Friday, April 18, 2014

Maximize Your Marketing Automation Process

 
According to Frost & Sullivan, the majority of marketing leaders report dissatisfaction with results from marketing automation. CMO's know their marketing automation isn't delivering results but aren't sure what do.  There are three key questions to evaluate if your shortcoming rests in the process alone:
  • My prospects and customers are not presented with quality content.
  • My entire program is automated without leveraging personalized one-to-one nurturing.
  • My lead generation program is not guided by a lead management process.
Lack of Content: Research shows that the #1 reason for marketing automation failure is lack of content. Without quality content the system is on the road to failure.  The majority of marketing departments struggle to produce sufficient content to fuel marketing automation. Focus on producing the right content to engage prospects depending on where they are in the buying journey.
 
Undefined or Lack of Lead Management Process: A lead management process converts early stage interest to sales qualified leads. Marketing teams that operate ad-hoc suffer from below-average conversion rates. Successful marketers generating optimal conversion rates share a common trait. They operate from a documented lead management process that result in more qualified leads flowing from the top of the funnel.
 
Over-emphasized Automation: Ultimately, people buy from people. Just because you can automate something doesn't mean that you should automate everything. A lead management process should be built on the buyer's process. A buyer's process map provides insights into when the right level of human interaction is desirable. There is missed opportunity to exclude human intellect. Prospects who are early of midway through the buying process don't want to be "qualified." They want to engage and discuss key concepts. Automation by itself causes leads to go away. Prospects respond favorably to their first human contact that seeks to provide one-to-one nurturing.
 
Source: Vince Koehler, Sales Benchmark Index

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I'm really just a "mature" guy picking up experience along the way. If only by osmosis, I've observed what works and what doesn't work under the marketing umbrella -- with 11 years in sales and marketing at Procter & Gamble; 30-plus years in B2B publishing (including three years as a publisher); and 1,000's of calls on every size company starting with the likes of Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard all the way down to small, brash start-ups.

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