Today's content comes courtesy of Eloqua.
ReadyTalk and Eloqua are co-hosting a breakfast event with Bulldog Solutions, DemandGen Report and Level 3 this Wed., December 7, at the Brown Palace in Denver from 8-11 am. Join us and take advantage of best practices from experts who have made real marketing transformations.
Six reasons you may need marketing automation…
1) You can’t target the right prospects
- Symptom: You pour your time and creativity into what you do – but when it comes time to select an audience for a promotion, you tend to go big. It’s not only ego that drives mass blasting – you also lack a better way to target. Chances are, you’re suffering from a “one-size-fits-all” approach to marketing. When you send the same message to everyone, or target your campaigns based only on customer demographics- your messages fall on deaf ears.
- Remedy: Marketing automation enables you to track your prospects’ online activity and gives you a clear picture of interest and intent. Combine that insight with clean, consistent and normalized data, and you can target your campaigns according to who your prospects are AND what they do. And by ensuring the relevance of your message, you will improve conversion rates and decrease those nasty unsubscribes.
2) Your time is completely consumed by manual, repetitive and inefficient activity
- Symptom: You feel like you are running in place. Your process for creating and deploying marketing campaigns lacks scale and efficiency – forcing you to be more reactive than you’d like. Whether its building lists, managing leads, or creating emails and landing pages – the development of each new campaign is like reinventing the wheel. Spending so much time executing programs leaves you with little bandwidth to focus on strategic initiatives or new ideas.
- Remedy: With marketing automation, you can trigger communications based on actions and build a re-usable process/ workflow for events, webinars and other repetitive tasks. By automating these manual tasks, marketing can stay in touch in a consistent manner (i.e. lead nurturing). From webinars and lead nurturing campaigns to lead scoring and routing programs, automating demand generation processes frees up marketing bandwidth to focus on innovation.
3) Sales and Marketing have an antagonistic relationship
- Symptom:You’re in a vicious cycle. The sales team has no luck with the leads marketing provides – so they only follow up on a fraction of them and claim the rest are “just no good”. Conversely, marketing feels like they’re doing their part to drive qualified leads, but they’re not getting credit for their contribution to pipeline and revenue. Marketing and Sales aren’t exactly living in perfect harmony, and the situation is getting tenser by the day.
- Remedy: The problem is a lack of prioritization. When every lead gets pushed to sales regardless of quality or stage, it’s hard for Sales to know whom to call first. Marketing automation allows you to evaluate and score the leads for fit (right title, industry, etc.) and behavior (email response, website visits, downloads and campaign membership). This scoring allows you to prioritize leads for Sales so they don’t spin their wheels on leads that aren’t ready to buy. Lead scoring gets marketing and sales teams to agree on the right FIT for leads, and significance and recency of the activity (last month’s tradeshow visit versus attendance at yesterday’s webcast). With lead scoring, the best leads always rise to the top, so the sales team knows where to focus their time and energy.
4) Marketing can’t prove its value to the organization
- Symptom: Marketers laugh at this old joke: “We know half of our marketing budgets are wasted, we just don’t know which half.” But your executives don’t find it funny anymore, and the pressure is mounting. You are struggling to consistently report on simple campaign effectiveness metrics, never mind Marketing’s impact on revenue. Your sales opportunity, revenue and campaign data live in different systems. And without the ability to trace marketing’s influence on pipeline, the executive team is having a difficult time justifying your budget.
- Remedy: Closing the loop on dollars spent and dollars made – across all channels – is the only way to gain one view of the truth into the tactics and strategies that guide marketing’s contribution to the bottom line. Marketing automation allows you to do this by measuring and reporting on the performance of all programs within a single integrated platform. Automation’s reporting and analytics capabilities provide a dashboard view of campaign effectiveness, pipeline performance and marketing program ROI. And – most importantly – it helps turns Marketing into a critical, justifiable revenue-generating function in your organization.
5) Sales is starved for information
- Symptom: You generate a lot of prospect activity but don’t have a good way of sharing those insights with sales. From email opens to website visits and form submissions, your marketing team is sitting on a wealth of data your sales team could use to sell more effectively — but you have no way to make the information actionable for sales. This is likely because marketing and sales live in two different systems — and they might as well be living in two different worlds.
- Remedy: Marketing automation allows you to seamlessly feed that wealth of information that you are sitting on to your sales team – by integrating your marketing insights with the tools your sales team is already using. To be most productive and effective, Sales can now have a window into a prospects’ digital body language — those clues they leave behind when they open emails, visit your website or fill out forms. It’s likely your marketing is collecting those insights, but Marketing Automation makes that information actionable for sales.
6) You’re losing good leads to your competitors
- Symptom: You spend a large portion of your budget on programs and events with an end goal of acquiring new contacts – but not all of those contacts are ready to buy right now. And when a contact falls off the radar, the competition has an opportunity to swoop in and grab the prospect’s attention when they’re finally ready to buy. A system of identifying and flagging the reasons for rejected leads is either missing or lacking. Further, you may be missing a way to recycle them either into teleprospecting or field marketing for additional nurturing. And because of that, you not only leave money on the table, but you also build a wider gulf between marketing and sales as a result of wasted time, effort and money on both sides.
- Remedy: Marketing automation enables lead nurturing, which allows you to keep latent prospects engaged so that when they are ready to buy, your solution is front-of-mind. It empowers you to reproduce the intimacy of a one-to-one communication on a much grander scale. With automation, you can programmatically manage a dialogue with many people at one time, complete with natural pauses and behavioral signals necessary for a productive conversation. Automation also allows you to monitor a prospect’s activity – or lack thereof – and trigger the most appropriate response.
The end benefit? It allows you to keep good leads engaged that are not necessarily ready to buy now, but will be in the future. And when they are ready to buy, they’ll likely come to you first (rather than your competitors).