There are oodles of great tools out there that you can spend your time and money on, for our purposes here I’m going to consentrate on three areas that can be gigantic time sucks and possess the most potential for return on investment.
Email autoresponder company – This is very likely the most vital piece to automate, for if you’re not utilizing an autoresponder to take care of your email marketing, you may as well not be doing it at all. Managing social media – Keeping your finger on the pulse of numerous social media accounts daily is not just a full time gig, but a hard one at that. Automate tasks – As we all know there are many small tasks that require attention daily, or the entire house of cards may collapse!
Make sure to not let customer and prospects slip through the cracks with all your automation. Amongst these functions are methods and tools that automate the process along the way all feeding information back into your CRM as they do so. This knowledge is key to writing good campaigns and deciding what should happen once a potential customer makes an inquiry.
Once a campaign is developed and tested, marketers can begin to ramp up their lead generation activities and run more prospects through the system with the assurance that they will be taken care of and followed up on.
If you are in the in the industry and would like a PDF of this infographic, please contact us here. Thoughts about Evolution Point, Social Media, Search Marketing, Brand Marketing, Brand Messaging, Website Development, Mobile App Development, Content Management Systems and other ramblings. This is an on-going series on tips on how making your marketing automation work more efficiently and effectively.
If your database has a higher than 10% bounce rate (not unlikely if you've never gone in and cleaned up the records), you risk email deliverability issues in the future. You would think that this is rather obvious since you are trying to automate your marketing lead management. Imagine that someone has come to your site and registered for an e-book, and you've converted the lead to a contact. Make sure you convert all leads to contacts as appropriate, delete duplicate records, associate contacts with accounts, and clean up all your account names. Merge, purge, delete, convert—do whatever you have to do so that the list you are importing into your marketing automation software is as clean as possible.
Step 3: Automatically pass to a salesperson to call and close once contact opens or clicks on X emails. Though it's easy to get excited about technology and the promise of marketing and sales transformation, here's the reality: 85% of companies that have adopted marketing automation don't use the full potential of their investment, according to the BtoB 2013 Marketing Automation Study.
Marketing automation is simply a collection of code designed to automate specific tasks that allow users to track and communicate with prospects at any given time in the buying cycle. All those bells and whistles are impressive, but the technology doesn't engage the prospect, the content that it dispenses does. To reap the proclaimed benefits of marketing automation, marketers have to shift their focus from technology to the creation of personalized, segmented, and customized content matched to customers' needs. One of the first things to do is to conduct a content assessment or audit to identify nurture gaps in the buying cycle. Remember, the goal of the content assessment is to be able to ensure you can provide the right content at the right time across the right channels to the right audience.
Ultimately, your business is driven by the person who needs or wants a service or product similar to what you are offering. Understanding the path your prospects will take to go from lookers to buyers is the second step in the process.
In this initial assessment phase, the goal is to identify what content assets you already have and then map them to the stages of the buyer's journey that you have identified.
As you map the asset, be sure to include a title, date of creation, and URL in this first phase, so you can easily refer to it as you later refine your content strategy. Once you've completed the spreadsheet, it's time to identify the gaps between the content you have and the content you need. This initial assessment has provided you with a solid foundation to begin building your content strategy, but it still needs work.
Remember that engaging, relevant content goes a long way in building the foundation for lead-to-revenue success. Marketing automation affects the processes you have put in place and the agreements you have with your sales team, so you need to have a conversation.
You'll have many more questions to answer, and the discussion will be different for every company. Make sure you do your homework before rolling out marketing automation, because your sales team will have a ton of questions, and they will be looking to you for answers, even if you don't have them yet!
Email is one of the most widely used and established of all platforms and has long been the cornerstone of many business-to-business (B2B) marketing plans. But even as new digital marketing and advertising platforms, formats, and channels draw companies’ attention and budgets, email remains vitally important and is arguably more valued by B2B marketers now more than ever before.
With content marketing now table stakes for email marketers and mobile making it critical that B2Bs reach the right individual with the right message at the right moment, it becomes nearly impossible to personalize email marketing without some form of marketing automation. B2B marketers recognize the value of marketing automation solutions, but many have been slow to fully integrate the technology into their sales and marketing efforts. Automation solutions are often broad and can be applied across multiple channels and formats, but for most, email automation is vital. One significant insight from the Regalix data is that marketers say the email technology they need is not simply mechanisms to automate and manage email. Email service providers help with monitoring your email deliverability and bounce-backs and ensuring your compliance with anti-spam regulations. The truth is that to have the most effective marketing strategy possible, you will need direct mail and online marketing working together. The key is integration – integration between online marketing and direct mail marketing. Here are three best practice pointers for integrated marketing to help you build your business. There is just no better way to ensure your prospects see exactly what you want them to see than a well-designed landing page specifically for the direct mail campaign.
