Press Release: Frost & Sullivan Offers What Others Cannot: Innovation, Credibility, Choice & Marketing Returns

Frost & Sullivan’s Integrated Marketing Solutions practice offers turnkey solutions that support marketers’ efforts to generate awareness, drive consideration, establish credibility and in turn, generate business.

MOUNTAIN VIEW – Feb 1, 2014 – Marketing executives are constantly searching for new ways to attract, engage and convert prospects into customers at an accelerated rate. Frost & Sullivan’s Integrated Marketing Solutions practice offers solutions at every stage of your customers’ buying cycle. 

Marketing executives benefit from formulating an overall Strategic Plan, prior to implementing specific strategies for each stage of the buying cycle. Frost & Sullivan’s IMS practice takes the pain out of planning. With an expertise in customer and prospect segmentation, Frost & Sullivan helps companies optimally target their audience, while creating a message that is entirely customer focused. The IMS team can help design the strategy and map out the tactical components for a comprehensive and attainable realization of your team’s goals.

1) Awareness – To motivate your customers to purchase your products and/or services, they must be aware of your organization. Frost & Sullivan’s IMS practice partners with your team to improve upon your content marketing strategy, PR campaigns and thought leadership to help extend your reach via channels such as whitepapers, eBulletins, market resources, etc. 

2) Consideration – When customers are shopping for a product or service, it is imperative to connect with them, to ensure your solutions are part of their consideration. Frost & Sullivan leverages its extensive database of decision makers to identify and engage your prospects. Utilizing a mix of marketing strategies and an integrated approach from eBroadcasts to our globally famous, Executive MindXchange event series, Frost & Sullivan can connect your sales team with your target prospects, in their consideration phase. 

3) Credibility – When potential clients are considering products, they may discount a brand because they don’t have enough information to view the company as trustworthy. By partnering with Frost & Sullivan, and utilizing the unique tools such as Spotlight Videos and Virtual Think Tanks, you benefit from our credibility to help to build trust in your products and services.

4) Evaluation – Everyone likes to try before they buy. Prepared companies take this opportunity to demonstrate the value of their solution, and to show prospects how it stacks up against the competition. Validation from a third party can add a level of confidence at the evaluation stage, and provide that desired push to get prospects over the hump and make the purchase. Frost & Sullivan can help with the demonstration process via channels as roadshows, sponsorship of our Executive MindXchange events and our Executive Think Tank Dinner Series. 

Once you have converted the prospect, your work is far from done. It has only just begun and customer marketing begins. Leveraged wisely, happy clients are valuable assets. They can provide you with references and a greater level of credibility. Frost & Sullivan has created unique marketing channels to help you develop and promote your powerful influencers, your clients! VIP events, Outsourced eBulletins and interview style video case studies all help in having your clients promote your products! 

 “Frost & Sullivan has helped us through the transition to communicate our new, focused efforts. We’re happy to say that our event is now established as best-inbreed in the marketplace.” – Vice President of Marketing, McKesson Patient Relationship Solutions 

Frost & Sullivan’s Integrated Marketing Solutions practice is dedicated to helping business generate business. Utilizing over two dozen unique marketing channels, our IMS consultants work alongside our industry analysts, to build a customized solution that meets and exceeds your strategic marketing objectives. Check it out at www.frost.com/ims.

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10 Email Marketing Mistakes to Avoid by Frost & Sullivan

Get More at: Frost & Sullivan’s IMS Knowledge Center.

Email gives marketers a great way to connect with current and potential customers and make one-on-one contact that drives revenue growth. However, email marketing is also a crowded field, and businesses must do their best to stand out and get their messages opened, read, and acted on.

From spam filters to list attrition, there are a number of obstacles that can get in the way of a campaign having a positive impact. Here are some of the most common mistakes that hurt marketers’ chances of success:

1. Focusing on sales, rather than useful content

One way to make sure email open rates stay low and recipients quickly unsubscribe is to constantly blast out nothing but sales-focused content. While recipients do want relevant information about your company’s products or services, few people volunteer their email address so they can be bombarded with sales pitches. Rather, they want and expect useful, interesting, engaging content.

Creating great content requires knowing your customers and their preferences and behaviors. Surveys are a good way to find out what kinds of content people are most interested in.

Another important tactic is to watch what recipients are doing. Keep track of what’s getting opens and clicks and offer more of that content. In addition, try new things and test how they perform so you can expand what kinds of content you are offering.

2. Failing to target the message

As marketers strive to understand their audience and what kinds of content they want, it’s important to keep in mind that not everyone in the recipient list will have the same needs. For some businesses, it might be best to segment the list into specific groups and target them accordingly.

One of the most important steps for marketers to take is to move away from thinking and talking about email campaigns as a “blast” to an anonymous audience. Email is a good way to connect with customers individually, so businesses should think of email as more of a one-on-one conversion tool.

