Early today I reported that Goldman Sachs has led a $54 Million investment in Infusionsoft. As I look deeper into this announcement I think it’s a wake up call to small businesses and here’s why.
While social media and overall online content are quite “sexy” – they mean absolutely nothing if small businesses are not GENERATING sales from this activity.
The ONLY way small businesses can really generate a return on their investment in not only social media, but all forms of marketing and sales is through ensuring that all the leads and clicks and interest you get from your activity is driven through a systematic and strategic sales funnel, that you have a complete view of your customer and prospective customer. Infusionsoft calls this process Lifecycle marketing, which includes:
- attract traffic
- capture leads
- nurture prospects
- convert to sales
- deliver and satisfy
- ask for a referral
While social media has received a lot of the BUZZ with everyone told to create a blog, Tweet, develop a Facebook page and etc (all of this is good) – it’s not going to generate the return that people want if the resulting activity is not corralled into a marketing system.
Why do you think Constant Contact (email marketing king) bought Bantam Live in 2011. Constant Contact knows email marketing alone is not enough. Their process is called engagement marketing. Those vendors who are just offering email marketing (Mailchimp, iContact, Emma) are filling a much needed service. All small businesses need email marketing. However, Godlman Sachs investment in Infusionsoft should be a wakeup call that it’s simply not enough. Campaigner recently developed Campaigner CRM as well and Vertical Response has a social media marketing service – so both of these large email marketing players are also going beyond “just email marketing”.
I briefly reviewed a number of CRM tools in this post and outlined some of the differences.
Whether small businesses use Infusionsoft or some other tool (Salesforce, Nimble, Insightly, BatchBook, Zoho CRM, Maximizer, SugarCRM, Highrise HQ, SageCRM) it’s time for growing small businesses to consider going beyond just email marketing and even just social media engagement.