Want to compete in a noisy marketplace? Automate your marketing

Author: Warren Raisch | Categories: Content Marketing, Demand Generation, Digital Marketing, Marketing Automation

With the ever-advancing number of marketing channels and consumer device types we, as marketers need more advanced tools and partnerships to truly bring our marketing to life in a scalable way.

Scalability is key. We all want one-to-one marketing with our clients delivering the right message to the right customer at the right time on the right device type but how do you scale your limited time, budgets and resources to accomplish this?

We have found that the combination of great “Content Marketing “combined with “Marketing Automation” truly moves the needle on driving revenue generation from marketing activities.

Personalized and automated communications cut through the noise while building customer engagement, trusted client relationships all while driving real revenue impacts for your organization.

Content marketing and demand generation are tightly linked marketing disciplines with their own sets of marketing automation tools and best practices.

The Demand gen report’s 2013 Content Preferences Survey analyzed B2B buyers and revealed that they rely on content more than ever before at all stages of the buying cycle. Trustworthy content that demonstrates value and relies on hard data wins the day over the all-too-typical sales messages.

Measuring marketing impact on revenue

Marketing campaigns, and demand generation efforts in particular, are expected to make a significant contribution to total revenue growth. In the Demand gen report cited above, approximately one-fourth of buyers said 24% to 50% of revenue was fueled by marketing-driven prospects when asked what percentage of annual revenue is attributable to marketing-sourced leads. Further, nearly one-fifth (19.8%) reported that marketing leads were responsible for 11% to 25% of revenue growth.

Marketing is also increasingly measured by its contributions to the sales pipeline and revenue. More than one-third (33.7%) of respondents to the Demand gen survey said their marketing organizations have lead-based and revenue-based quotas in place, and another 15.1% plan to establish quotas.

Vetting marketing automation tactics

According to the center for media research & software advice, 91% of buyers are evaluating marketing automation software for the first time, with lead nurturing topping the list of desired capabilities among buyers, ahead of marketing analytics and lead scoring.

David Raab, publisher of the B2B Marketing Automation Vendor Selection Tool, provides further analysis of the study, and says “… today… there is more data available for buyer segmentation… higher expectations among buyers and prospects… an increasing need for a marketing automation solution… to manage these challenges…”79% of the buyers were already using some type of software to manage marketing operations, however, only 9% of buyers had a marketing automation system in place. Other systems in use included:

48%% used some form of CRM software (either an integrated suite or a best-of-breed application, such as sales force automation);

  • 7% used an email marketing program, and;
  • 6%  used proprietary (i.e. home-grown) software.
  • 21% of buyers used no software at all, instead relying on manual methods such as pen and paper, spreadsheets or one-off emails.

In the table below, we can also dive deeper into how marketers are evaluating their software. Leading tactics include 40% of buyers who cited lead management as their company’s primary motivation to improve lead management – to nurture buyers until they’re sales ready, and the 30% of buyers who cited the need to automate processes, such as sending triggered email messages based on customer behavior on their website.

Top Reasons for Evaluating Marketing Automation Software
Reason % of Respondents(Rounded)
Improve lead management 40
Need to automate process 30.5
Need more/better features 18
Unhappy with current system 10.5
Need better integration 8
Time to update/upgrade 5
Company growth/transition 4.5
Improve service to customers 2
Source: Software Advice, February 2014

The top features buyers requested are consistent with their desire to improve lead management. 81% of buyers required lead management features, while 64% requested lead scoring.

Most Requested Marketing Automation Features
Feature % of Respondents(Rounded)
Lead nurturing 81
Reporting/analytics 68.5
Lead scoring 64
Email marketing 47
Drip marketing 43
Inbound marketing 25
Campaign marketing 14.5
Social media marketing 7
Source: Software Advice, February 2014

You don’t have to go it alone. Many in-house marketing departments are turning to agency partnerships who specialize in leading marketing automation and content marketing platform management for their expertise.  These partnerships are allowing brands to automate their marketing without losing the personal touch and context of knowing how, when and where the customer wishes to engage

Marketing Automation