Key Elements of Marketing Automation Tutorial

2.2 Introduction

This is Matt Bailey, President of SiteLogic, presenting marketing automation. In this module, we're going to cover the key elements of marketing automation.

2.3 Sales Built Marketing Automation

Marketing automation has at its heart sales. In sales from the pre-Internet have a unique position in that it was largely developed by sales people going out and looking for prospects. Usually this was from making trade show contacts, networking opportunities, or even just picking up the phone and making a cold call that is not even knowing who the right person is many times and just calling a company and trying to find the right person to talk to and present the product. It's come a long way since then, but the principles are very similar. As a sales person, you had to keep a lead card. What that was, is that it maintained the information that you collected about a specific company or a specific person. Who they were, their title, their authority within the company to purchase or make decisions, their timeline in looking for a new provider, where you made the contact, and a record of the information collected from the conversations. Now, information could be generated a number of different ways, but primarily, it was picking up the phone or providing followup through mail or sometimes email. But generally, it was all about gathering information and then physically going through each card to find out which customer met the right requirements for followup in making that next movement in the relationship to present the product, or look for a contract.

2.4 Inbound Marketing

Sales, in that respect, has been largely replaced by inbound marketing. Inbound marketing is all about giving away information in exchange for getting contact information. We no longer have to go to trade shows and make cold calls and do all these things because inbound marketing has enabled a relationship to take place online in the sharing of information. By providing webinars, or white papers, or simply information out on a blog, companies have been able to attract large amounts of visitors and prospects that are interested in what they have. The downside of that is many times we get prospects that are interested in what we have, but they're not qualified customers. At any rate, what happens with inbound marketing is we give away information in exchange for something of value. And that something of value is contact information, the very least, the name and email addressed. Because if we have those things, then we can send more information and hopefully get more feedback to find out is this the right person? Well that's what marketing automation helps us develop, but through an automated means. And so what has happened is the traditional sales model has merged with the new marketing model. The new marketing model of lead generation through content marketing, has enabled inbound marketing to provide a significant amount of leads. But the problem is, what do you do with those leads once you have them? And that's where you have to employ sales tactics to understand how to grow and develop those leads and then filter through them to find the ones that match our customer profile the best. And so in this convergence is marketing automation.

2.5 Marketing Automation

Now, marketing automation has, at its core, a number of traditional sales techniques. Number one is the lead capture. We can do that through inbound marketing. We can do that through generating leads through tradeshows, or traditional sales channels, but the ultimate is that we have a lead. We have contact information, and then we nurture that lead to get more information about them that enables us to qualify them further. Scoring presents a method of measuring the activities and responses of that lead that help us understand, are they the right lead or the wrong lead. Through all these responses we're able to maintain the quality of our list. Knowing that this is a hot lead and that they are working with us and they're engaged or a cold lead, they've fallen off, they no longer open our emails or receive any communications. All of these is managed by customer relationship management software or CRM. But also, another layer on top of this which adds so much more information that we can use in all of these respect, especially in the nurturing and scoring respects, is web analytics. We could see what people are doing, how often they're coming to the website, what pages they view, and that helps round out the information that we have about a prospect. Let's look at each one of these individually, and how they work within the process.

2.6 Lead Capture

The first is lead capture. The primary information that we receive about a prospect. Now from a business to business standpoint, I'm very interested to know what company this person works for, so not only do I want to get their name and their email address. I also want to know what company. What position do you have in that company? What's your authority with that position? Are you involved in buying decisions? If you've ever attended a business to business webinar, you may have had to fill out some of these questions in order to register. Because that qualifies you as a prospect, as a lead. Now from a consumer point of view or retail, you may be interested in the gender, or the birth date of your lead. Because if you know those things, then you can market to them using demographic information, to help you better create messaging and targeted information. This information is now added into the CRM system, so that now we have a prospect card about this lead.

