Tag Archives: B2B Technology

The SiriusDecisions Startup Naming Process

With nearly ubiquitous high-speed broadband and fiber optics saturating every corner of the known world, creating a tech startup has never been any easier. But coming up with a witty name for a new company continues to be the thorn in every entrepreneur’s side. Fortunately, SiriusDecisions has the answer. After studying hundreds of best-in-class startup names, then running them through proprietary linguistic algorithms, we came up with a simple, seven-step process to guide budding entrepreneurs, marketers and salespeople in creating the best company name possible. By adhering to most, some or even just one of these steps, you can take advantage of our foolproof process to name the startup of your dreams – even if you don’t have a product, service or dream quite yet.

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How Marketing Automation Has Evolved in 2013

How much can a market really change in 12 months? If you’re talking about marketing automation, the answer is significantly! Over the last two months, I‘ve attended several dozen marketing automation vendor briefings with my colleagues Jason Hekl, Jen Horton, Jill Stanek and Jonathan Block in preparation for this year’s SiriusView – SiriusDecisions’ report on the marketing automation platform market. Through these briefings, plus inquiries with our client base, marketing conferences, client interviews and benchmark surveys, we’ve identified several ways the marketing automation space has evolved. These changes include: Salesforce.com and Adobe entered the marketing automation market through acquisitions (ExactTarget/Pardot and Neolane); the percentage of b-to-b companies using marketing automation increased; and marketing automation capabilities proliferated (beyond emails and registration forms). In this post, I discuss changes of special note – three in the marketplace and three marketing automation platform features we consider most impactful:

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Unlocking the Potential of B-to-B Technology: Three Phases

When introducing the Sirius Directions in Technology Model at our Summit 2013 event in May, Jonathan Block and Ross Graber emphasized the importance of b-to-b organizations using a phased approach to invest in sales and marketing technology. “SiriusDecisions research shows that b-to-b organizations are planning to increase their spending on technology,” said Jonathan. “The problem is that many organizations purchase technologies without a clear strategy for their adoption and use.” The Sirius Directions in Technology Model illustrates an ideal sales and marketing ecosystem, in which technology components that facilitate demand, operations, sales and reputation activities are integrated, enhancing the effectiveness of the entire system.

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Make Better Technology Decisions by Partnering With Your CIO

There’s no shortage of new, exciting and functionally dynamic tools that marketing and sales leaders can choose from. When making a technology decision, marketing and sales typically look at functionality, cost and ROI. But what about the broader enterprise technology picture? A purchase decision made with no regard to your enterprise-wide technology architecture can result in duplication, data silos and inefficiencies, at best, and customer dissatisfaction and loss of revenue, at worst. Imagine your sales team implements a sales force automation (SFA) platform that isn’t integrated with, and doesn’t communicate well with, the SFA system used by customer service. You’re now dealing with two different sets of customer data. Are you missing cross-sell opportunities? Probably. Will you lose business to competitors with more holistic views of the customer? Eventually. More than likely you also have a duplication of functionality, which inhibits your enterprise from applying economies of scale to IT and eats away at the bottom line. How can this be avoided?

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How Marketing Automation Has Evolved in the Last 12 Months

Over the last several months, with my colleagues Jonathan Block and Jason Hekl, I have attended several dozen marketing automation platform (MAP) vendor briefings in preparation for SiriusDecisions’ consolidated report on the MAP market, which is due to be published later this year. Through these vendor briefings, plus inquiries with our client base and our benchmark surveys, we have identified how the marketing automation space has evolved during the last 12 months.

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Salesforce.com Launches Marketing Cloud

Salesforce.com announced the launching of Marketing Cloud, on Wednesday, September 19, during the company’s Dreamforce 2012 event in San Francisco. This should really be called the “Social Marketing Cloud,” as it combines the two recent social acquisitions made by Salesforce.com – Radian6 and Buddy Media – to form a new social marketing software suite. The Marketing Cloud uses the Buddy Media interface for content publishing and the Radian6 tool for monitoring and measurement. How can this combined solution benefit b-to-b organizations?

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Technology Is Cool and All, But …

The introduction of new technologies for b-to-b sales and marketing organizations is accelerating more and more each day. In fact, it’s accelerating to the point where buyers are having trouble discerning one vendor’s solution from another. Even technologies once considered advanced, such as predictive and text analytics, are finding themselves commoditized to a certain extent. Now more than ever, it’s often everything the vendor offers beyond the technology that buyers should focus on to determine true differentiation between providers. Despite offering strong functionality, we see many vendors fall short in helping customers execute. It’s critical for organizations to consider what we call “essential elements,” the ability of a vendor to deliver and implement its solution. Here are two key essential element categories.

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Determining Whether to Automate Marketing Processes

B-to-b marketers, who've become more comfortable with procurement, implementation and use of automation technology, are increasingly interested in implementing tools that optimize processes and enable new marketing operations efficiencies. Many are identifying processes that are candidates for optimization and deciding whether marketing resource management (MRM) applications would be a good choice to improve operational performance. Here are three perspectives.

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The Sirius Directions in Technology Model

SiriusDecisions has introduced a framework that devotees of b-to-b sales and marketing technology best practices should find useful: The Sirius Directions in Technology Model. Our model is a comprehensive representation of the major technology categories that b-to-b sales and marketing organizations must leverage to drive functional alignment and integration. More than just a catalog of different technologies, organizations need to understand the types of technologies available and how they can solve business issues related to specific sales and marketing activities (e.g. driving awareness, creating demand, measuring sales performance).

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Stay Away From Technology Islands

Choosing a tool without considering its ability to integrate with existing enterprise systems to share data will not improve the visibility or measurability of sales or marketing. Just as important as understanding the different tools and their capabilities in individual categories is learning how they can work together to form a critical backbone that drives productivity and insight between sales and marketing and the rest of the organization.

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