Many marketers who are considering stepping up to a marketing automation platform understand the benefits it can provide, but hesitate to make the technological leap because they’re uncertain whether they’ll be able to demonstrate a quick return on investment. One of the most common questions I hear from these marketers is, “Are there baby steps we can take to get started with marketing automation that will be easy to implement, but will yield returns right off the bat?”
The simple answer is “yes.” Since I started working on marketing automation more than 10 years ago, I can't think of a single customer who purchased a marketing automation solution, then left to go back to an email point solution. I think that’s testament to the added value of marketing automaton over email regardless of how deeply it’s adopted.
Here are some marketing automation capabilities I’ve seen customers get value out of independently of implementing others, in order of the quickest and easiest to adopt:
- Smarter Email: Automate messages so they go out based on a person’s interaction and interests instead of hitting send to the database at 9 a.m. on Wednesday.
- Lead Management: Facilitate offer registrations through progressive forms and online lead capture. Score and qualify leads and route them to sales. (Watch our progressive Web forms video.)
- Lead Nurture: Automate multitrack/step programs so you can communicate with individuals over a period of time to move them forward in the engagement process.
- Integrated Multichannel Marketing: Leverage website, social, email and CRM behavioral data to drive conversations with individuals over email, direct mail, telesales and website. Track and leverage behaviors across all channels.
- Revenue Measurement: Measure the effectiveness of lead generation ad sources as well as content offers/campaigns through the various stages in the sales funnel all the way down to revenue attribution. (Read more on gaining insights into your lead-management efforts.)
The important thing is to avoid setting expectations that you need to completely rewrite your sales business process, overhaul demand gen, rebrand the website, and create all-new, compelling content for each buyer persona. This is a recipe for not seeing results for some time.
Instead, take an agile approach where you set out for quick wins along a strategic path of implementation to get to where you see yourself in the future. By starting off with automated tactics that are simple to implement and measure, you should see results early on. Sample quick wins you might garner after just a few weeks or months of implementing marketing automation include:
- “We’ve sent XX number of relevancy-based lead alerts to sales (e.g. "highly qualified lead has just watched the five-minute services implementation video.")
- “Through progressive forms, we’re seeing XX% higher form conversion with existing traffic ad sources.”
- “The sales team reports having more relevant conversations with prospects by being able to see what content/offers their lead has engaged with.”
- “The appropriate marketing-sent nurture emails are now delivered as if from the assigned sales rep—so we’re introducing the reps into the relationship.”
- “I save five hours a week because I no longer have to manually import and sync data from my CRM system.”
The point is that with the right approach to marketing automation, you can see results in quarters rather than years, enabling you to overcome obstacles such as budget squeezes, skeptical executives and indifferent sales team members. That’s not to minimize the importance of long-term processes and tactics, which are essential to achieving growth over an extended time period. But if you’re under pressure to deliver results out of the gate, you can snag a few quick wins and use that as a foundation for future successes.
Want more? Connect with Bryan Brown on Google+ or contact us for a demo.
1) eBook: “Marketing Automation Best Practices”
2) Blog: “5 Things Marketing Automation Can Help You Do—With or Without Sales”
3) Blog: “Marketing Automation: Crawl, Walk, Run”