Marketing Automation for the Rest of Us
The evolution of marketing
“This evolution has accelerated in the past few years and may be why many companies are frustrated by their recent marketing efforts.”
Buyer’s expectations have changed. The ways buyers acquire information and make buying decisions have changed. Today, marketers must personalize, segment and target individual buyers with the right information at the right time.
Companies must engage buyers in two-way communication in a variety of channels: blogs, social media, email, and web copy to name a few.
Marketing campaigns may be manual at first, but require technology to scale the process beyond a few prospects to tens of thousands.
Analysis, tracking and measuring ROI are no longer optional. Marketing automation as a disciplined practice demands it while providing a methodology for measuring almost all digital interactions.
Customer relationship manager (CRM) software tracks interaction at the personal level. Being able to understand how individual interact with of website and promotional data offers one form of insight. Being able to understand how individuals and large groups of people operate makes us better marketers.
Marketing automation is the right tool to deliver modern marketing.
“Market segmentation offers on of the highest paybacks for the investment”
Segmenting buyers goes a long way to understand them enough to be able to personalize the marketing message. If you were selling high-end cameras, it might be very useful to consider professionals and dedicated hobbyists (prosumers) as different market segments.
Buyer personas, or profiles are a great place to start the process of segmentation. The richer the personas, the better we can properly segment, target and personalize our marketing message. Great personas go so far as to name, the person, describe their demographics, education and even the car they drive.
A modern marketing program would create an understanding of the marketing personas, classify prospects by measuring their interaction with different forms of content and then personalize their conversions with the company. This is proven to deliver better results than generic campaigns.
Social media interests and activity can be determined using a CRM, which is often built in to marketing automation software. This can help marketer with segmenting and better understanding their buyers.
Marketing automation software helps build segments and tailor communications.
“Content is king – truer today than ever before”
Delivering content to the right prospect, at the right time is a key component of marketing automation. The software uses rules, that we define, to determine when information is delivered based on interest, a particular request and how they are interacting with other pieces of information available on the website.
Developing content in sufficient quantity and quality to meet the demands of our prospects is important in building the marketing automation process. There is a real art to developing eBooks, eGuides and whitepapers that educate and inform prospects. By the way, if you are reading this, you are hopefully a prospect of P5 Marketing… thanks for reading this!
Educating and informing prospects is important in modern marketing, as buyers are demanding this type of information for a variety of reasons. One important effect of this education is the development of trust as marketers attempt to explain concepts, features and benefits in an increasingly complex world.
Great content is critical to having the right content and the right time
“Good content deserves promotion – an audience of interested readers”
Content can and should be promoted on a wide variety of channels:
- Blog – the only distribution medium you “own”
- Facebook – promoted content
- LinkedIn content publication
- LinkedIn ads
- Pinterest – promoted pins
- Display ads
- Existing leads and customers
It is very interesting is that email remains the marketer’s central communication tool. Almost all of the promotional channels should be focused on building your own list of leads.
Your own list of leads is invaluable. So much so, that you may wish to consider the use of purchased lists to “mine” your own leads.
Content promotion builds an audience for your great content
“Lead capture is the first step in inviting a lead to becoming a prospect”
Historically, lead capture meant a newsletter registration form on the homepage and the blog. Marketing automation uses lead capture to segment and ultimately target leads.
If you had a candy making website that featured different pages for chocolate candy, and caramel candy. If you had a lead capture as part of a download offer of a guide to chocolate candy on one page and a different download on caramels, you could determine a lead’s candy preference.
You can then send a special offer on chocolates to leads who downloaded that guide, and the same with those who downloaded the caramel guide.
Personalizing the buyer’s experience improves sales
“Lead management represents a significant opportunity for most businesses”
Sadly, most businesses do not do a great job on managing leads and converting them to customers. Marketing automation can help establish a discipline of nurturing leads. There is something powerful about the segmentation process described above when coupled with the content developed using marketing personas.
Personas create unique content for different buyer segments, lead capture and lead management identify which buyers belong to which segments. This understand makes it easier to have “conversations” with these segments as the progress on the path to becoming customers.
Scoring leads is a powerful method of delivering the right content at the right time. Lead scoring rules are setup as part of the marketing automation process
Lead scoring quantifies a lead’s engagement with your website and your content. Once you are measuring this engagement, you can write business rules that enhance engagement. As an example, a lead who has visited the website three times in a week could be emailed as special offer. Or, trigger a routing response.
Routing calls can be automated based on the rules associated with lead scoring. A sales person could be flagged when a lead has abandoned a shopping cart, or downloaded two or more whitepapers or eBooks.
Lead management using marketing automation creates customers
“Understanding your leads and customers begins here”
The greatest benefits of marketing automation come from the ability to track an individual’s website visits, downloads and email interactions, all in one customer record.
While is extremely powerful to see the effects of content promotion and web design on personal engagement with your website. It is arguably more powerful than a description can do justice.
It is even more powerful when you group individuals into a campaign and measure the effects on a larger scale. We can determine the types of content that create the best engagement; we can allocate costs to each campaign and determine the ROI of each one.
Marketing automation integrated within a e-commerce store provides ROI possibility, right down the cost per transaction or sale.
Marketing automation makes you much smarter about your business. And that’s a good thing.
Marketing automation stats and facts
There are nearly 11 times more B2B organizations using marketing automation now than in 2011. –SiriusDecisions “B-to-B Marketing Automation Study” (2014)
79% of top-performing companies have been using marketing automation for more than 2 years. –Gleanster “Q3 2013 Marketing Automation Benchmark” (2013)
8% of B2C and 21% of B2B marketers find Marketing Automation one of their Top Digital Priorities. –Adobe “Quarterly Digital Intelligence Briefing” (2014)
Nearly 70% of businesses are using a marketing automation platform (MAP) or currently implementing one. – Aberdeen Group “State of Marketing Automation 2014: Processes that Produce” (2014)
Companies that have adopted marketing automation perform well compared to companies that haven’t:
- 45% regularly repurpose content for efficiency, compared with 28% of companies without marketing automation
- 54% capture intelligence for the sales team, compared to 25% without marketing automation
- 49% customize content to the Buyer Journey stages, compared to 21% without marketing automation
- 59% can use intelligent targeting to trigger content, compared to 17% without marketing automation
– The Lenskold Group, “2013 Lead-Generation Marketing Effectiveness Study” (2013)
More of theses stats including barriers to entry may be found here: http://www.emailmonday.com/marketing-automation-statistics-overview