Marketing ROI, Campaign ROI, Marketing Automation ROI

How to Maximize Marketing Automation ROI with High Quality Content

How to Maximize Marketing Automation ROI with High Quality ContentHigh quality content is an essential element of modern marketing and one of the strongest factors in maximizing marketing automation ROI. Content is one of the primary ways that marketers generate, engage, and nurture leads. It is used to build brands, establish authority, attract new social media followers, and retain existing customers. All of these benefits can contribute to your marketing automation return on investment when they are effectively executed.

Here are a few tips on how to maximize your marketing automation ROI with high quality content:

Create Valuable Content

Every piece of content should provide prospective leads with real value. High-quality content will educate the reader and give them a reason to turn to your business whenever they require additional information. Basically it should be a subtle pitch that demonstrates your expertise while offering beneficial guidance. To consistently provide readers with significant value, the content must always be focused first on the concerns and needs of your typical consumers. Selling a product or service should also be the secondary focus.

Create Personalized Content

Marketing automation software generates detailed lead profiles based on a prospect’s online behavior and demographic characteristics. Utilizing the information in your lead profiles to personalize content will maximize ROI by creating a more meaningful connection with the prospect. It shows that someone is paying attention to their concerns, which will inspire loyalty and ultimately produce greater marketing automation ROI.

Create Newsworthy Content

Each article and email that is sent using marketing automation software must provide some unique and newsworthy insight. People that trust you with access to their email inbox do not want to read the same information over and over again. High-quality content that will maximize marketing automation ROI will offer original and worthwhile information that the reader doesn’t already know about your industry, product, or services.

Create Diverse Campaigns

Content includes more than just text. Every image and video can help to establish and strengthen a brand. Visual representations are more eye-catching and usually have a higher success rate than written copy on its own. You can add images to your emails and articles to grab a lead’s attention or create infographics and videos that use imagery to inform potential prospects. For additional information on creating effective video campaigns, please read How to make video marketing work for you.

Create Registration Forms

The content with the highest value should be hidden behind registration forms to obtain additional demographic information from potential leads. This will make it easier to further develop lead profiles and create more customize content. Content that is guarded by a registration form should offer a few trade secrets or particularly useful information that can’t be accessed elsewhere on your site. Individuals that fill out a registration form to access certain information will have higher expectations from the content they receive.
High quality content is a simple and proven method for maximizing marketing automation ROI. Make sure all of your content is valuable, personalized, newsworthy, and diverse. If it is particularly beneficial content, place it behind a brief registration form. All of these tips will help increase the return on your investment.

Using Marketing Automation for Transparent Campaigns

Using Marketing Automation for Transparent CampaignsMarketing automation can positively affect a company’s bottom line by creating much-needed links between investment and ROI. For CEOs, it’s more important than ever to get confirmation that marketing efforts are paying off for the company. Without the proper web tracking methodology and assets in place that calculate return on investment, marketers and their CEOs are left without a clue as to whether or not marketing budgets are really worth it. Make sure to use marketing automation for transparent campaigns.

MarketingWeek magazine recently took on the issue of how much CEOs truly trust their marketers – a dubious question that undoubtedly causes stress for both CEOs and marketing teams. You can read the article (and the very relevant and insightful comments) at  http://www.marketingweek.co.uk.

To summarize, the article suggests that 70% of CEOs surveyed earlier this summer in a project by Fournaise Marketing Group expressed a complete lack of trust in their marketing team’s ability to generate a positive ROI through their efforts. This begs the question – do these surveyed CEOs have a point, and is their dissatisfaction indicative of industry-wide views of marketers?

How Marketing Automation Makes the Difference

Accountability is the determining factor in whether a relationship between company executives and marketers is transparent enough to survive. Without some sort of measure of accountability, CEOs have no idea what their marketing teams are doing and whether the money spent results in any kind of return over the long term.

Tracking metrics is what defines that level of accountability. With solid numbers in place, even CEOs who micro-manage advertising campaigns won’t be able to deny the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of their ideas. With marketing automation, a solid set of tools that track advertising campaigns across platforms provides metrics that can’t be ignored. When CEOs and marketing teams have access to these metrics and use them to make marketing decisions, transparency is a sure thing.

