Job of a marketing professional

By Vinay Mehendiratta, PhD on December 8, 2017

Job of a marketing professional is not easy these days. There is significant activity and noise on all marketing channels. It is not easy to be visible anymore. Is it due to marketing automation?

It is true that marketing automation has taken us to another level. Marketing teams have embraced or are embracing automation at unprecedented level. We do see increase in marketing budgets over last few years. Marketing teams have been fairly willing to experiment with new technologies and don’t mind spending some bucks at new software or practice.

I do see two types of companies when we meet companies. First is the group where LinkedIn Ad tech has been tried but clicks and impressions have not justified ROI. Another is the group that is about go to LinkedIn Ad-tech because there is a platform launch coming up, leads not coming through inbound or outbound channels and going to conferences is quite costly affair. Lure of reaching millions on the other side (that’s invisible) always makes you believe that it might work with the right message, target campaign. And you know what –we would add the word AI, Smart, Predictive; show an image of the brain or cogs or gears or humanoid.

Marketing teams are also finding new ways to update their contact list regularly. Technology is playing a crucial role here. There are APIs available to provide email addresses and LinkedIn profiles though the accuracy of results is being worked upon. This was and is the task that would reap rewards when you spend money and time. Approaching the decision maker at a time when she/he is settling in a new job, designation, organization is a good way to generate leads for years. Keeping in touch with your champions in existing and new customers is a practice followed by matured marketing teams.

We do hear that marketing automation space is overcrowded. Its true but there is still room for innovation. There are opportunities to enhance productivity of market research, inbound lead, and outbound lead generation teams. Limitation in this field is the availability and cost of external data. Marketing automation is one of the fields with a great dependency on access to external data. Data is limited to medium and big corporate houses. While LinkedIn continues to build a closed ecosystem, marketing platforms will have to find other ways to capture data on people. Ad-tech platforms with highest number of profiles might win that battle.

Overcrowded market will force the innovators to think of other ways to provide insights to marketing and sales professionals. Chrome plugins have become the favorite way to provide information and might become the trend.

As I said above, marketing domain depends on availability of external data. In a way that is limiting factor. There is potential to generate insights when external data is married to internal data such as email transactions with potential decision makers. End users will have to allow plugins to analyze their emails to get insights. A year worth of emails might be a good point to start. There might be a treasure hidden behind that email analysis. Go and explore it.

Information is key to B2B sales and marketing folks. This is one of weapons sales and marketing depends on. Keeping an eye on prospect customers is important and it is something that every marketing professional seeks. This information is used to win clients, build marketing strategy, build sales goals and provide inputs to product team. OceanFrogs platform helps you provide you signals that one can use to target customer, have a well-informed conversation, and analyze industry trends.


Holy Grail of Marketing

By Vinay Mehendiratta, PhD on October 6, 2017

There are two problems that Industry still wants to solve efficiently.

1. Are you engaging (with) the right buyer ? In other words, Is buyer engaged in solving the problem that you want to solve ? How do we answer that question:

One can check the following:

Is potential buyer hiring resources in the problem space that your product/services?

Is potential buyer investing in tools that are pre-requisite to your software ?

Is potential buyer investing in center of excellence relevant to the areas ?

Is potential buyer building platform similar to the solution that you do offer ?

Is potential buyer using technology that is the precursor to your technology?
Airline Industry Insights

There are other signals to check.

Is potential buyer financially stable ?

Is potential buyer active in the market out there doing partnerships, acquisitions, appointments ?

These signals tell us about the intent. Intent is all we need to know at this stage.

2. Who should you engage with ?

Its humanely impossible to keep an eye on high number of target accounts, spread in various geographies. That is where sales intelligence tool and predictive marketing tool come in handy. This tool category provides you with relevant information about target accounts that you can use to focus and run your marketing campaigns on. There are B2B companies where number of target customers is limited (less than 100). It is possible for marketing and sales department to know all of them, do research on them on google. I would still argue that its efficient that a sales intelligence platform keeps an eye on these accounts.
Airline Industry Insights

I do see that B2B software companies have hundreds of unqualified leads in their CRM database but dont have enough insights on those accounts and hence are not able to make a decision to pursue them or not. B2B software and services providers have spent good money on collecting email addresses and list of companies. Some have gone further and collected quantitative information such as number of stores, revenue, growth. B2b companies have built good foundation. My proposal is that B2b companies should take the next step and save insights on target customers (financial, growth, production, software, and decision makers). Intelligence on customer is becoming available. Tools to fetch more intelligence on customers through their website is also becoming maintsteam.

There are many sales intelligence and predictive marketing products that solve it in bits and pieces. I believe that these are the holy grail use cases of marketing function.

