The Strategy for Effective Marketing Automation
In order for automation to work, all the data it provides must be refined into insights that help to reinforce your marketing strategy, improve the lifetime value of your customers, and optimize the effectiveness of your content.
Marketing automation has become more than a buzz word and a popular way to describe the modern marketer’s go-to tool box. Marketing Automation provides users a cloud-based ecosystem in which to manage multi-touchpoint digital campaigns, gather lead data, and develop buyer personas for each segment of their targeted audience. With this deep level of intelligence and one-stop capabilities, marketing professionals are able to serve the right content, at the right time, to the right audience and nurture leads more efficiently into the sales cycle.
The fact that marketing automation systems can integrate with CRM systems like Saleforce also allows marketers to provide their sales team greater insights into the interactions during the lead nurturing process, helping them to close deals more effectively.
Evaluating Marketing Automation as a Potential Fit for Your Business
What is the biggest challenge for businesses new to marketing automation?
Technology by itself is only an enabler. Although the data insights, tools and reporting found under one log-in is efficient, companies new to marketing automation will still require strategic partners who understand the full range of a platform’s capabilities. These partners will also work with you to establish common definitions of leads and stages in the sales funnel so that the marketing and sales systems can be effectively integrated.
How does marketing automation help better demonstrate ROI?
As the platform where all marketing data and campaigns are created and executed, marketing automation allows marketers to see what is working and what is not working in terms of response. Once a marketing automation system is connected to the CRM system, marketers are then able to see how marketing is influencing pipeline.
With a good model and alignment with sales, marketers can get to the point where they can predict where certain investments in programs at certain stages of the funnel can create pipeline.
How can marketers overcome budget approval concerns about investing in a potentially costly marketing automation platform?
It really depends on how a company is currently doing things. Marketing automation allows both sales and marketing departments to increase efficiency. If you use marketing automation in conjunction with a lead scoring system, the overall volume of leads handed over to sales may go down but the lead scoring allows marketers to provide better leads to sales. Delivering leads that are closer to an ‘ideal’ buyer saves a lot of time for the sales team as they are not following up on weak leads. This accelerates the velocity of deals through the pipeline and shortens the sales cycle – which directly contributes to the bottom line.
How steep is the learning curve with marketing automation?
Most marketers can benefit from utilizing a marketing automation platform and will adopt the necessary skills fairly quickly. Once a system is in place, users can continuously improve and extend how they are using marketing automation; adding sophistication as they master the basics.
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