optimal engagement. Consider creating animations and short videos to liven up the presentation. If you have multiple guest speakers, bring them together for a panel discussion. Anchor your webcast with a personable moderator that can keep things moving.

  2. Choose the Right Presenters

    The right presenters can make or break your webcast. No matter how good your pre-event promotions or the technology you use to produce your webcast, your webcast may fall flat if your speaker isn’t fun, lively, and engaging.

    You should be choosing your presenters for their knowledge and dynamic speaking capabilities. But also consider their network. They should be influencers in their field, to a degree, who can use their social media accounts to help you promote the webcast to their fans and followers.

  3. Leverage Hashtags for Cross-Platform Engagement

    In addition to establishing social media campaigns to promote the event, use hashtags before, after, and during your webcast to increase engagement across platforms. Make sure your hashtags are memorable and unique. Share them with presenters before your event to start generating buzz. Make sure the hashtags are on all promotional material, including digital and print marketing materials you might share.

  4. Make It Easy for Your Audience to Interact

    Once you’ve got your attendees’ attention, you want to keep it. Make it easy for your audience to interact with chat rooms, polling, and Q&As. Make it easy for your marketing team, as well, with technology to create post-event follow-ups that will build loyalty and keep the customer relationship going — and growing — long after your webcast is over.

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The New Age of Webcast Marketing for Any Audience https://www.pgi.com/blog/2021/11/the-new-age-of-webcast-marketing-for-any-audience/ https://www.pgi.com/blog/2021/11/the-new-age-of-webcast-marketing-for-any-audience/#respond Wed, 17 Nov 2021 20:59:47 +0000 https://www.pgi.com/blog/?p=28812 Webcast marketing is the new frontier in internet marketing for many brands and organizations. Statistics show that by 2022, videos will make up more than 82% of all consumer internet traffic. And in 2020, 83.3% of internet users accessed digital video content. Even as far back as 2018, 54% of consumers said they want to see more …

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Webcast marketing is the new frontier in internet marketing for many brands and organizations. Statistics show that by 2022, videos will make up more than 82% of all consumer internet traffic. And in 2020, 83.3% of internet users accessed digital video content. Even as far back as 2018, 54% of consumers said they want to see more video content from the brands they love.

If you’re not marketing through webcasts yet, it’s not too late to start. Whether you are in charge of marketing for B2B, B2C, or even D2C (direct-to-consumer), webcasts are the way to go for lead generation, brand recognition, and even consumer education.

But what are the best steps to take to ensure your target audience views your webcast either live or on-demand?

Set the Stage with Great Content

You’ll want to start promoting your webcast roughly two to three weeks before the big day. Most companies begin with an email to their list to ensure that they are reaching their “warm” leads and current customers who would benefit from the content.

While you want to talk about the benefits of your webinar, you also want to entice your audience with great content teasers. Make sure every email delivers value and actionable tips or insights your audience can start using even before the webinar. Your first email and any other marketing collateral should give a sneak peek of things to come while offering helpful information your audience can also use immediately.

Take an Omni-Channel Approach

While email is one of the most common methods of marketing your webcast, you shouldn’t stop there. Consider tactics such as:

  • Organic social media marketing
  • Paid search
  • Paid social
  • SMS marketing

You should also make it easy for people to add your event to their calendars and to access your event from their computer or mobile device on the big day.

Align with Marketing Partners

Your presenters, especially if they are outside your organization, can be great marketing partners as you spread the word about your webinar. Encourage them to drum up excitement amongst their network by providing them with materials and information they can modify and disseminate easily.

You might also consider approaching some big-name, well-known attendees in your industry — even if they aren’t presenting — about influencer marketing campaigns. After all, any type of event, whether virtual or in-person, is more fun with friends and people we know. Ask attendees to spread the word on social media and invite their friends to make the event more exciting for everyone.

Follow Up for Best Results

When your webcast is over, make sure to offer the materials available on-demand to those who registered. Things happen, and, often, attendees find out last minute they can’t attend a webcast. You’ll get even more mileage from your marketing efforts by offering the same content after the fact.

GlobalMeet® Webcast makes it easy to present and record a branded webcast. Our team can help you every step of the way.

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ABM Strategies: Benefits of Recurring Client Webcasts for Account-Based Marketing https://www.pgi.com/blog/2021/08/abm-strategies-benefits-of-recurring-client-webcasts-for-account-based-marketing/ https://www.pgi.com/blog/2021/08/abm-strategies-benefits-of-recurring-client-webcasts-for-account-based-marketing/#respond Tue, 31 Aug 2021 01:15:37 +0000 https://www.pgi.com/blog/?p=28705 Account-based marketing, or ABM, focuses on finding best-fit, enterprise-level clients and targeting your sales and marketing efforts to attract them through personalized messaging. Rather than reaching out to individuals, however, ABM touches all the key decision-makers in an organization. Benefits and Challenges of ABM Unlike traditional lead generation methods, ABM can lead to higher conversion …

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Account-based marketing, or ABM, focuses on finding best-fit, enterprise-level clients and targeting your sales and marketing efforts to attract them through personalized messaging. Rather than reaching out to individuals, however, ABM touches all the key decision-makers in an organization.

Benefits and Challenges of ABM

Unlike traditional lead generation methods, ABM can lead to higher conversion rates, greater customer loyalty, and account growth. But ABM often takes more time and energy to reach accounts, especially in a world where face-to-face meetings are still the exception rather than the rule. That’s where sales webcasts come in to save time and money, provide flexibility for attendees and open the lines of communications with clients.

You can even host reoccurring scheduled webcasts so customers can attend on their schedule, and provide the content for download after the event, which helps customers review and retain your message.

Recurring Webcasts for Demand Generation

Once you’ve identified your key prospects in an ABM campaign, the next step is showing them why your offerings will help them solve a pervasive problem — why they need what you’re selling. With the right sales and marketing collateral, you can attract decision-makers to your webcasts and pique their interest. From there, it’s easier to begin developing relationships.

