C-Suite Marketing Tips
This is the second installment of a 2-part executive interview with Brad Banyas, Founder and CEO, OMI
Marketing automation is quickly becoming a differentiator for companies and organizations of all sizes and from all industries. The approach allows companies to streamline, automate, and measure marketing tasks and workflows, so they can increase operational efficiency and grow revenue faster.
You developed a Software as a Service platform (SaaS) that can help bridge the organizational gap between marketing and sales. Can you describe how 366 Degrees helps companies not only on the technological side but on the strategic side as well?
But there are a number of challenges to effective marketing automation. In this second installment of a two part executive interview, Brad Banyas, Founder and CEO of OMI, discusses how you can make better use of marketing automation investment. Lead acquisition and nurturing, customer lifetime value, and perceived market presence all make for unique and evolving challenges. Clearly, no one-size-fits-all approach will work for every organization, but Brad explores many of the common traits of a successful solution and strategy.
Part of the reason we developed 366 Degrees was to meet a need internally to our organization first, and then we saw how the software addresses the big gap in the market. One of the biggest problems that we had was gaining visibility into marketing and sales activities; we didn’t really have the whole picture of the lead or customer engagement. Soon we realized we were not the only ones with this problem. As a result, a lot of 366 Degrees is built around that customer engagement life cycle; not only the acquisition phase or sales perspective, but also from an engagement perspective. To us it is important to manage the entire life cycle; things like retention, cross-sell and customer satisfaction.
We felt that a lot of traditional marketing automation tools were really only focused on lead acquisition. Lead scoring and those things are kind of subjective, so we are trying to make data around activities and engagement non-subjective. We’re getting all the data from the interaction engagement perspective — open rates and views – and working to ensure that it is all actually working. But more importantly, give our sales team the ability to actually know what campaigns are running, know what marketing assets are out there, and which people engaged.
A lot of attention is on customer acquisition, but it is important also to keep customers happy and coming back for more. What are the steps and strategies that companies should be thinking of when you’re thinking about retaining and keeping customers loyal?
Revenue is revenue, whether you get that from a net new customer or an existing customer. Understanding the differences between the lead side and the nurture side is extremely important for those organizations trying to grow to that next phase, or for entrepreneurial companies that are just getting started and launching new products or services. Is it costs six to seven times more to get a new client than it does to sell to an existing one, and if you’ve got an existing customer base it just makes sense to leverage that client base and adjust your product mix as needed in order to have other things to sell or offer them. It’s kind of hard if you don’t. For organizations that are established and that have been around, their investment in that existing customer base in cross-sell is obviously much less expensive and onerous, plus the relationship to their sales teams or customer service team is already there. The means of cross-selling or up-selling it’s a lot easier.
It seems that all of this is dependent on using the information that you know already about your customers to do better things to keep them engaged.
Correct. We took that approach from day one where you have the basic information demographic about your customers and what they’ve bought in the past, linked to more advanced analytics and business intelligence. It was really very important to us from the beginning to understand how we actually enrich customer profiles or lead profiles. After all, they are sitting in these systems that required a big investment in, it may be SAP, Oracle, or Salesforce, and if you’re trying to disrupt that and pull all that information in your system and be kind of the record of everything, it’s very difficult. What we want it to be is really the record of interactions and engagement right across the channel, across multiple delivery points and then feed that information back to the source record.
Our approach was always to pass this information back to where it was relevant; to the point of source like a salesperson or customer service rep. But always with a layer on top that provides the ability to take data from those sources – your CRM or ERP or whatever – and then enrich that in our system. We built out a full Business Intelligence tool where we can conjoin data that is not in 366 Degrees, but give you one view of all interactions and engagement around that profile whether it be a lead or a customer or a contact.
Where can companies go to find out more about 366 Degrees?
You can find out more at 366.io or you can visit OMI.co and learn more about the company and what we’re doing. Many people don’t realize we build a lot of different types technology solutions. Our core and history is centered on customer experience, whether that’s consulting or product integration. The things that we build are not siloed or myopic, we look at that whole customer life cycle.
Listen to the audio interview.