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Sales + Inbound Marketing + HubSpot

The Blinking Twelve Problem: Closed Loop Marketing

Posted by Wes Schaeffer | February 05

If you're over the age of 30 or 35, you remember the blinking "12:00" on the front of 98.2% of all VCRs you ever saw.

They blinked 12:00 because it was too dang complicated to change.

There were no GUIs (graphical user interfaces), no iPhone apps, they weren't "smart" VCRs connected to your Wifi and accessible over the internet. It was such an issue that people just let the VCRs blink.

Heck, a lot of people even put electrical tape over the clock to keep from seeing it blink.

In the world of software development, the blinking twelve problem "refers to features in software which are unusable due to the complexity of the user interface to use them."

That came up today in discussing "closed loop marketing."

A marketing person at a company that is considering ordering  HubSpot from me had seen this "closed loop marketing" feature demonstrated by a couple of companies they are considering leveraging for their sales and marketing automation.

What was enticing to them was the anonymous tracking of web visitors that is accomplished by placing a cookie on the visitor's computer and then lead-scoring them based on how often they return to your site. Once they opt-in you have more information as to how hot of a lead they are.

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This is pretty cool.

And companies with big staffs, big budgets and big patience can leverage this feature to develop more interactive, responsive follow-up sequences that should help you increase sales.

So if you have a big staff and big budgets and a lot of patience, knock yourself out.

And while you're at it, get yourself some predictive dialers, digital wallets, some "big data," a .mobi website (or an effectively efficient and effective responsive Wordpress theme), a QR code attack (if they're still en vogue when you read this), and go ahead and launch a green initiative.

Most small businesses have not mastered SEM/PPC (Search Engine Marketing / Pay Per Click Marketing), SEO (Search Engine Optimization), the creation of compelling sales copy and clear CTAs (Calls To Action), or an overall marketing and sales funnel that takes prospects through my ABCDE Marketing System - Attract, Bond, Convert, Dazzle, Endear

Sales Force Automation ABCDE


But the idea of having "a clock on a VCR" seems like a great feature...until reality sets in.

Ditto for "Closed Loop Marketing."

To grow your business you don't need more traffic...

you need to convert your current traffic better, then worry about growing your traffic.

Sure, closed loop marketing and its cookies may help, but not if you don't have a great offer or "lead magnet" that gets people to opt-in and identify themselves so you can turn them into a lead or a contact instead of a visitor.

HubSpot will give you information on browsing history as well as insight into their open rates, click through rates, track their activities—or lack thereof—then assign Tasks and send automated email, voice broadcasts, faxes and direct mail to those prospects to turn them into clients that buy again and again, then send you testimonials and referrals.

So if you have never heard of closed loop marketing or if your head is hurting as you ponder whether or not you need it, remember the blinking twelve syndrome.

You can build a thriving business without messing with the latest and greatest marketing automation buzzwords. Six months or a year or six years from now, if you have the time and resources and patience to jump into it, knock yourself out.

Until then, figure out what keeps your clients up at night and create a sleeping pill they'll pay you top dollar for.

If you'd like a little help, check out this free report, "40 Ways To Profit From Your Email Marketing System."

Get 40 Ways To Do Email Right

If you need more help growing your sales, check out the following resources scattered around this site and a few others I operate, such as:

Good Selling,

Topics: ABCDE Marketing System, Sales and Marketing Automation, Blinking Twelve Problem, Infusionsoft Consultant, Closed Loop Marketing, Marketing Plan

Written by Wes Schaeffer

The Reassuringly Expensive, Ruthlessly Pragmatic pig-headed entrepreneur dedicated to discovering proven, transferable, effective tools for creating inbound sales so he can help you automate, integrate, and dominate your niche.


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