First, what is Marketing Automation?
Essentially Marketing Automation it is a ‘force multiplier’ allowing a marketer to get more done with fewer resources by having software automatically prepare and send the next email or touchpoint. It’s much more than a buzz word, it’s a vital part of modern marketing. MA tools also allow you to automatically interact with your landing pages, website, social media, advertising — basically any customer-facing touchpoint in your arsenal.
And the tools are smart. They have developed enough intelligence to allow them to halt or modify the planned campaign based on the behaviors of the prospects. You’re not limited to a number of pre-programmed steps in a campaign — smart tools can change behavior, stop a campaign or automatically switch, for example, an interested-seeming prospect into a more aggressive campaign. It’s not just a time-saver, it allows you to ‘do the right thing’ for each prospect immediately and in a timely manner; a service level that would be hard to meet without a massive team.
Why should I consider using it?
There are many good reasons to use automated marketing campaigns such as complex segmentation or interactions with cross-channel marketing efforts such as social media, but the two biggest drivers are scale and a long sales cycle.
Quantity, as the saying goes, has a quality all its own. But if you’re talking about mass mailings and multiple campaigns across a wide variety of segment you can easily become overwhelmed. Of course, you could have a large team to track prospects and change their campaigns and hash this out via internal reports and endless meetings. Or you can think through the logic once and have your computers and software make the correct decision every time – even thousands of times per day.
In the good ol’ days prospects either actively replied, or they didn’t. You hope they get so excited by your message that they pick up the phone and call. But hope is not a plan, and a modern campaign can notify you when someone is only slightly interested enough to read or click but not call. Then you can send them a new set of message designed to lead them to a demo or webinar or telephone consult. Those that are interested enough to open these but don’t quite make contact can be passed to your ‘warm call’ team. And these sellers now have something to say because they’ve seen what interests the prospect and this gives them an opening gambit.
2. Sales Cycle
The vast majority of your outbound prospect are colored gray. They don’t unsubscribe. And they don’t rush to the phone to call you. If they are ever to become customers it won’t be now… they need to be educated and informed – nurtured – and provided with content and education so that they eventually see the wisdom of becoming your customer. You mustn’t overwhelm them with too much info and you mustn’t let them forget you. It’s common to move customers from an ‘explainer campaign’ to either a sales or nurture campaign based on their response.
Over time, some of those nurtured prospects will become customers. The numbers are large, and you can’t possibly assign them to personalized relationship-building at this point; marketing automation comes to the rescue. It’s not a shooting gallery with paper ducks whizzing by for one shot, hit or miss. It’s a relationship where your email list learns to trust you, develops an understanding of your value proposition, and even refers you to their contacts.
Marketing Automation will deliver key benefits
We can help a small marketing team punch way above its weight class:
- Smooth use of Content. All your carefully developed content: brochures, ebooks, videos and white papers can be seamlessly delivered to the appropriate customer in a pre-planned sequence. And you won’t drop the ball on an interested customer or fail to follow up (the bain of marketing and sales!) because your system will do so automatically, record the event, and even notify you if it requires fast action.
- Dynamic, deduced personalization. It’s not enough to just say “Hello Bill” in your emails. Now you can determine what your prospects are interested by what emails they open or links they followed. Then your tool will shift them into relevant campaigns that reflect their interests. How about: “for someone like you who’s interested in modern Big Data tools you may want to..” etc.
- Tie-ins to other tools. We can incorporate web forms, all your landing pages, existing tags you’ve assigned the prospect, or social media behaviors into the logic of your automated campaigns. It’s relatively simple to create literally hundreds of variations of campaigns by combining your different emails and content and keywords in different patterns. A level of segmentation that is totally impractical when you first look at your prospect list. The beauty is, they themselves tell you what they’re interested in and your marketing automatically adapts.
- Step-by-step tutorials. We can help you with an automated campaign that is perfect for delivering a pre-set course. This might be education on your topic, in support of your software trial, or anything else that is episodic. We know that nobody will read a 30 page email. But if they start engaging with your 3-page emails they may make it all the way through; gaining trust and confidence with each step.
- Oh yeah… Sales! Our goal is not just to have smooth-running in the background. We’ll have them notify you when a prospect exhibits buying behavior. This can be a high lead score, visiting the pricing page, repeat visits, or some other criteria. But they haven’t called you yet. So you call them, before they take all the education and interest you’ve provided a visit a competitor’s site!
If Marketing Automation is for, then we can help
This quick summary of a complex and rapidly-evolving topic is meant to whet your appetite about both the opportunity and our ability to partner with you.
- Are you ready? Here’s your checklist:
- Do I need help in contacting all the marketing prospects we have?
- Are we letting a lot of ‘maybe’ prospects slip through our CRM unnoticed?
- Do I have a long sales cycle?
- Is my product new or complex enough to warrant nurturing?
- Does my company offer a software trial?
- Would I like to do more with less?
If you answer ‘yes’ to any of these, then you are ready for us to help you with Marketing Automation.