Your prospects and clients alike will love the convenience of a webinar, especially with the prevalence of today’s hybrid workforces. Statistics show that 73% of B2B marketers believe a webinar is the best way to generate high-quality leads, while 95% say webinars are an important part of their digital marketing strategy.

Recurring Webcasts to Reduce Client Churn

ABM focuses on building relationships, from your organization to your customers. A series of webcasts can provide training and information on your products and help build client relationships. Each webinar can dig deeper into various pain points your product or service solves. Functions such as audience polling and Q&A create an interactive, engaging environment where attendees can feel closely connected.

Webcasts for Business Growth

Gartner survey discovered that customer service, including webinars and conversations, can reduce client churn but has little effect on business growth. Recurring webinars focused on upselling other products and services in your line can help you drive growth while building relationships.

Recurring webinars create opportunities for clients to watch when (and where) it’s convenient for them, download your content on-demand for later viewing, and increase their knowledge of your lines, resulting in greater brand loyalty.

Reach out to PGi to learn how our GlobalMeet platform can help.

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How to Craft High Impact Sales and Marketing Strategies via Webcast https://www.pgi.com/blog/2021/08/how-to-craft-high-impact-sales-and-marketing-strategies-via-webcast/ https://www.pgi.com/blog/2021/08/how-to-craft-high-impact-sales-and-marketing-strategies-via-webcast/#respond Mon, 02 Aug 2021 14:00:49 +0000 https://www.pgi.com/blog/?p=28660 Even as offices re-open, many employees continue to work remotely. Even in hands-on fields such as logistics and operational management, employees have embraced a full-time remote work schedule or a hybrid arrangement, where they spend some time in the office and the rest working remotely. One study revealed that 34% of professionals across industries and positions …

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Even as offices re-open, many employees continue to work remotely. Even in hands-on fields such as logistics and operational management, employees have embraced a full-time remote work schedule or a hybrid arrangement, where they spend some time in the office and the rest working remotely.

One study revealed that 34% of professionals across industries and positions would quit their job rather than return to the office full-time. And 49% said they would prefer a hybrid arrangement. Fortunately, today’s virtual training and events capabilities make it possible to manage operations, sales, and marketing even with a remote or hybrid workforce.

Virtual collaboration makes it possible to manage all areas of logistics from anywhere in the world. But you can also craft high-impact sales and marketing strategies virtually, regardless of where team members are working. In fact, it may be even more convenient to work in the cloud via powerful collaboration software and brainstorm ideas via webcast. When it comes to content creation, as well, virtual media should play a significant role in your content strategy.

Meet Via Webcast to Brainstorm Ideas

The PGi GlobalMeet platform provides all the tools you need to brainstorm ideas and collaborate creatively. Webcast capabilities for collaborative meetings include:

  • Screen-sharing
  • Cloud recording
  • In-app chat
  • A multi-task widget to access meeting and audio controls at any time
  • Remote desktop control
  • Digital whiteboard

The tools and resources available make it easy to craft your strategy with your team, make modifications in real-time, and save drafts in the cloud.

Review What’s Worked in the Past

As you’re crafting your sales and marketing strategy, you’ll want to review your best campaigns of the past. What resonated with your audience to guide them down the sales funnel? Borrow the elements from your most successful campaigns and consider repurposing content as you strategize.

Create a Webcast for Lead Generation

Webcast and virtual event technology aren’t just for in-house collaboration and communication. Using your best content, create a webcast for demand generation and consumer education. Build out the rest of your strategy with content promoting the webcast. Make sure to provide a recording of the webcast on-demand after the virtual event.

Creating a high-impact sales and marketing strategy with a remote team isn’t hard as long as collaborators can stay on the same page through webcast and virtual event technology.

Let PGi help you stay in touch with your team members, customers, and prospects. Schedule a free demo of our GlobalMeet platform today.

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How to Market Your Virtual Events When Your Audience is Global https://www.pgi.com/blog/2021/06/how-to-market-your-virtual-events-when-your-audience-is-global/ https://www.pgi.com/blog/2021/06/how-to-market-your-virtual-events-when-your-audience-is-global/#respond Wed, 16 Jun 2021 20:35:27 +0000 https://www.pgi.com/blog/?p=28583 Virtual events have been available to global audiences for years. But, 2020 proved just how beneficial these events are for enterprises across all industries. With an audience size that large, your marketing strategy needs to rise and generate demand from all over the world. Honing in on a single tactic won’t work when you have to …

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Virtual events have been available to global audiences for years. But, 2020 proved just how beneficial these events are for enterprises across all industries.

With an audience size that large, your marketing strategy needs to rise and generate demand from all over the world. Honing in on a single tactic won’t work when you have to reach thousands upon thousands of potential attendees.

Naturally, a few key tactics will help you accomplish this goal and drive virtual event registrations.

Before You Begin: Is Your Webcast Ready?

Companies making the leap from in-person conferences to global virtual events are often unprepared to handle the needs of a worldwide online experience.

Make sure your webcast is capable of providing high-quality streaming live or on-demand in the countries your audience resides in. A tool like GlobalMeet from PGi has all the capabilities you need for a successful virtual event.

Once you’ve set your webcast up for global viewing, you can use the following tactics to generate interest and registrations:

Google and Facebook Ads

Both Google and Facebook (including Instagram) offer incredible reach and targeting capabilities. Google controls 92% of the search engine market share worldwide, and Facebook has an incredible 2.8 million users (and counting).

With the ability to intricately target users, ads on these platforms are bound to reach the eyes of your specific audience.

Additionally, these platforms allow advertisers to utilize several ad formats. Posting content such as one-minute webcast teaser videos, testimonials from past attendees, and a snapshot of the event agenda will do well to captivate potential attendees.

Account-Based Marketing

Reach out to past and existing clients to let them know about your upcoming virtual event. Since a relationship with the individual or company has already been established, you don’t need to spend time introducing them to your brand—you can jump right in and tell them all about what to expect.

Consider providing these clients with event discounts, exclusive content, or early access to event experiences to incentivize their attendance.

Promote Your Guest Speakers

Your guest speakers will have a dedicated following. Use it to your advantage!

