Marketing automation is one of the fastest, most reliable ways to significantly improve marketing results, marketing accountability and marketing-sales alignment. But even though simple, affordable marketing automation systems such as eTrigue’s are incredibly easy to set up and do not require hiring or training dedicated staff, there are still a few things you can do to ensure that you’re making the most of your investment. Here are my five top tips for marketing automation success in 2012:
1. More expensive is not always better. If you haven’t invested in a marketing automation system yet, remember that although they may look good in theory, the expensive systems out there don’t work for everyone. More often than not, you will find, after buying them, that setting them up and maintaining them require significant additional resources, in terms of time, manpower and budget. We’ve heard of several cases where these systems were basically set aside and never utilized, simply because maintaining them is so expensive.
2. Don’t forget content. Already invested in a marketing automation system? Good! Now, don’t forget content. A marketing automation system will help you sequence your messages according to individual prospects’ needs, increasing the chances that these prospects will eventually become buyers. But no marketing automation system can create content for you. Content is still king, and you will still need to create, or pay someone to create, relevant, high-quality content, including emails, blog posts, white papers and landing pages for your website.
3. Downsize your campaigns. Take advantage of the rich data that your marketing automation system offers you, and focus on creating small, highly targeted marketing campaigns instead of broad, generic ones. Use the data available to you to segment your database, creatively focusing each message. Send more targeted emails focused on specific pain points, based on product interest and web pages viewed. You will likely find that response rates will increase significantly, with existing prospects prodded down the funnel, (finally!) turning into buyers.
4. Follow up promptly. Use your marketing automation system to track who is on your website, and follow up immediately. The prospect’s web activity, captured by your marketing automation tool, tells you a lot about what it is that they are looking for. Tailor your message accordingly.
5. Cast a wider net. Changes in the B2B buying process, that started as early as the financial crisis of 2008 and have become permanent, mean that the buying process often includes several decision makers. Marketing automation allows you to appropriately target each decision maker based on their particular concerns. Using a batch-and-blast solution that doesn’t let you effectively segment and drive recipients to the appropriate content for them, slows down the sales cycle and lessens the likelihood of a sale.Google+