Marketing Automation: The Cornerstone of Your Marketing Plan

I’ve been following the Mid-Atlantic Marketing Summit for a few years now but this is my first year attending (and blogging) the event.  I’m recapping the “Marketing Automation: The Cornerstone of Your Marketing Plan” by Gary McNeil, VP of Field Marketing at Sourcefire. As a point of reference – Sourcefire was recently acquired by Cisco for $2.7 billion in cash in 2013.

McNeil started his presentation by polling the room to see who uses marketing automation tools (about a 1/3 of the room raised their hands and most were in the B2B space).

Some of the top-name marketing automation tools are EloquaMarketo, and HubSpot. 

When searching for a marketing automation platform, key services to look for are:

  • Compliance – You gotta follow the rules (marketing automation can help with this)
  • List Segmentation – if you’re not segmenting you’re not marketing
  • Lead Generation
  • List hygiene – Companies now have 30% turnover rate; everyone tries to get rid of bad data and maintain relevant contacts
  • Form creation
  • Campaign history
  • Sales insights – See when someone visits the site multiple times
  • Global lead management – Routing sales leads
  • Event registration – Marketing automation tools can track registrations versus attendance and plan communications
  • Measurement – How else do you know if your strategy is working?

Traditional sales lead cycles start with the inquiry, funneling through marketing and if it passes the quick qualifications, the lead moved to sales.  A member of the sales team qualified the lead and if it was worthy it may result in closed or won business. But what about all the other leads that didn’t travel this direct path? Some leads may not have been ready at the time but could be ready now.  Some leads may have moved companies or switched departments and could have more influence now.  A marketing automation system can help keep track of these leads and filter actionable steps to take and when.

For example, 20% of your business can come from Sales Qualified Leads that have been reconstituted through the marketing automation process.  Or maybe a lead has been quiet for a few months and you know a sales member has already been in contact. It might be time for a video or info-graphic as a subtle touch point.  While your unsubscribe rate does go up, use this as good data.  It helps keep your system up-to-date with contacts that will matter to your business.

Let’s talk.