On top of promoting the guest speakers on your own channels, ask them to promote your event as well. Whether they choose to do so through an email marketing newsletter, a social media post, or an original blog post, the exposure will help drive people to your virtual event.

With these tactics in your back pocket, you’re ready to host a worldwide virtual event. But remember, you need a powerful webcasting tool by your side. Trust GlobalMeet by PGi to get the job done and stream your content to the world seamlessly.

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Effective Marketing for Your Online Events to Reach Larger Audiences https://www.pgi.com/blog/2021/06/effective-marketing-for-your-online-events-to-reach-larger-audiences/ https://www.pgi.com/blog/2021/06/effective-marketing-for-your-online-events-to-reach-larger-audiences/#respond Mon, 07 Jun 2021 21:22:57 +0000 https://www.pgi.com/blog/?p=28567 Are you hosting an online event? Once the technology is in place to deliver a professional quality webcast, you want to set the stage to attract the largest qualified audience you can. By combining account-based marketing (ABM) with existing clients, along with Google and Facebook ads to reach new audiences, you can gain attention and enthusiasm for …

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Are you hosting an online event? Once the technology is in place to deliver a professional quality webcast, you want to set the stage to attract the largest qualified audience you can. By combining account-based marketing (ABM) with existing clients, along with Google and Facebook ads to reach new audiences, you can gain attention and enthusiasm for your events, resulting in more engaged attendees.

The most effective marketing strategies for online events begin with demand generation. Demand generation is an integrated approach to marketing that identifies prospects at any touchpoint and delivers content to reach them, wherever they are in the sales funnel. It is the basis of your marketing strategy to reach larger audiences.

Demand Generation Creates a Need for Your Offering

Demand generation involves identifying prospects at different stages of the sales funnel and then showing them why they need you, your event, and — ultimately — the products or services your company offers.

With demand generation, you create demand for your offerings by identifying the challenges your audience faces and then showing them how your solution addresses those challenges. Most importantly, it shows them why it’s important to solve these challenges.

For instance, let’s say that you provide tax services for small to mid-size businesses. Business owners may know that it’s important to pay their taxes accurately and on time. But they may not understand the consequences — including loss of revenue, tax levies, and even jail time — if they don’t pay. They might even feel they can do their taxes themselves.

First, you’d need to show your prospects what they stand to lose if they try to do their taxes themselves, or worse — if they don’t file them at all. Once you’ve got their attention, you would show them how you can help through your service. It all comes down to delivering the right message at the right time.

Account-Based Marketing Attracts The Interest of Your Existing Clients

Account-based marketing begins with prospects further down the lead funnel. These are already your customers. You want them to attend your webinar or online event to build their loyalty, upsell them on products, and impart their enthusiasm to other attendees.

Account-based marketing uses highly personalized tactics, addressing the pain points and solutions that your customers care about most.

Both demand generation and ABM marketing with existing clients use many of the same tactics, including Google and Facebook ads, well-known guest speakers, and one-minute teaser videos.

One-Minute Teaser Videos Capture Attention

A successful online event is all about the content you create for it. And that starts before the event begins, with your promotional material. One-minute teaser videos give your audience a feel for the level of professionalism they can expect at your event and the quality of information you will share.

Plus, a lengthy list of well-known guest speakers combined with one-minute teaser videos forms the perfect basis for your paid search and social media campaigns.

Reach More People with Google and Facebook Ads

Organic marketing, or content marketing, can work well if you already have an engaged audience, lots of followers on social media, and good search engine rankings for your website. But if you’d like to reach a targeted market quickly, putting some money into social media ads and paid search can really pay off.

The key to successful Google and Facebook ads is identifying your target market and then creating compelling, interactive ad content that appeals to them. Then, make it easy for them to sign up for your online event by creating a Facebook event page and a website landing page where they can register.

Let the Experts at PGI Help

GlobalMeet Webcast professional webcasting software and services can help you at every stage of your online event. The Cvent Event Marketing and Management platform integrates with GlobalMeet to measure your results and expedite follow-ups from leads generated during the event.

From start to finish, your events can run flawlessly with help from the pros at PGI. Contact us to learn more about our online event solutions.

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How to Increase Attendance Through Innovative Pre-Event Marketing https://www.pgi.com/blog/2021/05/how-to-increase-attendance-through-innovative-pre-event-marketing/ https://www.pgi.com/blog/2021/05/how-to-increase-attendance-through-innovative-pre-event-marketing/#respond Thu, 27 May 2021 01:27:47 +0000 https://www.pgi.com/blog/?p=28555 It happens all the time in the virtual event arena. Companies drive phenomenal event registration numbers, but a fraction of confirmed participants show up on the day. This situation leaves marketers wondering what went wrong and what they could have done better. Rather than trying the same plan again, marketers need to focus on innovative pre-event marketing …

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It happens all the time in the virtual event arena.

Companies drive phenomenal event registration numbers, but a fraction of confirmed participants show up on the day. This situation leaves marketers wondering what went wrong and what they could have done better.

Rather than trying the same plan again, marketers need to focus on innovative pre-event marketing tactics to excite registrants and convince them to commit to attending the event.

Here’s how:

Email Marketing Reminders

Virtual event activities skyrocketed by 1,000% in 2020 due to the global pandemic. This major increase means that customers are inundated with opportunities to attend various online events, from expert panels to full-fledged virtual conferences.

If they didn’t attend your event, it was likely due to virtual event fatigue or because they forgot.

With this in mind, your event needs to stand out from the rest. You can accomplish this by continuously reminding registrants about the virtual event.

Create an automated email marketing sequence filled with insightful event content. This type of content can include:

  • Introduction Videos from Scheduled Speakers
  • Presentation Sneak-Peeks
  • Relevant Articles
  • Event Agenda
  • Interactive Media

Be sure to use these emails to explain what attendees can expect from the event. Use clear, actionable language and direct them to where they can find more event info on your website.

When putting together an email sequence, space the emails out by a few days leading up to the event. Try a sequence like:

  • Two weeks before
  • One week before
  • Four days before
  • Two days before
  • Day before
  • Day of

Social Media Content

Many businesses make the mistake of posting about their event on social media once.

