6 ways. Instead of explaining each here, let’s walk through.
There are three core benefits to marketing automation:Save time and moneyMeasure and optimize marketing investmentsFaster revenue growthHere are some more of Nucleus Research’s findings on the effectiveness of marketing automation:By instituting marketing automation capabilities, companies can expect to achieve an increase in marketing staff productivity between 1.5 and 6.9 percent. The biggest boost, of course, will come to companies transitioning from a labor-intense manual marketing system.Enabling marketing automation can reduce administrative overhead to a savings of 3.4 percent (on average), with most companies saving between 1.5 and 5.2 percent.Sales productivity can be expected to increase by an average of 4 percent, with two-thirds of companies experiencing sales force productivity gains between 1.6 and 6.4 percent. Marketo Benchmark dataLots of tools on Marketo’s website to help build a business case.
Drives efficiency and speed of marketing execution — Modern relationship marketing requires you to interact with customers in a modern way. For example, say you want the ability to follow up on marketing emails by sending different emails to those who responded and those who didn’t. Without marketing automation, that means a lot of overhead in terms of hiring humans to do the work manually. By investing in the technology to automate these processes, companies are able to reduce the campaign management budget by 80%. Less Complexity – Don’t have separate email, social, database, segmentation, analytics – takes time and energy. Simplify into one single platform, reducing complexity and costs. Key point: Business case on cost saving = very strong. Fewer agencies, fewer systems.
From bottom up…A system of record — Marketing automation provides the core system of record for all your marketing information. If you don’t have a system of record for your marketing efforts, you can’t measure.Measure and test — The ability to run tests (this landing page vs. that landing page; this offer vs. that offer) helps your company learn what works over time, which ultimately gives you better optimization and more revenue.Prove program ROI — What is the specific amount of revenue generated from a marketing program? How can the results be compared? Marketing automation dials into which marketing campaigns are directly affecting revenue. Thus you can spend your money where it’s proven to work best.Funnel impact — How does your funnel work? What is your conversation rate from a name into a lead? From an opportunity to a close? Marketing automation will help you understand how leads are moving through your funnel and help you make forecasts around the nuances of the impact marketing has on revenue. Net: With MA, you’ll make better decisions about where to spend marketing dollars. Can be a bit tricky to make quantitative business case on improved measurement, but can be a good way to convince CFO.
Nurtures relationships with leads that aren’t ready to buyRetains and extend customer relationshipsBuilds alignment with salesFocus on the right prospects (segmentation)Develop relationships until buyer is readyEngage at the right timeScale personalized interactions with each customer (right message)
Industry is optimized to be “easy to buy” for marketers used to buying programsNot typically based on # emails
BRIEF: Success is often primarily determined not by the vendor you choose, but by these three things:1. Your strategy and process2. Your content and lead flow3. Your peopleSoftware subscription is typically 25-40 percent of overall investment required for success.With limited investment in these areas, you can usually get good (but not great) ROI from marketing automation. And as we saw in Part Five, the more you invest, the higher you move up the curve, and the better your return on investment.The key is to “think big, start small, and move quickly”. In other words, the best results usually come from getting started with what you have today, and then incrementally investing over time to move up the curve.MORE NEXT WEEK
While I admit by bias and believe that Marketo is the right answer for you, here’s an unbiased process you can follow. This is based on research by David Raab, author of the VEST Report on Marketing Automation, and an expert at helping companies with their marketing automation evaluations. First, write down your goals for the projectTo get where you want to go, write it down. Statistically, you increase your likelihood for success simply by putting your goals on paper. 2. Identify your requirementsCheck out the RFP template www.marketo.com/rfp. Remember, picking the right solution involves more than just picking the right technology. Who will use the system? How important is ease of use? What level of additional services, training, and support will you need?How important is easy and powerful? Verify you’ll get what you need today – and what you’ll want in the future. David Raab, marketing automation expert: “Plan for growth. No matter how carefully you define your needs, they’ll evolve in ways you don’t expect. You need a vendor that is likely to support future needs, whatever they may be. So look beyond for specific features for flexibility and a history of product improvement.” 3 Evaluate potential vendors against your scenariosSelect vendors to evaluate. Ask each one to demonstrate how they would deliver your specific processes and scenarios. Alternatively, ask for a free trial of the solution being considered.Scour the technology. Check all boxes to cover your administrative, integration, and technical needs. Look beyond the technology. Evaluate each vendor’s ability to make you successful through access to best practices, community, consulting, support, and training.4. Talk to referencesNow it’s time to find out if your vendor can actually make customers like you successful.Ask your vendors for references. Solicit others from your personal and social networks. Look for references that are similar to your organization. Chances are, you’ll succeed with a particular vendor to the degree that companies similar to yours have done, so look for references that are similar to your organization. Find out whether your situation is similar to theirs. If you do, you’ll drill into whether you’re likely to succeed with that particular solution as well. As David Raab points out, you need to ask more than “Are you happy?”Don’t forget to ask about technical AND non-technical factors. How long was implementation? How much training and additional services were needed, if any? How did the vendor handle any problems that were encountered along the way? 5. Focus on value, not costThe time has come. Choose the vendor that can best make you successful in line with the goals you created at the beginning of this process. While this does involve comparing subscription costs and contract terms, the revenue benefits you’ll enjoy when you achieve your goals are usually much more significant – so it’s best to choose the solution that will help you be the most successful. See guide for a more complete process
With limited investment in these areas, you can usually get good (but not great) ROI from marketing automation. And as we saw in Part Five, the more you invest, the higher you move up the curve, and the better your return on investment. The key is to “think big, start small, and move quickly”. In other words, the best results usually come from getting started with what you have today, and then incrementally investing over time to move up the curve.