THE SCALES HAVE SHIFTED.
While marketing automation and CRM have different capabilities, the two systems are complementary. When integrated, they form a powerful sales and marketing toolset that’s rich in features and functions. Strategically focused CMOs and businesses should invest in both CRM and marketing automation.
Technology, digital channels, and non-stop connectivity continue to empower today’s buyers with at-the-ready information and increased choice, fueling unprecedented global competition.
As a result, marketers must shoulder more responsibility for contributing – measurably – to sales and revenue goals, an expanded role that’s less “persuasion” and more “buyer education.”
Success hinges on finding the right mix of inbound and outbound strategies, and the right integrated data that connects the dots. It’s a proven method for managing and optimizing the entire customer experience, measuring what matters, increasing revenue, and tying that revenue to your marketing team’s efforts.
Why Invest in Marketing Automation?
Every organization experiencing success with marketing automation has a different answer to this question. Here are the three that surface most often:
Marketing automation positively impacts both the top and bottom lines, with many results seen quickly after implementation:
Top line. Improving the experience and engagement of prospects and customers drives more demand for products and services, generates more high quality leads, and helps close more first-time and repeat sales.
Bottom line. Improving process and operational efficiencies decreases costs (e.g., resources, capital equipment, outsourcing) while increasing profitability.
2. ACHIEVE ORGANIZATIONAL GOALS
Marketing automation helps businesses realize core strategic goals, including:
Brand relevance. Marketers can more easily, quickly, and effectively deliver the right message to the right person at the right time via the right channel. This dramatically increases your brand’s relevance in customers’ eyes.
Increased efficiency. Launch campaigns in hours or days, with little or no IT support needed and no special coding skills. Automating common tasks allows you to build relationships – at scale – with fewer resources while increasing personalization. Sales can use lead intelligence to shorten the sales cycle.
Data intelligence. Visibility into the performance of campaigns, personas, and buying stages allows organizations to optimize marketing efforts, improve results, increase sales quotas, and measure ROI.
3. IMPROVE INTERNAL COOPERATION
Marketing automation systems provide the infrastructure for sales and marketing to work together.
Sales and marketing cooperation. Many aspects of marketing programs must be calibrated to the sales team’s needs. When the teams align, their mutual decisions are implemented via the marketing automation system. This alignment results in nurturing, scoring, and handoff processes tuned to sales requirements, leading to intradepartmental trust and more effective follow-up.
Sales intelligence. The real-time intelligence about a lead’s fitness, concerns, and behaviors lets the sales rep begin a warm, targeted conversation and build a relationship more quickly. It also reduces the need for cold calls.
What’s the Value of Marketing Automation?
Marketing automation creates a digital infrastructure that allows marketing and sales to learn about, understand, and interact with buyers throughout the entire lifecycle – from attraction to conversion to retention – in a well-timed, personalized way. Consider these facts:
80% of marketing automation adopters saw their number of leads increase, and 77% saw the number of conversions increase. (VentureBeat Insight, “Marketing Automation, How to Make the Right Buying Decision,” 2015)
Among organizations that use both marketing automation and CRM as part of an integrated technology stack, 74% reported aligned sales and marketing teams. (DemandGen Benchmark Study, 2015)
Marketers say that the biggest benefits of automation are saving time (74%), increased customer engagement (68%), more timely communications (58%), and increased opportunities, including up-selling (58%). (Adestra, “Marketer vs Machine,” 2015)
63% of survey respondents indicate that the ability to set measurable objectives for each of their campaigns is the biggest value driver of marketing automation. (Gleanster, 2013)
Two-thirds of companies (65%) say marketing automation is “very important” to the overall success of their marketing program. Another 33% consider it “somewhat important”
and only 2% claim it is “not important” to marketing success. (Ascend2, 2015)
B2B marketers who have implemented marketing automation contribute 10%
more of the sales pipeline via marketing programs than do marketers who have not implemented marketing automation (44% versus 34%). (Forrester Research, Jan 2014)
It’s a compelling value proposition.
Marketing Automation in Action
With marketing automation, the launch of your campaign elements can be pre-scheduled and precisely calibrated. For example:
Display ads are in place on Day 1.
