Jim Meyer, VP and General Manager of eTrigue, was a recent guest on the TechnologyAdvice Expert Interview Series to share his insight on the intersection of sales, marketing, and technology. The series, which is hosted by TechnologyAdvice’s Josh Bland, explores a variety of business and technology landscapes through conversations with industry leaders.
In this episode we discuss the difference between email marketing and marketing automation, lead capture, and the challenge of leadership content.
Below are a few highlights from our conversation:
TechnologyAdvice: Other than video, are there any trends you think will become a mainstay in the market in the coming years?
Jim Meyer: You can divide trends into two categories. One is technology trends and, as you point out, video is definitely one of them. Adding that video capability, especially as we start seeing the next generation of viewers in the B2B marketplace, they are much more inclined to use video as a content platform so that is definitely one of the trends. Outside just the technology side, what we also see is a trend where if you look at the penetration of marketing automation in general in different vertical markets, a vast majority of the penetration to date has been in software and Internet and the telecommunication industry.
If you look at those two industries, most statistics show in software and Internet there’s still only a 12 percent penetration of marketing automation platforms at companies. We’re still in the infancy of this whole industry, but as you migrate down into things like real estate, manufacturing, financial services, business services, all of those vertical markets are still well under 2 percent penetration.
These are companies that tend to have relatively small marketing teams, and therefore, there’s not a lot of tools they can use to be successful and just do the common marketing automation things today.
TA: What do you see as the difference between marketing automation and email marketing?
Meyer: A big part of the confusion comes from a lot of email marketing solutions claiming to be marketing automation. A vast majority of those are email marketing solutions that do triggered emails, so you send out one email and if they click a link in that email, it will ultimately trigger another email after a certain time period. The big difference between email marketing and marketing automation is that email marketing is what we call Groundhog Day. You send out your emails, everybody opens, visits, and does all their stuff around that email and then maybe two weeks later send it all over again.
With marketing automation, you can set up programs that are based on any tracking activity on your website so marketing automation platforms measure what pages you view, how long you spend on those pages, what potential assets, white papers, brochures that you download, did you attend a webinar. . . They have all this tracking capability, and once you’ve clicked on an email, every single time you come back, you’re going to be tracked and that history’s going to be recorded.
The tracking of individuals on your website is a big difference between the two solutions. Then the big difference between using triggered emails is that I can actually add somebody to a campaign in marketing automation based on any activity, any time. For example, I might say, “I’ve got three different vertical product lines and one of those, product line B, if somebody downloads more than three assets in product B category, I want to put them in a specific campaign, and then send them an email every two weeks for the next six months. That’s the real big difference of marketing automation.
TA: What are your thoughts on using marketing automation as lead generation software?
Meyer: One of the big values of marketing automation is that if you look at the B2B world today, B2B buyers tend to spend somewhere between 60 percent and 80 percent of their time on your website before they ever even reveal themselves to you. If you’re recording all of that activity before you even know who they are — our demand center will actually do a reverse look up and say, “Hey, somebody from this company’s on your website,” and it will record everything that they do and what pages they visit and all that information, but, of course, you don’t quite know who that person is.
Ultimately, when they get close to the buying stage, they’ve looked at your site and seen that you have something they’re interested in and they fill out a form. When they fill out that form, their email address is tied to all that past history. The first time you know them, they could be a qualified lead that’s ready to buy. That’s where sales can get involved.
Now, they can get involved at the anonymous stage where they’re looking at a company. If you have a specific vertical type of purchaser, then you might be able to actually look up that company on LinkedIn, find the person, call them, send them an email. If they click on that email that will also tie all that anonymous history to their record and then you’ll have all that tied together as well, so it really is a tool that magnifies the ability for sales to be successful. In addition, you have the option of having real time lead alerts. You can set up an alert for when anyone’s on your site.
It can be a company is on your site, it could be an individual person that you’re tracking, and every time they come back the sales person can get that alert. If they follow up on an alert within the first half hour, they’re about ten times more likely to get them on the phone, simply because they’re still sitting at their desk on the website.