Material specific to marketing automation such as needs, best practices, lessons learned, and benefits of marketing automation.

How Marketing Automation Can Help your Marketing Team Achieve More with Less

How Marketing Automation Can Help your Marketing Team Achieve More with Less

Trying to figure out how marketing automation can help? Before we start off with the details and get into complications, let’s get a clear perspective about what marketing automation is, it’s a process to replace repetitive, ‘manual’ actions which involve excessive human interaction with automated solutions to streamline the marketing processes within an organization. Let’s consider a bottling factory. Before automation, the plant had about 300 workers on their payroll bottling 3000 bottles an hour – after installation of a machine the rate jumped to 100,000 bottles in 30 minutes. Net effect? Increased productivity. What the plant did was to ‘automate’ a clearly manual process with the help of a machine which essentially is an example of what marketing automation is – a naive one perhaps.

The focus in automating your company’s marketing tasks is on moving leads from the top of the marketing funnel through to becoming sales-ready leads at the other end of the funnel. Prospects are scored, based on their activities and then presented drip campaign messaging via email and social channels, thus nurturing them from first interest through to the final nod. Marketing automation may be applied within the company’s infrastructure for many purposes, some of which may be:

• Designing and running email marketing campaigns

• Automation of repetitive, inherently manual business tasks

• Developing an automated campaign to increase visibility and hence sales

• Ideally suited for low-budget SMEs

I should clarify here that marketing automation is not a product category, rather, it’s a lose definition of products that help marketing teams reach out to ever greater numbers, qualify leads and run their marketing campaigns that yield better results.

One primary benefit your marketing team can immediately reap from putting in place an easy-to-use marketing automation service (not software, but a service) will be an increase in the number of quality leads given to your sales staff. The definition of ‘quality’ here is essentially iterative since it would vary from team to team, organization to organization. Lead qualification is something that can definitely increase your sales team’s efficiency and eventually, your sales!

In addition to ‘implementing’ marketing tasks, you can also ‘measure’ your marketing activities. No one does blind marketing anymore, specially with tight budgets. Automation tools can help you track your marketing expense e.g. on online advertising networks like Google Adwords. Measuring your online marketing campaign will equip your marketing team with the right data to tweak their future campaigns for improved penetration and eventually, more conversions.

The world of desktop software for marketing management has largely been replaced with web based services, hosted and served from the ‘Cloud’. These services are sold as subscriptions following the SaaS model. This has clear advantages over software installed on workstations/laptops. First, you don’t need any installation, all you need is a subscription  to the service and you’re good to go.

SaaS has now become a common IT services delivery method for many organizations – either big or small. It is adaptable for many business models such as accounting, collaboration, customer relation and human resource management. One of the key features of SaaS is that companies no longer have to spend resources on IT as they can simply subscribe to SaaS providers. They can provide readymade structures – ready to be integrated into your home grown systems.

Marketing Automation Begins With Consumer Intelligence

Marketing Automation Begins With Consumer IntelligenceConsumer intelligence comes first. Walmart pioneer Sam Walton was adequately prepared to open his Bentonville, Arkansas dime store to offer customers low prices on daily needs and even niceties for children. Through his small scope in customer interactivity, he was able to affect an entire community – and do so one customer at a time. In today’s budget conscious eco-friendly society, consumerists are jumping straight for automation of customer marketing, taking lesser amounts of time with each campaign in actually segmenting and learning the human’s decision changes before running their diatribe of marketing materials across social media and email marketing platforms. Before any successful automated marketing solution can transpire, proper intelligence into customer needs, desires and budget constraints needs to be passably performed prior to automation if companies want their overall ROAS (return on ad spend) showing up above the red.

Research Habitual Activities

Since marketing automation relies heavily upon proliferation of consumer purchase habits. Since in order for purchases to happen a customer will research, study and interact with certain questions, automated marketing programs will cease effectiveness if specific polls, studies and lead scoring aren’t performed prior to campaign launches. Demographical data, such as geo-specific customer locality and types of products or services being sought online, needs scored along with social media data to propagate factual information sets to be considered when marketing automation processes commence. Since humans are creatures of habit, spending the time to study these habitual activities will provide information your competition fails to collect due to haste.