To keep potential attendees engaged and interested, your social media team needs to regularly publish content related to the virtual event. From videos to articles, interviews with past attendees, and event details, make sure your social media channels are active with event-related content.

Plus, don’t forget to interact with people talking about the event online, too. Use social media listening tools to identify relevant conversations and jump in!

Reach Out Personally to Registrants

While automated email sequences and mass social media posts are a great tactic to drive attendance, nothing beats personally interacting with registrants.

Reach out to each individual signed up for the event and start a conversation! Ask them what questions they have. Tell them about some of the speakers or sessions lined up. See what they’re interested in! These conversations will make registrants more likely to attend if they have a personal connection to the event.

Of course, at the enterprise level, reaching out to thousands of people is a bit much. Tackle this challenge by gathering a team and creating an email message template for each person to send.

Every Well-Attended Virtual Event Begins With the Right Platform

If you go through all the work to increase attendance with pre-event marketing, your virtual event platform needs to be able to perform. Trust GlobalMeet Webcast from PGi to provide a secure and powerful virtual event experience for all involved.

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Three Tips for Successful Account-Based Marketing Webcast Strategies https://www.pgi.com/blog/2021/03/three-tips-for-successful-account-based-marketing-webcast-strategies/ https://www.pgi.com/blog/2021/03/three-tips-for-successful-account-based-marketing-webcast-strategies/#respond Thu, 18 Mar 2021 22:30:01 +0000 https://www.pgi.com/blog/?p=28474 Most businesses adopt a vague approach to targeting audiences, often opting to market to the masses. While this option can work, account-based marketing strategies provide marketers with a better path to success through targeted virtual opportunities and tactics. Wordstream defines Account-based marketing (ABM) as “a strategic marketing strategy where key business accounts are marketed to directly, as units of …

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Most businesses adopt a vague approach to targeting audiences, often opting to market to the masses. While this option can work, account-based marketing strategies provide marketers with a better path to success through targeted virtual opportunities and tactics.

Wordstream defines Account-based marketing (ABM) as “a strategic marketing strategy where key business accounts are marketed to directly, as units of one (compared to the typical one-to-many approach.)”

Marketers identify high-volume or high-revenue accounts and tailor their strategies to target these potential clients. Naturally, leveraging webcasts is a popular sales tactic for ABM teams due to their versatile nature and ability to deliver on-demand, customized content.

If your brand intends to use webcasts as part of an account-based marketing approach, keep our three tips in mind.

1. Create Webcast Topics Around Account Challenges

The goal of using webcasts for account-based marketing is to deliver solutions or educational content that meets the needs of the account(s).

Think about what challenges the account faces on a regular basis. How does your product or service work as the solution? Use these questions as a foundation for determining which topics to discuss in a targeted webcast.

Craft webcast topics as educational opportunities, not sales objectives. You need to attract the attention of decision-makers at your target account rather than drive them away with blatant sales efforts.

2. Personalize Everything

Account-based marketing relies on an in-depth knowledge of your prospect account and their teams. With this in mind, do everything in your power to personalize the webcast experience.

From the landing page to the follow-up emails, personalize every aspect of the webcast. If possible, you can create custom introductions and segments for an on-demand webcast, making the experience feel individualized rather than designed for the masses.

3. Include the Sales Team Throughout Each Webcast

The key to a successful account-based marketing strategy and webcast is to have your sales and marketing teams aligned. While the marketing team is responsible for the webcast content and delivery, the sales team needs to seal the deal.

With this in mind, make sure to include your sales team in every step of the webcast creation and delivery process—including being involved in the webcast itself. Let your sales team log in to the webcast, introduce themselves, answer questions from participants, and interact in the chat room. Doing so puts a face to the brand and helps potential clients feel comfortable trusting your business with their challenges and needs.

Ready to incorporate webcasts into your ABM strategy? Rely on the powerful GlobalMeet Webcast platform from PGi to get the job done and impress your target accounts.

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How to Create a Collaborative Marketing Environment https://www.pgi.com/blog/2019/09/marketing-collaboration/ https://www.pgi.com/blog/2019/09/marketing-collaboration/#respond Wed, 18 Sep 2019 20:54:51 +0000 https://www.pgi.com/blog/?p=27313 A successful marketing campaign is seldom a single person’s brainchild. On the contrary, effective marketing is deeply collaborative. Teams, not lone wolves, conceptualize, design and execute the most brilliant campaigns. Here are a few of the best practices to encourage great marketing collaboration. Distinguish between ideas and individuals. Some concepts are shot down. Others gain …

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A successful marketing campaign is seldom a single person’s brainchild. On the contrary, effective marketing is deeply collaborative. Teams, not lone wolves, conceptualize, design and execute the most brilliant campaigns. Here are a few of the best practices to encourage great marketing collaboration.

Distinguish between ideas and individuals.

Some concepts are shot down. Others gain momentum. But voice and discuss all ideas—even bad ones. That way, the best ones can take shape and evolve.

In the ideation stage of any collaborative project, one thing is crucial: separating ideas from the individuals who voice them. As a team leader, you can do this by making it clear that any team member’s idea is simply a potential springboard and not a final product. People with good ideas should be recognized, but in the end, what matters is the bigger, better, clearer idea that’s developed by the team.

Draw lines between ideas and individuals to collaboratively improve good ideas. Simultaneously, this allows the team’s weaker ideas to fade away without shame creating a safe environment to innovate. That’s how great collaboration can happen.

Encourage team members to teach each other.

Great marketing professionals are passionate about what they do. In their spare time, they’re often reading case studies, studying advertising campaigns, and researching best practices. When they share that knowledge, it can strengthen the team enormously. During one meeting this month, why not set aside 10 minutes for a team member to give a mini-keynote? Or start a communication channel to spontaneously share ideas (#marketinginspiration).

Teaching can happen asynchronously, too. With unlimited, centrally accessible cloud storage, team members can record and share meetings, instantly making relevant information available to the whole team thus promote marketing collaboration.