Furthermore, you have to be engaged with potential customer at the right time. Customers also do expect that you have done good home work about them before you call them for a discovery call. Marketing domain focused on these two problem statements will be well for themselves and the industry.


Airline Industry Insights Using OceanFrogs Platform

By Vinay Mehendiratta, PhD on September 8, 2017

Information is key to B2B sales and marketing folks. This is one of weapons sales and marketing depends on. Keeping an eye on prospect customers is important and it is something that every marketing professional seeks. This information is used to win clients, build marketing strategy, build sales goals and provide inputs to product team. OceanFrogs platform helps you provide you signals that one can use to target customer, have a well-informed conversation, and analyze industry trends.

Our clients use OceanFrogs to analyze Airline Industry, to determine the prospects to target. We clearly see that major airline players in North America, Europe market have invested heavily in mobile, cloud, analytics technology for long.
Airline Industry Insights

Industry is not under tremendous pressure to save on fuel due to low fuel prices. This has allowed them to focus on customer experience. It has increased investment and hiring in cloud, analytics, and mobility. This has allowed airlines to focus on in-flight entertainments. Many airlines have gone to partner with wi-fi, in-flight entertainment providers. Once mobile in-flight entertainment becomes prevalent, passenger behavior analysis can be a hot field for analytics. Analysis of passenger behavior will help airlines serve them better, reduce catering cost, and minimize missed connections. Finnair has always been one of the frontrunner as far as on-time performance and customer experience is concerned but I am sure they would like to figure out better ways to minimize missed connections. It is due to the main hub airport’s location in Europe that brings them business. Helsinki airport also has a good number of passengers missing their connecting flights. Always go to Finnair with that perspective in mind. Same can be said for Hawaiian Airlines. Investment made by them to make tourists comfortable tells us the revenues associated and the values that airlines care about. Any analytics use case on customer experience would bring attention from Hawaiian Airlines to you.

Major players have already invested in technologies, regional players are not behind and have invested in automated dashboarding and business intelligence. Analysis of flight legs, congestions have been a done deal and has become quite common practice since early 2000. We used to see analysis on delays in 10-15 years back. Understanding customer behavior also kept data scientists occupied in last decade. Analysis of sales, revenue, marketing using BI tools by regional players is still in demand.

Regional airline unions have also invested in analytics. I am sure airline unions do use and could use more of that given that analytics can always help them get right negotiations with the airline(s).


Big Data in Marketing Automation

By Vinay Mehendiratta, PhD on September 4, 2017

Days of cold calls in marketing domains are numbered. How many times do we respond positive to a cold call when the person on other side does not know us at all? Outbound lead generation is not an easy task. I have seen people performing exceptionally well when message is clear, some degree of intent is there on the other side. Question is – How do we know the intent on other side.

We (OceanFrogs) took data science approach to solve the problem. Wait a minute? What is the problem? It is not easy to identify who to send an email or a phone call and try to start a useful conversation. There are three questions to answer?
What organization to call? What should you talk? Who should you talk in an organization?

Marketing Automation

OceanFrogs platform is built with AI driven data science approach to solve this problem. Our natural language programming based engine generate insights on target accounts. It has become possible in last 10 years because organizations do share some information and through some channels. News, Jobs Postings, Linkedin Readership have all become available. Some datasets are still tough to mine and consolidate. It would get easier with time. In case you think data is the new commodity, give yourself a pat on the back. You would agree now that data is there all around us. Problem in marketing automation industry is that there is an ocean of data available. Ways to generate insights and the definition of the right insights is evolving gradually.

Marketing automation is about analyzing personas. Persona can be of an organization or individual. If you ever wondered what Big Data is and where it is useful. This is one such field. Content required by marketing and sales folks is being organized. Some of this content is:
1.Organization Hierarchy
2.Technology Landscape of prospect organization
3.What conferences are the decision makers attending?
4.Who is joining and leaving the organization?
5.What are organizations investing in? (through various data sources)
6.What articles are being consumed? Who is consuming these articles?

Signal and intent is all about information. This was the key differentiator between salesman before. Now it is becoming democratized. It is not humane possible to dig out clear signal manually. Not because signal is not there but because there is an ocean of data available on anything and everything. It is not easy to differentiate between intent and noise either in this hyper active LinkedIn generation. Not every data source that is big data is useful for this purpose. Henceforth, marketing automation needs good data (if not big data).

There was a time when building company directory was a good business idea. Not anymore. Owler and Hoover are re-inventing all the time. Company information is available in abundance, news is considered a free commodity. Now is the time when marketing facing information savvy professionals are willing to pay for good insights that help them sell.

Accuracy of data comes from efficient algorithms. These algorithms require the skills of natural language programming, databases, marketing domain, and business domains put together. This is the mission of OceanFrogs.