Giving Away Reaps Equivocal Returns

Another heavily used and plausibly marketable source of collecting customer intelligence is through giveaways such as eBooks, DVD’s or coupons via email or snail mail. Through carefully asked questions placed in data collection fields, you can understand buying habits, collect useful customer database fillers and even learn frequencies of social media interaction – along with what sects are being connected with the most such as family, groups or games. The initial revenue drop experienced through giveaways can easily recuperate with valuable customer information collected.

View Tracking

Commonly called mystery shopping when done in person, another way one can implement customer intelligence into marketing automation betterment would be tracking views in online storefronts. By seeing what customers are looking at but not buying, product offers can be price-adjusted to placate customers who may show interest yet lack funding for your marketed products or services. Views can be tracked through cookie integration or server-side programming which self-tracks pages visited by IP address.

Customer Intelligence Is Obligatory

Marketing automation, undoubtedly, has won the aggressive marketing company and small business over with easy methodologies of handling multiple segments and niches. In order to ameliorate the human error factor, performing customer intelligence prior to sequestering marketing campaigns is an imminent marketing gorilla which must be adamantly tamed through more exacting data collection, scoring and redirection efforts. Without intelligible customer data practices, you’ll begin automating for naught. Spend the quality time in giving away samplings, asking direct questions and viewing your targeted niche from a distance to substantiate, then propagate, more effective marketing automation efforts altogether.

Five Factors to Consider before Choosing Marketing Automation Software

Five Factors to Consider before Choosing Marketing Automation SoftwareThere are five factors to consider before choosing marketing automation software. Those five factors are your marketing department’s capabilities, your marketing needs, your software requirements, transition time and budget.

Your Marketing Department’s Capabilities

This is by far one of the most important factors to consider in choosing marketing automation software. Before actually making a purchase, assess your business’ marketing department. Is your marketing team tech savvy? Are they able to use new software with comfort? If they are used to using complex software, will simpler software make them feel like work is too mundane? Since there are so many choices of marketing automation software out there, an honest assessment of your marketing department significantly narrow down the choices.

What Are Your Marketing Needs?

Lead management or lead acquisition? Fully integrated software to simple marketing software? Discuss your marketing needs in a meeting with your marketing department during the assessment. Compile a list of these needs to find the marketing automation software that’s right for you.

What are Your Software Requirements?

What exactly is it that you need the software to provide? What do you expect out of it? What results are you looking for? These are questions you should be asking yourself in order to narrow down the choices for the best marketing automation software.

Key features to analyze include:

● Landing page management
● Customer segmentation
● Web site activity tracking
● Email distributions
● Real-time notifications
● Form tools
● Survey tools

There are many more features offered by marketing automation software providers, these are just some of the more important features to consider.

Transition Time

Transitioning from your current method of lead management may take some time. Some businesses that use marketing agencies assume that obtaining this software will totally replace all of what the agency does immediately. This is not true. Marketing automation software like any other software has a learning curve, so it will take some time to actually gain full benefit from it.


How much can your company afford to spend on marketing automation software? Keep in mind that you will need to factor in the cost of the software as well as the cost for training and support. Once you decide what your company needs the software for, make an assessment of how much you can spend on it.

Six Advantages of Marketing Automation Software

Six Advantages of Marketing Automation SoftwareWhat are the advantages of marketing automation software? In order for your sales to increase, your marketing and sales teams have to work together more efficiently. They also have to work efficiently on their respective teams. Quality information is needed for both teams to do this together and individually. Marketing automation software helps provide the productivity boost that both teams need while increasing your sales. Amongst these benefits are many others that can both increase your marketing and sales team’s productivity and increase your company’s sales.

Identifies Quality Leads

Sales representatives and marketing reps may significantly disagree on what each feels is a quality lead. This not only breeds discord between the two departments, but it can also waste your company’s most valuable asset, TIME. The alignment of both sales and marketing is a crucial part of the success of your business, and getting the two on the same page is a hard task; that’s where marketing automation software comes in. The software clearly defines what a quality lead is by using demographics, behavioral data ad a lead scoring system. This information is then ready to be followed up by sales.

Organization and Management

With the use of the CRM system, marketing automation software helps to create a better sense of organization in the marketing department. The marketing team can use the CRM system to:

● Track prospective customers
● Communicate with prospective customers
● Address concerns

The marketing automation software allows the marketing team to do this all while retaining the prospective customers in the sales cycle.