Provide a robust, centralized touchpoint for the team.

Above all, collaborative teams absolutely need a single point of contact where they can reach the whole team. Group chats are not sufficient for true collaboration. Rather, the team needs a solution that keeps communications organized and legible.

GlobalMeet was designed around the experience of real-life collaborative teams. It provides instant, reliable access to messaging, phone, video conferencing and collaboration tools that empower you to make meaningful connections wherever you are. As conversations evolve, share files and information and communicate face-to-face in full featured video meetings.

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Should Marketers Go All-in on Virtual Reality in 2017? https://www.pgi.com/blog/2017/01/should-marketers-go-vr-2017/ Wed, 25 Jan 2017 00:00:00 +0000 http://wwwpgi.wpengine.com/blog/should-marketers-go-vr-2017/ Virtual reality business in booming, and the popularity of VR technology shows no sign of slowing down. But is VR technology worth the investment for marketing departments?  Find out what iMeetCentral contributor Jason Compton has to say about VR in the marketing line of business: If you believe in mass advertising indicators, the big push …

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Virtual reality business in booming, and the popularity of VR technology shows no sign of slowing down. But is VR technology worth the investment for marketing departments?  Find out what iMeetCentral contributor Jason Compton has to say about VR in the marketing line of business:

If you believe in mass advertising indicators, the big push to put virtual reality goggles under the Christmas tree is a sign that VR has arrived. Or you can follow the money. According to analyst firm Digi-Capital, $2.3 billion in venture capital went into augmented reality (AR) and VR startups between 4Q 2015 and 3Q 2016. And the action isn’t all on the venture side—IDC projects that 9.6 million VR units will be sold by year’s end, representing over $2 billion in customer spending.

It’s adding up to give 2017 the feel of a year that will define whether or not you were capital-T There when VR became a capital-T Thing. It’s also bringing into focus the fact that VR production can be a little more complicated than simply playing video two inches away from somebody’s face.

“There are clearly brands for which VR has immediate application, like gaming and cars,” says Larry Harris, chief strategy officer of video advertising platform Sightly. “But a full VR experience is a big production, more akin to making Star Wars than making a traditional commercial.”

The growing installed base is pulling in attention from advertisers across the spectrum. Specialty agency Pandora AR & VR Technologies specializes in work for architectural, interior design, and hotel clients, with occasional dabbling for pioneers in food and beverage. Their business model is shifting from outgoing calls to incoming inquiries. “This year we started to see more people calling us, telling us they have budget to try something now in VR and AR and are looking for ideas,” says Alper Guler, business analyst at Pandora AR & VR.

If you want to have a stake in VR without looking like a cynical prospector, here’s what to keep in mind.

 

Stick with what you know

Simply experimenting with VR is, in itself, an edgy proposition. You don’t have to try to revolutionize every element of how your brand is perceived in the process. Try something simple and interactive, which feels authentic to your brand. That should still be enough to get your VR efforts noticed.

“In 2016, brands that came out with interesting, compelling content got a lot of organic reach,” says Clifton Dawson, founder and CEO of VR industry analysts Greenlight Insights. “Next year you’re still going to be able to get a lot of organic reach and social media buzz. There’s still a ton of room for experimentation.”

Some verticals will find this easier than others. Experiences which mirror a well-understood, easily-rendered representation of reality are fairly straightforward to implement. That’s why real estate, architecture, and retail have been strong early adopters.

“For franchisees and mall operators, putting together a VR walkthrough is very doable, you don’t need fantastic talent for that,” Harris says. “You can advertise yourself as an experience, and distinguish yourself for having a VR presence.”

 

If you don’t know, don’t force it

Agencies are going to be eager to convert their experiences in audience engagement, 3D, and user experience into something new and delightful. Challenge your partners to come up with compelling ideas. But don’t be afraid to punt if nothing actually sounds worthwhile.

“With VR comes the potential to deliver more video inventory,” Harris says. “But I was talking to a client today and had to tell them that I just don’t know what the ad for their brand is that would go into a VR experience.”

Push on the track record of partners or direct hires claiming to have VR experience. Just knowing your way around 3D graphics and video, and actually designing interactive experiences, are two different things. Equally important is bringing in people who are results-oriented.

“If you’re not thinking now about measurement, that’s a mistake,” Dawson says. “There are an increasing number of tools that allow you to understand what your users find compelling about your VR experience, and it will often surprise you.”

 

Understand the risk of sitting out

The app-driven smartphone didn’t truly catch on before the 2007 introduction of the iPhone. Today, the home screen-and-app combo completely defines the mobile experience. Similarly, VR’s biggest days are still some years ahead, but we may see the groundwork unfold over the next several months.

Slow adopters can sit back and allow others to define the model, trading off the costs of experimentation against the potential disadvantage of working from behind. “We’re still probably 10 or 12 years out from every [individual] having this technology,” Guler says. “But you have to learn it today if you want to be ahead of the curve.”

Even if the right choice is to do nothing with VR in 2017, it’s still a conversation that should be taking place in media planning and experience design. “We’re still early in this medium’s lifecycle. Know that it’s not just about 2017, it’s about 2020 and 2025,” Dawson says. “But you’ll want to have the skills to tell great stories and create great experiences now and in the future.”

This content was originally posted on iMeetCentral’s blog. To view the original content click here.

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Your Next CEO? The Case for Your CMO https://www.pgi.com/blog/2016/12/your-next-ceo-case-for-cmo/ https://www.pgi.com/blog/2016/12/your-next-ceo-case-for-cmo/#respond Wed, 07 Dec 2016 00:00:00 +0000 http://wwwpgi.wpengine.com/blog/your-next-ceo-case-for-cmo/ For marketers, the corporate ladder traditionally is missing a rung or two. Climb to the lofty heights of CMO-dom, sure. Oversee a billion-dollar marketing budget, no problem. But run the whole show? That was best left to the masters of finance, operations and business development. “Looking back a bit, it is not surprising that the person …

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For marketers, the corporate ladder traditionally is missing a rung or two. Climb to the lofty heights of CMO-dom, sure. Oversee a billion-dollar marketing budget, no problem. But run the whole show? That was best left to the masters of finance, operations and business development.

