Things To Know Online

September 2012

Posted on September 28th, 2012, 5:57

According to a new report by the Aberdeen Group, on an average 17% of B2B companies generate leads from social media channels. The same report also says that close to 60% of the surveyed companies expand their lead generation activity through social media marketing.

In today's economy, B2B companies are increasingly using social media to engage prospects and create a lasting impression. Basically, B2B social media can be used to:
  • Share company news updates and expertise
  • Understand the needs of existing consumers
  • And, to eventually, engage prospects

Monitoring success of the B2B social media campaigns on a consistent basis is very important. Marketers need to generate weekly and monthly reports for social media responses generated in different networks. By integrating CRM systems with marketing automation solutions, markteres can effectively track URLs that are posted in the different sites and also generate analytics on a scheduled basis. This includes, monitoring Facebook likes, Twitter followers, LinkedIn group member additions, etc.

Today, even social media sites provide smart solutions to monitor day to day activities and updates. Using the analytics they provide marketers can identify channels which generate high responses. It can also be used to monitor how the competitors are using their social media channels and respond immediately to queries and comments.

The analytics obtained through monitoring social campaigns can be used to generate social media marketing metrics. Some of the common metrics could include:
  • Number of posts, Number of responses, Number of inbound links, Conversion rates.
  • Number of followers, Number of follower’s followers, Number of groups affiliated to, Number of times the company page shows in search results, Conversion rates.
  • Number of Likes, Number of Fans, Profile of members, Number of links shared/clicked, Conversion rates.
  • Number of Tweets, Number of followers, Number of inbound links, Conversion rates.
  • Number of videos viewed, Number of times viewed, Number of subscribers, Number of inbound links, Rank in search pages.

However, the common metrics applicable for any social network would be based on connections gained, interactions made, referrals acquired and profiles of group members/connections. Another important metric that can be derived is how active and passionate the social community is to spread your word further.

Therefore, by leveraging on the benefits of social media marketing campaigns, B2B marketers can effectively work on their lead generation and lead nurturing efforts and enjoy speedy ROI as well.

Also read on - lead management, marketing automation
By Josephmax, in: General

Posted on September 28th, 2012, 5:24

Today Product Lifecycle Management is considered as an important business strategy. But before going further, let’s first understand the term, Product Lifecycle Management (PLM). As per Wikipedia, PLM is the “the process of managing the entire lifecycle of a product from its conception, through design and manufacture, to service and disposal. PLM integrates people, data, processes, and business systems and provides a product information backbone for companies and their extended enterprise.”

Thanks to globalization, today’s business environment is competitive, fast paced and highly volatile. This has made PLM an essential tool that helps organizations to deal with the complexities and engineering challenges of new product development for the more demanding global competitive markets.

To survive in this fiercely competitive business environment, enterprises need to introduce new, better and profitable products into the market quickly. Success comes to those who know the pulse of the market and is able to figure out future demand of products. Hence, those products that are sure to perform well in the market must be introduced swiftly while those that are underperforming must be withdrawn completely without fail. This can be done if and only if the enterprises have complete control over the lifecycle of products.

Though the different stages in the life of a product vary according to the product and the industry, normally there are five stages in the life of a product namely development, introduction, growth, maturity, and decline. An understanding of the product’s lifecycle helps enterprises to understand the time to introduce and withdraw a product, its demand, its position and finally its success and failure. Thus, effective management of a product’s lifecycle helps enterprises to reap benefits. For that, enterprises require state-of-the-art product lifecycle management solution that overcomes the challenges of working across a distributed environment to deliver high-quality products while accelerating timelines and reducing development costs by up to 30%. The following are some of the advantages of using effective PLM tools.

·         Enhance product quality

·         Ability to identify quickly potential sales opportunities and revenue contributions

·         Reduced waste

·         Savings through the reuse of original data

·         Savings through the complete integration of engineering workflows

PLM thus allows enterprises to attain efficiency in the product development process. This efficiency leads to time management, cost savings, and quality enhancement.

