Recently, Marketo hosted over 1200 people at our annual user conference, bringing customers, employees, industry luminaries, and prospects from all over the world together. To me, the greatest part of the event was hearing about how others were utilizing Marketo’s platform, particularly everyone’s unique use cases for marketing automation. I ended up hearing over and over again how marketing automation was not only used for lead generation and nurturing purposes, but also to drive engagement and develop the following relationships:
- Customers – Acquiring a new customer can be very expensive for most organizations, making it good business sense to ensure you keep the ones you have. While this can be especially true for SaaS companies that rely on recurring revenue to create success, it can also be important for all types of organizations looking to have customers utilize services, buy other products, or share information with their friends to gain referrals. Marketing automation can be used to share content to support each of these, and to score customers based on their potential risk of churn or their likelihood to buy add-ons/additional products. Moreover, marketing automation can be used to simply educate the customer on how to use your product, ensuring better overall utilization and improvement of customer satisfaction.
- Partners or brokers – Many companies sell through channels or brokers instead of selling directly to the consumer. When this is the case, your company has to rely on others’ expertise to drive sales. One way to ensure partners know your product is to create a nurturing program for them. More importantly, marketing automation can be used to score these partners, allowing you to know which are most engaged or successful.
- Influencers – Trying to get the attention of a blogger? Keep talking to the same influencers but feel like they aren’t retaining your message? Marketing automation can not only be used to nurture influencers for your industry, but also to score them so you know who is the most important to your company, or who’s generating the most buzz about your brand. Additionally, and potentially more important than nurturing, marketing automation can be used to identify when influencers stop talking about you, letting you know that it’s time to reach out and give them a call.
- Press/Analyst – Instead of bombarding press and analysts every time you have something new to share, you can use marketing automation to ensure a steady stream of content so your company doesn’t end up forgotten. This can be especially helpful for new analysts or press contacts who are trying to get up to speed on your company.
- Employees – New employees often need months of training and education to get up to speed. Why not automate the education process through employee nurturing? This ensures new hires learn about your company’s policies, procedures and tips for success over their first few weeks. Also, this type of nurturing can support established training programs and ensure retention of orientation materials. Furthermore, it can help reinforce best practices for all employees, such as reminding employees of their company’s values, mission and/or vision.
While each company will ultimately find their own path to success with marketing automation, it is clear that there are many uses that may not be evident when first implementing a solution. By finding different ways to nurture those you interact with, you not only improve the ROI of your marketing automation tool, but you also improve the conversations and educations of those who interact with your brand.
Can you think of any other use cases for marketing automation? I’d love to hear more suggestions or specific examples.