Increase Sales

Marketing automation software makes the sales team more efficient by providing them with:

● Quality leads
● Behavioral data

The combination of these two points single handedly increases productivity in your sales department by 20 percent.

Marketing Campaign Control

Organizing content is by far one of the most important tasks in the marketing department. Marketing and IT have to work together to create web pages that contain content such as advertisements and promotions for campaigns. Marketing automation allows a marketing rep to create web pages directed at campaigns without needing an IT rep.

Identifies Best Campaigns

Marketing automation software minimizes the time it takes to sort through campaigns. The software automatically recognizes which campaigns make the most sense and which are not beneficial to your company. This not only saves time, but provides a better return on dollars put into your marketing programs.

Improved Content Marketing

Marketing automation software can help with developing a successful content marketing strategy. During the buying process a typical sales person is dealing with 3 to 4 stakeholders. Marketing automation software identifies the roles of those involved in the buying process. This helps you to create content that is more targeted to these people, instead of using ‘existing’ content on the site that may not adequately address their needs.

The Key Functions of Marketing Automation Software

Key Functions of Marketing Automation SoftwareWhat are the key functions of marketing automation software? Although people may differ over the exact definition of ‘marketing automation’, one thing that can be agreed upon is the benefits. Marketing automation software provides a mix of benefits, which include improved sales and improved marketing and sales relations. Now that you’ve decided to use marketing automation, you should understand the main functions that bring about these many more benefits.

Identifying Effective Campaigns

Identifying which campaigns could work for your company and which ones won’t is very time consuming. Often times these educated guestimates do not go without potential risks (and there are a lot of them). Marketing automation software takes the guess work out of effective campaign identification. Through sophisticated data, this software accurately identifies which campaigns are worthwhile and which are not. This not only saves time, but also gives you a bigger return on your company’s marketing campaign investments.

Identifying Quality Leads

This is the lifeline of your company. The sales and marketing departments need to work together to see a potential buyer from the query stage to an actual sale. However, this is not always easy. Why? Because both departments often disagree about what constitutes as a quality lead. This translates to a loss of time and the potential oversight of sale. Marketing automation gathers information from your website such as demographics and behavioral data to identify quality leads. This information is then passed on to sales who can follow-up directly with the potential buyer.

Improving Marketing Content

A lot of businesses rely on stale content to ‘seduce’ a potential buyer into a purchase. However, trouble comes when the information isn’t what the potential buyer needs, or when the content doesn’t address the questions or concerns of a potential buyer. Marketing automation software identifies the needs of the potential customers, which helps the marketing team to create appropriate content.

These three main functions can be split and dissected into literally hundreds of benefits that can profit your business. Most marketing automation software programs have the same basic key functions, although they may work differently to achieve the same goal.

Why CEOs Need Marketing Automation

Why CEOs Need Marketing AutomationWhy do CEOs need marketing automation? Are you struggling to justify marketing automation within your organization? Use these 5 reasons to sell CEOs on why they will fall in love with marketing automation:

Marketing Automation Can Provide Accurate Metrics for ROI

One of the biggest complaints CEOs have about spending marketing dollars is that there rarely is enough data provided about anticipated ROI. CEOs need to have the ability to accurately ascertain the ROI on every dollar spent on marketing. Until now, this knowledge has been elusive. Marketing automation and lead management processes offer CEOs the visibility they require.

Sales Cost Decrease With Marketing Automation

Why do sales teams ignore more than 80% of incoming marketing leads? The reason is clear; they don’t value the quality of those leads. Companies expend valuable resources to retain sales reps, therefore, the productivity associated with the resources is critically important. CEOs naturally favor ensuring that these resources are used in the most productive ways. Marketing automation can assist in passing qualified leads to sales by providing more sales intelligence. Sales reps can now increase the likelihood of success on incoming leads.

Marketing Automation Helps CEOs Understand How Marketing Impacts the Bottom Line

Most CEOs are frustrated with marketers who keep talking about brand value and brand equity that can’t be directly linked back to results that truly matter: market valuation, revenue, sales, and EBIT. Although marketing automation doesn’t directly assist with determinations on the money spent on branding efforts, it can help with assessing the ROI of marketing campaigns; this can shed light on how to best spend those branding dollars.

