digital revenue engineWith the commercial world rapidly evolving online, it’s crucial to get the edge on converting customers. The Digital Revenue Engine (DRE) model is the formula to do exactly that – so here’s a rough guide to what you need to know.

What the DRE does
Simply put, it combines software tools and marketing techniques to turn data into actual sales.

It’s a process that gets data to the decision makers. They can then identify the right customers and apply specialist techniques to tempt them to purchase. But what does it mean in practice? What kind of information does it give you?

The 7 insights that DRE can give you:
1. How to build an emotional connection with people using digital tools.
2. How do you use content to drive consumer behaviour?
3. Inbound marketing: how to get customers to find your brand online.
4. Outbound marketing: how to create consumer need for your brand.
5. Customer intelligence and data: how to identify/ build customer relationships.
6. How to measure your website traffic, and gauge how much it’s worth.
7. How to measure and generate the maximum revenue from that website traffic.

Now for the software element of DRE
How do they all fit into place to generate the best revenue returns and meet business needs?

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system
This is the beating heart of the DRE. It refers to the combination of strategies and technologies used by companies to analyse customer interactions and data. The aim here is to improve customer service and drive sales growth.

This is powered by 4 key parts:
Sales team: The people who puts leads in and gets leads out that have been nurtured.
Customer service: Developing customer relationships.
Corporate communications: Keeping your customers in the know about your brand.
Marketing: Promoting your products and services.

Top 3 CRM vendors:
Salesforce – Built around a CRM platform, this is most ideal for medium to large businesses.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM – An ideal CRM platform integrated with other MS products.
SugarCRM – Largest open source CRM platform.

The internet
The CRM is linked to the Internet, allowing information to flow and be accessed between the two components so that customer interaction and data can be analysed.

This includes social media platforms, ecommerce, websites and mobile applications.

Inbound marketing
This is the essential purpose of fulfilling the needs of your customers via your brand when they search for it through use of websites, mobile apps, Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and rating sites as adopted in the DRE. Strategies for inbound marketing within the model also include email, blogs, live chat, eCommerce and YouTube.

Outbound marketing
Here, the aim is to create demand and consumer need for your brand in order to generate interest and prompt a customer’s search for your brand. As shown in the model this can be done via two ways.

The first is by use of outbound marketing strategies that include videos, blog posts and infographics as examples. The other method is by social media platforms to generate interest.

This component can provide trends and analytics on your consumer spending habits, such as when, how and why consumers buy your products or services. It can also highlight the properties about your brand or website that attract consumers.

Content Management System (CMS)
A good CMS is vital, especially since it supports the creation and development of digital content such as videos, articles, blogs or infographics, the source of what can engage the customer to your product(s) or service(s).

Top 3 CMS’:
WordPress: The largest content management platform used globally.
Drupal: The 2nd largest content management platform integrated with Microsoft products.
Sitecore: Largest open-source CMS platform.

Customer portal
This is an online community bringing together all your customers. Here they can communicate with each other and access their own information, such as product and order information. Having a customer portal can enhance relationships between you and your customers.

Social listening
This important process monitors all digital conversation such as what customers or people are saying about your brand across the Internet.

Top 3 popular social listening vendors:
Socialmention: Free online service used widely by businesses.
Datasift: Social data-led approach used to assess and analyse social response.
Sysomos: Credible social listening platform with reporting capabilities.

Automated marketing
This process is what reaches out and nurtures customer relationships by marketing effectively through multiple online channels and doing automated repetitive tasks to meet their needs using an automated system.

The top 3 automated marketing vendors:
Eloqua: Owned by Oracle; has the largest volume of clients.
HubSpot: Largest known provider of client licences.
Marketo: Best-known automated marketing system platform.

Social campaigns
This software drives your outreach to potential new customers. You can spread the word of your brand, especially the qualities of your products and services, and create an enticement to buy.

Top 3 social campaign vendors:

SproutSocial: Visual software used to build interactive engage ads and apps across web and mobile.
Spredfast: Social media management system; manage, monitor and measure campaigns across various channels.
Sprinklr: Social media platform for consumer and B2B marketers and agencies.

This is an absolutely crucial element of the DRE. This measures all the above components to gauge a full understanding of the model’s actual success, particularly whether there’s been sales growth for your online business. Take the data and analyse it to learn exact consumer insights and use it to make improvements.

We’d make a joke about not forgetting about DRE, but we’ll leave that to you. But what we will say is that it’s an essential approach to growing your business in the digital age.