|By Will Davis||
|February 19, 2013 09:34 AM EST||
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.
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?
What happens when the different parts of a vehicle become smarter than the vehicle itself? As we move toward the era of smart everything, hundreds of entities in a vehicle that communicate with each other, the vehicle and external systems create a need for identity orchestration so that all entities work as a conglomerate. Much like an orchestra without a conductor, without the ability to secure, control, and connect the link between a vehicle’s head unit, devices, and systems and to manage the ...
Dec. 7, 2016 10:30 PM EST Reads: 835
"Once customers get a year into their IoT deployments, they start to realize that they may have been shortsighted in the ways they built out their deployment and the key thing I see a lot of people looking at is - how can I take equipment data, pull it back in an IoT solution and show it in a dashboard," stated Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 7, 2016 10:00 PM EST Reads: 1,188
In his session at Cloud Expo, Robert Cohen, an economist and senior fellow at the Economic Strategy Institute, provideed economic scenarios that describe how the rapid adoption of software-defined everything including cloud services, SDDC and open networking will change GDP, industry growth, productivity and jobs. This session also included a drill down for several industries such as finance, social media, cloud service providers and pharmaceuticals.
Dec. 7, 2016 09:15 PM EST Reads: 342
In IT, we sometimes coin terms for things before we know exactly what they are and how they’ll be used. The resulting terms may capture a common set of aspirations and goals – as “cloud” did broadly for on-demand, self-service, and flexible computing. But such a term can also lump together diverse and even competing practices, technologies, and priorities to the point where important distinctions are glossed over and lost.
Dec. 7, 2016 08:45 PM EST Reads: 1,632
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, discussed the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
Dec. 7, 2016 08:15 PM EST Reads: 2,207
Enterprise IT has been in the era of Hybrid Cloud for some time now. But it seems most conversations about Hybrid are focused on integrating AWS, Microsoft Azure, or Google ECM into existing on-premises systems. Where is all the Private Cloud? What do technology providers need to do to make their offerings more compelling? How should enterprise IT executives and buyers define their focus, needs, and roadmap, and communicate that clearly to the providers?
Dec. 7, 2016 07:15 PM EST Reads: 387
All clouds are not equal. To succeed in a DevOps context, organizations should plan to develop/deploy apps across a choice of on-premise and public clouds simultaneously depending on the business needs. This is where the concept of the Lean Cloud comes in - resting on the idea that you often need to relocate your app modules over their life cycles for both innovation and operational efficiency in the cloud. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at19th Cloud Expo, Valentin (Val) Bercovici, CTO of Soli...
Dec. 7, 2016 07:15 PM EST Reads: 1,796
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...
Dec. 7, 2016 07:00 PM EST Reads: 475
Join Impiger for their featured webinar: ‘Cloud Computing: A Roadmap to Modern Software Delivery’ on November 10, 2016, at 12:00 pm CST. Very few companies have not experienced some impact to their IT delivery due to the evolution of cloud computing. This webinar is not about deciding whether you should entertain moving some or all of your IT to the cloud, but rather, a detailed look under the hood to help IT professionals understand how cloud adoption has evolved and what trends will impact th...
Dec. 7, 2016 06:00 PM EST Reads: 2,664
In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Claude Remillard, Principal Program Manager in Developer Division at Microsoft, contrasted how his team used config as code and immutable patterns for continuous delivery of microservices and apps to the cloud. He showed how the immutable patterns helps developers do away with most of the complexity of config as code-enabling scenarios such as rollback, zero downtime upgrades with far greater simplicity. He also demoed building immutable pipelines in the cloud ...
Dec. 7, 2016 06:00 PM EST Reads: 1,872
"We are the public cloud providers. We are currently providing 50% of the resources they need for doing e-commerce business in China and we are hosting about 60% of mobile gaming in China," explained Yi Zheng, CPO and VP of Engineering at CDS Global Cloud, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 7, 2016 05:45 PM EST Reads: 1,104
Businesses and business units of all sizes can benefit from cloud computing, but many don't want the cost, performance and security concerns of public cloud nor the complexity of building their own private clouds. Today, some cloud vendors are using artificial intelligence (AI) to simplify cloud deployment and management. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Ajay Gulati, Co-founder and CEO of ZeroStack, will discuss how AI can simplify cloud operations. He will cover the following topics: why clou...
Dec. 7, 2016 05:15 PM EST Reads: 930
"We are a custom software development, engineering firm. We specialize in cloud applications from helping customers that have on-premise applications migrating to the cloud, to helping customers design brand new apps in the cloud. And we specialize in mobile apps," explained Peter Di Stefano, Vice President of Marketing at Impiger Technologies, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 7, 2016 05:15 PM EST Reads: 359
IoT solutions exploit operational data generated by Internet-connected smart “things” for the purpose of gaining operational insight and producing “better outcomes” (for example, create new business models, eliminate unscheduled maintenance, etc.). The explosive proliferation of IoT solutions will result in an exponential growth in the volume of IoT data, precipitating significant Information Governance issues: who owns the IoT data, what are the rights/duties of IoT solutions adopters towards t...
Dec. 7, 2016 05:15 PM EST Reads: 273
As data explodes in quantity, importance and from new sources, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and cloud environments grow with it. Managing data includes protecting it, indexing and classifying it for true, long-term management, compliance and E-Discovery. Commvault can ensure this with a single pane of glass solution – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enter...
Dec. 7, 2016 05:15 PM EST Reads: 1,753