Raz Choudhury is the founder of LeaDNA, a one-package marketing automation and sales CRM software that streamlines email marketing, social media management, content marketing, and direct mail marketing. Based out of NYC, Raz brings close to 20 years of experience in the IT field. From acting as an Advisory IT Specialist at multiple firms and working as a Network Engineer at IBM, to founding and managing a successful web/app development and digital marketing company — Raz is now gearing up to disrupt the way the world thinks about marketing and sales. Raz and the LeaDNA crew (pronounced “Lead DNA”) are creating buzz in the industry, using phrases like “The 5 hour work week” to describe the potential of their powerful platform to change the way we work and live. Raz recently sat down with the Harlem Times to talk about the idea that keeps him up at night and his team working with the crazy dedication only startups have — “Marketing at the Speed of Thought.”
HT: What is “Marketing at the Speed of Thought?”
Raz: This is the direction everything is going. It reflects the tremendous and growing impact of the cloud and other digital technologies on the pace of modern marketing and business. To us, “marketing at the speed of thought” represents the possibilities and potential of the new wave of omni-channel marketing.
Nowadays an organization’s brand messaging, marketing efforts, and sales strategy all have to be aligned and streamlined into a single digital experience across multiple platforms. Think about the rate of media technology use compared to 10 years before and then 10 years before that; and now think of the implications of this widespread social behavior on business and marketing practices. Marketers have to be as vigilant as ever because there are literally opportunities to convert leads into clients at every minute of the day. When people leave their computers at the office, they immediately pick up their smartphones and start consuming more media. At the same time, people have access to more information than ever before. So it’s harder for marketers and sales people to pull the wool over peoples’ eyes. Now, the task is not only to craft a cohesive message and strategy across all touch-points, but it’s also to make that strategy relevant to the lives of consumers in a meaningful way.
Our company believes that stronger software can bring you closer and closer to the ideal of marketing at the speed of thought. Better analytics and data visualization tools help marketers make smarter decisions and inform sales people when and how to act at different points in the sales cycles. Setting savvy automation rules to react to user or lead behavior means that an organization can reach the lead at critical times (also saving time and money, while eliminating human error from the process).
Let’s say that John visits your company’s website and that he was really interested so he gives his contact information to sign up for a monthly newsletter or some other promotional service. You’ve just captured a lead. But the tricky part is nurturing; this is where things fall through the cracks. John’s got to be nurtured. People are used to immediate gratification with today’s technology. So now with automation, we can make sure that 1 hour after filling out the form, John gets a detailed email addressed to him, thanking him for his interest. Let’s say John visits again, but this time spends all of his time on a particular page on the site. He’s interested in something there. We can track that data and use the analytics to create even more detailed follow-up automations, continuing him along the pipeline toward conversion.
HT: What are some of the standout features of LeaDNA? What distinguishes from other marketing automation softwares on the market?
Raz: Well first of all, we’re the only company out there offering a truly robust all-in-one package that includes marketing automation and CRM (Customer Relationship Management). We also include a CMS (Content Management System) in our package, which means users can create their own websites and other digital content using a user-friendly, “drag-and-drop” interface.
Something really cool and unique is that LeaDNA enables users to directly run ad campaigns from the platform itself. This means for example that you can directly run a Google Adwords PPC (Pay Per Click) campaign from the same platform you would use for lead tracking, content marketing, and client relations. This is a big deal.
Our data visualization is also special. We’ve leveraged many years in web and app design to create a really smooth UI. When it comes to seeing and interpreting data, we’ve designed really accessible and robust graphical interfaces. For example our “Heat Map” gives you a geographical overview of where your leads are all around the world. “Blast Radius” lets you visualize how many people (and the associated demographics) a particular email, post, or bit of digital content reaches.
HT: So is this software for marketers, sales people, or both?
Raz: Definitely both — this is the whole idea. Sales and marketing actions are actually highly interdependent. So an organization puts itself in a really tricky situation when it separates sales and marketing too much. One hand never knows what the other is doing. Sales and marketing teams shouldn’t be competing for a company’s resources; they are on the same team!
The idea with LeaDNA is basically that sales people and marketers all need the same basic lead information. And they both need the ability to track lead behavior. So why not design a system for both types of users? And not only that — a system that enables both salespeople and marketers learn from one another’s strategies.
The nature of selling is completely different today. Nobody wants a pushy sales person calling on the phone. Things are more client-centered now, and also more focused on quality content. This means that salespeople have to be more aware than ever before of what the marketers are doing. This way there is a relevant message across all points in the sales cycle — this is how you achieve truly robust omni-channel marketing, while also getting solid ROI on your sales efforts.