2.7 Lead Nurture

Once we've got the Lead, then we have to figure out more information about them. We do that by nurturing the Lead. By nurturing, we feed them the information that they want. We give them relevant emails, relevant offers based on the information that they have given, and also based on actions they may have taken, such as what type of webinar did they sign up for? What was the subject matter? And so, we'll continue to send information about that subject matter. And then, we track those responses to see is this person responding to the information we are giving them. And so, we're nurturing them and finding out more information about our Leads. What we're looking at in that nurturing is the responses. We want to see are they clicking on the links in the emails that we send, are they coming back to the website and viewing similar information. If we give them any surveys or any questionnaires, what information are they giving us in response? Because that's explicit information that helps us know if this is a good lead or a bad lead. And so, part of the nurturing process is not only giving information that we know they may be interested in but scoring, and watching, and looking at the information that they provide back in response, because that helps us know if this is a good lead.

2.8 Web Analytics

Helping us score that information and evaluate those responses are web analytics, because we can see what they're downloading, what pages are they viewing. Many times we want to know if someone goes to the pricing page, and that is added into their complete customer profile that helps us understand that they may be at a critical point in the relationship that we may need to call them. They may need some kind of follow-up, some kind of touch point, because if they're looking at pricing, then that lets us know that are high in priority. And so web analytics rounds out that information by helping us to see what information they are looking at, interacting with, and it helps us be much more informed when we talk to that customer.

2.9 Lead Scoring

Lead scoring is a way of evaluating all of the actions that a lead takes. And are they actions that are rated highly in terms of, are they ready? Are they exhibiting behavior that shows that they're ready to take the next step? Or are they exhibiting behavior that shows us that they're not really an ideal customer for our company? And so any information that they give us, any responses to information, marketing automation is about scoring each of those engagements, so the higher the score, the more the relevance, the more that customer is ready to take the next step. And when we have a certain amount of information and it reaches a threshold, your marketing automation software may notify you that this is a good time to call that prospect because they're exhibiting behavior that shows that they are motivated.

2.10 List Management

Through all of these interactions, we can make sure that our list is clean. That is, that we are sending information to people who are engaging with it. As they're engaging with it, our list scores through our email providers are increasing, our reputation is increasing. We can also see who is responding the most and who is responding the least. We can measure a hot lead by how much they're engaging with our information or a cold lead as someone who is no longer opening emails, or clicking on them, and maybe, we can treat them differently and respond to them differently. Either way, by continuing the flow of information, it maintains our list, because we're able to screen out, and quickly identify those non-qualified leads that may have only wanted one piece of information and downloaded it, but then no longer interact with the company. We can keep our email lists clean. We can keep our lead lists clean by having rules in place to handle when someone should just drop off the list. That makes sure that we have a clean and active list to work with.

2.11 Benefits of Marketing Automation

So, what happens here is as we're filling out these virtual lead cards within our CRM, we're following up with them with marketing messages. We're accumulating information that traditional sales worked very hard to create. But through automation, and through content we're converging these two areas. And what it creates is a powerful new paradigm of the sales customer interaction. You see, we're no longer are relying on cold calls to find out about a client, to find out who do we even talk to in this company. Because when you utilize marketing automation, a prospect is telling you, I'm interested in this information. And then, if they no longer exhibit behavior that shows that they are motivated, we don't waste time following up on them, and they don't have to worry about being followed up on or being called, because they're not exhibiting any more behavior. What marketing automation creates is much more of a respectful relationship that saves time on both sides. From a prospect, all I want is this information, and then I no longer exhibit any behavior and I no longer click on your emails. So, I'm saving time by not receiving sales calls. And eventually, if I drop off the list, they have kept their list integrity, and I no longer receive anything. However, if I am motivated and I express that information, eventually, I will get a call or I will get more information that's targeted to the needs that I have expressed. And so, when there is a conversation, it's informed, it's intelligent, we both have an established amount of information that has been shared and the salesperson can competently walk through the process. And make a presentation based on the expressed needs and information that has been shown by the prospect. And so, what it creates is more of a sharing and guiding process of weeding through the sales process rather than a sales person picking up the phone and trying to extract information from a prospect. The prospect is already exhibited and expressed through the marketing automation system that enables a sales person to be much more competent and directed in the conversation. This is the heart of marketing automation. It encompasses both the sales realm and the marketing realm. Companies that understand this and implement it into their marketing automation will find success as they move forward in implementing these principles. This has been Matt Bailey, President of SiteLogic, presenting key elements of marketing automation.

  • Disclaimer
  • PMP, PMI, PMBOK, CAPM, PgMP, PfMP, ACP, PBA, RMP, SP, and OPM3 are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

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