Welcome!

Blog Feed Post

Marketing Automation: Planning, Alignment and Content Spell Success

According to Q2 Insights (formerly Focus Research), marketing automation software – including popular platforms like Eloqua, Marketo, Hubspot, and Pardot – is showing the strongest growth in the $4 billion CRM market. Sirius Decisions predicts that 50% of B2B organizations will use marketing automation by 2015, up from 20% in 2012. The same research tells us that businesses that use marketing automation to nurture prospects experience a 451% increase in qualified leads.

Marketing Automation InfographicWant more numbers? Check out the infographic to the right (click for full size) to familiarize yourself with the benefits of marketing automation.

And yet, all too often we see these tools fail. If marketing automation is so great, how could it possibly fail? The infographic (and my [insert vendor name] sales rep) told me it wouldn’t, right? And we all know infographics and sales reps don’t lie.

If you’ve read this far, you may think I dislike these tools, or have an axe to grind. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth – we work hands-on with these tools and when used correctly, they can provide incredible ROI and amazing insights – just like the infographic promises.

However, like anything else, the proper pieces need to be in place to realize these benefits. I’ve seen too many clients license the software, pay significant fees for months and still stumble to get things up and running. Software that could provide a strong return on investment instead sits idle as a worthless expense.

With that in mind, here are the three common marketing automation traps I’ve seen companies fall into, as well as some tips on how to prepare for them and set yourself up for success.

Trap # 1 – No Marketing Plan

Getting the most out of any marketing channel necessitates a plan (even more so when adding in sophisticated software). Too often, I’ve seen companies go in with the blinders on, see the possible ROI numbers and fall into the trap of:

  • Step 1 License Software…
  • Step 3 Become Millionaire…

…while missing critical pieces of everything that happens in between. The same way you wouldn’t start building a home without a blueprint, make sure you have a plan in place for how you are going to build programs that generate leads, what your lead nurturing cycle is, and other key components. By mapping this out ahead of time, you will be able to flesh out where you have gaps and make sure to fill them before you find out you’ve licensed a tool you aren’t yet ready to use.

Trap # 2 – Lack of Alignment Between Sales, Marketing, and IT

Each of these groups will likely play some role in the setup, configuration and deployment of your automation tool. Marketing automation often sits at the intersection of sales, marketing and IT.

Most organizations will want to make sure it syncs with a CRM system, which will often require some level of IT involvement for initial configuration and deployment. IT will also likely be involved somewhere in the evaluation process, because it is software, after all.  More complex integrations may require some ongoing IT support. And in many companies, as much as it may pain marketers, IT still “owns” the website (though fortunately this is continuing to evolve).

Likewise, sales and marketing will need alignment on topics like what constitutes a lead and what still needs to be nurtured, what those touches look like, etc. The good news is that, if done right, automation tools and content marketing can serve as The Turning Point for the Sales & Marketing Relationship.

Trap # 3 – You Mean This Thing Needs Content? 

In order to function effectively, your marketing automation tool needs content. Content to draw people in, content to get people to fill out a form and identify themselves, content to nurture prospects until they are sales-ready, and content for loyalty, retention, and cross-sell/up-sell to existing customers.

Pro tip: You can’t just create a ton of mediocre content – your buyers probably won’t be dazzled by mediocre and nothing will kill your brand like weak content. Your marketing approach is hungry for content, and implementing an automation tool only serves to magnify the hunger. Make sure that you plan out the content your buyers will need at each stage, and have the right internal resources or external resources to execute a smart content marketing program.

Avoiding these three major traps should have you on the road to marketing automation success – and realizing the value of your investment.

Like this post? Get easy-to-digest tips and more detailed content marketing approaches from Right Source and other industry experts in our free content marketing eBook: How to Grow Your Business with Content Marketing.

Learn even more about creating a successful content marketing approach in the webcast: What if You Build It and They Still Don’t Come?

Marketing Automation Infographic

Image Source 

Image Source

 

 

 

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Will Davis

Right Source Marketing helps organizations build their marketing strategy, organize the structure to accommodate that strategy, and deliver the specific services to execute that strategy. We do this through a unique model that provides senior level strategic consulting as well as specific services that cover every area of an organization’s marketing plan.

Latest Stories
In his General Session at DevOps Summit, Asaf Yigal, Co-Founder & VP of Product at Logz.io, will explore the value of Kibana 4 for log analysis and will give a real live, hands-on tutorial on how to set up Kibana 4 and get the most out of Apache log files. He will examine three use cases: IT operations, business intelligence, and security and compliance. This is a hands-on session that will require participants to bring their own laptops, and we will provide the rest.
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud taking place June 6-8, 2017, at Javits Center, New York City, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long developm...
A look across the tech landscape at the disruptive technologies that are increasing in prominence and speculate as to which will be most impactful for communications – namely, AI and Cloud Computing. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Curtis Peterson, VP of Operations at RingCentral, will highlight the current challenges of these transformative technologies and share strategies for preparing your organization for these changes. This “view from the top” will outline the latest trends and developm...
"LinearHub provides smart video conferencing, which is the Roundee service, and we archive all the video conferences and we also provide the transcript," stated Sunghyuk Kim, CEO of LinearHub, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
When you focus on a journey from up-close, you look at your own technical and cultural history and how you changed it for the benefit of the customer. This was our starting point: too many integration issues, 13 SWP days and very long cycles. It was evident that in this fast-paced industry we could no longer afford this reality. We needed something that would take us beyond reducing the development lifecycles, CI and Agile methodologies. We made a fundamental difference, even changed our culture...
Things are changing so quickly in IoT that it would take a wizard to predict which ecosystem will gain the most traction. In order for IoT to reach its potential, smart devices must be able to work together. Today, there are a slew of interoperability standards being promoted by big names to make this happen: HomeKit, Brillo and Alljoyn. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Adam Justice, vice president and general manager of Grid Connect, will review what happens when smart devices don’t work togethe...
"There's a growing demand from users for things to be faster. When you think about all the transactions or interactions users will have with your product and everything that is between those transactions and interactions - what drives us at Catchpoint Systems is the idea to measure that and to analyze it," explained Leo Vasiliou, Director of Web Performance Engineering at Catchpoint Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York Ci...
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
@DevOpsSummit taking place June 6-8, 2017 at Javits Center, New York City, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo New York Call for Papers is now open.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Dataloop.IO, an innovator in cloud IT-monitoring whose products help organizations save time and money, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Dataloop.IO is an emerging software company on the cutting edge of major IT-infrastructure trends including cloud computing and microservices. The company, founded in the UK but now based in San Fran...
WebRTC is the future of browser-to-browser communications, and continues to make inroads into the traditional, difficult, plug-in web communications world. The 6th WebRTC Summit continues our tradition of delivering the latest and greatest presentations within the world of WebRTC. Topics include voice calling, video chat, P2P file sharing, and use cases that have already leveraged the power and convenience of WebRTC.
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
Discover top technologies and tools all under one roof at April 24–28, 2017, at the Westin San Diego in San Diego, CA. Explore the Mobile Dev + Test and IoT Dev + Test Expo and enjoy all of these unique opportunities: The latest solutions, technologies, and tools in mobile or IoT software development and testing. Meet one-on-one with representatives from some of today's most innovative organizations
SYS-CON Events announced today that Super Micro Computer, Inc., a global leader in Embedded and IoT solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Supermicro (NASDAQ: SMCI), the leading innovator in high-performance, high-efficiency server technology, is a premier provider of advanced server Building Block Solutions® for Data Center, Cloud Computing, Enterprise IT, Hadoop/Big Data, HPC and E...