What I tell my parents I do for a living..

Have you ever been asked the question, “How do you explain what you do for a living to your parents?”

“Well, I code webpages and write e-mails and train administrators on the latest tech trends and do graphic design and…what?  Oh, yeah Uncle Matt’s son does something similar…”  Do they actually know the end game of why you’re doing what you do?

It’s the new elevator pitch.  As new generations take over, it’s a valid question.  As someone in my early 30’s, I need new technology explained to me so I can’t imagine what it will be like in another 30 years.  People who can quickly and simply explain what they do and get a genuine excited response (You know…not the “Oh yeah, sure” head nod before changing the topic) will do well.

I read an article recently about former President Barack Obama talking about the joys of failing at times in front of the entire world and the freedom that it creates as far as moving an agenda forward (This is not a political post, I just related to the humility).

So Here goes… Here is what I do.

Web 2.0 is a term given to the second generation of the World Wide Web that is focused on the ability for people to collaborate and share information online.  It’s made up of blogs, wiki’s, social media, personalized web sites, etc, etc.  There are platforms that consolidate all of this activity and more.  For example, people no longer need social media, search engine marketing, e-mail marketing, etc. explained to them, but did you know that Marketing Automation is really just combining all of these elements to gauge people’s interests in your topics and make the information they look at even more relevant?

The next generation, where I want to play, is focused on combining all of these elements to learn about people, present them relevant offers and track whether they engage with you.  In a business sense, this engagement should be in the form of leads generated, qualified and closed in the form of sales revenue.  To get started, you need a cohesive Digital Marketing Strategy…and that’s what I do best for organizations.

…and for the record, this is not a diss on our parents.  For anyone that considers me a smart individual, my parents are on a level that I’m still aspiring to.  Maybe 😉

I’d welcome some comments (we’ll see if another certain Pellizzi pipes up) ..


[Video Series] Part 3 of 3: Scoring and CRM Integration

In the last Video Series Post, we charted out the Digital Landscape and defined Marketing Automation for your organization. Now it’s time to tie everything together with a scoring model and CRM Integration.


Hi – my name is James Pellizzi and I help companies set up Marketing Automation. Last time we talked we defined Marketing Automation and charted out The Digital Landscape. Now, we will introduce a scoring model and CRM component that will tie everything together.

Imagine a salesperson pipeline. Without Marketing Automation, they do not know who is hot, cold or somewhere in the middle. They are hoping whoever they call or set a meeting with will be interested in their product or service. Some of those will result in sales.

There is a way that we can identify who we are interested in and of that group, who is interested in us. This is grading and scoring. For a basic example, a sales person would grade the following:

A: Buyers – I’m in sales. I want to talk to people who buy.
B: Managers – perhaps they manage the buyers.
C: Vice Presidents – may be more removed.
D: Presidents – will likely be removed.

This is who we are interested in. From this group, we can start to score them, such as:

1: Sales Qualified Lead – Intent to buy
2: Marketing Qualified Lead – not quite ready but interested
3: Inquiry – hand raisers
4: Nothing – don’t bother

Marketing Automation can combine these two elements and now sales know who to focus on first. This will correlate to higher sales.

The final piece to this is CRM integration. In Marketing Automation, everything is associated with a campaign. That campaign generates a lead that is sent over to CRM. Once in CRM, a sales person will either convert that lead to an opportunity or kill it. When converted, they need to associate a dollar amount with that opportunity. When that opportunity is won, it’s tied back to the campaign in Marketing Automation. Boom – now you have ROI.

Now you know how to generate a lead, qualify a lead and send it off to sales for closing.


[Video Series] Part 2 of 3: The Digital Landscape

In the last Video Series Post, we defined what Marketing Automation was. Now that we know, we can chart out the Digital Landscape and determine how it will work for your organization.



Hi my name is james pellizzi. Last time we talked we defined what marketing automation is.  Now that we know we are going to chart out what that looks like on the digital landscape.

When I need information on something, the first thing I do is go to google or bing and I search for it.  Let’s say we’re looking for widgets.  I will type in widget in the search engine and google will pull up the most relevant search for that page.  When my company name, Acme, shows up first…it will point to a very basic landing page with a simple photo, headline and value proposition.  It will also have a form to fill out for more information.  This will generate an inquiry.  This is important because 10-20 years ago we’d send this right to sales.  This made them unhappy because this person wasn’t necessary ready to buy and they wanted it further qualified.

Now is where the other components of marketing automation come into play.  We can send them e-mails.  We can track their social media activities like video’s and remarketing.  Finally, we can personalize their websites with welcome back banners or specific offers.  These are all Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) activities that we can track.

At some point, the lead will become a Sales Qualified Lead which will make sales happy.  They can follow up with this person who they know filled out a form, opened five e-mails, watched a social media three times and responded to an offer.

The real opportunity is that marketing departments can run campaigns like this 25 plus times to generate leads for sales.  This is how Marketing becomes more strategic, instead of tactical.


[Video Series] Part 1 of 3: Defining Marketing Automation

Companies are in a race to establish Marketing Automation for their organization. Before you can do that, you must first understand what it is.



