Marketing automation is one of the hottest buzz words for marketing (and sales) these days. Disregard all the tailored messages, all the fancy stuff and let’s focus on what it’s actually about. The reason marketing automation is so hot right now, is that it is the only solution that can tie all your marketing channels together. Yes, the only one.
And tying channels together is so important these days, as the average B2B buyer makes 50-70% of their purchase decision, before you even get in contact with them. Essentially, this means you could lose sales if you do not react timely enough.
Let’s look at the various channels on an overall level:
- Print ads (newspapers, posters, billboards etc.)
- Digital Ads (Banner Ads, Google AdWords, Facebook Ads etc.)
- Owned Digital Channels (website, specific theme pages, SEM etc.)
- Social Media channels(Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc.)
- Content marketing (Blogs, Whitepapers, Webinars, etc.)
- PR (Press releases, Brand Journalism, etc.)
- Communications (Letters, Emails, Twitter DM’s, LinkedIn InMail etc.)
The success of the each channel is often viewed in isolation. This leads to questions like:
- What is our click-through-rate (CTR) on the Newsletters?
- How many clicks are there on Google AdWords?
- How much engagement is there on our Social Media channels?
The questions are many, and there is definitely value in those questions. However, the thing that Marketing Automation contributes with, is the gather all interactions in the same system. The method applied is simple enough – a random person performs an action, then something happens (you get points, receive an email etc.). As you continue along the process, more and more information is gathered regarding the respective client, and at some point the person is rated as “Sales Ready” after which sales takes over.
This means that the following scenario for Mr. Jones is possible:
- Within your print ad, you can have a link / barcode which is directed to a landing page. The visit is captured in the system, 5 points.
- On the page, Mr. Jones downloads a whitepaper, 40 points.
- After a few das, Mr. Jones receives a newsletter and clicks a link, 5 points.
- He finds your twitter account, clicks a tracked link, 5 points.
- Visits your pricing page, 20 points
At this point, the total score is 75, and it continues. He might click an adword, visit more pages, etc. While he’s doing this, we can keep track on how engaged he is in us and what he is engaging in. The focus thus shifts from “How many clicks on AdWords?” to “How is AdWords contributing to my pipeline?” – this is made possible as everything is tracked and measured when using a Marketing Automation platform.
This means that the call from sales will no longer be a simple “Want to buy?” or “I got something I want to present to you”, but rather it will be influenced by insights and data, which again makes it possible to focus on the leads that are most likely to buy your product.
Again, let me emphasize that the traditional questions for channel optimization are still very relevant. You need to optimize each channel. The difference is that when using Marketing Automation you are capable of collecting all the insight through one system, and thus (hopefully) capture the leads at the right time.
At the end of the day, it’s all about optimizing your bottom line.