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HubSpot vs Marketo—Marketing Matchup

by Julia Frohwein Comments: 0

Marketing tools provide promise for scalable and efficient ways to get your content to the right audience. The better you do this, of course, the more prospects you get and ultimately more sales and revenue.

But at what cost and what is your return on investHubSpot vs Marketoment (ROI) for using these resources?

There will be some initial ramp up costs for certain. Make sure you also consider the “cost” to your employees in terms of usability and even job satisfaction.

No one likes to be mandated to use some tool that is hard to figure out while training might be sparse. We’ve all been there and it can be very frustrating. This cost could be higher than you think depending on how broad the scope, success, or failure of the tool manifests.

Here’s a quote about Marketo from a real user on IT Central Station,

“Pros:
Marketo gives me the toolset necessary to create automated drip email campaigns to my customers and prospects. HUGE ROI! Great customer service and still (relatively) nimble dev team always willing to help, even in special, or “one-off” scenarios.”

Quotes like these can help you make decisions and might help you get motivated in spite of any training hurdles. Selling to internal audiences for some solutions is very important if you’re the decision maker for IT tools.

At IT Central Station, you can begin your search for marketing tools such as Marketo and compare them to others. You can find out how others in your peer group are using specific aspects of the solutions you’re interested in adopting. You can also have your colleagues who you need to convince to take a look at reviews.

A matchup between Hubspot and Marketo is on the horizon. If you’re a real user start the reviews to establish yourself as a thought leader in marketing automation or enablement—or in another category depending on your role.

Or you might want to reach out to an established real user who contributed a review for any of the products on IT Central Station.

Here’s two ways you can do that, you can comment on the review and get into a dialogue of Q and A with the reviewer or even someone else who commented.Question

Or, you can “inbox” the reviewer directly from the site. Just push the Ask Me a Question button shown to the right.

For more information about becoming a contributor. see Become a Contributor.

Be a part of the “Yelp for Enterprise Tech” as referred to by the Wall Street Journal on IT Central Station.

 

Harvard Business Review—Big Data Driving Evidence-Based Narratives

by Julia Frohwein Comments: 0

MoBig Datast of us would agree that the hype around this term has subsided but it’s still cool to say, “Big Data!”

Having the right Business Intelligence Tools to harvest the velocity, volume, and variety of data makes a huge impact on how you make evidence-based decisions. In a post in the Harvard Business Review, The Value of Big Data Isn’t the Data, Kristian J. Hammond describes coupling the power of data with a contextual narrative to provide more concrete actionable results.

Here’s an example from the post from:

“For the most part, we know what we want out of the data.  We know what analysis needs to be run, what correlations need to be found and what comparisons need to be made.  By taking what we know and putting it into the hands of an automated system that can do all of this and then explain it to us in human terms, or natural language, we can achieve the effectiveness and scale of insight from our data that was always its promise but, until now, has not been delivered.  By embracing the power of the machine, we can automatically generate stories from the data that bridge the gap between numbers and knowing.”

Let’s be fair though, not everyone needs the same “narrative” from their big data harvest. Actionable results can come from all kinds of triggers such as underutilized resources that need to be consolidated. Right-sizing the provisioning of network bandwidth at the enterprise level has a huge impact on customers and end-user experience. Business processes that support internal productivity can be adequately tweaked with or without a narrative.

Find out what others are doing—your peers using the solutions offered now—check out IT Central Station’s lineup of the most reviewed business intelligence solutions here.

Forrester Insights on B2B Social Media

by Julia Frohwein Comments: 0

Forrester’s Zachary Reiss-Davis has been writing noteworthy social media insights for IT Infrastructure CIOs, CEO’s, and Decision-Making VPs to consider.

Most would agree that we all have unique, organic experiences of social media—personally and professionally.

We don’t want to over indulge though, or do we?