CEOs Can Effectively Track Increases in Revenue

The ultimate goal of marketing automation is to increase revenue and maximize resources. Over time, marketing automation should assist in providing warmer leads for sales reps. This ultimately leads to quicker closes. Additionally, greater intelligence and insights provide sales reps with a better chance of finding people when they are actively interacting with the website, landing pages, and campaigns.

CEOs Can See How Lead Management Evolves Into a Competitive Advantage

Marketing automation coupled with a process that spans lead generation will inevitably evolve into a competitive business advantage. Marketing automation is one component that leads to revenue increases, qualified leads and frees companies up from bloated and costly legacy processes.

Take Action – Like Barbie!

It’s clear that marketing automation can make things easier and lead to revenue increases and qualified leads. CEOs can measure the data provided on marketing efforts, sales costs decrease, and CEOs can understand how marketing efforts affect the bottom line. Once CEOs are able to effectively track revenue increases and see how lead management leads to a competitive advantage, CEOs will be more willing to invest more resources into marketing.

It’s time to streamline the sales process and achieve a greater percentage of sales successes. Marketing automation can deliver these results quickly and efficiently. Choose to take advantage of the benefits marketing automation can offer now. Your CEO will appreciate the effort and the convenience this resource can offer.

Are you a CEO or C-Level employee that wants to learn more about Lead Liaison’s Revenue Generation Software™ providing marketing automation technology? Ping us!

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Sources: The Aberdeen study performed in 2009 concluded that 80% of marketing efforts to generate leads are ignored by sales teams.

What is Marketing Automation and Should You Care?

What is Marketing Automation and Should You Care?What is marketing automation anyways? Companies need to look for ways to develop marketing strategies in the highly competitive business world today and produce satisfactory results. Studies have shown that companies who have achieved high annual revenue and return on marketing investment were four times more likely to implement market automation.

When it’s time to make a strong business case to upper management for implementing marketing automation solutions, it helps to understand where the benefits can be achieved and what functions can be performed. Before we discuss the tangible and intangible benefits, let’s take a look at what marketing automation means.

Basically, marketing automation is software that automates marketing processes such as defining, scheduling, tracking and creating marketing campaigns.

The benefits to a company are listed below.

Marketing Automation Benefits

● Improved engagement with customers and prospects resulting in more deepened relationships.
● Repetitive tasks reduced so the marketing team can focus on marketing strategy.
● Improved customer satisfaction and retention resulting in quality of sales being improved.
● Reduced costs and increased productivity.
● A marketing strategy can be reviewed and approved through an automation process resulting in quick decisions.
● Marketing campaigns can be stored in a centralized system for easy access to all team members.

There are many functions that can be performed by market automation. Let’s focus on what these functions can do for your company.

Marketing Automation Functions

Lead Management – This process can score prospects and move them up and down in the sales funnel based on who they are and what they do. Only the best leads will be passed to the sales team thereby reducing time wasted on customers who are not ready to buy.
Build Emails – Emails can be automatically created using a database of customers and delivered at the ‘right time’ based on their behaviour on social media or visits to your web pages.
Track Marketing Campaigns – By tracking results of phone or email campaigns you can improve the ones that work and abandon the ones that fail.
Provide Metrics – Reports can be created to provide for strategic planning. Metrics can be obtained from your website by looking at who is visiting your site, what pages they are visiting and what actions they are taking.
Data Collection – Data can be collected from numerous databases to effectively target customers.
Automate Inquiries – Processes can be put in place to handle sales inquiries and comments. Faster response times will increase conversion rates.
Customer profiling – Data can be gathered for a campaign based on demographics such as geography, age, gender, interests, etc.

Marketing automation technology is here to stay. It has become a critical component for organizations and it will be very difficult to compete without it.

We encourage you to learn more about how Lead Liaison’s Revenue Generation Software™ provides marketing automation technology that harnesses the benefits and functionality mentioned above.

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Target Marketing Strategy

Target Marketing StrategyDoes your target market strategy involve selling to a finite set of accounts? Is your Total Available Market (TAM) a small list of companies you can list on one or two pages of a word document? Does your company avoid buying marketing lists and limit outbound marketing to the masses? If the answer is yes to any of these questions then Revenue Generation Software™, driven by marketing automation technology under the hood, will boost your business to the next level and drive your target market strategy.