Related Links: agile product life cycle management, product engineering
By Josephmax, in: General

Posted on September 14th, 2012, 4:00

Today an increasing number of enterprises have a global team providing software R&D services. However, the distributed teams often face unique challenges such as:

Team members not being on the same page with respect to work item priorities
Lack of real-time collaboration
Lack of visibility for the whole project, forming silos and general misalignment

Though these issues seem harmless, it can be real bottlenecks when it comes to Agile product development. Wikipedia defines agile software development as “a group of software development methods based on iterative and incremental development, where requirements and solutions evolve through collaboration between self-organizing, cross-functional teams. It promotes adaptive planning, evolutionary development and delivery, a time-boxed iterative approach, and encourages rapid and flexible response to change.” It clearly points out that in Agile cohesiveness and a shared understanding within the team are imperative for project success.

The product development process involves the efforts of a team of stakeholders such as business analysts, architects, developers, testers and managers. Each shareholder has a specific task to perform which can be done better if there is increased collaboration between the shareholders and increased synchronization between the different practitioner tools. Hence, what is required is an effective application development solution that can help enterprises to

Quickly adapt to changing requirements
Maintain product quality
Meet launch deadlines
Develop fully tested, potentially shippable product each time

The solution is application lifecycle management which is “the capability to integrate, coordinate, and manage the different phases of the software delivery process. From development to deployment, ALM is a set of pre-defined process and tools that include definition, design, development, testing, deployment, and management. Throughout the ALM process, each of these steps are closely monitored and controlled.”

A leading software R&D service provider has come up with an integrated suite of industry-leading application lifecycle management tools and applications for distributed Agile product development. The following are some of the advantages of this platform.

Enable collaboration by utilizing reports and dashboards that provide real-time visibility throughout the development process
Provide end-to-end traceability between work items, starting from business requirements and extending all the way to final test execution results and release decision support
Help distributed teams identify bottlenecks early and accelerate product development
Address functional areas such as Requirement Management, Agile Project Management, Test

Management, Build Management, Source Control, Reports and KPI's
Thus application lifecycle management help enterprises to increase productivity, attain greater traceability, and deliver good quality and satisfactory software products.

Related Links: android software development,
product engineering
By Josephmax, in: General

Posted on September 14th, 2012, 0:41

Today, there is a huge increase in the number of channels marketing uses for creating brand awareness and for generating leads.  Despite this, there is a visible shortfall in the number of quality leads generated by the marketing team. A difference in perceptions is where the divide between Sales and Marketing starts.B2B companies are losing huge amounts of money because of the Sales-Marketing disconnect in their organizations.

The Sales and Marketing disconnect largely reduces the effectiveness of the marketing campaigns and the efficiency of Sales’ efforts to pursue and close deals. Marketing automation can empower marketers with the required lead intelligence while marketing content can instil the ‘trust’ factor with the marketed product.

In B2B marketing, the lead generation process plays a crucial role. It is a phase where B2B marketers actively identify buyers who are interested in their offerings and aim to procure the prospective customer’s contact information.To differentiate a prospect from a website visitor is quite challenging because the marketer is not aware of the intent of his visit. The possibility that a visitor is a prospect depends on the source from where he has reached the corporate website.

Marketing Automation makes lead generation and lead management a real-time collaborative process. The communication process is two-way, where Sales provides input to help Marketing optimize its campaigns and, Marketing runs targeted campaigns to drive quality leads.

Marketing automation software platforms provide a solution for resolving the sales and marketing split and keeps both happy by ensuring a sales funnel full with qualified leads. Used optimally, marketing automation can actually deliver extraordinary results in a short time-frame.

It significantly shortens the time between lead generation and lead closure because it recognizes the buying process as a group activity and hence takes into account all activities by an enterprise at different times before qualifying them as a ‘sales ready lead’.

Some of the other benefits for B2B marketers are listed below.
  • Sales teams can be empowered with ample prospect information that can help them to focus on lead nurturing programs, and hence, bring down the overall sales cycle.
  • Marketing outreach programs can be improved by using effective social collaboration techniques.
  • Webpage optimization groups can easily find ways to increase website traffic and refine webpage content.

Above all, sales teams can assess whether the prospect can be converted into a business opportunity based on the interest areas on the website and the buying power of the prospect. And, this information becomes important for Sales to carry on with lead nurturing programs as well.

