The future of marketing automation with Raz Choudhury

I’d like to introduce you to Raz Choudhury who is the CEO and co-founder of Office Interactive, a cutting-edge NYC- based company founded three years ago. His background is in app development and he ran USAWeb for almost 20 years, working with agencies on their digital marketing and app development. Office Interactive provides innovative marketing automation software and demand-based inbound lead generation services. Raz has a visionary approach to sales and marketing, and today we’re going to highlight some of his fantastic insights.

A little bit about the history of marketing automation.

Automation itself isn’t a new development. Larger corporations have always used some form of automation to cater to their clients. But there has historically been a need for automation that dealt with marketing. “There was this big, broad gap in the world of marketing, because marketing deals with websites, it deals with email, it deals in social media, and it deals with landing pages,” says Raz. “A CRM typically doesn’t address those specific needs, so marketing automation came about from that need.” CRM are meant for operations, not for scaling a business, and many companies have moved on to using their marketing automation system as their primary database as it is focused on generating inbound calls. “The key word here is inbound,” Raz observes, “It’s not really a CRM that is designed to have your sales force do outbound calls. The premise of most really decent marketing automation is to generate inbound leads and inbound calls.”

What sets Office Interactive apart from competitors?

Office Interactive has three different main objectives. The first objective is to reduce data entry through high-tech features like auto-translation of images and the use of Google Voice to convert voice to text. The second objective is to creative fully integrative, robust solutions. “Imagine you’re running your operation, would you really want to see your sales data in one system and your email marketing data in another system, and then when you’re meeting with your sales team, find out that the marketing efforts by the marketing team didn’t yet many leads that were highly qualified?” Raz asks. “For us, the promise of marketing automation is to generate more inbound leads so that you’re not hounding your clients or doing cold calling – it tarnishes the brand a bit and doesn’t really yield as high a percentage.” Office Interactive aims to integrate and align sales and marketing. As Raz says: “The idea here is that the new way of doing sales is really a consultative sales that just really jives with the client.” The third objective is to give decision-makers the tools that they need to make sense of their data. Raz reveals: “This whole year, we’re dedicated to making it much, much more intelligent in the sense that it will use your data to predict some of the future trends that will be happening.”

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Why automated marketing is so important.“Whether you’re B2B or B2C, a vast majority of your buying decision cycle will be done online,” Raz asserts. These days, customers spend time online researching you and your competitors before picking up the phone or visiting your business. Since so much of the decision-making process has gone online, business owners and product developers have lost a lot of the control that they used to have, says Raz. The things that you can control are the messages delivered through your website, email marketing, and social media. Automated marketing can also help with delivering timely responses, which have long been recognized as contributing to higher conversion rates.

“Whether you’re B2B or B2C, a vast majority of your buying decision cycle will be done online,” Raz asserts. These days, customers spend time online researching you and your competitors before picking up the phone or visiting your business. Since so much of the decision-making process has gone online, business owners and product developers have lost a lot of the control that they used to have, says Raz. The things that you can control are the messages delivered through your website, email marketing, and social media. Automated marketing can also help with delivering timely responses, which have long been recognized as contributing to higher conversion rates.

How automated marketing can help your company.

“When you have a company that doesn’t use marketing automation, what they’re missing out is not just one thing. What they’re missing out on is a list of several things,” Raz observes. One: they miss out on valuable intel that can tell them how long a person has been on their website, whether that person is in their database, whether they are opening their emails, or whether they are accepting invitations to webinars or other events. Two: marketing automation can trigger drip campaigns based on client need: “Say you’re looking for a place to host an event,” says Raz. “If you had a company follow up with not just a direct mail, but also emails of testimonials of past clients, as well as a few other things related to how great they’ve been rated, wouldn’t you be more inclined to talk to or engage with that vendor than the others that really just engaged with you courteously on the phone but didn’t really follow up with anything?” Marketing automation can send out brochures and follow-up emails days and weeks after the initial contact, as well as remind your sales rep to make a return call. Marketing automation can even change website content on return visits, giving clients a dynamic experience with your brand.

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Companies can grow organically, but if you really want to scale your business, says Raz, you need a smarter system: “Entrepreneurs that have had experience in closing deals, if they look back at almost all the deals that they’ve closed, they will see that either it’s through their network or those that are outside of their network had to have a hand-holding process to make that happen. If you are happy and you’re growing organically, that’s fine; you probably don’t need an automation platform or anything fancy. But if you’re looking to scale, if you’re looking to offer a new product or service and you want to penetrate a market and have an advantage, then a system that gives you more intel and takes away some of the repetitive tasks is definitely a plus, without a doubt.”

How do you incorporate marketing automation into your business?