Developing the Right Relationships

One of the more interesting comments on the MarketingWeek article states that if CEOs want to see the true impact marketing has on their bottom line, they should turn their marketing efforts off for a while and see what happens. We can all likely imagine that scenario and predict the outcome.

Varying factors contribute to the trust CEOs have for their marketing departments, but transparency will always be one of those key factors. Using marketing automation tools like Lead Liaison to provide transparency in cross-platform marketing efforts can make more difference than you think. Not only does the right marketing automation company save money – it can repair a spotty relationship between departments.

Visit Lead Liaison today to find out how transparent your marketing efforts can be!

The Real ROI achieved from Marketing Automation

Real ROI from marketing automationMarketing automation is gaining in popularity among big businesses, but is it really worth the investment? What’s the real ROI from marketing automation?

Absolutely! Anytime a traditional system is changed from manual to automated, it increases efficiency and enhances its capabilities. Automation significantly reduces labor expenses while increasing the total volume of leads generated, since more can be achieved in less time. In today’s highly competitive and fast-paced marketplace, most time saving solutions are worth the investment. Let’s talk about the real ROI achieved from marketing automation.

Marketing automation uses software to automatically generate leads based on online activity. Every visitor on a site is a potential consumer and the only way to effectively track each of these visitors is by using an automated program. Every lead also leaves their own unique trail of evidence in regards to their purchasing potential. The manual labor that requires tracking and profiling every visitor’s behavior and characteristics would be astronomical, especially if the website generated a high volume of website traffic.

Being able to quickly capture leads and generate useful profiles on every lead is one of the real ways marketing automation is able to achieve ROI. Lead profiles can be used to categorize each lead into segments based on similar attributes. Rather than focus on thousands of individual leads, a company can focus on groups of related leads.

Another way to measure the true value of marketing automation comes from how these profiles can then be used to nurture and convert each lead into a sale. Marketing automation efforts should always be aligned with a personalized lead nurturing campaign. Content used to persuade each lead should be targeted to a particular concern or interest of a various lead segment.

For example, if automation software has established that a group of leads have all visited the site’s “do it yourself home renovation” page. These leads can then be targeted with helpful articles on how to successfully complete a home renovation project on your own.

Being able to tap into a lead’s needs is a priceless ROI and it is a direct result of effective marketing automation. The more a company can connect and develop trust with the lead, the more likely the lead will become a life-long customer.

Another ROI factor worth mentioning about marketing automation is its ability to produce higher quality leads. Marketers are only handing over leads that are truly interested and ready-to-buy. This pre-screening process will use the sales team’s time more efficiently. Since every lead is first profiled, nurtured, and scored before the sales team is involved, they are closer to being ready to make a decision.

Marketing automation is popular because it works. Big businesses benefit from a reduction in labor expenses, stronger lead profiles, a more personalized approach to lead nurturing, and a higher lead conversion rate. The ROI for marketing automation is certainly worth the investment.

B2B Marketing Analytics: Metrics to Focus On (Part 2)

B2B Marketing Analytics Blog and SEOAs we mentioned in Metrics to Focus On (Part 1), effective B2B management requires you to focus on your b2b marketing analytics. Available analytics tools within lead generation and marketing automation platform provide impressive granularity that allows you to modify and improve your strategies. Here are key metrics to analyze for your blog and SEO practices.

Blog

Referral sources

Who is sending traffic your way? Sure, it’s great to get attention from third-party referrers but it can be even more beneficial when you understand who they are. What is their business? Who is their audience? The quality of your referral sources can directly affect readership and, consequently, revenue generation. Take the time to know your referral sources – it can lead to higher revenues.

Subscribers

A blog can be an effective inbound marketing asset when used as a lead nurturing tool. The sign of a productive lead nurturing tool is the number of followers who engage repeatedly with your brand. What is your number of subscriptions, sign up rate, and number of times a subscriber visits? Analyze the composition of your audience to determine targeted marketing opportunities.