To develop those segmented lists, one strategy could be to ask what people are most interested in reading when they opt in. Some companies also maintain separate lists based on which channel recipients used to sign up.

3. Getting caught in the spam filter

Just because someone signs up to receive your emails doesn’t mean they’ll ever actually get anything that you send. Many emails end up stuck in recipients’ spam filters because marketers don’t understand how those filters work.

And you can hope as much as you want that people will add you to their address book after they opt in to ensure the messages are delivered, but the fact is that most people don’t do that.

Today’s spam filters are complex and it’s easy to trigger them by accident. Marketers should pay particular attention to their subject lines. While all filters have their own algorithms and behave differently, here are some of the most common reasons subject lines get blocked, according to Charles Wallace, Director of Marketing for Frost & Sullivan’s Events Division:

  1. Using too many capital letters compared to lowercase letters
  2. Repeating too many capital letters in a row
  3. Including words with gaps in between letters (for example, “s*a*l*e”)
  4. Repeating letters and/or symbols
  5. Overusing special characters like $, #, %, ?, !, etc.
  6. Using a special character to start the subject line
  7. Using too many punctuation marks
  8. Including too many blank spaces, and
  9. Starting your subject line with a common spam word.

4. Not understanding the laws

In addition to running afoul of spam filters, many email marketers may be unintentionally violating the laws regarding commercial email communication. Regulations such as the CAN-SPAM Act regulate how those messages can be sent, and businesses that fail to comply can face financial penalties.

Here are some of the mistakes that lead to noncompliance, according to the FTC:

  • Using false or misleading header information, including the “from” and “reply to” addresses
  • Failing to honor opt-out requests promptly – the law says you have 10 days
  • Making the opt-out process difficult or confusing – emails should include a clear and conspicuous explanation of how to stop receiving emails, and
  • Failing to keep an eye on service providers – even when another company handles your emailing, your business will still be held accountable for violations.

5. Sending too often – or not often enough

Sending too many emails is one way to drive customers away and make them unsubscribe. And if companies send emails infrequently or only sporadically, recipients may forget they even signed up and the business likely won’t be getting enough numbers to get value from the email campaign.

How much is the right amount of email? That depends on a lot of factors, such as the audience and the content. A good rule of thumb: Email as frequently as you can while still offering real value to recipients.

Businesses can watch key metrics such as open, click, unsubscribe, and conversion rates to get an idea of whether or not their recipients think the emails are adding value. It may also be helpful to segment lists by engagement and send more frequently to recipients who are highly engaged.

6. Missing a call to action

Of course, getting the audience to open emails does little good if those recipients don’t actually do anything. Emails should always include some kind of next step, whether it’s making a purchase, downloading a white paper, joining a social media group, etc.

When presenting this call to action, it’s important to create urgency and focus on the value it adds for the recipient. For example, copy such as “Click here to download our email marketing best practices white paper” can be reworded to something like “Take your email marketing to the next level by reading our white paper.”

7. Making it hard for mobile users

One of the keys for great email marketing is that messages must be easy for recipients to read. That was hard enough before with the variety of email clients in use, but now emails are read on totally different devices.

A lot of people read email primarily on mobile devices, and that number is only going to grow. For those recipients, if emails are difficult to read on their device of choice, they simply won’t bother to look at them. That means businesses must optimize their emails for mobile and test on a variety of different devices.

8. Relying on images

While Gmail recently changed the way images are handled, most email clients still block images by default, and many users don’t change those settings. Therefore, marketers should make sure their emails don’t require images in order to make sense or be effective. For example, a call to action link shouldn’t just be an image – it should also be supported by text that all readers will see.

Relying on images is also becoming problematic as more email is being read on mobile devices. Images are harder than text to scale properly on smartphones and tablets, and images may appear too small for mobile readers to comprehend.

9. Neglecting to test and refine

Even if businesses get great results right off the bat, it’s likely that there’s still room to improve. That’s why marketers should always be using response data to tweak their approach and test new strategies.

Some of the elements businesses should test include:

  • Subject lines
  • Frequency of delivery
  • Day and time of delivery, and
  • Types of offers and calls to action.

10. Following others’ lead

Email marketing is a popular strategy, and that means people get a lot of emails in their inboxes and businesses must work hard to stand out. Therefore, one of the top email marketing mistakes a company can make is to sound and look like everybody else, says Gary Robbins of Frost & Sullivan’s Integrated Marketing Solutions practice.

For marketers to stand out, they need to lead, rather than follow. The strategy must go beyond doing what’s worked for other businesses or doing what’s worked for your organization in the past. It’s important to also come up with new ideas and test them to find better ways to connect with your audience and get meaningful responses.

About the Author:

Sam Narisi is the publications editor and lead writer for Frost & Sullivan’s Integrated Marketing Solutions practice, which helps companies through all stages of the customer buying cycle. For more marketing information and insight, visit Frost & Sullivan’s IMS Knowledge Center.