Social media ads on Day 2.
Emails launch on Day 3, targeted to specific database segments.
When prospects begin to respond by visiting the landing page, the automation system does the work by assessing their actions and then channeling prospects into the campaign track (including messages, cadence, and scoring) that best corresponds with their interests.
If a prospect fills out a form and downloads the eBook or video, the system will send a triggered thank-you note targeted to whatever action was taken, and personalized to whatever degree possible (e.g., first name).
Marketing automation allows you to give prospective buyers what they want, when they want it, and how they want it so you can gain, retain, and increase your competitive advantage.
The business value of marketing automation varies according to how an organization applies the technology.
For the small marketing team, it might be time savings.
For the marketer with lead generation quotas, it might be the ability to
customize and coordinate cross-channel marketing campaigns.
For the marketer focused on sales enablement, it could be the ability to use automated programs such as lead nurturing and lead scoring.
For the sales team, it might be more and better-qualified leads, nuanced intelligence about a lead’s needs, a shorter sales cycle, or a real-time list of hot prospects.
Much of buying and selling – and most of the buyer’s journey – is conducted online. Marketing automation gives organizations the infrastructure and tools to take full advantage of cross-channel digital marketing, and do it at scale to match changes in business growth, budgets, resources, and skillsets.
Taken as a whole, marketing automation offers impressive upside that’s hard to match: The simplicity of a single platform, extensive cross-funnel capabilities, native and non-native integrations with many business-critical tools, low/no need for IT resources or technical skills, quick implementation, and cloud-based economics.
The benefits are numerous, including the ability to understand your prospects and customers, have well-timed and personal interactions with them, and empirically tie marketing efforts to revenue. If your organization hasn’t yet embraced marketing automation, I hope this Blog post provides a compelling argument to get the conversation started.
What Do Businesses Use Marketing Automation For?
Virtually everyone who uses marketing automation begins by employing it for email marketing, then scales it in different directions, depending on need. Here are 20 possibilities:
Create and manage email marketing campaigns with less time and effort.
Eliminate cold calling through lead intelligence that lets sales prioritize who to call and what to discuss.
Segment the database to support targeted, personalized campaigns.
Nurture leads with relevant content that’s timed to help them progress through the sales funnel.
See and understand lead behavior as prospective buyers move along or drop out of the sales funnel.
Score leads to indicate sales-readiness.
Synchronize leads to the CRM system as they qualify.
Help sales engage more effectively with buyers by using intelligence gathered at multiple touch points.
Lower costs by reducing and/or integrating disparate point tools.
Optimize resources to improve operational and time efficiencies.
Handle increased workloads without additional staff or specialized technical skills.
Improve sales response times through information sharing between marketing and sales.
Respond 24/7 with no downtime, no overtime, and no need for training or retraining.
Create set-it-and-forget-it drip and nurturing campaigns.
Publish to multiple social accounts with one action.
Eliminate manual data entry for webinar and event registrations.
Manage all communications around webinars and events, from initial promotions to final follow-up.
Get a comprehensive understanding of each lead and customer by integrating marketing automation and CRM systems.
Build complex campaigns that coordinate multiple channels and messages automatically.
Demonstrate marketing’s contribution to deal quantity, deal size, and overall revenue.
Start with AIRDOCS Test/Pilot
The ultimate promise of digital transformation (nimble, measurable, omni-relevant communications) is still a long way off for many organizations. The biggest obstacle is usually legacy computing platforms and customer communications management (CCM) systems that are outdated, inflexible and horribly expensive to replace. This keeps organizations stuck in a ‘how it’s always done’ mode that can take years and many millions of dollars to fix, with no guarantee of success.
TestPilot is SaaS that helps organizations bring the benefits of digital transformation and marketing automation to bear on their customer communications, without the need for technology restructuring or heavy investment.
An accomplished CEO, I combine technical depth with business savvy and creative flair and an ability to think analytically. Currently CEO of AIRDOCS Global, a one-stop Cloud solution for all digital and print forms of intelligent, personalized communications. If you want to treat every single customer with the personal care they deserve then we should talk.
We just sent you an email. Please click the link in the email to confirm your subscription!
OKSubscriptions powered by Strikingly