Once you drive prospects to a landing page or your website, you want to follow up with them, because not every lead will close right away.

The Internet will never be able to compete with direct mail marketing in terms of targeting a specific audience and gaining superior brand exposure, and direct mail marketing sometimes does not offer the cost-efficiency that online platforms provide for staying in touch with prospective clients. Scenario 2: Your sales reps plan their day to make prospecting calls, half of which are to visitors that specifically stopped by your website and poked around a few pages, or filled out a form when they visited. Research company TrustRadius just published their new edition of the “Buyer’s Guide to Marketing Automation Software,” and it’s a doozy. For those of us who work in and around the technology every day, it can seem like marketing automation is already pervasive. In a phone call this week I was swapping war stories with a well-known sales and marketing consultant, who, like us, works with B2B companies to improve their return on marketing automation. You can receive all new posts on Flipboard, by adding us to your RSS feed, or by following Spear on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook. Are you feeling not only overwhelmed with the mountain of tasks that lie before you daily, but also more than a little afraid that things are slipping through the cracks?
Loading up your autoresponder with personalized content and marketing emails offers your customers and prospects the sense that they are being well taken care of. You should utilize some sort of tool, and there are several good ones out there which allow you to keep track of mentions, shares, Tweets and even allow you to post to your social platforms.
A few of the better tools to come down the pike in recent years are the development of task masters like IFTTT and Zapier.
Many businesses struggle to understand what marketing automation is, how it can help their business, and how to do it right.
The idea is to visualize your prospects and your sales cycle and then develop campaigns that attract leads, ensure follow-up with a proper balance of automation and salespeople, and to make sales closure much easier. Martinico is passionate about the topic and claims that he’s seen companies double and triple their sales in short order by doing this properly. By monitoring how people search on the Internet, marketers can peak into their customer’s minds and begin to understand their needs.
Martinico emphasized that field sales, call centers, and direct marketing are still important methods of building leads. The idea is to stagger and vary the contact methods so a prospect doesn’t feel pressured. The tools vary depending on the method but if the cycle is followed there will be more sales and closure will go more smoothly because the prospect will know the company better and be better informed. If a merchant continues this process, the idea is that, at some point, they will be using the messaging that produces the best result.
Although it is one of the most valuable processes to automate, marketing is also often the most difficult. Without marketing automation, when they come back to your site, they have to register again (and again and again), which means the same contact could be in your database, as both a lead and a contact, several times. For example, contacts from FedEx might be in your database as Fed Ex, Federal Express, FedExpress—but they are all the same account. Marketing Automation a subset of customer relationship management (CRM) that focuses on the definition, scheduling, segmentation and tracking of marketing campaigns. To advance leads through the buying cycle, converting lookers into buyers, marketing automation requires engaging content. To do it right requires the creation of buyer personas, a content marketing strategy, content gap analysis, and a commitment to the ongoing creation of relevant, buyer-nurturing content.
Which is why some marketers use marketing automation for little more than glorified email marketing, sending the same non-personalized email blasts to every lead regardless of buyer persona, product interest, or stage in the purchase cycle.
That assessment can be a tedious and time-consuming exercise, but the ROI can be substantial. Developing buyer personas to understand what attracts, engages, and motivates your target audience is the first step in the content assessment process.
In the B2B world, the agreed-upon stages that buyers will travel through are Awareness, Consideration, Evaluation, and Decision—along with a series of corresponding questions they will be asking at the various stages. Start with the basics and label the following content categories as rows on your spreadsheet: e-book, whitepaper, blog, webinar, video, infographic, case study, customer testimonial, research report, and online article. Initially, it's more important to make sure you have addressed all stages of the buying cycle rather than building quantity in one or two steps. Take what you've created here and replicate the spreadsheet for each buyer persona you identified in Step 1. Identify and fill the nurture gap in your buyer cycle, and reap the rewards of marketing automation. Given the maturity of this medium, spending on email remained flat for years, though its efficiency did draw some B2B dollars during the economic recession. While its core function has not changed substantially, there are new developments and challenges marketers must address: mobile, content marketing and automation.
Data released in November 2013 by BtoB Magazine showed just 26% of US B2B marketers had completely integrated automation into their sales and marketing initiatives at the end of 2013.
B2B marketers surveyed by Regalix in March 2014 reported that among marketing automation features, email automation was the most important to them. Instead, they want sophisticated systems to manage cross-channel campaigns and deliver personalized, targeted experiences to customers. When you send your email campaign through an ESP, it will include a standard opt-out and global opt-out link as well. A successful direct mail marketing campaign drives traffic to your website or landing page, where you prompt prospects to fill out a form, thus capturing a lead. If you are using Google Adwords, there is another avenue that you can use with a new service from Google: remarketing.