Engagement

Automated marketing developers like our talented Lead Liaison team are finding ways to get deeper inside your market. Mining comment streams for data is a fairly new analytics tool that allows you to understand the tone, depth, and frequency of conversations via social sites, review sites, and others.
You can select keywords and phrases relevant to your business to analyze how the market is reacting to your blog posts.

SEO

Keyword performance

The keywords used in your site and marketing assets can make a significant impact on the effectiveness of your online presence. How productive are they? There are a number of tools available to analyze page ranking on Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. according to the keywords and phrases you embed. Bear in mind that your keywords shouldn’t remain static; therefore, updating keywords to match traffic trends based on keyword performance analytics can be useful to managing your business.

Search rankings

How visible is your domain? Are your videos, articles, and other marketing assets reaching the first page? If your web pages are not being indexed effectively it can kill your conversion rates. Search engine optimization rules change regularly so analyze how well your marketing assets are currently being ranked. There are tools that deploy spider technology to analyze each page of your online presence for rank across multiple engines.

Inbound links

If you deploy multiple inbound assets such as social media, press releases, or product reviews, you’re probably using trackable links that connect your audience with landing pages or your website. Analyze the performance of these links as part of a marketing effectiveness evaluation. Tools like Google Analytics allow you to review which links are productive across search engines, referral sites, and other traffic generators.

The next post in this series will discuss the metrics you should analyze from your social media and content marketing practices.

B2B Marketing Analytics: Metrics to Focus On (Part 1)

B2B Marketing AnalyticsB2B marketing analtyics and metrics to focus on, Part 1. Effective B2B lead management demands consistent analysis. There is no shortage of b2b marketing analytics reporting programs available, thereby there is no excuse to avoid reviewing your lead generation practices. A monthly or quarterly review can provide you with vital information which helps to determine marketing ROI. The first place to start is your website – the hub of your online marketing practices. There are seven key areas related to website traffic that should be included in your analysis.

Unique visitors

Analyze new exposures to your website. Unique views can shed light on the effectiveness of new marketing campaigns as well as your site’s position within organic search rankings. Cookies provide a mechanism which allows you to identify new and returning visitors. And a tracking application like our desktop client Streamer™ captures and displays unique IP addresses so you can view who is on your site and how long they are visiting.

Returning visitors

Users who return to your site may indicate greater interest in your solutions. It is important to analyze what pages a returning visitor is viewing and the duration of the return visit. This should tell you a bit about the purpose for the follow up visit. New page view metrics by returning visitors provide a good opportunity for a qualifying sales engagement.

Popular pages

Which pages are being viewed most often? If your product pages are getting the most hits, chances are there is interest from genuine prospects. Compare each page within your site’s architecture to determine if your visitors are onsite to learn about the company or to investigate your solutions.

Traffic source

Knowing how your visitors are finding you reveals specific strengths and weaknesses of your campaigns. Is your content marketing strategy effective in driving site traffic or is your search engine marketing strategy the key to bringing visitors? The source of your site traffic is an important identifier for two reasons: 1) it reveals what led a prospect to your site and 2) it helps determine the ROI of paid campaigns.

Referring websites

Google Analytics and other traffic analyzers reveal what sites your prospects are visiting prior to finding you. Not only does this reveal the research patterns of your prospects but what sites may make valuable marketing partners. Keep in mind that the more popular a referring site is, the higher ranking your site will receive.

Bounce rates

How long are your pages being viewed? Which pages are getting bounced more often or faster than others? The length of time a visitor remains on a page tells you a lot about the value of that page. If the bounce rate for a specific page is high analyze the page to determine if the content on the page is providing value to your visitors.

CTA performance

Analyze your landing page response rates. Are marketing assets driving traffic to your landing pages? Just as important: are your landing pages generating an adequate response rate from calls-to-action? Marketing experts indicate a 1-3% conversion rate is average response rate, a 3-5% rate is decent, and over 5% means you’re doing something right.

Our the next post in this series we will discuss the metrics you should analyze from your blogs and SEO practices.