Social Media

Zack’s find . . . “For business purposes, the No. 1 and No. 2 communities aren’t specific public social networks but “niche” communities focused on specific objectives. For example, business technology buyers might visit IT Central Station or Spiceworks to learn more about multiple competing technologies at once; alternatively, they might visit a community managed by a single brand, such as the Cisco Communities or SAP Community Network (SCN. . .

For B2B Social Media, we want to know when to engage and how—we desire to tag the emerging “beat” or sustainable cusp of importancethis grabs our attention.

In Zach’s research, we’re finding more and more that peers rely on other peers for vendor solution feedback a lot more than they used to and value it more than some analyst reports.

We’re here precisely for that!  Peers communicating with other peers about enterprise vendor solutions and no sales and marketing spins.

So on the social media side, strike a balance but do indulge in becoming a peer leader in your field by following Vendors, Solutions, and Products @ IT Central Station.

Follow Products IT Central Station

You can follow products, write reviews, and analyze what others in IT Infrastructure planning have done to make great decisions—what will you do next to add value to your IT Enterprise or your organization’s Strategic Plan?

IT Pros Looking for Enterprise Solutions . . . “S-h-o-pp-ing . . .we’re shopping!”

by Julia Frohwein Comments: 0

Remember the 80’s song from the Pet Shop Boys?

Ok, even if you don’t, it was a big hit and LinkedIn and other community sites like IT Central Station are now becoming a big hit for finding what works and doesn’t work for enterprise-level solutions.

[A bit of a stretch with the shopping song but might get us in the mood.]

Check out this post from Julie Bort in the Business Insider IT Pros Are Using LinkedIn In A Surprising Way: To Shop For Enterprise Tech.

A quick summary here is that IT pros now use social media to vet and verify what they hear from vendors because of the following reasons: Trust, Relevance, Efficiency, and Access—the key drivers pointed out in a Forrester study that Julie highlights in her article.

Social MediaIT Central Station conveniently provides you with LinkedIn Insider access to do your “shopping.” Well—let’s be clear—you need to get involved in the buying revolution here on IT Central Station as the “Yelp for Enterprise Decision Makers” according to the Wall Street Journal.

For example, review the enterprise products and services that you use regularly. You can influence tech buying and become an expert and show that you’re a thought leader in your area of expertise.

Check out the other reviews and comment on them. Do you agree or do you have more insight to help your peers in making a good decision about buying a solution?

 

Cisco                   Ibm                  Vmware_logo

Quality Center   Enterprise Routers   QualityStage   VMware ESXi    Oracle Data Mining

 

Remember that you can just go to IT Central Stationjoin if you haven’t already—and build your profile.

Every review on IT Central Station has been verified to be an authentic review by a real user. You can count on the Station Master, Russell Rothstein and his team to continue to provide you with the kind of tech-buying community source that will shape the future. Take a look at how it all started here.

Speak Softly and Carry Yourself to an UnWebinar on B2B

by Julia Frohwein Comments: 0

On Sep 16 2013, three B2B thought leaders from the hottest tech social marketing companies will be “hanging out” in—what we think is—the world’s 1st UnWebinar for user generated content marketing.

Are you in?

This Google+ Hangout for vendor marketing representatives will focus on:

The B2B marketing game field is changing dramatically. Social media and social marketing are at the vortex of the sweeping changes affecting B2B marketing professionals.

The lineup of marketing experts who plan to discuss the type of B2B marketing you need to hear includes:

Mike Weir                                   Russell Rothstein                Daniel Kushner
Global Head of Category         Founder and CEO of          Founder and CEO of
Development, Technology      IT Central Station                Oktopost
Industry at LinkedIn

Here’s what topics you can expect them to cover . . .

  • Directly tie social marketing programs to lead generation, CRM and the sales process
  • Demonstrate ROI from social media
  • Tap into the huge potential of customer advocates within social media platforms
  • Evaluate if your investments in LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook are bringing in sales
  • Utilize online review sites and community platforms to influence prospects early in the sales process

Ok, so what the heck is an UnWebinar? No slides, no boring presentations—just an open discussion via live video feed from a Google+ Hangout.UnWebinar

Retirement Party—for Microsoft or for CEO Steve Ballmer?

by Julia Frohwein Comments: 0

retirementMicrosoft CEO, Steve Ballmer, announced that he’s stepping down in a surprise announcement last Friday. The investors rallied. But why?

