Speeding the Marketing Automation Learning Curve

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The recently published “State of Marketing Automation 2014” report based on a survey by Regalix Research sheds light on the growing importance of marketing automation for B2B marketers. Current marketing trends suggest that these tools add significant ROI and will continue to grow in importance. Consider some of the key facts uncovered in the recent study:

  • 88% of marketers are either currently using or considering implementing marketing automation tools in the coming year.
  • 69% of marketers who have not yet implemented marketing automation tools, plan to do so in the year 2014.

Among those already using marketing automation tools, many struggle with taking full advantage of the myriad of features offered by these systems. The features considered most critical to users today (in order of importance) include:

  • Email Marketing
  • Lead Nurturing
  • Campaign Management
  • CRM Integration
  • Lead Scoring
  • List Segmentation

If your organization has not yet adopted marketing automation or are struggling to make the transition from a “Batch and Blast” email marketing strategy, Webolutions can offer some advice.

Lead Nurturing Tips
Lead nurturing is the dominant source of ROI from marketing automation. When a prospect first enters your database via a content download, demo request, event registration or some other means, they are often at a very early stage in the buying cycle or perhaps not yet even ready to consider a purchase. Staying in front of these prospects with additional content of relevance positions your company to be on the short list of considered vendors when the time is right. The key to successful lead nurturing is to tag your leads based on their most likely area of focus and to have the right sequence of content that will position your company as an excellent information source and trusted partner.

Campaign Management
Successful lead nurturing and campaign automation go hand-in-hand. In today’s fast-paced marketing world, it’s not realistic to think that effective one-on-one marketing can be done without automated campaigns. Webolutions recently partnered with a client to help them increase conversion of leads from their 30-Day free software trial. As with most free trials, they found that many of the people who registered, never even downloaded the software and others that downloaded, didn’t find the time to actually use it. We created a multi-touch automated email campaign to boost download rates and provide education on the primary applications in order to encourage trial. These changes boosted trial conversion from 9% to 14% in the first three months. Successful campaign development requires a solid understanding of buyer personas in order to create content that will be useful and informative while helping work the lead through the sales funnel.

CRM Integration
Marketing and Sales operate in a continuum and, as such, the primary goal of marketing automation is to provide sales leads. Regardless of a company’s sophistication level in lead scoring, lead profiling and delivery into the sales CRM system is a major driver of efficiency. Webolutions recently helped a client streamline lead capture and CRM integration in the launch of their new website. Previously, this company was collecting leads via three different sources and delivering to the inside sales team via email notifications. That team then had to determine if the lead was new or existing and manually enter it into their CRM system. We were able to consolidate all leads into the forms within their new website and integrate these with the CRM which can determine if a lead is new and automatically enter the profile information into the sales system for follow up.

How to Use this Information
Marketing automation is a journey often taking 1-3 years to perfect. The sooner you start your journey, the sooner you will reach your desired destination. If you are ready to start, but not sure which way to turn or have just reached a bump in the road, Webolutions can help. Contact us today at 303-300-2640 to discuss your digital marketing and marketing automation needs, or request a consultation online.

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