“Looking back a bit, it is not surprising that the person who, essentially, managed the advertising budget and communications plan was not going to be a natural candidate for the role of CEO. However, today the role of a CMO is a million miles away from that,” said Jeff Dodds, who himself made the transition from CMO (Virgin Media) to CEO (Tele2Netherlands).

Today, there are a number of reasons why the CMO could be holding the winning ticket.

Customer Ownership

“Ownership” is the wrong word; as we’ve written before, your customers shouldn’t be quarantined to a single department. But no one is better poised to have a comprehensive and personalized customer perspective than a well-prepared CMO.

“As the CMO continues to own the customer across all channels—as well as the data that drives the business—the CMO quickly becomes a logical person to own the company’s growth agenda in the CEO role,” said Deloitte Consulting principal David Shrank. “Transforming a company or reversing slumping sales requires what I call ‘journey thinking’—the act of looking at your entire company from the mind-set of your customers and understanding each of these unique customer journeys in ways that allow you to make the most of every touch point.”

Cross-Departmental Collaboration

To best serve the customer, marketers have to first get to know their colleagues.

“How do you deliver better outcomes for customers?” GE SVP and CMO Beth Comstock asked. “You have to wrap yourself around the way your customer’s company operates. You have to understand the journey from the CFO’s office, the CEO’s office, the CMO… the entire C-suite.”

“Marketing is a great training ground as you develop key skills that are needed in a CEO role,” said thinkThin president/CEO Michele Kessler. “In many marketing roles, you have to demonstrate results and to accomplish results requires leadership across the enterprise. Many functions work primarily within-function; marketing can’t.”

Data-Driven ROI

In the old days, part of the skepticism around turning over the keys to a CMO would have been based on the idea that a chief marketer was mostly a creative, better with ads and fonts than dollars and cents. Today’s marketer, of course, looks pretty different.

“I like to say that marketing today is 30 percent traditional marketing, 30 percent IT, 30 percent analytics, and 10 percent politics,” said Club Med CMO Jerome Hiquet.

In such a data-driven, results-oriented era, there is much more of an overlap in skill sets between CMO and the ideal CEO.

Agility

Even for (perhaps especially for) well-established giants in a given industry, complacency is a fatal disease. The so-called “transformational” CMO is used to moving quickly, to embracing new platforms, to experimenting, to failing and learning and trying again. Even without an office change and a pay raise, the CMO can still make a major impact by infusing this philosophy into the culture of the company.

Good Leaders are Good Leaders

Beyond emerging trends and role evolution, successful CMOs have always had at least one simple albeit powerful case to make for themselves: they’re proven leaders and team-builders who are (hopefully) smart enough to know what they don’t know.

“It’s not the ‘M’ in CMO that matters most. I think it’s how good a chief you are,” executive recruiter Nick Corcodilos told CMO.com.

The Trailblazers

A number of prominent executives have already made the leap from CMO to CEO. This seems to be a popular trend for luxury car companies; Audi president Scott Keough took the reins after years of serving as the company’s CMO, and ex-Mercedes CEO Steve Cannon (now the CEO of AMB Group LLC) made a similar jump.

They also share a similar philosophy that’s helped them move up the ladder.

“Keogh believes that a successful brand takes it own road, and he’s willing to gamble to prove it,” said Adweek.

“You have to adapt, to carve out money from mobile to serve social. You have to have a certain amount of risk appetite, take some strategic leaps of faith,” said Cannon. “All those things led me nicely into the corner office.”

Jill McDonald, former CEO of McDonald’s UK and CEO of biking giant Halfords, never set out to claim the corner office; she had her sights squarely on the CMO’s office. Once there, though, her colleagues began suggesting she could take another step.

“You own your future,” she told Marketing Week. “Build your experience, put your neck out [and] put yourself forward for projects outside your remit.” By breaking out of old-fashioned silos, modern marketers are learning more about business operations and forging relationships with collaborators across the org chart.

“Live in the horizontal, not the vertical,” advised Dodds.

A cautionary note, though: if you work for a company that considers marketing an afterthought, you’re not climbing the mountaintop.

“[You need to understand] which organisations value marketers and put them at the top table,” McDonald said. “McDonald’s values marketing very highly and therefore I was a key player on the board with a number of other colleagues. In other places, like British Airways, commercial was at the top table but marketing wasn’t, so that would make it even harder to get there.”

This article was originally posted on iMeet Central’s blog. To view the original blog post please click here

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How Data is Driving the Future of Marketing https://www.pgi.com/blog/2016/11/how-data-is-driving-the-future-of-marketing/ https://www.pgi.com/blog/2016/11/how-data-is-driving-the-future-of-marketing/#respond Wed, 30 Nov 2016 00:00:00 +0000 http://wwwpgi.wpengine.com/blog/how-data-is-driving-the-future-of-marketing/ It’s common knowledge among marketers that data is king, and in today’s tech-savvy marketing space, automation and algorithms are largely responsible for providing this information. While the  marketers of yesteryear could only dream of technologies that could make retrieving insights so simple, is there still a place for experience-based strategy in an automated world? Find out …

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It’s common knowledge among marketers that data is king, and in today’s tech-savvy marketing space, automation and algorithms are largely responsible for providing this information. While the  marketers of yesteryear could only dream of technologies that could make retrieving insights so simple, is there still a place for experience-based strategy in an automated world? Find out what iMeetCentral contributor Jason Compton has to say about how data is driving the future of marketing:

Data informs marketing activity like never before, and that’s a good thing. Even small organizations can tap rich audience demographics and even rich activity insights in ways the most sophisticated outfit could only have dreamed of a generation ago. Real-time campaign customization and programmatic media buying have put automation front and center in both the creative and delivery pipelines.

Is it time to turn the economic engine of marketing over to the algorithms? Or should strategy backed by intuition and experience still rule the day?

