Editor’s Note —
Dear Reader: The whole purpose of our Marketing Action blog is to offer ideas and tips that marketers and salespeople can use to make their work more effective or efficient in some way — right now. We don’t talk about the future much, and we don’t try to sell you on our products. All that said, I’m going to turn the rest of this post over to our CMO, so he can tell you about Act-On’s new innovation and why it matters to the future of marketing.
This morning we announced Act-On Anywhere. This is a new browser application that gives marketers and sales people access to content, functionality, and engagement data as they browse websites or use the cloud-based applications that are part of their day-to-day workflow. Here’s your number-one benefit: With Act-On Anywhere, you can stay within your favorite applications while still using marketing automation to create and optimize content, use email more effectively, and access more marketing engagement data to make better business decisions.
Why did we do this?
Marketers at companies of all sizes are facing some big challenges, and we’ve been working on how we can help them solve problems and prosper. The most important thing we’ve noted is that all of us in customer-facing functions, whether marketing, sales, or service, have to look at customer engagement differently.
1. The buyer’s journey has changed. We all know this and see this everyday. Marketing has become far more essential to a company’s engagement strategy and the way we engage has to become far more “intelligent.”
2. Marketing throughout the customer lifecycle. It’s not just about lead-to-revenue management, but about successfully marketing to customers throughout the life cycle from acquisition to retention and expansion.
3. Breaking down barriers between silos in companies. Most companies have multiple organizations and people responsible for interacting with customers. These include marketing, sales, customer success, and even finance. Each of them has their own favorite set of tools that they cannot give up. Our goal is to empower them to effectively work with customers within their preferred environment, with the data that makes a difference.
4. Realizing the potential of engagement data. There is so much data being generated that getting value out of it is a huge challenge. The traditional way is to bring it all into a big data warehouse and try to analyze it and make sense out of it. But this is ineffective because it takes too long and doesn’t get to the people who are actually doing the day-to-day work with customers.
Moving to a customer engagement-centered business culture can be comprehensive, profound change. Our task as a marketing technology company was to leverage the power of marketing automation in such a way that it facilitates this change, and melds the efforts of all teams into coherent, coordinated action around every aspect of customer engagement. And it’s the Act-On way to create technology that’s both useful and usable; we knew we had to keep it simple.
What is Act-On Anywhere?
Act-On Anywhere is an application that makes Act-On engagement data, assets and functionality available right from within the user’s current browsing context.
This goes far beyond a simple app that extends email or analyzes a hashtag. It’s an app that can enhance any other application by giving it access to Act-On functionality and all the rich engagement data stored in Act-On. Essentially, it brings the power of Act-On’s marketing automation to any application that uses a browser. Which means that how you use Act-On is as unique as your job description. Imagine:
- You are a salesperson browsing LinkedIn. Act-On Anywhere checks the email on the page to see if this person is in your database. And then it shows you a timeline of every interaction this person has had with your company, including pages visited and emails opened.
- You are a marketer writing a blog post. Instead of downloading an image to your desktop, then uploading it to your content management system, and from there inserting it into your post – you can just click the Act-On Anywhere icon within the post itself and select an image from your media library. Done.
- You are a content marketer creating a new web page, and you want to embed a call to action. Don’t leave your CMS; just click Act-On Anywhere and pick the call to action (or image, or form, etc.) from your Act-On Media Library.
- You’re a customer service representative, and you have a monthly check-in call with a customer coming up. You’d like to know if perhaps you should mention an upgrade to your customer. You do most of your work in a customer relationship management system. Just stay right there and click Act-On Anywhere to take a look at your customer‘s activity history. If they’re spending time on certain areas of your web pages investigating one of your products, you’ll know that and can bring the topic up in your call.
- You are a social media manager responsible for publishing content and campaigns across corporate social channels. Instead of having to copy, then paste trackable links or download branded images to the desktop, and then take another step to upload them, you can simply right click the Act-On Anywhere icon. That lets you seamlessly transfer the assets to the social post in just one step …vs. three.
The possible scenarios are endless. The ultimate benefit of Act-On Anywhere is to provide you, whatever job you may do, with the business intelligence to steer, track, and enhance the customer experience at every stage of engagement, and to do this in full concert with members of every team. Using whatever tool each member prefers.
At Act-On, we’ve seen the future: it’s customer engagement. And we’ve made the commitment to create and evolve the technologies that will let the marketer orchestrate engagement for the benefit of all.
Want to see how Act-On Anywhere can take your customer engagement to the next level? Contact us for a demo tailored to your interests.