The Business Case for Revenue Generation Software

Business Case for Revenue Generation SoftwareMaking a business case to your management team for Revenue Generation Software is not difficult to do as long as you’ve got the right information in hand. When presenting your business case we suggest sticking to the following outline:

1. Highlight Problem Areas
2. Show ROI
3. Advocate new marketing strategies

Keep your justification brief and be ready to drill down into specifics if asked. Let’s highlight some data points for each of the aforementioned areas to help you strengthen your business case for Revenue Generation Software:

Problem Areas

Many B2B marketing authorities have studied the lead management automation (LMA) and/or marketing automation industry. Here are some important facts that expose deficiencies in most B2B companies:

• Only 3-5% of new lead inquiries are “sales-ready”
• 70-80% of the other inquiries are latent demand that will buy within 2 years, but are typically lost, ignored or discarded by sales
• 73% of companies have no process for revisiting leads leaving databases to become “stale”
• 80% of marketers send unqualified leads on to sales
• 90% of marketing deliverables are not used by sales
• 90% of website visitors don’t identify themselves
• 87 out of 100 deals are left behind by sales
• It takes 7 to 9 proactive communications to gain a B2B decision-makers attention
• 30% of sales reps turnover each year, 7 months to ramp up

Consider the points above and assess whether or not your company faces these challenges.

Show ROI

Best-in-class sales and marketing teams generate 4x more closed deals than average teams using the same pool of leads. Closing 4X more deals will surely be an eye-opener for any manager or executive. In addition to a hard-ROI it’s important to highlight the soft-ROI. In other words, how else will revenue generation software positively influence your organization’s people, products and process?

ROI for Marketers

• Gigantic productivity boost for marketing. Marketers no longer have to run campaigns manually; they can automate them and schedule them in advance. Marketers can create more campaigns with fewer resources while delivering more, higher qualified leads to their sales team. Finally, marketing can respond more quickly and push out new campaigns at a rapid pace with drag/drop tools that simplify campaign creation without having to lean on IT for support.
• Marketers will keep their business one step ahead of their competition and claim the majority of a prospects mind-share using state-of-the-art technology that intelligently automates and improves processes. Leave no lead left behind and distance your company from its competitors.
• Marketers will get more out of their campaigns. Revenue Generation Software allows marketers to better track and measure metrics that help them tweak and tune performance of marketing campaigns. Campaign response rates usually double when Revenue Generation Software is used to drive campaigns.

Marketers aren’t the only people that directly benefit from using Revenue Generation Software. Sales people reap reward as well. Here are some highlights of how Revenue Generation Software will help your sales team:

ROI for Sales

• Sales people will get more information about their leads. Sales will better understand a prospect’s interest, past behaviors and overall interaction with your company.
• Sales will receive more qualified leads. Revenue Generation Software uses automated technology to qualify leads using company-specific criteria that’s unique to your business.
• Like marketing, sales will also see a gigantic productivity boost. Instead of getting a pile of business cards, an excel spreadsheet or CRM view of a bunch of “leads” from marketing (what sales people would call “contacts”), sales gets quick access to prioritized leads sorted by qualification criteria. Additionally, sales people get real-time alerts when their favorite lead or company visits your website.

Sales and marketing will benefit individually and especially as a whole. It’s not uncommon for sales and marketing teams to be disconnected and think independently. Unfortunately, prospects and customers suffer from disparate sales and marketing processes as communication breaks down. Through the implementation of Revenue Generation Software sales and marketers will naturally become more aligned. Your sales and marketing teams will experience:

ROI for Sales and Marketing Teams Together

• A common view of the company’s revenue cycle. A revenue cycle is a combination of a marketing funnel with the sales funnel. As B2B buyers change, marketing is able to make greater contributions to company revenue garnering closer alignment between organizations.
• Improved marketing and sales productivity along with stronger top line growth.
• A collective understanding of how to improve marketing campaigns, track leads, measure results, improve data quality and nurture leads through the funnel.

