How marketing automation manages your lead-to-revenue lifecycle

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In a recent Crave session at Movéo, Vice President of Creative Technology Dave Cannon spoke about the power of marketing automation software. Marketing automation tools allow marketers to build relationships with customers and potential customers by streamlining time-consuming marketing tasks into an efficient system. Any worthwhile marketing automation program will also integrate with customer relationship management (CRM) platforms to ensure that marketing can smoothly hand-off these nurtured prospects to sales.

Do you understand “marketing automation” as more than a buzzword? Here are a few things to know as you build your marketing strategy.

What marketing automation programs can do for you

Marketing automation programs, which include Act-On, HubSpot, Marketo and Pardot, generally offer the following capabilities:

  • Email marketing
  • A/B testing
  • Landing page design and publishing
  • Search engine optimization
  • Visitor tracking
  • Audience segmentation
  • Reporting
  • Lead scoring

By combining each of these capabilities in one program, marketing automation enhances your ability to gain deep insights into both individual contacts and contact behavior as a whole. Which emails do they open? How do they behave on your site? What content have they downloaded? These findings can help you analyze your audience in a much more powerful way than disjointed data points from multiple sources.

Moreover, marketing automation allows you to (of course) automate marketing tactics to better reach contacts and make your processes more efficient. Think of automated email workflows, in which you can schedule emails to be sent out to different contacts based on time and eligibility criteria. A lead who downloads a white paper on your site, for example, may be scheduled to receive a follow-up email with another piece of content designed to nurture them further down the marketing funnel. By thinking strategically about your send criteria and consistently checking workflow performance to determine what’s working and what falls flat, your marketing gets more targeted and efficient.

Why lead nurturing and lead scoring are so important

According to SiriusDecisions, 80% of prospects deemed “bad” by sales teams go on to buy within 24 months — possibly from your competitor. Lead nurturing keeps your brand top-of-mind with contacts who aren’t ready to make a purchase now, but who can grow to trust your brand over time. Nurturing activities include email marketing, social media marketing and more, all with the aim of moving unqualified leads further through the funnel. Again, marketing automation programs make it possible to refine nurturing activities through precise targeting.

When you have such thorough data on each of your leads, you can create a lead scoring framework to track which of your audience members are ready to be passed to Sales. Leads may gain or lose points based on how they’ve interacted with your content, website or emails, so you can quantify their interest and potential to turn into a customer. Lead scoring can make a major impact on your marketing: MarketingSherpa has found that organizations using lead scoring average a 77% lift in lead generation ROI over organizations with no lead scoring system in place. Lead scoring tells you when prospects are or are not ready to be contacted by Sales, but it must be paired with lead nurturing in order to help leads become qualified.

Individual marketing automation programs each have their strengths and weaknesses, so finding the one that best fits your organization’s needs is key. For our take on what program would be best for your organization, how to optimize your current marketing automation program or how to implement a new one, contact us.

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