Read on - Marketing automation, lead management software
By Josephmax, in: General

Posted on September 7th, 2012, 3:28

Android, the framework developed in alliance by Google and Open Handset is an operating system and software platform built on Linux OS.  Today, in the era of smart phones and tablet PC's Android offers the   community of developers opportunity to develop a variety of applications to bring out  the functionalities of the new age devices. Reports from Canalys gives forth a figure of over 300 million devices using Android OS by end of the year 2012.

The android platform opens the broad way for application development  as this does not differentiate between the third-party application and core application for smart phones. The IT giants who work on android application development offers services in the various functional sectors which include Business and office applications, Communication, Internet and chat messaging, Multimedia, travel, security, GPS and Wi-fi applications besides applications for remote and web service accessibility from any android device. The operating system with robust support for Graphics, Audio, Media and core library facilitates programmers to work on third party applications and tools.

However, with a large number of Android software development technologies having emerged in the industry the recent years showcases the fact that   the android platform has lesser vulnerability to failure. Further, this operating system offers a number of benefits when   associated with the software development. The android technology based systems being low investment ones and license free can be used for wide variety of application development for the new age devices. Further being reasonably priced, the application developers use this for upgrading, enhancing and altering the software without any extra expenses on software development.

The release of Android mobile operating system for smart phones in 2008 and the increasing popularity of android phones, has given the android application development a momentum in the field of mobile applications. The applications are developed using the android software development kit (SDK) which consists of core applications, application framework, core libraries, and virtual machine other important components. The core applications are an email client, SMS program, browser, calendar, maps, contacts, and others. All of these applications are written using the Java programming language. The application framework which is a set of services and systems includes Views, Content Providers, Resource Manager, Notification Manager and Activity Manager all of which are essential in developing innovative applications.

Today with android development leading mobile operating system worldwide, each new android release enhances the mobile user experience and creates compatibility challenges for device manufacturers and system-on-a-chip (SoC) providers. With a single generation of a mobile application processor  spanning through multiple versions of an Android operating system, the leading android software developers help the mobile device manufacturers and and SoC providers to adapt to new versions with ease.

By ensuring such smooth adaptation process, the android experts help the clients to focus on their core business and engineering of newer innovations. The new age brands  which uses applications based on android software  development are the iPad, iPhone,  Motorola, LG, Samsung, Nokia, BlackBerry and even Sony Ericsson.

Related Links: embedded software developer, agile software development

By Josephmax, in: General

Posted on September 4th, 2012, 3:25

Content marketing is a great strategy for lead generation which focuses on different ways of engaging the website visitor. For successful lead generation, website content must cater to the different buying stages of the prospect. The four main stages of any prospect are research, consider, trial and buy.

In the research stage the content creates the maximum impact on the prospect. The prospect has taken the first baby steps acknowledging he has a need and is looking for options. Marketers need to use this opportunity to put their product or service in the best possible light. The strategy here would be to share content that addresses the need expressed by the prospect. There is no need to talk much about the product at this juncture; it is enough to explain the solution to his need. The vital content that needs to be used here are thought leadership content including whitepapers, research reports, and interactive content like Webinars and podcasts.

In the consider stage, the prospect knows his need and is considering to buy a product or service. He now knows that the marketer can help him solve his need, but does not know much about the product. So the content at this stage should talk about the marketer’s product and its value proposition and how it can solve the prospect’s need. Content formats that can be used are product/service oriented content like features list, data sheet, product videos etc.

In the trial stage, the prospect has moved beyond the consideration phase and wants to try out the product to see if it fits his requirements.  He might also want to compare the product features with a competitor’s. The marketer should focus on a content strategy that convinces prospect about the need of the product. The content formats recommended here are detailed demos on how to use various features, support documents to help the prospect navigate easily, pricing and competitor feature comparison charts.

In the final buy stage the prospect expresses his interest in buying the marketer’s product or service. This is where he needs to be assured that he’s made the right choice and that he can trust the marketing automation company. The content strategy at this stage should be to make the whole buying process simple. The prospect should opt for the product knowing he’s gone for the best. The content formats recommended here are customer testimonials and success stories, special discounts, privacy and product security related documents.

Learn more on how to use content marketing from leading marketing automation solution providers here.

Click here to read more on - Lead management software, Lead nurturing
By Josephmax, in: General