Here are six ways you can make the most out of your well-defined target market:

Relationship Marketing

Competitors are chasing the same target market as you are. It’s vital to differentiate your company from your competitors. One way to do that is to invest in building relationships. Use Revenue Generation Software™ to automatically and intelligently interact with prospects to create meaningful conversations that keep prospects thinking about you, not your competitor, first. Pre-configure relationship nurturing tracks that enable sales people to instantly drop strategic contacts into a nurturing program. Consistent, company-generated messaging will permeate your target account better than disparate, sales-generated messaging. Make sure to leverage technology to build relationships as part of your target marketing strategy.

Prospect Tracking

Sales people have a challenging job breaking into strategic accounts; it is not easy navigating an organization from the outside in. Many calls and emails can be sent with zero visibility as to the effectiveness of a sales person’s outreach. Use desktop software that streams business to business website visitor traffic in real-time to get feedback on sales outreach. Sales people will know when a strategic account responds to a call or clicks a link in an email with software that alerts the sales representative when the strategic account visits your company’s website.

Account Profiling

Unless they know an insider, sales people have a tough time finding whom to call without an organization chart. Use Revenue Generation Software™ to build a list of employees and their roles and map out an organization. Find a contact you need to call then instantly import the contact into your CRM, such as, saving time on data entry. Also, business intelligence information such as description, revenue, headquarter location, financials, executives, jobs and more are available to help profile companies.

Competitive Landscaping

Once your company identifies an ideal target identify their competitors. Use Revenue Generation Software™ to augment sales prospecting by quickly viewing competitors of a target account. Then start relationship marketing efforts with your strategic account’s competitor.

Marketing Engagement

Relationship marketing helps businesses and sales people stay in touch with their target market. It’s also important to engage your target market. Use surveys to stimulate interaction and engage your audience. Make sure to process the results and respond. Shield competitors from your finite account base by showing prospects your company is inquisitive and ready to listen.

Personalized Selling

Generic, company-to-company or company-to-person communication might be effective for businesses blasting out emails to massive marketing lists. However, if you know your target market and never buy lists there’s a good chance each of your target accounts, leads and contacts have been assigned a lead owner by your company. Use Revenue Generation Software™ to send closed-loop email messages from the lead owner and make communications personalized and intimate, vital for building relationships.

We encourage you to learn more about how Lead Liaison’s Revenue Generation Software™ can amp up your target market strategy and help your company break into strategic accounts. Even if your company only sells to a finite set of target accounts our technology can deliver immediate value and help your company increase revenue.

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Using Marketing Automation with Customers

Using Marketing Automation with CustomersLooking for happy customers? The solution is not that far away. Marketing automation technology has many use cases. Businesses often think about using marketing automation as a prospecting tool. Why not use marketing automation with existing customers? Creating new clients is very challenging not to mention expensive. When you break down the numbers new customer acquisition costs can be very high. See how expensive it is to acquire your new customers by using this tool from Panalysis. Once you see how expensive it is to obtain new customers you’ll realize that keeping them is vital to the health of a business. Customer retention is even more important for businesses that have a subscription-based business model. Subscription-based businesses are faced with the challenge of keeping their customers happy through the entire term of the relationship, not just in the beginning. Waiting until renewal time to contact your subscription client is bad business. Marketing automation helps businesses stay in touch with their customers, keep relationships warm and keep communication levels high. This makes perfect sense, but it’s near impossible for companies to do without the proper tools.

I bet 80% to 90% of all business make the sale and move into a completely reactive mode, responding only to customer support inquiries. A paradigm shift is necessary for companies with a reactionary model. They’ve got to start thinking about proactive communication. The purpose is not to add administrative overhead, but to reduce risk of customer churn. Also consider the benefit of

• Up-selling customers by keeping them updated on new products or services,
• gaining referrals from customers as they’ll now be keeping your top of mind,
• accelerating word of mouth marketing as customers can forward informative content to their colleagues, industry contacts and friends,
• educating your customers with new product information and/or ways they can get the most out of your product by tapping into features they may not be aware of,
• brokering communication with your clients which fosters feedback and product growth,
• training customers using methodical, automated communication that ties in lessons, delivered via email, quizzes delivered via surveys and answers delivered via email

Marketing automation technology can also help you create a risk score for your clients. A risk score serves as a key indicator of the likelihood your client will stay or leave. If there’s a low lead score then you’ve got reason to be concerned; however, if there’s a high lead lead score you’ve got reason to feel good about keeping your customer. Lead scoring can take into account the recency of activity. For example, if the client has not recently logged in, watched a webinar, downloaded a document or engaged with your brand in over six months they might be losing interest.