Sorting Through the Data

The volume of available insights can grow faster than a marketing organization’s ability to track and comprehend them. Greg Chambers, president of marketing consultancy Chambers Pivot Industries, recommends focusing in on a smaller set of data for each stage in the sales cycle, rather than trying to apply all insights equally at every stage in the process.

This approach acknowledges that the importance of certain factors, like the original channel a prospect was acquired through, can fade over time and only cloud an already-complex marketing process with noisy data.

“At first, this makes the information harder to act on, but it’s the first step in the learning process,” he says. “As you move on, you can begin to use data to affect outcomes, build models to assist in lead generation, and eventually end up with models that predict sales.”

Data can also be over-emphasized in the social media space. It’s an easy enough trap to stumble into, as both native and third-party social advertising platforms provide tantalizingly rich and (seemingly) individualized insights into preferences, wants, and needs. But a quick glance through a feed full of cajoled likes, retweets, and reluctant shares makes it clear that not all which is posted on social networks represents true insight into personal preferences.

“Social is an exceptionally rich data source, but people post things for lots of reasons, and not all of them belie their true beliefs, feelings, or intentions,” says Kitty Kolding, CEO of marketing data provider Infocore.

Accept No Substitute?

Data glut has another potential drawback: the willingness to accept inferior analogs of the data you actually want. Sophisticated modeling and predictive algorithms have marketers thinking in increasingly scientific terms. But, like a chemist mixing a potion, the formula falls apart if you start substituting ingredients by throwing in ten lookalike items instead of the one crucial piece of demographic insight or activity pattern you know to be a significant factor in a buying decision.

“Clients should be very demanding about reaching only those individual consumers who are proven to possess the demographic characteristics, known purchase or trigger behavior, or confirmed purchase intent they’re looking for,” Kolding says.

When Data Trumps Strategy

When you’re selling a commodity, you have two major responsibilities which are seemingly in conflict with one another. The first, long-term goal is to get yourself out of the commodity space as quickly as possible by building a case for differentiation and loyalty. The second, short-term goal is to be as realistic as possible and avoid making costly mistakes your current commodity margins can’t cover.

That means being honest enough to admit when you truly don’t have much to differentiate you from the competition, and competing as efficiently as you can on low price and lower costs. Programmatic buying can help increase exposure at low cost by taking advantage of inefficiencies in media pricing, and reach customers at a moment of acute need. Programmatic buying that presents a prospect with a friction-free path to purchase your (slightly) discounted item can mean the difference between making a sale and never getting a chance to even make an offer to a customer before a competitor intervenes.

“If you’re selling a product that isn’t hard to understand or operate, and the buyer has a $100 budget to stick to and a simple decision process, then you want to make the transaction as easy as possible,” Chambers says.

Where Strategy Still has Sway

In general, the longer the purchase cycle and the greater the budgetary discretion, the more data becomes a vital ally rather than the primary driver of marketing activity. Even a campaign that is heavily automated, retargeted, and built from creative and offers custom-generated in real time has to be built on a thoughtful core premise.

Like any lever marketing might overuse and abuse, reliance on data can be spot-checked by a simple question: is it enhancing, or hindering, the company’s ability to have a relatable and genuine conversation with a potential customer? Or turning an era with so much potential for nuance and laser-precision targeting into a thousand new megaphones?

“The marketing and selling function still need to enlighten the buyer,” Chambers says. “It’s not yet time to let the robots run loose.”

This content was originally posted on iMeetCentral’s blog. To view the original content click here.

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At the Corner of Create and Collaborate: A CMO’s Guide to Managing Marketing’s Newest, Busy Intersection in the Enterprise https://www.pgi.com/blog/2016/04/corner-create-collaborate-cmos-guide-managing-marketings-newest-busy-intersection-enterprise/ https://www.pgi.com/blog/2016/04/corner-create-collaborate-cmos-guide-managing-marketings-newest-busy-intersection-enterprise/#respond Wed, 27 Apr 2016 00:00:00 +0000 http://wwwpgi.wpengine.com/blog/corner-create-collaborate-cmos-guide-managing-marketings-newest-busy-intersection-enterprise/ Say “goodbye” to the marketing silo. Gone are the days when the marketing team solely focused on ad campaigns and only worked with their agencies. While Marketing has always owned the brand, today owning the brand has evolved into a much broader role of owning the sum of the customer experience – requiring marketers to …

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Say “goodbye” to the marketing silo. Gone are the days when the marketing team solely focused on ad campaigns and only worked with their agencies.

While Marketing has always owned the brand, today owning the brand has evolved into a much broader role of owning the sum of the customer experience – requiring marketers to work with a larger group of stakeholders including: Sales, Customer Service, Product, IT AND their agency partners.

The challenge marketer’s face in effectively collaborating is perpetuated by changes in the workforce, with more disparate workers and mobile workers. According to a Frost & Sullivan survey 84% of companies employ remote workforces and nearly 25% have more than half of employees working outside their offices.

So how well is your marketing organization collaborating with these key stakeholders?

A survey from Appleseed Partners reported that 7 hours per week per employee was wasted due to ineffective collaboration because the primary tools used are: email, spreadsheets and phone calls. This adds up to 350 hours or nearly nine weeks a year!!

Collaboration is an integral part of marketing. In order to stay ahead of the curve, marketers must continuously adapt to the changing landscape of collaboration solutions in the market. Marketing collaboration tools are ultimately a necessity to effectively support all of an organization’s strategies, initiatives and objectives. There are a wide variety of tools available today, and sometimes the choices can be overwhelming. Whatever the solution or platform may be, leveraging these tools to their full potential is key to enhancing productivity and innovation across the marketing organization.

