Add Marketing Automation to Top 3 Strategies


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Make scale up to meet your marketing automation requirements.

What’s the best way for users to add marketing automation? That’s a question we often here, and given the capabilities on offer, it’s not difficult to see why.

For the uninitiated, marketing automation — in its most advanced form — enables organizations to manage events, campaigns, and leads, and even automate multiple waves of trigger-based marketing. This is essential functionality for creating marketing campaigns that not only engage customers and prospects, but lead to maximum sales.

So, what’s the best way to handle marketing automation for users? To find out, I put that question to Innoveer consultants Ray Young, Jennifer Kenyon, and Ely Wilson, all of whom mix extensive cloud CRM and marketing automation experience. Here are their top three approaches:

  1. Use solo
  2. Combine with a lightweight tool such as ExactTarget
  3. Combine with a heavy-duty tool such as Eloqua or Marketo

Which approach is best? The answer depends on what your organization requires. To help you choose, here’s more information about each option:

1) Use Solo

The least expensive approach to marketing automation is to use just, which offers some marketing functionality, but not much automation. For example, you can use the lead/contact database to slice and dice targets, assign them to a campaign, and then execute the campaign via email, by creating an email template, and then merging in all required data.

But that’s about all. Forget about landing pages or bulk emails. Accordingly, using for basic marketing needs is fine, but for supporting medium- or heavy-duty marketing, you’ll want more.

2) Combine With ExactTarget

One of Innoveer’s clients, a publisher, recently subscribed to targeted email provider ExactTarget, because it needs to send 250,000 emails per day, and (by its own admission) won’t support that volume of email. Furthermore, lacks certain capabilities, such as staggered sending or slight message variations, that you’ll require to get messages past anti-bulk-email spam filters.

ExactTarget (as well as other players with more capabilities, including SalesGenius, Silverpop and HubSpot) includes these more advanced bulk email features. ExactTarget also enables you to watch landing pages and record who clicks on which emails, or, for example, which white papers they download. In addition, ExactTarget returns relevant details — statistics such as the number of email bounce-backs and click-throughs — to the interface, meaning that sales representatives can easily see, for any given customer, the emails or white papers they’re interested in.

3) Combine With Eloqua or Marketo

The most robust class of marketing automation involves tools such as Eloqua, Marketo and Aprimo. This enterprise-class software offers soup-to-nuts marketing (as well as bulk email), including complete lead management, campaign management, and event management.

But their biggest value is arguably for running trigger-based campaigns. For example, one of Innoveer’s clients recently selected Eloqua to handle trigger-based campaigns, and now uses it to target and launch a campaign for a broad audience. Based on responses to that campaign, the company then markets to smaller subsets using more targeted messaging, in multiple waves, initially pushing more information, and white papers, followed by having a live salesperson reach out. Throughout, the company uses Eloqua’s built-in analytics tools to refine campaigns, score leads, and convert as many prospects as possible into paying customers. That’s the promise of advanced marketing automation.

Procurement-wise, getting any of the above software (ExactTarget and its ilk too) is easy; visit AppExchange. But configuring enterprise-grade marketing automation tools can require more time than the other approaches, simply because they offer so much potential functionality to use.

Where Should You Start?

Which approach is best? Answering that question often involves selecting your price point. Notably, the three approaches (outlined above) each involve rising levels of cost. Eloqua and Marketo, for example, charge based on the number of contacts supported, as well as the feature set, such as segmenting leads by using CRM data.

Accordingly, some organizations choose to begin with the first option — solo — and then see what else they need. This is a realistic approach for many organizations, as a common misconception is that a business with no marketing automation experience will suddenly be able to unveil trigger-based campaigns.

On the other hand, if your organization wants to have advanced marketing capabilities in the near future, you could start out with an Eloqua or Marketo, but keep things simple by initially only tapping basic features and functionality, and then adding — always in small increments — as you go. Likewise, if your marketing automation program requires backend integration with enterprise systems or third-party data sources, and you’re moving toward having an advanced automation program, you might not want to have to integrate twice.

Pull CRM Data Into Marketing System

Integrating your marketing automation and CRM systems is crucial, and many marketing systems include tie-ins with leading CRM software. Why integrate? Because marketing teams always want visibility into the effectiveness of their campaigns, meaning which leads result in sales. But a lot of that data resides in your CRM system, meaning that to accurately compute marketing ROI, you need to pull information from the CRM system into your marketing automation system, or data warehouse, for analysis. As with CRM programs, don’t underestimate the importance — and power — of having detailed information on every aspect of your marketing campaigns.

Learn More

Creating marketing programs that excel, using marketing automation software or not, requires designing marketing programs that smoothly handle everything from campaign execution to “selling” the resulting leads to salespeople. Review our top 10 marketing program pointers to ensure that you’re asking the right questions.

What’s the next, best step for your organization’s marketing program? To answer that questions, take our marketing program quiz, built on Innoveer’s CRM Excellence Framework, which has benchmarked the CRM practices of hundreds of companies to identify where your current program excels, or needs work.

Post and thumbnail photos courtesy of Flickr user Kevin Utting.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Adam Honig
Adam is the Co-Founder and CEO of Spiro Technologies. He is a recognized thought-leader in sales process and effectiveness, and has previously co-founded three successful technology companies: Innoveer Solutions, C-Bridge, and Open Environment. He is best known for speaking at various conferences including Dreamforce, for pioneering the 'No Jerks' hiring model, and for flying his drone while traveling the world.


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