Analytics & Digital Marketing Tips

Marketing Automation: Help or Hype?

Marketing Automation: Help or Hype?

October 8, 2015           Digital Marketing

Everyone is talking about marketing automation, but will it really make your life easier?

First, in case you aren’t familiar with marketing automation — it allows companies to streamline, automate and measure marketing efforts, to become more efficient and hit their revenue goals.

Now, how does it apply to you? As a marketer you are running a million miles a minute creating, managing, tracking and analyzing all of your marketing campaigns. Marketing automation helps you take action on analytical insights and alleviates your burden by easily automating the tasks that you perform on a regular basis. At the same time, it is flexible enough to accommodate your specific business needs and scale quickly as you grow.

Let’s break the down common elements and explain how each will benefit you…

Customer Journey

Customer Journey A > I > E > D > RYour leads are all at different stages of the customer journey (aka lead lifecycle), and it’s virtually impossible to keep track of those leads manually.

Marketing automation allows you to automatically move leads through each of the different stages of the customer journey based on triggers and rules that you set up in the system.

Benefits:

  • Generate a list of leads in any stage of the customer journey at the click of a button.
  • Segment leads by stage to auto-customize content and calls to action that are most appropriate for that part of the customer journey.
  • Better understand the time needed to go through each stage, and quickly identify any bottlenecks along the way.
  • Flexible configuration to tailor the triggers and rules to your unique business needs.
  • Free up time and resources to spend more time on Retention, the most overlooked stage in the customer journey.

TIP: Go beyond Acquisition and invest in Retention and build brand affinity. Remember, it is less expensive to keep a customer than to acquire a new one. Also, these days happy customers are essential to send positive social signals to maximize your organic search performance and widen the funnel in the Awareness stage.

Lead Nurturing

Some leads are ready for sales right away, but what about those leads that need a bit more time before they commit to a sale?

Marketo can automatically segment new leads and determine if they should be sent directly to sales or enrolled in a lead nurturing program. The nurture program will deliver customized content most relevant to the service or product they are most interested in and that is specific to their job function or industry.

Benefits:

  • Focus your time on creating new content, not delivering it.
  • Helps increase lead quality through education of your products or services and builds affinity and trust for your brand.

Marketo Marketing Automation Lead Nurture screen

Lead Scoring

So how do you know when a lead is ready to talk to sales?

Lead scoring is meant to answer that exact question. Marketers can set a value for both demographic and behavioral variables that accumulate over time. Once a prospect’s score reaches a certain threshold (agreed upon by both marketing and sales), that lead is automatically sent to the sales team for further qualification into the sales pipeline.

Benefits:

  • Increases sales efficiency by only sending those leads to sales that have met a minimum requirement.
  • Provides insight into which marketing initiatives and collateral are performing the best.
  • Alerts can be sent to the sales team based on specific score changes enabling faster response by the marketing & sales team.

Landing Pages and Forms

Every marketer knows the value and importance of creating a unique and relevant landing page matched with a form to capture lead information.  However, if creating those assets requires collaboration with multiple people or departments it can really hold up the entire process.  With a great marketing automation platform, the creation and management of both landing pages and forms can be as simple as dragging and dropping.

Benefits:

  • Significantly reduce the process time needed to create and publish a landing page and form.
  • Templated landing pages provide branding consistency.
  • Cloning allows you to quickly duplicate a landing page so you only have to update key content and images without have to start from scratch.
  • Progressive profiling is a form feature that allows you to seamlessly augment your database by dynamically inserting form fields for data that is missing on a particular lead.

Marketo Forms Screen Shot

Design a Game Plan

Before you grab a donut and put your feet up, understand that there is still a human element required: creativity.

Once you have all these tools and information at your fingertips, your human brain is still required to synthesize it all and design a game plan. That’s where we come in. By implementing a marketing automation solution, you can streamline internal processes, increase efficiency and focus on creating content rather than distributing it.

If you are considering an investment in Marketo, Pardot, Oracle’s Eloqua or Adobe’s Marketing Cloud, one of our marketing automation consultants can help you select the best solution and make sure you unlock its full potential.

Marketing Automation Solution options

 

  • Nice article!

    One of the biggest issues we find at our agency is that most companies want to integrate a marketing automation platform are expecting instant ROI. Most don’t have an inbound marketing plan or a marketing database to go along with it. When this happens they begin to see that they are spending more money to purchase lists that may only last a few sends and could hurt their domain reputation. Many times we propose to create content and build SEO at the same time to maximize visibility during to disrupt the buyer’s journey.

  • This article is so interesting…. Thanks.

 

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