New Marketing Strategies

While making the business case for Revenue Generation Software it’s important to highlight how the software will help you hit your current goals give to you by your manager. It’s equally important to highlight what marketing automation will add to your marketing bag of tricks. Here are a few ideas to get you thinking:

• Lead nurturing which increases communication with contacts in your database by sending them timely and relevant information to build relationships and progress them through your funnel.
• Monitoring website behavior which keeps a digital trail of information as prospects fill out forms, visit web pages, use keywords to search for your business and make return visits.
• Lead qualification using lead scoring to assign numerical values to leads that meet your qualification criteria helping to prioritize who is hot and who is not.
• Improved content creation strategies with the use of WYSIWYG editors and templates to build marketing emails. Also, drag/drop tools to build web forms and landing pages. These marketing tools are easy to use and don’t require additional 3rd party resources or IT – which saves companies money.

Building a Hard ROI

The below information is helpful when building a “soft” ROI to support a “hard” ROI (financials). Want to go a step further and build a hard ROI demonstrating financial return? We’ve got lots of experience doing just that! Contact us if you’d like a copy of our model and formulas which will help you build your business case for revenue generation software.

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Measuring Marketing Performance

Measuring Marketing PerformanceOrganizations must continually measure performance to improve and grow. Measuring marketing performance is critical as marketing plays a vital role in an organizations strategy and execution. The trend in measuring marketing performance is shifting from activity-based measurement to results-based measurement. In this article, we’ll discuss the change in performance measurement and suggest ways to effectively measure your marketing performance.

From activities to results

Historically, marketing performance has been measured on activities. For example, consider a trade show event. Marketers were typically measured on number of trade shows attended in a given period along with number of leads collected from the show. Similarly, consider email marketing. Marketers were graded on number of email opens or click throughs. It’s true, what gets measured gets done. When measuring marketing performance focus on what really matters, results. Instead of counting email opens and number of cards collected from trade shows, measure marketing based on revenue. What percentage of contacts results in an opportunity or a closed deal? If marketing and sales are both measured on revenue performance companies will benefit from closer sales and marketing alignment.

How other companies are measuring marketing performance

A recent study conducted by MarketingSherpa on more than 900 marketers asked which key performance metrics helped them evaluate marketing ROI. Interestingly, the top 5 measurements each pertain to a deal (end of the sales cycle) and cost of the contact (beginning of the sales cycle), which both greatly influence the revenue cycle.

Marketing Performance Measurement

How to impact important marketing metrics

With a renewed focus on revenue results and new metrics in mind, marketers can execute their revised strategy. To accomplish this, many marketers use technology, such as marketing automation, to achieve their goals. Lead Liaison provides revenue generation software, which includes marketing automation, for this reason. Here’s how Lead Liaison’s technology supports each metric:

Closing percentage. Lead nurturing uses customer/prospect profiles to send scheduled, intelligent communications that build relationships and close more deals. Lead scoring automatically qualifies leads to send only the best leads to sales. Sales remains focused on sales-ready leads and optimizes their time around revenue, resulting in more wins and higher close percentage.

Cost-per-acquisition. Lead tracking and lead generation technology creates leads from various inbound marketing activities. Leads opt-in to Lead Liaison via web form submission, response to an email campaign, or manual opt-in to become a lead in the system. Generating more leads with the same amount of inbound marketing results in higher marketing ROI and lower cost-per-acquisition.

Cost-per-lead. Marketing segmentation allows marketers to segment a database based on a number of demographics (revenue, location, etc.) and activities (product interest, recent website visits, etc.). By re-marketing to an existing database, a company’s most valuable asset, marketers get “stale” leads on nurturing programs. As a result, marketers do not have to acquire as many leads via list brokers or trade shows. By using what a marketer already has they reduce cost-per-lead.

Average deal size. Companies end up paying more for quality solutions from trusted advisers whom they’ve built relationships with. Lead nurturing builds the necessary relationships with customers and prospects over time while establishing the vendor as a trusted authority.

Time to close. Lead nurturing ensures companies are in constant communication with leads using relevant messaging. Leads will always have the company and/or solution at the top of their mind. Additionally, leads won’t “stray”. In totality, these factors result in shorter sales cycles and less time to close.

We welcome your feedback, comments and suggestions. How is your company measuring marketing performance?

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