You want email addresses for your leads because email provides an extremely affordable way to stay in front of customers and prospects alike. When both are used hand-in-hand, they can increase the efficiency of your marketing plan and help you get the most out of your marketing budget.
This type of follow up activity is geared toward people that have an idea as to who your company is and what your company does. Sewell is president of Spear Marketing Group and a B2B marketing veteran with more than 25 years' experience in direct marketing, demand generation and lead management. These tools, (similar in intent and application) can be lifesavers when it comes to automating tasks between two different services.

Google provides keyword suggestions to marketers based on the terms that searchers use most frequently.
It’s not that hard to consider what needs to be done and to automate these processes.
However, he suggested that if a company fails to look at new media, they are risking their very survival. Some leads can be closed right away, but there are often many more steps necessary and follow-up is many salespeople’s weakest link. Most important, they’ll be assured that the company is not fly by night because a relationship will have been built. Many marketing automation solutions have built in testing that helps continuous improvement. Doing so means you will be able to lower your bounce rate when you run your first email campaign, which is important. Your email sending reputation for your email domain will decrease and possibly lead to blacklisting of the IP used to send the email—so clean up your database and verify your remaining emails before importing! The use of marketing automation makes processes that would otherwise have been performed manually much more efficient and makes new processes possible.
Be sure to include a couple of questions they'll be asking to ensure your content provides answers. Activating it with your AdWords account allows you to have your ads follow prospects around the Internet once they visit your site.
Analyst David Raab reports that for companies under $5 Million in revenue, marketing automation penetration is a miserly 5 percent. Because of the complexity and the sheer number of moving parts that go into online marketing in multiple channels these days, you absolutely need to employ some measure of marketing automation, or you may find it tough to compete. The very core of marketing automation requires that you keep good records of prospects and clients.
So with good follow-up systems, leads can be scored and routed or trashed depending on what happened when they first inquired.
Because although the majority of B2B buyers may travel the same path, the reasons they do so can be quite different.
However, you may be tempted to use your own email service to send out the emails because it is something that you are familiar with (e.g. But since the response rate for email marketing has been decreasing due to its pervasiveness, it has become imperative for any marketing effort to cut through the clutter and come up with something more compelling. Use landing pages to guide a prospect through the sales cycle and focuses the core message. After they navigate away from your site, your ad will appear to them anywhere they go on the Google marketing network.
The combination of email and Google remarketing follow-up provides excellent brand exposure for your company and increases your close percentage.
If your company closely resembles scenario 1, it’s time to consider marketing automation to give your sales team better opportunities for success.
There are also tools that monitor social networks and assist marketers to understand their prospects.
This amount of revenue dwarfs most traditional media giants like Bloomberg and The New York Times who do a few hundred million each in advertising.
You want to personalize the content as much as possible to address the individual needs of each type of buyer.
Many of the tools also manage the communication process with candidates and clients through email integration and email marketing. Marketing automation is a set of processes and systems covering analytics, lead nurturing, technology and workflow.
When a prospect gets closer to being able to buy then they can be turned back over to sales or to your call center.
However, there is a big gap in technology when looking to integrate website traffic, social media, and content marketing activity to the sales and recruiting process.
Most staffing firms operate on the premise that if your team members make x amount of dials and reach x amount of people, the expected revenue and GP numbers will come out the backend.
Having insight to exactly who is stopping by to visit your website is important information to know. Google Analytics will tell you how many and what day, but it won’t tell you who.Visitor Relevance. If your sales reps reach them on the phone or through an email, the recipient is usually entering the discussion uninformed to the purpose of the conversation. If a VP from XYZ Company stopped by your website and clicked on the “Contact Us” and the “Infrastructure Services” pages, it’s likely they are looking to buy, or are quite interested in seeing how your company stacks up. You’ll accept a high failure percentage because if enough attempts are made, the business will likely follow. Sales reps would love this information and could use it to their benefit when contacting the person that was shopping around for infrastructure services.Lead Scoring. Making timely and relevant contact with them is critical for entering new prospects in the sales funnel. Scoring leads based on rules and events will bring these VIP’s to the surface for your sales team to follow up with.Lead Nurturing. Eventually, your prospects will buy your types of services; maybe not at this moment, but in the future. Keeping them interested and making sure your company is front of mind is a critical part of the sales process. Lead nurturing can take place behind the scenes so that when your prospect is ready, your sales team can spend more of their time closing deals versus prospecting.The ROI on marketing automation tools can be gigantic. If you consider a new client with a multi-year relationship, the marketing automation costs become a rounding error in the marketing budget.If you would like to see how this technology can fit into your staffing firm marketing strategy, let us know.

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