When is the Right Time to Implement a Marketing Automation Solution?


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5 Key Leading Indicators To Justify Your Investment To Senior Management

Discover which 5 leading indicators will help you determine the best time to invest and justify a marketing automation solution to senior management.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

>> How to calculate the expected ROI for a marketing automation solution
>> Why you should carefully evaluate the technologies you currently have in place
>> The importance of knowing precisely the goals and objectives of your sales and marketing teams
>> How a 10% improvement in lead quality can result in a 40% increase in sales productivity

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When is the Right Time to Implement a Marketing Automation Solution?

  1. 1. When is the Right Time to Implement a Marketing Automation Solution? JULY 2010
  2. 2. It has been said that a seller typically needs to “touch” a buyer at least six times before a sale can be made. In some lines of business, you could get away with less, while in others, such as the higher-ticket B2B world, six points of contact aren’t nearly enough. In response to this need, marketing automation solutions represent the current state of the art in streamlining the process from initial contact to sale, and from initial sale to repeat purchase. “The decision to Marketing automation suites are relatively recent additions to the marketing arse- nal. They unite and integrate the many, previously siloed, technologies and com- purchase a market- munication methods that have been used individually by sales and marketing. These technologies include email marketing platforms, customer relationship man- ing automation agement (CRM) software, data mining tools, and lead nurturing and lead scoring tools, while communications methods used by marketers have expanded from solution is bigger advertising, direct mail and telemarketing to include email, social media, and mobile. and carries more Each time a potential customer communicates with an organization, that encounter importance than contributes to their opinion and perception of the organization and helps steer them toward an ultimate decision; to buy or not to buy. Any organization that can anything that “remember” the customer’s situation and requirements from encounter to encounter will rise above those organizations that must re-establish the relation- should be decided ship context from scratch each time. Maintaining the context of the relationship across encounters, especially when your organization deals with hundreds or thou- on gut-instinct sands of prospects per month and wants to pro-actively nurture relationships via trade shows, direct mail, webinars, phone calls, emails, and social media, is virtual- alone. The decision ly impossible without a sophisticated and capable marketing automation solution. must be based on So, given the benefits, when is the right time to implement a marketing automation solution? What are the indicators that the investment in time and money will be some sort of ROI justified for your organization? calculation.” The decision to purchase a marketing automation solution is bigger and carries more importance than anything that should be decided on gut-instinct alone. The decision must be based on some sort of ROI calculation. While the criteria may be somewhat fluid, any organization undertaking this sort of purchase should have a pretty good idea of the expected benefits before any contracts are signed. If you calculate that the expected return on your investment significantly exceeds the cost of implementing the marketing automation solution, and that cost can be justified to senior management, then it makes sense to make this investment. The first step is to consider the technologies and processes you currently have in place, the resources in your group that are available to learn and use a marketing automation solution, and the goals and objectives that have been put before your marketing and sales teams. Determine which pieces of your existing infrastructure should be replaced versus integrated with the new marketing automation solution. It is possible that the acquisition of this solution will not only provide much-needed integration and interoperability between tools, but will also modernize some of the tools you currently use. The valuation of this type of upgrade can be calculated by looking at the potential cost of outsourcing, opportunities that may currently not be exploited due to resource constraints, and actual work hours. Which marketing campaigns currently bring in the highest quality leads? What is the cost per lead by campaign? A marketing automation solution should provide you with this kind of decision support across the various communication channels that your organization uses. 2 JULY 2010
  3. 3. Is your sales team complaining about wasting time with too many unqualified leads? In addition to determining whether their complaints are justified, cost-effec- tive marketing requires focusing primarily on the most cost-effective lead genera- tion sources. A good marketing automation solution can tell you which campaigns are most profitable, fix sales funnel leakage, and automate the proper nurturing of early-stage prospects, so they are more likely to become buyers down the road. A properly implemented lead scoring tool should help you identify the leads that “Each time a your sales reps should be paying attention to. A 10% improvement in lead quality can result in a 40% improvement in sales productivity. A good marketing automa- potential customer tion solution includes lead scoring as an integral component. Based on the num- bers above, you should be able to calculate the return that you will receive by communicates with improving the quality of leads that are delivered to your sales team. an organization, Lead nurturing has been shown to increase the value of leads in your database by 25%. Take a look at the historical conversion rate of leads older than 30 days. If you that encounter con- could get 25% more of these leads to convert into opportunities, what would the value be? tributes to their Another area to calculate value is in the cost of saved labor. The marketing automa- tion solution you decide to buy should help your organization generate, nurture and opinion and per- qualify additional sales leads with less manual effort and across all marketing chan- nels, including social media, direct mail, e-mail and the web. Most organizations do ception of the not have the resources to perform all of these tasks fully and properly. This results in some combination of lost opportunities as well as employee burnout. organization and The cost of the marketing automation tools that your organization is currently using, helps steer them including e-mail marketing, data cleansing, website monitoring, and lead scoring, is often surprisingly high. For example, the cost to an organization for packaged soft- toward an ultimate ware typically far exceeds the purchase price. Alternatively, some technologies, such as e-mail marketing platforms, often require monthly usage fees. The market- decision; to buy or ing automation solution you choose should replace and integrate these various products and platforms. not to buy.” Ultimately purchasing the right marketing automation solution will increase your marketing efficiency and effectiveness, and reduce overall costs. On the other hand, you will need dedicated resources to support the initiative and buy-in from sales and marketing. In summary, there are clear indicators that the time to acquire and implement a marketing automation solution has come. These include: • There are clear economies of scale to be gained; tasks can be streamlined, and work that currently exceeds available resources can be accomplished. • There are multiple, repetitive marketing tasks that can be automated. • Existing marketing processes are due for review in order to increase efficiency or effectiveness. • Inbound lead volume exceeds capacity to score or nurture properly. Oftentimes, the major symptom for this is that sales reps complain about “too many unquali- fied leads.” • Management has committed resources in terms of budget and personnel to address marketing performance issues. If you are seeing some or all of the signs listed above, then more than likely it is the right time for your company to invest in an enterprise marketing automation solution. 3 JULY 2010
  4. 4. To learn more about how a marketing automation solution can help your marketing organization, contact Neolane at +1 617 467-6760 or visit www.neolane.com. About Neolane Neolane provides the only enterprise marketing software specifically designed to manage, automate and optimize programs across traditional and emerging chan- nels including direct mail, email and mobile. With Neolane’s cross-channel market- ing and lead management solutions, marketers can manage campaigns, resources, customer data and analytics from a single platform to dramatically improve effectiveness and ROI. Built by marketers for marketers, Neolane is used by more than 240 of the world’s leading companies including Accor Hotels, Alcatel-Lucent, Orange, and Sephora. Neolane, Inc. One Gateway Center - 7th Floor 300-334 Washington Street Newton, MA 02458 Office: +1 617 467 6760 Fax: +1 617 467 6701 info@neolane.com www.neolane.com United States United Kingdom France Scandinavia Copyright 2010 Neolane, Inc. All Rights Reserved This research brief is for informational purposes only. Neolane, Inc. makes no warranties, expressed or implied, in this document. Neolane is a trademark of Neolane Inc. in the United States and other countries. All other trademarks contained herein are the property of their respective owners. 4 JULY 2010