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Don't ignore the second "S" in SaaS

SaaS has become a—perhaps overused—modern buzzword, but let’s face it – it’s also a go-to-market model. Software-as-a-service, by definition, means that you’re taking a product and selling it as a service. Customers no longer purchase the software the same way that they would purchase a physical asset.

When you sell software under a subscription model, the customer always has the option to cut ties and switch to a different product. The question that this brings up is, “How does this affect the sales process?”

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Nov 24, 2014 7:00:00 AM

How sales software companies can communicate value to buyers quickly

Many technology gurus are taking advantage of the growing need for sales enablement software and developing highly specialized products and solutions that they really do deliver a ton of value to sales teams. Savo is a good example: http://www.savogroup.com/. That being said, these software companies struggle to communicate that value in a way that can be easily understood by the people making the buying decisions.

If you are struggling to get buyers excited about your sales technology product during the first call, here are a couple ways you can sharpen the knife, shorten your pitch, and make it compelling, memorable and value-added.

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Nov 23, 2014 3:19:47 PM

The #1 Inbound Marketing Tip in the World

I have the #1 inboud marketing tip in the entire world. Bold claim, right? Here it is:

Don’t do it.

As an inbound marketing consultant at one of Hubspot’s platinum partner agencies, that’s even bolder – people doing inbound marketing pays my bills. I’m sticking by it, though. If you’re not ready to implement inbound marketing, or you’re not ready to hire someone to do it for you, then your money is better spent on some of the outbound marketing tactics you might already be using.

You might be wondering: “So, what does “being ready” to implement inbound marketing look like?” Here's the answer:

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Nov 20, 2014 7:00:00 AM

Five Common Inbound Marketing Pitfalls that Beginners Encounter

When you read about inbound marketing, you hear a lot about how effective it is. You also hear how, over time, you cost-per-customer-acquisition metric decreases as obtaining customers becomes easier, and cheaper, for you. You also hear about the myriad of case studies where small businesses were able to outperform much larger business with much bigger budgets.

What you don’t hear: how hard inbound marketing is. While you aren’t spending thousands of dollars a month on Google advertising, it does require a big time investment—both in day-to-day marketing activities, as well as frequent research to expand your knowledge and skill set.

Beginners, who are thrusting themselves into the inbound marketing world, can quickly find themselves flying by the seat of their pants and trying to do as much as possible. Unfortunately, jumping into the deep end means that there are some very common pitfalls that inbound marketers encounter when they’re getting started off.

Here are six of the biggest rookie mistakes to watch out for:

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Nov 17, 2014 7:00:00 AM

What Musical Equipment Retailers Can Learn from Sweetwater; An Inbound Perspective

Remember the glory days when Blockbuster dominated the movie rental market? Now, think back to when Netflix entered the playing field and how that affected Blockbuster. In case you missed it, Blockbuster pretty much became non-existent after the new contender came into play.

Guess what? The same concept of online distribution is coming back to haunt brick and mortar stores like Guitar Center, which are failing to compete. The contender that I am particularly interested in is Sweetwater Sound because it is not only a suitable competitor, but in my experience, Sweetwater provides a superior customer experience and engagement over any other musical instrument vendor I’ve dealt with.

This, I believe, is the key to Sweetwater’s success. The experience I’ve had with Sweetwater is similar to that of a local music store, except there are more options to choose from with guaranteed expert advice.

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Nov 12, 2014 9:00:00 AM

Why Click-Through Rate (CTR) is a Useless Marketing Metric


When I worked for a large digital advertising company, the gold standard on which we judged our clients’ campaigns was the click-through rate, CTR for short.

“How is the CTR on that new campaign doing?” was always the first question I was asked in the morning, even before I managed to grab my first cup of coffee.

I couldn’t help but wonder what became of the people who clicked on our display ads. Were they really influencing our clients’ bottom line? At times I began to feel a bit guilty.

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Nov 4, 2014 7:30:00 AM

Marketing Automation + CRM Alignment: Improving Marketing Decisions Based on ROI


What does aligning CRM with Marketing Automation entail?

The alignment between CRM and marketing automation is really about how the two  systems share, report, and evaluate the information they individually gather to improve process in sales and marketing to increase ROI. This can also be referred to as closed loop analytics, which is unified reporting that enables a better prediction of ROI.

The key is to make sure that there is continuity regarding both a prospect experience and information gathering that is seamless between marketing and sales processes. Prompt sharing of pertinent information in both directions is crucial.

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Nov 3, 2014 8:45:00 AM

Six Ways to Align Your Organization for a Smoother CRM Implementation

In the market for a customer relationship management (CRM) package? Even before you purchase, there are several things to do to get ready for the change to CRM. Recognizing at the outset that CRM is both a technology solution and a people process goes a long way to framing the task of CRM deployment so that all interests in your organization are served.

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Oct 28, 2014 8:30:00 AM

5 Steps to Take When The Leads Aren't Coming In

"I'm not getting the leads I need for my business," is a fairly common phrase you'll hear in the small business circuit. Perhaps you've even uttered this sentence before. Generating leads is not a complicated process, but the advent of the Internet has made it both easier and harder.

Some of the common problems that small businesses have are not building long-term value and not optimizing their site for lead conversion. Fixing these two issues will help out significantly, but you need to go a step further in order to really see a spike in your numbers.

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Oct 24, 2014 7:30:00 AM

Web Design Mistakes That Make My Skin Crawl | Scary Marketing Month

Welcome to October, the spookiest month of the year. It’s the only time of the year when you can see witches, werewolves, and goblins galore. But as my colleague Danielle Winkler said in her installment of scary marketing month, a good inbound marketer can’t let a blogging opportunity go to waste.

So while you may only see things that make you feel creepy-crawly once a year, we see marketing mistakes that make us creepy-crawly every month of the year. She covered the lack of marketing and sales alignment; I’m covering horrific web design mistakes.

In each section of this blog post, I will go over a fundamental design concept, explain what it is, why it’s important, and then give you either a good example, a bad example, or both. If you have roughly seven minutes to spare, and you want to leave with a better understanding of essential design principles, then read on.


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Oct 23, 2014 7:00:00 AM

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