Get up to Speed: Marketing Automation

With promises to drive sales conversion through the roof, here comes marketing automation — delivering improved email targeting, real-time triggered messages, customer relationship management integration, and stay-in-touch campaigns. Businesses around the globe are implementing automation with success. Their seeing lower overheads and more customer intimacy. They’re gaining access to useful return-on-marketing-investment (ROMI) metrics, because automation tracks the effectiveness of marketing at every point of the consumer experience, letting them see what’s working and what isn’t. They’re also achieving faster revenue growth. In fact, research by Marketo, Forrester, CSO Insights and others shows that automation platforms stand to increase the 20% of leads that are sales-ready by 50%, all while reducing average cost per lead.

Exactly how does automation both raise revenue and cut costs? A couple of different ways. But the backbone is in its function of expediting and enhancing two marketing processes: lead scoring and lead nurturing. Automated lead scoring quantifies consumer interest based on demographics, behavior, and source information, at the initial moment of engagement. This lets marketers break down a vast number of leads into highly-specified groups. Automated follow-up campaigns tailor outreach efforts to each of these groups, and adjust as behavioral data for every lead accumulates. No capital or work-hours are wasted sending messages to disinterested consumers. Leads closest to buying are channeled to sales, while early stage leads go back into a nurturing cycle until they are sales-ready, and nonresponding leads are marked as “suspended.”

Small, mid-market, and large-scale enterprises have benefited from automation platforms. The program Hubspot, for example, helped fledgling Boston-based travel company Tenon Tours cut spending on fruitless pay-per-click ads and develop a robust lead generation and nurturing system, which lead to a 129% increase in sales revenue and a 504% increase in lead volume. On the other side of scale are businesses like CARFAX, the vehicle history report behemoth. You know the name, but you might not know that they’ve integrated the automation software Silverpop – and specifically its various email-triggering options – to make sure dealers can present to vehicle reports to customers that reflected all the information that CARFAX has at that moment, and that customers get to-the-minute email updates alerting them to changes in reports on cars that they own. This has led to greater customer awareness, brand satisfaction, and retention for the company.

In the next few weeks, we’ll begin testing a marketing automation platform to supplement our strategic efforts. With this capability added to our arsenal, we’ll have a stronger lead scoring system and better lead nurturing capabilities. We expect a higher conversion rate — and a boost to your business’s growth.