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Frost & Sullivan’s Executive MindXchange Networking Beach Extravaganza

Interactive and thrilling networking activity at Frost & Sullivan’s Executive MindXchange

Outmaneuver your Competition with your Content Strategy – Complimentary Webcast with Frost & Sullivan

As marketers you know that content is king. But how do you position your content to maximize your initial spend? And further, how do you position differently by Geography, Vertical, and Persona?   If we outmaneuver our competition, we end up with better conversations from sales to customer, and ultimately better conversion on our spend.  The goal: greater returns and a larger budget for 2015!

Click here to register

This eBroadcast will run through the key process checkpoints to design a custom content strategy, including:

  • Tactics to leverage to support the buyer’s journey: Awareness, Consideration, Credibility, and Evaluation
  • Cost-effective strategies that won’t break the bank
  • Specific nuances to consider by Geography, Vertical, and Persona
  • Tracking and score carding

2014 has arrived. Attend our content positioning eBroadcast and guide the way to an enlightened 2014 content plan.

Click here to register to this complimentary webcast, taking place February 26 and listen in on the experiences of others, participate in a live Q&A, and walk away with actionable strategies for your own organization

5 keys for better collaboration between sales and marketing by Frost & Sullivan

All business units are under increasing pressure to show the real value they provide to the organization, and marketing is no different. That means marketers are no longer being asked simply to deliver a bunch of leads – they’re being held accountable for making sure those contacts turn into actual revenue.

What can marketers do to meet those new demands? One of the keys is for marketers to begin working more closely with the sales team in order to make sure marketing strategies and sales goals are aligned.

Doing so will help both marketing and sales improve their operations and ultimately boost the company’s bottom line.

Break down the silos

In too many organizations, marketing and sales teams operate separately, with little collaboration beyond marketers stuffing leads into the sales pipeline. However, there are some steps marketers can take to break down the silos and open up the lines of communication.

Here are key tips outlined by Rob Butters, Principal Analyst with Frost & Sullivan, during a recent webinar:

  1. Align schedules – A lot of benefit can come from a fairly simple change: Get marketing and sales operating on the same cycle. Both groups will do a better job planning if they collaborate. After all, the planning should all be geared toward the same goals. However, in many companies, marketing and sales do their planning and big kick-offs at different times of the year. Changing those schedules will help get everyone on the same page.
  2. Get sales reps involved – Marketers can get a lot of help by including members of the sales team in their planning sessions. And that means not only the director and C-level people within sales, but also the “voice on the streets” – i.e., the sales people who are actually interacting directly with customers. Those people have valuable opinions and insight they can share that will help marketing do a better job at nurturing leads until they become sales. For instance, they can offer insight about what potential customers’ top concerns are, what types of content attract the best prospects, and what kinds of feedback they’re hearing straight from the customers.
  3. Share information – Likewise, marketers have access to a lot of information that can help the sales team improve its results. For example, marketing should be able to know what actions leads have taken before they’re contacted by a sales rep – for example, what white paper they downloaded, what video they watched, etc. Knowing those details will help sales reps conduct their conversations more effectively.
  4. Speak the same language – If marketing and sales are going to share information back and forth, it’s important that both sides are keeping track of the right data. The two teams should meet to decide which metrics to track as well as decide on a common terminology so that everyone can understand each other.
  5. Review and refine the strategy – Getting marketing and sales aligned doesn’t happen with one quick meeting. It’s a never-ending process that requires continual effort by both sides to stay on the same page and working toward the same page. That’s why it’s critical for leadership on both the sales and marketing sides to be on board and put in the effort to keep the collaboration going.

For more information on how marketing teams can improve their results and create more real value for their organizations today, download the Executive Summary of Frost & Sullivan’s eBroadcast, Marketing’s New Paradigm: Show Us the Money!

About the Author:

As publication editor and lead writer for Frost & Sullivan’s Integrated Marketing Solutions practice, Sam Narisi creates and curates content on a variety of topics, including marketing, innovation, and communication. For more marketing information and insight, visit Frost & Sullivan’s IMS Knowledge Center.

Are you developing innovative solutions to ensure the safety of the public, while driving economic growth for your city?

Join Frost & Sullivan and IBM on February 20th at 2pm EST for a live eBroadcast, as we discuss how technology – and it’s interaction with the people who use it- is a fundamental cycle for a constantly evolving city.

During this complimentary event, you will learn:

  • How city leaders are using technology to enhance success and safety of public events

  • How to monitor an event in progress through video, social media and more

  • How to use analytics to identify patterns and trends across unrelated data

Join us live on February 20th as we discuss the current state of the industry. Learn how the interactions of people, process, and technology have solutions that can help you manage the crucial aspects of the public events in your group.

To learn more and to register, please visit www.frost.com/cities.

Global Economic Outlook 2014