August 2013 - Marketing Automation

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Marketing Automation
How It’s Changing the Way Marketers Go-to-Market

Marketing is transforming right before our eyes at a pace never before seen. Sales-ready leads, data management, lead scoring and nurturing, tracking, and measurement at the contact level are just a few of the focus areas for marketers in 2013.

The fact that studies report that marketers are going to spend more on IT staff in the coming five years than their IT counterparts demonstrates the importance of more effective marketing methodologies driven by new technology solutions.

This fundamental transformation is creating unprecedented opportunities in the fastest growth area of our industry. This also requires a new kind of technology solution—one that helps marketers create relationships—building dialogs across fragmented channels, one that helps them address the marketing ecosystem in a more effective manner, and one that is powered by deep insight and analytics.

That Leads Us to Marketing Automation
Wikipedia defines marketing automation as the use of a marketing automation platform to streamline sales and marketing organizations by replacing high-touch, repetitive manual processes with automated solutions. Essentially, it enables marketers to do more in less time and allows the marketer to focus on high gain activities while the technology delivers the marketing program methodologies.

Most of the marketing automation solutions today are cloud-based applications that enable print and marketing professionals to seamlessly integrate off and online media, such as direct mail, email, web, SMS (text messaging),
social media and mobile to create a highly personalized and unified experience across multiple channels.

Since the No. 1 goal of most marketers today is to deliver sales-ready leads to their sales teams, a new and important marketing application within the marketing automation solution now takes on new significance for all marketers: the ability to create rule based, multi-touch, drip marketing campaigns to generate, nurture and score leads—cost effectively.

What this does for the marketer is enable them to deliver sales-ready leads to sales for immediate follow-up, while the remaining prospects are lead nurtured until they move into the sales-ready category.

This important development means that the old school cross-media approach of one and done marketing campaigns is now replaced with an ongoing lead nurturing program that scores each prospect and delivers the appropriate prospect information and content until they move into the sales-ready category.

For today’s service provider, this means your proposal to the marketer is now an annual proposal for ongoing program development and management (that you deliver over the course of a year). The marketer makes an investment in
the ongoing lead nurturing and data collection, insight, and behaviors necessary to cultivate each prospect to sales-ready status.

For example, one of our customers just signed an agreement for a small solar company for a one-year sophisticated lead nurturing and scoring marketing program using direct mail, email, paid search, event registration and referrals. The initial cost for the marketer was $30,000 to launch the program and a monthly management fee of $1,500 per month for the one-year period. The proposal was for a one-year agreement with two one-year renewal options.

The program was designed with three objectives in mind as follows:
1. Increase the number of sales-ready leads leading to an increase in the monthly sales revenue per rep.
2. Provide ongoing sales-ready leads throughout the year (by leveraging the lead nurturing and scoring program) leading to an overall increase of 30% in total company revenue for the year.
3. Reduce the number of days for each sale.

The initial first month results for the program were more than $150,000 in new revenue with a pipeline of sales-ready opportunities for the quarter in excess of $225,000.

This is the secret sauce for marketers today because it increases their marketing effectiveness and delivers the results every marketer needs in today’s world—new revenue associated with their marketing investment.

Joseph Manos is an Executive Vice President for Irvine, Calif.-based MindFireInc, which specializes in marketing intelligence software and services that enable the creation and deployment of targeted, trackable cross-media marketing campaigns. You may contact him at jmanos@mindfireinc.com.