There is a lot of talk about marketing automation. It is not for every business, 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 sales goals.
Now, how does it apply to you? As a marketer you are doing some serious multi-tasking like 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…
Sales Cycle, aka Customer Journey
Your leads are all at different stages of the Sales Cycle, 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.
- Generate a list of leads in any stage of the sales cycle 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.
Don’t forget to go beyond Acquisition and invest in Retention and build brand loyalty. 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.
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?
Marketing automation systems 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
Design a Game Plan!
Before you grab a cup of coffee 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. By implementing a marketing automation solution, you can streamline internal processes, increase efficiency and focus on creating content rather than distributing it. Match your content with the audience you are trying to attract depending where they are on their customer journey.
There are many marketing automation platforms on the market. Do some research to determine which one is best for your situation….