Have a look at what Wall Street Journal’s, Don Clark and Shira Ovide have to say:

Steve Ballmer’s Mixed Legacy
“Gates’s Successor Helped Build Behemoth, but Missteps Leave Microsoft Vulnerable”

Here’s a brief rundown from the WSJ post:

“Mr. Ballmer had some successes during his tenure, including the building of Microsoft’s Xbox videogame business, and such major acquisitions as its $8.5 billion acquisition of the Web communications service Skype. He failed in a hostile bid to acquire Yahoo Inc. YHOO +0.02%for $44.6 billion, a defeat now widely regarded as a good thing; Yahoo’s market value currently stands at about $28 billion.”

Although Ballmer has gotten a lot of criticism, during his tenure Microsoft’s penetration in the enterprise market has flourished—launching key, highly rated offerings including Microsoft BI, Azure, Hyper-V, and SQL Server. [I thought Ballmer had an awesome influence on the Xbox for consumers and his sales kickoff’s were fun to watch on YouTube].

These Microsoft products for the enterprise have received 4 star ratings or higher on IT Central and  are rated higher than competing products from other companies. Read the reviews…

Follow them and write reviews if you’re currently using them. Become a part of what the Wall Street Journal calls “The Yelp for Enterprise Tech.”

Leader’s Board at IT Central Station—Contributing to the “Yelp for Enterprise Tech!”

by Julia Frohwein Comments: 0

Leader's BoardBeing on the Leader’s Board at IT Central Station means that you’re well on your way to influencing the way tech pros are buying enterprise-level vendor solutions.

Check out the latest Leader’s Board here.

If you do not see yourself there now, don’t worry, there’s plenty of opportunities to get involved. Write a review today to show your peers that you’re an expert at evaluating tools for specific enterprise needs.

For example, check out the latest reviews on Business Intelligence tools here.

IT Central Station gets the attention of your peers by its genuine vendor reviews. Get the momentum moving even faster by reading, commenting, and adding reviews for the solutions that you’ve been using. For example, look at the reviews for these tools and then find more that you can help to shape with your expertise:

  Ibm                                                                   

Cognos Express    SQL Server Reporting . . .     QlikView        Microstrategy

 

You can just go to IT Central Stationjoin if you haven’t already—and then start building your profile.

Every review on IT Central Station has been verified to be an authentic review by a real user. You can count on the Station Master, Russell Rothstein and his team to continue to provide you with the kind of tech-buying community source that will shape the future. Take a look at how it all started here.

LinkedIn Meets IT Central Station and Oktopost for UnWebinar

by Julia Frohwein Comments: 0

On May 29th, The World’s First UnWebinar on B2B Tech Social Media takes place—are you in?

Ok, so what the heck is an UnWebinar? No slides, no boring presentations—just an open discussion via live video feed from a Google+ Hangout.UnWebinar

This Google+ Hangout for vendor marketing representatives will focus on:

The B2B marketing game field is changing dramatically. Social media and social marketing are at the vortex of the sweeping changes affecting B2B marketing professionals.

The lineup of “marketing ninjas” who plan to discuss the type of B2B marketing you need to hear includes:

Mike Weir                                   Russell Rothstein                Daniel Kushner
Global Head of Category          Founder and CEO of          Founder and CEO of
Development, Technology       IT Central Station                Oktopost
Industry at LinkedIn

Here’s what topics you can expect them to cover . . .

  • Directly tie social marketing programs to lead generation, CRM and the sales process
  • Demonstrate ROI from social media
  • Tap into the huge potential of customer advocates within social media platforms
  • Evaluate if your investments in LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook are bringing in sales
  • Utilize online review sites and community platforms to influence prospects early in the sales process

You can register for the Google+ Hangout by clicking here!