Marketing automation software: 3 key benefits

We’re currently in pilot phase for the implementation of a new marketing automation package.  I believe this will have three key benefits for our marketing organisation:

1. Response management

Currently response management is done manually, with someone in marketing responsible for distributing leads either to tele or face-to-face sales resource.  Responses can sometimes take weeks before they are sent to sales to further validate, losing valuable time and momentum.  Web responses, in particular, are frequently delayed in this manual process.

This solution should see the situation rapidly improved, with responses dealt with in a timely fashion, and business rules built into the process to ensure that responses are scored and distributed to the most appropriate resource at an appropriate time.

2. Visibility of campaign ROI

Currently ROI is measured on validated lead revenue and win revenue, per marketing tactic.  Has anyone tried to correlate a web download with a £1M opportunity?  Or convinced a sales person that there is any value in any marketing activity other than events?  Relying on sales to acknowledge that marketing has influenced an opportunity is  nigh on impossible and relies on too many unpredictable and uncontrollable factors.  Of course, sales and marketing should be aligned, but both have different objectives.

Whilst marketing automation software won’t resolve this issue, it will give us visibility of the responses that our campaigns are generating, and if or when these responses become opportunities.   Marketeers know that not every tactic results in a qualified opportunity.  In a complex organisation like IBM (or any other organisation with multiple products/services, and complex sales opportunities with lengthy sales cycles), it is a combination of tactics and multiple touches that may result in a qualified opportunity.

Having sight of how our multi-touch campaigns are resulting in opportunities will enable us to more accurately measure the success of these campaigns, and how individual tactics contribute.  In time, I believe this will result in better campaign creation and fewer disconnected, tactical marketing touches.

I also believe that it will change the focus of marketing measurement to take into account the full scope of activity, rather than focusing on the ROI of a single tactic.

3. Customer-focused campaigns

Yes – the nirvana of marketing activity!  Understanding how a customer has responded to a marketing tactic, which tactics they have responded to, and all other relevant account information will allow us to better tailor our marketing messages to the needs of our customers and prospects.  This data will give us valuable insight on the messages and campaigns that are having the most resonance.  We will be able to better segment and target our audience.  This insight, combined with better segmentation and targeting, will lead to more relevant, tailored marketing messages.

Could the days of marketing spam be over?

As I said above, we are currently in pilot phase and nirvana is a LONG way off…

I’m interested to know what other benefits people have seen from their marketing automation software, and if my thoughts above are verging on the fantastical.

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