We hope you put these tips to good use and use marketing automation with your customers. Not using marketing automation technology yet? Try Lead Liaison’s Revenue Generation Software™ and start creating happy customers today.

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Closed Loop Marketing Automation

Closed Loop Marketing AutomationWe’re doing many presentations with new prospects these days. One of the most challenging terms for many of them to grasp is the concept of closed loop marketing automation. The idea of a “closed-loop” is especially confusing for companies using email marketing as their primary (and usually only) marketing solution. Traditional email marketing solutions do not give companies and their sales and marketing team a deep level of insight into prospect activity. Consequently, sales people only see present activity and have no way of closing the loop on prospect’s other activities.

Closed-loop marketing automation is the process of identifying a prospect’s, customer’s, competitor’s or partner’s past, present and future engagement with your brand and tying that activity to the first step (lead source) and last step (revenue) in your revenue cycle. Past activity could be anonymous website visits, present activity could be real-time lead scanning to identify who’s on your website and what they’re interested in and future activity could be future website visits. Once a lead converts (changes from unknown/anonymous to known – we have a name) closed-loop marketing automation can associate past, present and future activity with the known person.

Let’s look at a simple example of Tom who is an IT manager at Microsoft. Suppose Tom is interested in finding IT solutions for Microsoft’s IT network and begins his research online – where most B2B buyers start. Let’s also assume your company’s name is IT ‘R US and you’re selling IT solutions and using Lead Liaison for your closed-loop marketing automation system.

1. Tom types “Intel Hyper Thread Servers” into a Google search and sees a Google PPC ad for “IT Solutions” from IT ‘R US. He clicks on the link. Lead Liaison automatically tracks the Lead Source as PPC, adds the prospect to the “November Marketing” Program and “Google PPC – IT Solutions” Campaign and tracks the keywords Tom used to find the Google PPC listing.
2. Tom clicks four pages during the same visit then moves on to his next search. He never fills out a web form. Lead Liaison automatically tracks Tom’s pages viewed, how long Tom spent on the site, his status (online/offline/chatting/exact page he’s viewing) in real-time and much more.
3. Tom comes back six days later and visits IT ‘R US’ website again. This time he views five pages and finds an article named “Are Your IT Solutions Up to Snuff?” The article leads Tom to a landing page where he downloads a checklist document. Tom fills out the short form to get the document. Lead Liaison knows the same visitor six days ago was Tom and associates his present visit with his past visit to compile a holistic view of Tom’s interest. As an added benefit – Lead Liaison allowed IT ‘R US to visually build the web form and landing page in less than 60 seconds by dragging/dropping items. Lead Liaison’s tracking technology changes Tom’s name from “Anonymous” to “Tom Sanders”. All other form field information such as company name, email, etc. is captured, tracked and tied to his profile.
4. Tom is still not ready to speak with a sales person at IT ‘R US yet so he waits five more days and visits IT ‘R US’ website one more time. Once again, Lead Liaison tracks this activity (future activity) and associates it with Tom’s profile.
5. When Tom finally reaches out to IT ‘R US the IT ‘R US sales person will have lots of information on Tom before they speak. The sales person will know what Tom was looking for (search words – “Intel Hyper Thread Servers”), what interests Tom (pages viewed), what documents Tom has (landing pages and forms submitted) and now understands how Tom engaged with IT ‘R US. Marketing also benefits by being able to measure the impact of their contributions (marketing ROI).

Marketing delivered sales a wealth of pre-sales information, sales was more effective in their sales cycle and Lead Liaison’s Revenue Generation Software™ provided organizational efficiency and sales effectiveness. Check back next week and we’ll publish part two of closed-loop marketing automation which will expand on the use case above.

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