Intent Behind Analyzing Intent Data

By Vinay Mehendiratta, PhD on September 1, 2017

CRM systems and sales intelligence tools have made marketing automation field quite competitive in last few years. Everyone has a campaign management tool, a subscription to the list of organizations, list of email address, and Linkedin Subscription. Use of Search engine optimization techniques has made sure that inbound leads are increased.

There is an increasing use of intent data by marketing teams at the same time. Intent of the potential customer is identified by various means such as webinars, news, twitter post, and linkedin postings. There are other data sources that have shown good signals on prospect’s behavior.
Intent Marketing

There are experts welcoming the new data type such as alternative data. I would argue that marketing teams do use intent data (one form of alternate data) for a long time. Ease of data mining has just made it easier these days.

We (Oceanfrogs) mine external data, listen to many data sources (free and premium), parse it through text mining engine and generate signals about industry and prospect organization. It always intrigued me to find such meaningful information lying all around us that can be used by teams responsible to bring new customers.

Ocean Frogs helps you figure out answers to questions such as: Who are the customers investing in Cloud, Mobility this year? Is Energy market in US spending on analytics this year while Oil prices have not come up that well? What are the initiatives taken by target customers?

It is becoming very important to know your client, its problems, initiatives, intent during marketing and sales operations. Companies do spend significant money and time on this exercise when entering in a new geography market or offering a new product that needs to get matured. OceanFrogs helps you analyze your prospect customer and industry.

Do you think that benefit of this data is limited to sales and marketing teams? We believe that problems faced by target customers should be brought to product managers so that information is available to make smart and well-informed decisions on use cases.

It is our mission at OceanFrogs to bring all of that information together for you (sales and marketing, product managers) so that we can go well informed to the prospect and develop the right use cases. Industry is changing fast, organizations are rapidly adapting to technology, cloud, analytics, mobility, and automation. Marketing team needs to be ahead of others. OceanFrogs helps you do meet that requirement.


Job of a marketing professional

By Vinay Mehendiratta, PhD on December 8, 2017

Job of a marketing professional is not easy these days. There is significant activity and noise on all marketing channels. It is not easy to be visible anymore. Is it due to marketing automation?

It is true that marketing automation has taken us to another level. Marketing teams have embraced or are embracing automation at unprecedented level. We do see increase in marketing budgets over last few years. Marketing teams have been fairly willing to experiment with new technologies and don’t mind spending some bucks at new software or practice.

I do see two types of companies when we meet companies. First is the group where LinkedIn Ad tech has been tried but clicks and impressions have not justified ROI. Another is the group that is about go to LinkedIn Ad-tech because there is a platform launch coming up, leads not coming through inbound or outbound channels and going to conferences is quite costly affair. Lure of reaching millions on the other side (that’s invisible) always makes you believe that it might work with the right message, target campaign. And you know what –we would add the word AI, Smart, Predictive; show an image of the brain or cogs or gears or humanoid.

Marketing teams are also finding new ways to update their contact list regularly. Technology is playing a crucial role here. There are APIs available to provide email addresses and LinkedIn profiles though the accuracy of results is being worked upon. This was and is the task that would reap rewards when you spend money and time. Approaching the decision maker at a time when she/he is settling in a new job, designation, organization is a good way to generate leads for years. Keeping in touch with your champions in existing and new customers is a practice followed by matured marketing teams.

We do hear that marketing automation space is overcrowded. Its true but there is still room for innovation. There are opportunities to enhance productivity of market research, inbound lead, and outbound lead generation teams. Limitation in this field is the availability and cost of external data. Marketing automation is one of the fields with a great dependency on access to external data. Data is limited to medium and big corporate houses. While LinkedIn continues to build a closed ecosystem, marketing platforms will have to find other ways to capture data on people. Ad-tech platforms with highest number of profiles might win that battle.

Overcrowded market will force the innovators to think of other ways to provide insights to marketing and sales professionals. Chrome plugins have become the favorite way to provide information and might become the trend.

As I said above, marketing domain depends on availability of external data. In a way that is limiting factor. There is potential to generate insights when external data is married to internal data such as email transactions with potential decision makers. End users will have to allow plugins to analyze their emails to get insights. A year worth of emails might be a good point to start. There might be a treasure hidden behind that email analysis. Go and explore it.

Information is key to B2B sales and marketing folks. This is one of weapons sales and marketing depends on. Keeping an eye on prospect customers is important and it is something that every marketing professional seeks. This information is used to win clients, build marketing strategy, build sales goals and provide inputs to product team. OceanFrogs platform helps you provide you signals that one can use to target customer, have a well-informed conversation, and analyze industry trends.