So You Think You Know Marketing Automation Part II


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So you think you may know marketing automation, but in part I of this post we only started to outline the many different areas you need to consider. Configuring your marketing automation platform, then letting it collect dust is a risky strategy. There are too many environmental factors affecting your marketing strategy that you need to consider. Marketing automation provides the tools to adapt to changes occurring around you – it’s up to you to step up to the plate or be left behind.

In part I we covered the following areas: the importance of definitions and documentation, continuously educating Sales on the tools available, monitoring and adjusting the metrics you’re tracking, and modifying your lead nurturing programs. In part II, we’ll look at some new areas to keep top of mind.

The Job of a Marketer is Never Done

  • Scoring Your Lead Scoring. How effective is your lead scoring program? Is sales using it? Is there an agreement in place with sales on how to work the leads that are sent to them? What tweaks would improve your lead scoring program? If it’s not effective, what can be done to improve it? I recommend creating a lead scoring dashboard that allows you to quickly monitor the different lead scoring rankings in your database. If sales loses faith in the accuracy of your lead scoring algorithm, you’ll quickly find that they’ll resort back to their cherry picking ways, and hey, I don’t blame them – they need to hit their quotas.Relating back to my earlier comments, make sure you train and retrain the sales team on why lead scoring is important. And, if you have definitions and documentation in place, it reinforces the validity of lead scoring.
  • Saving Your Marriage and Generating Efficiencies. Newbies to the land of marketing automation may see it mostly as lead scoring and lead nurturing, but if you stop there, you’re probably still wasting time or money on tasks that you can automate. For example, have you considered automating your webinar invites, reminders, and follow up? Can you automate the distribution of campaign results and high level marketing success data to senior members of your department and company? Can your customer marketing team use automation tools to maintain and grow existing customers?Joe Gelata of Sybase outlined How Event Automation Saved His Marriage. What can you do right now to further streamline your day to day marketing activities?
  • Socializing Marketing Automation. As you already know, many of your marketing channels feed off each other when it comes to spreading the word about your products and generating leads. Social media is one of the most effective tools to assist you in this process, and it’s important to ensure that your social media channels are fully integrated with your website, landing pages, emails, direct mail, 3rd party ads, and other marketing tactics that you employ. Some questions to consider: Can people easily share your web and email content across the social media universe? Are you tracking which social media channel your leads are coming from, and using this data to improve how you target to your customers? Are you cross promoting campaigns across your different social media channels?NIIT, an enterprise learning solution provider, won the 2009 Markie All Star Award for their brilliant campaigns that sent timely email updates to blog visitors in which they had email addresses for. This type of right time, right message email is a brilliant example of combining social media with marketing automation.
  • The 3 C’s: Clean, Complete and Correct Data. Getting the most out of your database is highly undervalued. It’s not enough to just keep adding new names to your database, and although data quality may be a difficult task, automation can reduce the heavy lifting involved. If you currently have a messy database, it may make sense to purchase a specific tool or service that can help you dedupe, augment, and remove dirty data. Once you’ve done a database spring cleaning, there are a number of things to consider to prevent your data from reverting back to a tangled mess.Questions to consider: Do you have a standardized process for collecting data across different data sources? Do you have a way to normalize data that is inconsistently captured? Are you monitoring the completeness of your data? What impact does incomplete data have on your lead scoring program? Have you considered using services such as Dun & Bradstreet to augment your data? Are there ways to build up the profile of a prospect over time via your nurturing efforts? Is it time to weed out the non email responders in your database?I highly recommend reviewing the following articles: The Foundation for Great Marketing is Great Data by Steve Woods and Hexaware’s Data Washing Machine which outlines how Hexaware used automation to improve its segmentation and targeting, the time needed to launch campaigns, and the relationship between marketing and sales. All because of consistent and clean data!

  • Email Delivery Rate is so 2008. Email deliverability should not be undervalued. It’s one thing to execute a campaign, and it’s another to ensure that your emails are being received.Questions to consider: Are you regularly running deliverability reports that indicate if the emails you send to customers and prospects are going straight to junk? What is the SenderScore of your IP address (this score will give you an indication of your email deliverability reputation which is directly related to whether your emails will be delivered)? What is your email deliverability “accepted rate“? How many spam complaints have you received in the last month, and for which campaigns? Relating back to your data, are you weeding out contacts that are no longer responding to your emails?If you’re seeing your email response rates drop, you need to first look at your email practices. Check out this article Email Deliverability Health Check by Sweeney Williams. If you can’t complete some of these checks, it’s time to find out why.

You may be thinking, “this is a lot to take in” but you don’t need to do all of these at once. On the Customer Success Management team at Eloqua our goal is to help our customers get the most out of their Eloqua investment and generate revenue for their organizations. This team has been put in place because we know that once you’ve launched your marketing automation platform, you’re far from “Mission Accomplished.”

Marketing automation is not a one trick pony or a flashy toy. It goes well beyond technology. It’s a journey that will help your organization get a leg up on your competitors and change the way you market to your customers. Requirements are patience, vision, and a dedicated partner that is looking out for your best interests as you embark on your marketing automation adventure.

Please let us know if there are other questions that should be considered based on your own experiences.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Chad Horenfeldt
Chad Horenfeldt is the VP of Customer Success at Influitive, the advocate marketing experts. Chad is a customer success professional with more than 13 years experience helping companies maximize technology to drive their businesses. Prior to Influitive, he ran Customer Success at Eloqua.


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