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Today's websites are marketing tools that forward-looking enterprises use to streamline their sales processes. This learning guide surveys the spectrum of tools for "e-nurturing" prospects, all the way from initial research to closing the deal and collecting payment.



Although the term "connected marketing" in the past has been used to describe the use of customer communities and viral marketing to engage prospects and drive sales, it's equally important to link those activities into website automation and contact management technologies to ensure they're acted upon promptly and appropriately.

Web technologies play a vital part in ensuring a timely and accurate response to the needs of prospects and customers, many of whom prefer to research and find answers to questions on the supplier's website (or at a "neutral" third-party site) rather than go to the trouble of contacting someone directly. When they do get in contact, they expect the sales person or customer service contact to be able to deal with their questions promptly.

None of this is possible without the right technologies in place. Connected marketing is all about making sure those technologies are deployed as an integrated infrastructure and then used effectively by your sales, marketing and customer service staff, so that the prospect moves from initial interest all the way to repeat buyer without any hiccups in the customer experience.

Internet marketing (wikipedia)
According to Wikipedia, Internet marketing "refers to the placement of media along different stages of the customer engagement cycle through search engine marketing (SEM), search engine optimization (SEO), banner ads on specific websites, email marketing, and Web 2.0 strategies." In addition, it "includes management of digital customer data and electronic customer relationship management (ECRM) systems."

Connected Marketing: The Viral, Buzz and Word of Mouth Revolution (book)
A book first published in 2006 that set out principles and experiences in connected marketing, defined as "an umbrella term for any kind of marketing; product research and development, through production, to promotion by any means, including traditional advertising; that creates target market conversations that add measurable value to a business."

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