The previous article outlined automated demand generation and planning for effective programmes. Read on whether you need to include high tech automation toolkit in your marketing efforts. However, while high tech automation tools becoming affordable and user-friendly demand generation experts are becoming expensive.
And yet automated demand generation is cost-effective in expanding your reach and growing your business. So, is high tech automation of demand generation necessary for your business?
When to consider high tech automation in your marketing
Have you noticed a slowing or stagnation in your business’s growth, and has revenue reached a plateau? Has your contact dataset grown exponentially and has become difficult to manage? Is your industry competitive? Are your competitors taking advantage of automated demand generation? Are your expansion plans ambitious? If so, you may need automated demand generation.
Also, occasionally, marketing finds it difficult to manually keep up with the sales’ pace in creating and managing marketing campaigns. If you find such a situation, think whether high tech automation is the better option for demand generation. It provides the opportunity to broaden your initiatives with a small increase in resourcing and high tech automation in your marketing.
Review your preparedness to marketing automation and resources you’ll most likely need to implement automated demand generation. Perhaps you may need to re-train your existing marketing staff or make new hiring. A CRM (customer relationship management) tool, such as Salesforce, is required, as is a website with landing pages to support campaigns and a marketing automation (MA) tool.
Your promotion strategy, initiatives, and campaigns designed to support your strategic goals will form the foundation for marketing automation. Instead, broaden your skillset by incorporating new tools, strategies, and methods into programmes and campaigns design.
You need to consider the following three factors for implementing automation in your marketing.
Making the choice of marketing automation tools
Marketing automation comprises three interlinked components, as illustrated in the graph.
The three interlinked components are website, CRM, and marketing automation tool. Prospective and existing customers, dealers and partners, prospective and current employees use the website for accessing information. Website manages content pages, pdfs, blogs, video and landing pages to which marketing automation (MA) campaigns direct contacts. Your website needs a content management system (CMS) to keep on adding content.
Marketing automation tool drives prospects to landing pages and content. They can sign-up on the website to receive content on user-based behaviour. Website also directs immediate requests for contact to customer relationship management (CRM) tool.
Marketing staff handles marketing automation (MA) tool to manage campaigns and direct leads to CRM, which directs new contacts to MA tool. Sales, customer service staff and accounts managers use CRM to manage accounts, customer service, opportunities, tasks and activities, as well as storing collateral. CRM also drives contacts to website to access content of value.
As seen, all the three components of the automation are linked. Data is exchanged, or users of one component of the system make use of the capabilities of another. The main takeaway is that the three components of the automation communicate with one another in order to advance your relationship with contacts who respond to your communication. Their actions reveal their position in the sales process. This allows you to avoid making unnecessary cold calls to people who aren’t interested in your service right now. And instead you can spend more time focusing on contacts that show signs of interest.
Make a decision
You must make decisions about how these three systems interact, just as you must with most other aspects of business development. Some businesses manage their landing pages through their marketing automation tool, while prospects can download content from the website. Some companies use their sales force automation/customer relationship management (SFA/CRM) tool as the master database of contacts, while others use the MA tool. In addition, all three systems provide reporting and analytics. Setting up all of this requires a certain level of expertise.
The selection of tools and their setup is a critical collaborative decision. Involve concerned marketing, sales, customer services and account management staff in such decision making. You should choose simple to integrate systems that require little customization.
Your MA tool should be easily managing the following aspects:
How marketing automation actually works
Consider that your website contains a specified informational content. It promotes or highlights the features, functionalities, capabilities, and benefits of a solution, product, or service that you provide or intend to provide. And presume that an email with a link to the specified promotional content has just been sent to 2,000 contacts from the marketing automation tool.
When recipients click the link, a landing page on the website with the specified promotional content opens. Before the contacts can download the information, the page that positions the information may request additional information from them. Marketing automation tracks emails’ click-through, whereas a website tracks user actions to gather more information about the contact. Because of this, and based on data and behaviour, your insight of the contact increases thanks to the marketing automation system.
This data can be fed into sales force automation (SFA) systems, or CRM. This allows a salesperson contacting a prospect to know who he is dealing with, what content they looked at, and what additional information they require. Assume the same contact downloaded content piece titled “Questions to ask….” after completing a form. Marketing automation tool records this action to determine whether or not the contact has ‘scored’ enough points to be classified as a marketing qualified lead (MQL).
Sales force automation/CRM gets this lead and routes it to a salesperson. After identifying this as a genuine opportunity, the salesperson disables the MA tool and stops sending emails to this lead in order to manage in-person communication. The salesperson directs the prospect to specific website content or even sends edited emails created as part of campaigns in the MA system. He may also communicate in person.
This is how marketing automation actually works. As your demand generation skills improve, you’ll be able to rank your incoming leads depending prospects’ response.
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