There's been a lot of buzzing about marketing automation platforms and the solutions they offer for businesses. For some reason, all that buzz reminds me of the euphoria that typically surrounds the release of a new iPhone. Everybody knows they're cool, beautifully designed and that they offer a variety of smart and innovative solutions. But not everyone is convinced they actually need it. After all, if you use your mobile phone primarily for conducing phone calls, maybe you don't need an iPhone. But for those of us who are actively using social media and rely on GPS navigation to find their way through the city, smartphones are a must-have. Same goes for businesses and all the fuss and buzz around marketing automation solutions. Do you have a sales force? A marketing team? Do you conduct content marketing and rely primarily on online channels to find, nurture and communicate with your prospects? If yes, you need marketing automation. And the truth is a lot of companies are purchasing marketing automation software, but somewhere along the way they find out that these packages aren't one-size-fits-all solutions. Or as Jay Famico, research director-demand creation strategies at SiriusDecisions, put it:
“Everybody buys the hype of marketing automation—the increase in responses, leads, conversion rates, etc.—as well they should. But our research shows that while 20% of B2B companies have purchased or implemented a marketing automation solution, 85% of them don't believe they're using it to its fullest potential.”
Sound familiar, right? If you are still confused on why and how you should be using marketing automation to ensure you get the most from your investment, check out the following lines where we will explore the major reasons why you will never regret purchasing marketing automation software.
The Value of Partner Enablement
Remember the times when Sales and Marketing worked on different floors within the building? "They" were over there, while "we" were over here and we barely interacted. Well, those days are over - marketing automation solutions are breaking down barriers that are typically separating the two teams. And in today's business, collaboration is the key to success. Marketers need to take the lead in enabling Sales and creating communication channels for rich, two-way exchanges of information and ideas, so Sales can effectively deliver Marketing's messages and content collateral to prospects, and in return - provide further data for nurturing to the Marketing team.
Improving Lead Nurturing With Customer-Centric Focus
Predicting Long-Term Value With Behaviour-Based Segmentation
The effective targeting of your audience is the first step to successfully nurture your leads. To do so, you need to acquire a more complete understanding of your customers. Historically, marketing techniques that were used in the targeting process were primarily identifying leads based on demographics - this technique is not only limiting, but could be considered quite biased. Marketing automation solutions allow for targeting leads according to their online behaviour - the way they respond to previous marketing campaigns and the way they generally interact with your content assets. By using marketing automation's behaviour-based programs you can capture and score your leads in order to identify potential buyers. Before marketing automation technologies became so sophisticated, these processes were usually done manually and their success rate was much lower.
Improve Future Marketing Efforts
Marketing automation platforms not only allow you to collect detailed information on your customers - they also enable you to effectively integrate that information into your future marketing efforts. The ability to measure the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns against your established goals and improve on your efforts is a priceless tool for marketers. The collected data on customers responses, click-throughs and overall online behaviour will enable your marketing team to improve and customize future campaigns based on the needs of your target audience. Regardless of whether you are still considering purchasing marketing automation software, or you have already jumped on the bandwagon, know that if used properly, marketing automation solutions will not only return your investment but will also return on your customer relationships.