Hi my name is James Pellizzi and I help companies set up Marketing Automation.

Before companies can go about doing that, they first need to understand what that phrase means.  It consists of different components, different modes of operation and it’s important to remember it’s not Marketing Automation.  It’s Marketing AND Automation.

The components are e-mail marketing, personalized webpages, social media & search engine marketing, scoring models and CRM integration.  These are nothing new and you likely know what they consist of.  The first points generate and qualify a lead while the latter ones deliver it to sales.

The modes of operation include a contact database, a spot where Marketers can go to manage their contact database.  So if a CMO or CEO asks you to pull up everyone in a state or industry, you should be able to do so within minutes.  Once you know who your contacts are, the second people is an engagement engine to have relevant conversations.  The third is Smarter Marketing Departments.  Marketing Automation is not replacing Marketing Departments, it is taking them to the next level.  This is important because it will make your department less tactical and more strategic and directly responsible for your company’s revenue.

For the Marketing aspects, think of the show Mad Men.  People who understand the brand of the company and can tell a story that resonates with their audiences.  For the Automation aspects, think of the show Silicon Valley.  People who are behind the scenes setting up the actual paths, html and code.  Most company’s have one or the other and it is imperative that you have both.

Now that you understand the definition of Marketing Automation, you’re ready to chart out the digital landscape.


What I’m Thinking after my First Q1 as a Small Business Owner

It’s Q2 of 2017 and it’s the first time I’m looking back on the previous quarter and wondering, “Am I moving forward?  Does my business have a pulse?”

Don’t worry too much about me, as the answer to both of those questions is yes.  In the last three months, I’ve  been fortunate enough to engage with four clients, have had countless cups of coffee/lunches with people and kept momentum on all my marketing efforts (no easy feat).

Lately, though, I’ve been wondering why I am in business.  After a few long drives and too many jogs to count, I think I’ve figured it out and I wanted to share.

One of the most appealing things about being my own boss is just that.  I can do what I want.  I can also not do what I want.  After three plus years of 60+ hour work weeks in the consulting and agency world, I found myself tired and questioning the path I was on.  What were my goals? What was my drive for getting out of bed each day?  What started as a mix between wanting some time off and wondering if I had what it took to be in business for myself, quickly turned into a new full time challenge… and a theme kept emerging.  I no longer want to do anything for the sake of just making a lot of money.  I think it’s poison for the soul.  It’s not that I don’t want to make money.  To do the things I’ve listed below, I’ll need a healthy revenue stream…and I want a fair price for my services.  If I am going to work harder and longer than my peers, I want to make more of it than them.  I just don’t want that to be the reason for my existence or let greed take me over.

If you’ve ever taken a Myer’s – Briggs personality assessment, it assigns you four letters that describe you.  While I’m not as extroverted as some people think, there is no denying that I am a strong N (Intuition),  F (Feeler) and J (Judger).  In my mind, Intuition means I am abstract.  I find the thought of the unknown or what’s possible as very appealing and I plunge in head first with little regard to whether or not someone else thinks something can or can’t be done.  Being a feeler means I make decisions based on how I think it will make other people feel… and usually I want to make them happy.  As for Judging, it’s not judging other people, it’s how you go about your business.  Do you keep your options open?  Or do you consistently make decisions and get things done?  For me, it’s always been a very methodical version of the latter.

The reason I write about that is because people poke fun at the meaning of life and trying to figure that out before it’s all too late.  I think you need to understand yourself before you can answer that question.

For me, it’s not about getting rich on paper.  It’s simply doing something great.

…something that moves the needle for organizations and other people in a forward fashion.  I’ve come across too many people or professionals who just want to make as much money as possible or be viewed a certain way by people or their community.  There’s an episode of Mad Men where Don Draper is pondering a boxing match.  One of the boxers constantly brags about how he is the greatest…and Don Draper says to himself, “Not if you have to say it.”  I always liked that quote.  Other people have to assign you labels if they are to really mean anything.  It’s not how you feel inside, but what you do that defines you.

On the flip side, though, I talk often about modes of operation and how they shouldn’t be a secret.  I don’t see anything wrong with stating what your intentions are and what you are striving for.  I’ve found that people will actually get excited about that and want to share in your journey.  If you say, “I want to the greatest” instead of “I am the greatest” it makes all the difference.

For me, I want the Midwest to become a hub of information for Digital Marketing…and I want it to rival San Francisco and New York.  I want my clients to know that I am doing business from Milwaukee, WI. I want their engagements with me to be rewarding, informative and increase their bottom line.  I want to grow slowly, but surely and find like minded individuals.  I want to rent an office in downtown Milwaukee with a view of Lake Michigan.  When I’m in a position to, I want to donate some of my earnings to a great cause in Southeastern Wisconsin.  I want to continue to share my experience as a first year small business owner.  I want to be excited about other small business owners and what they are doing.  I want to succeed by helping my clients succeed.

Stay tuned for a similar update in Q3, where hopefully.. I write about these wants being a reality 🙂