Lead automation, also known as marketing automation, is all the rave these days. MarketingSherpa claimed in their 2011 Marketing Benchmark Report that “54% of CMOs have either begun or completed their implementation of marketing automation software, and another 17% intend to begin implementation.”
For those of you out there who haven’t yet explored the world of marketing automation, it is exactly what it sounds like: automating your marketing process and sales funnel. This will increase your business conversions. Imagine if every site visitor, email subscriber, or person your company has ever had a real interaction with had their own personal sales person. Wouldn’t you love to have the funds for 1:1 attention for even the most cursory leads?
There are a variety of systems available, and all of them have a slightly different take. However, they all work essentially the same way – nurturing your leads from one step to the next automatically. This means that the random person who watched a webinar on your site is added to your list and will be sent a schedule of marketing. This could be a phone call or a drip email marketing campaign.
Once the person makes a few pre-established steps (like attending another webinar or clicking through to a landing page) the system automatically moves them to the next stage in the buying cycle. At this point, they might be called by a company consultant and sent a white paper or another set of drip marketing emails.
The great news is that you have full control of how pushy and comprehensive your marketing is. Companies like InfusionSoft tend to push calls a bit more than say Marketo, who has a more educational/consultative approach. Yet as the company owner, at the end of the day, you call the shots. And of course it is incredibly cost effective because the automation replaces numerous full time staff members.
What this means for business conversions
Believe me, I’m not a fan of automation either, and it can be scary to let a system run your client interaction. However, nobody has the resources or the time to give each new lead this type of attention. If you do – your problems are much bigger than your sales funnel. Marketing automation, if done well, can plug all the holes in your current lead cycle. It can showcase your knowledge and bring your potential client much closer to the sales decision, without any extra work on your behalf.
Carlos Hidalgo, CEO of The Annuites Group wrote, “Companies are realizing the need for an engagment model that can deliver dynamic content in a one-to-one, yet mass context. The only way to achieve this is through a process-enabled automated system.”
Marketing automation can revolutionize your business, whether it is B2B or B2C. Below are listed a few of the companies we here at Content Equals Money are researching for ourselves:
Marketo – Starting at 2k a month or more. Integrates withGotoWebinar
Pardot – Starting at 1k a month or more and integrates with Webex
The choice when business conversions are your goal
“Adoption of a marketing automation tool is perhaps the most vital step a BtoB company can make towards turning their interactions with prospects into a conversion instead of a lecture” – Eloqua
You can’t say it any better than that. Are you shopping around for marketing automation software? Are you currently using one? I’d love to hear about it. Connect with me on our company twitter @Content_Money and share your thoughts!
Latest posts by Amie (see all)
- The Right Mix of Quality and Quantity in Content Marketing - April 27, 2016
- 4 Reasons to Outsource Your Content - April 13, 2016
- Improving the Content Your Audience Wants - March 30, 2016