Marketing automation is the only way for today’s marketers to profitably keep up with the fantastic speed of buyer-driven research and sales. Your clients have already narrowed their top five solutions before they even pick up the phone to contact your sales team. If you are not delivering eye-catching, information-rich, objection-answering ‘pre-call’ materials, you may not be making the cut.
The pure volume of information available online and from social networks has fundamentally changed the way your customers research and buy solutions. You need to know what’s new, which channels to focus on, and what’s working. Marketing automation provides the method, answers, and results.
Here are five ways marketing automation has changed marketing for the better:
1. Lead nurturing
— 80% of your prospects might buy from you someday, but they’re not ready today. Leads that are nurtured are more likely to convert to sales – and they buy more. Nurtured leads also have shorter sales cycles. This means lead nurturing helps you generate more total customers, more revenue per customer, and delivers the sale faster. Win-Win-Win!
2. Targeted content marketing
Deliver relevant content and you’ll build trust and brand superiority in the minds of your prospects. Creativity counts here, as well as real data-based information about your prospects. Hand this to marketing writers who understand your product AND the sales process to get your best results. Provide writers with wide, rich profiles of your target groups so they can create meaningful content. Map the content you’ll deliver and the timing based on where your prospects are in the buying cycle. Marketing automation technology gives you a clear view of how your lead nurturing content and map are working. You can quantify the results of any new content, activities, or touches you orchestrate.
3. Lead scoring maximises sales productivity
Marketing automation tools allow marketers to easily help the Sales Team focus their time and attention on the hottest sales leads and opportunities. Marketing supplied leads from a lead nurturing program have both a higher close rate and higher revenue than straight sales generated leads. (Remember to get Sales involved early in the marketing process and agree to a lead hand-off process, so no leads get lost.)
4. Driving higher performance
Tracking your marketing metrics is not just about proving ROI (which it does for your CFO nicely). More importantly, marketing automation brings to marketers an easy-to-use dashboard which can show exactly how to improve your marketing ROI. Decisions on where to reinvest for maximum revenue impact can now be made with more certainty and more support from your finance team.
5. Better revenue forecasting
By focusing on the entire sales cycle process from ‘first contact’ to ‘Sale #1’ to ‘Sale #24’ to ‘Brand Advocate’, you’ll better understand the flow, speed, and value of your prospects through the funnel. Accurate data and a clear view of marketing process will let you accurately forecast revenue from your lead pipeline.
A buying transformation has taken place in business as well as consumer purchasing, thanks to changing internet structures and speed. Marketing automation is the new tool required to integrate your company’s core marketing methods into the new buyer-driven environment.
Luckily for marketers, marketing automation tools let you EASILY CONTROL the lead nurturing, lead scoring, and marketing analytics process for your company and driver higher ROI.
And that’s a Good Thing!