Improvements to meetings and project management are two initiatives that can immediately begin to yield better collaboration results. PGi offers a variety of marketing collaboration solutions that will transform the way marketing teams operate and achieve success.  Here are a few tech tips for marketers to improve their meeting efficiency and make project management easier:

Meeting Efficiency

Meeting efficiency is crucial for marketers who spend most of their time juggling the many deliverables and projects that successful marketing operations require. When you have efficient, productive meetings, you help to eliminate those boring, unproductive meetings that we so desperately try to avoid. Choosing an all-in-one tool, such as  iMeet®, will provide users unlimited potential to conduct the most efficient meeting possible. iMeet gives you a more engaging conferencing and collaboration solution for team meetings, brainstorming and presentations. Here are a few tips to increase your meeting efficiency:

Go virtual with easy access – Host an online meeting when you can’t be there in person or have a dispersed team. Employ a solution that doesn’t require passwords or complex sign-on processes, where guests can join with just one-click access so the meeting can begin right away.

Video meetings – Real-time video can help you communicate your ideas immediately and also allow users to see and understand the presenter clearly in HD quality. This is a great way to present concepts and read the nonverbal ques of your attendees. In addition video provides for a more personal connection particularly if you have remote teams.

Screen Share and File Share – Creative teams often work with large files and with iMeet you have the choice to share your screen to present creative concepts or to host in a central file repository that your guests can access directly without having to deal with sending large files via email and having to deal with firewall issues.

Record Meetings iMeet allows you to record meetings for those who can’t attend. When launching a new program or campaign, Marketing can use iMeet to present virtually and then record for anyone that cannot attend the meeting. A link to the recording can be sent to anyone following the meeting to keep all stakeholders informed.

Project Management

In a typical marketing organization, there are multiple projects going on at a time to support a wide variety of objectives and activities, usually involving many different stakeholders and team members. Project management solutions should make it easier for project managers, allowing greater collaboration between team members and increased output. When marketing collaboration is fully realized with a solution such as iMeet® Central, great things start to happen – project efficiency, streamlined workflow and team collaboration. Consider these tips to make managing projects easier: 

Assign deliverables and due dates – Project Managers can easily create a project plan and assign tasks and deliverables and house that within the team workspace within iMeet Central so all stakeholders and team members can stay abreast of the progress. You can also set auto reminders for deadlines and deliverables.

File version control – all reviews and edits can be made in the cloud and you never have to worry about whether you are reviewing the latest version of the document. This provides a huge productivity and efficiency benefit when you have numerous reviewers and tight deadlines.

Telecommuting –With a centralized workspace in the cloud team members can work more creatively and freely when not confined to their desks. In addition, iMeet Central is integrated with iMeet so if you have to hold an impromptu virtual meeting to discuss edits or comments to a document, you can do so on the fly!

Tired of managing projects through email and spreadsheets? Try iMeet® Central for Marketers for free, today.

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5 Marketing Technologies Critical to Your Demand Gen Strategy https://www.pgi.com/blog/2016/04/5-marketing-technologies-critical-demand-gen-strategy/ https://www.pgi.com/blog/2016/04/5-marketing-technologies-critical-demand-gen-strategy/#respond Mon, 18 Apr 2016 00:00:00 +0000 http://wwwpgi.wpengine.com/blog/5-marketing-technologies-critical-demand-gen-strategy/ Marketing is now moving and evolving so quickly that no team can be successful without the right tech tools. But with so many new tools available, how do you choose the marketing technologies most worth your time and budget? Top 5 Marketing Technologies for Demand Generation 1. Marketing automation: These tools continue to be the lifeblood …

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Marketing is now moving and evolving so quickly that no team can be successful without the right tech tools. But with so many new tools available, how do you choose the marketing technologies most worth your time and budget?

Top 5 Marketing Technologies for Demand Generation

1. Marketing automation: These tools continue to be the lifeblood for demand generation. At PGi, we leverage a number of tactics to drive leads into our marketing automation system, and then we assign those leads to targeted nurture tracks according to line of business and stage of the buyer’s journey. From there, we monitor the lead’s digital engagement and leverage explicit data captured on our progressively profiled forms to score the leads and determine if they are ready to pass along to our sales teams.

2. Customer Relationship Management (CRM): Every additional tool tends to be either integrated or used in conjunction with marketing automation, such as  CRM software like Salesforce®. Once a lead is deemed “Marketing Qualified” in our marketing automation system, it is then assigned to a sales rep for follow up via our CRM system. We track the status of a lead  and monitor the conversion rates from “Marketing Qualified” to “Opportunity” to “Closed Won”. It is critical that your sales organization fully adopts the appropriate use of a CRM system  in order to understand which programs are performing, how to shift marketing spend to top performing programs and how to substantiate further marketing investments.

3. Predictive analytics software: This type of marketing technology is an emerging way to leverage the data from both your CRM and marketing automation tools to produce actionable insights. Essentially, predictive analytics leverages your existing data and augments it with third-party data to create predictive models for targeting your marketing efforts and prioritizing your sales organization’s hunting efforts.

 4. Webinars and webcasts: When we’re talking about tools for demand generation, I can’t overlook one of the leading technologies that helps drive net new leads and engages existing leads in your marketing automation system: webcasts and webinars. Webinars rank high for effective B2B lead generation tactics, with 66% spending 20 minutes or more attending a webinar.

PGi’s webinar platform called iMeetLive® allows you to easily host video webinar presentations that engage prospective buyers and accelerate them through the pipeline, ultimately driving business results. PGi’s iMeetLive solution, makes it incredibly easy to produce professional, branded web events and engage your audience through HD video, polling, Q&A and exit surveys.

5. Management & team workspaces: Finally, perhaps one of the most overlooked tools that benefits your demand strategy is project management and team workspace solutions. With so many marketers focused on content marketing these days having a tool to manage the content creation process, reviews, deliverables and communication with stakeholders and teams to keep them informed is critical.  Email and spreadsheets is no way to effectively manage these types of projects.

Instead, we use iMeet Central which makes it easier to communicate and collaborate with our internal teams, external vendors and agencies from one integrated collaboration platform to complete projects faster. We are able to review, edit and approve assets online, eliminate version control issues, centralize communication and assign tasks and deliverables all through one cloud based centralized tool. And another big plus, is that you don’t have to worry about firewall issues for your external agency vendors.

Ready to learn more about evaluating the right marketing technologies for your team? Check out our helpful buyer’s guides that will steer you in the right direction:

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