Why Simple and Integrated? It Matters in the Digital Marketing Ecosystem

Why Simple and Integrated? It Matters in the Digital Marketing Ecosystem:


simple digital marketing

Three things occurred at Optify in the past two weeks that sum up well what we are constantly striving towards in the marketplace today. The more I thought about them, the more I just had to sit down with a cup of coffee and pound out a post.
Let’s start with the three items:
  1. Webinar I did with Zach Okun on a simple customer newsletter retainer service for digital marketing agencies
  2. Launching a greatly enhanced Optify Contact Manager, integrating the view of all touchpoints of a given contact/lead in one place
  3. An office visit in Seattle from a digital marketing agency owner from the Southeast

Anyone can do a customer newsletter

Here’s the first question I received internally when we were planning the webinar: “A retainer-based service for a customer newsletter, really? Anyone can do that.” Ahhh, exactly. The whole point is to create retainer-based services that the entry-level team members at an agency can execute, but are still extremely valuable to a client.
We keep our product simple for exactly that user – not the 15-year veteran, but marketers early in their careers with less experience but absolutely necessary in big numbers to staff the digital marketing ecosystem.
We also reviewed how critical it is for that newsletter to tie into contacts to see the actions taken after opening the email. We emphasized a call-to-action tying to a landing page, as well as being able to track all of those interactions in one place. Let’s also track the leads for additional products/services resulting from the newsletter call-to-action. This is cross-channel marketing at street level, yet no email vendor supports that integrated workflow. We, therefore, put a lot of focus on an integrated approach in our product.

What can possibly be new and different in a contact manager?

Glad you asked. Contact managers have been around since I installed ACT on my PC back in the mid-90s, and then of course the CRM vendors ladled on the layers of an account (with a tree structure to add complexity) and an opportunity. So why would we spend any time on this piece of our product?
To start with, we wanted to integrate all those cross-channel touchpoints for a lead or contact. We also wanted to integrate datasources. What does that mean? Our developers took on the complexity so that we could provide a much simpler user experience for anyone working in our Contact Manager.
  • Any landing page or form filled out is part of a contact’s timeline.
  • Any emails sent/opened/unsubscribed are there too, along with all pages visited on each website visit. You can of course drill in for detail or filter out.
  • LinkedIn and Dun & Bradstreet data sources are seamlessly integrated to provide as much information about that lead or contact as possible.
  • Want to track something else? Sure – just create some custom fields.

Best Contact Manager

Instead of adding layers on top of contacts, like accounts and opportunities, like a typically complexified (love that word creation to describe most software today) CRM system, we kept a flat contact manager but allow quick segmentation by 20+ filter criteria. Then save that filtered list for actions – like sending that list an email, or exclude that list from receiving an email, or call that list, etc.
Our product team made the whole experience simpler with this release but even more tightly integrated with the rest of the cross-channel marketing effort.

Where does the rubber hit the road with our customers?

Where does all this come together? Interestingly, it comes together in places like Grand Rapids, Michigan, where I’m from. Or this past week, I could see it mattered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. How? Because we had an agency entrepreneur visit from the home of the LSU Tigers, and we sure hope his firm becomes a long-term partner.
His story is the story of market we are serving. He summarized the essence of his business very eloquently in just four sentences, so I’ll take the liberty of paraphrasing it here as best I can remember.
“I’m very proud of our agency. I started it just a year and a half ago in my living room. Today we have five employees and thirteen clients. The biggest challenge I have is delegating services off my plate as I add employees who are hungry but have less experience than I do.”
We’re working every day to arm that agency and every one of the 120,000 small agencies in North America alone to tell that story:
  1. Grow the client base from single to double digits.
  2. Grow from a handful of employees up to ten, and then to twenty-five.
  3. Enable the owners to scale the business by delegating the execution of retainer-based services to other team members so they can focus on what they do best – bringing in new clients.
Our mission can’t be accomplished unless we keep it simple and integrated. No worries – we’ve got that covered in spades, and there’s plenty more to come.

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