An Independent Marketing Software Analysis
IBM Marketing Cloud lead scoring supports several frequently requested capabilities, including:
- Multiple scoring models (per lead or contact). This is particularly useful for companies with multiple product lines, multiple business units or geographies, or where leads must be scored by varying solutions the company offers.
- A highly visual lead scoring model display; in fact lead scoring models can be exported and printed in order to aid discussions. The simplicity does limit some flexibility, but can also be a welcome alternative to lead scoring models that resemble overly complex Visio diagrams.
- Inclusion of both explicit (demographic data points) and implicit (behavioral data points) for lead scoring calculations. The system may also apply a lack of behaviors to modeling, such as identifying customers who are not engaged, and therefore are more likely to not renew.
- A unique lead scoring capability includes the option to score visitor intent based upon activities performed on the website, such as completing an ROI calculator, web page component or similar custom behavior. This goes beyond scoring leads simply because the visitor landed on a web page, and instead scores their interest based on engaging with website utilities.
- Tactical capabilities such as permitting negative scores (i.e. for freemail addresses) and supplementing numeric scores with ranked captions such as A/B/C or Hot/Warm/Cold (which can also be referenced in workflow processes) are standard but commonly used helpful features.
- CRM users (notably sales people) can view lead scores, lead caption rankings and lead activity histories within their Microsoft Dynamics CRM or Salesforce.com CRM applications. The marketing application can also be configured to send email alerts to sales staff when a lead crosses a threshold score and is deemed sales-ready.
IBM Marketing software lead scoring is strong and will satisfy most B2B marketers. However, a few of the more advanced features such as the ability to score a lead or contact using data in the CRM system (but not in the marketing system), cap a lead scoring activity, score a company (possibly based on the sum or an average of multiple contacts from that company) or depreciate scores for periods of inactivity are not currently supported (although this last item is to be included in an upcoming release.)
IBM Social Marketing
The marketing software social capabilities are some of the best in the marketing automation software industry, however, fly under the radar in terms of market awareness and buyer recognition. The company offers a number of social media and social marketing tools that it groups into a portfolio called Social Connect.
Location Awareness—Now that smartphone shipments have exceeded PCs and 12 percent of U.S. smartphone owners are using check-in apps such as Foursquare and Facebook Places as geo-locational services to share where they are, location-based marketing strategies can engage customers, put brand affinity top of mind and extend the reach of marketing messages. Silverpop’s acquisition of PlacePunch extends multi-channel campaigns and social marketing programs to permit marketers to run check-in contests, location-based offers, check-in messaging and facilitate location-based loyalty programs or integration with existing loyalty systems. The email marketing platform that can send relevant offers to interested customers based on their location and include social sharing features such as an “add to foursquare” button in their emails.
Social Propagation—The Publish-to-Social feature permits marketers to post or schedule posts to social networks or RSS feeds. Posts can be published to official corporate accounts or individual accounts. After setting up the email distribution, marketers select the social networks they want to distribute to and customize the message to fit the constraints of each social network. Publish-to-Social includes bit.ly integration, to both shorten URLs and measure response activity.
Social Sharing—The Share-to-Social function facilitates email recipients to share their messages on their social networking sites and enables marketers to track the results. The company has found that sharing email content over social networks can increase reach by 24.3 percent. Similarly, emails can include social buttons (such as the Facebook ‘Like’ button, Tweet link or Foursquare ToDo button) and badges (such as the StumbleUpon Discovery badge or XING button) to permit recipients to further extend the messaging through their social spheres.
Single/Social Sign-On—Removing the new registration barrier increases responses and conversions on forms and blogs. Social Sign-In allows site visitors to register for online offers by signing in with their existing social network accounts, including social identities from Facebook, LinkedIn, Salesforce.com and Twitter.
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