By Jesse Nobbe
May 2, 2016 - Less sophisticated organizations often take the "Batch and Blast" approach (aka the "Shotgun" approach) to marketing to their database. See if something sticks and continue messaging until there are Marketing Qualified Leads for the Sales team. But Marketing Automation can help your organization tap into the dormant value in your database more efficiently.
Marketing Automation answers the question, "How do I best communicate with my database?". It allows for more timely, nuanced and accurate communications that will resonate with your audience. You'll spend less per contact and have happier, more engaged prospects by improving your ability to segment your audience and personalize communications.
There are many Marketing Automation Systems (MAS) available. These include Adobe, Marketo, Salesforce, Oracle or even more simple tools such as MailChimp and Constant Contact. Take a look at this video over at Marketing Sherpa on how SmartBear Software uses Marketing Automation for lead generation. Deciding on the platform that's right for you will revolve around several key points.
How large is your database? Do your choices have trims to match or will you need to make alterations to your database to fit?
Are there limitations on the number of emails you can send?
Does the solution offer tools to help better segment your audience?
Does the solution offer tools for personalizing communications?
Will you be able to collect data within the system, or will you instead need to integrate another product?
Do you have the resources needed to operate and manage an automation tool?
Do you have an existing Contact Relationship Management (CRM) system?
Some MASs (like Hubspot and Pardot) include these capabilities, whereas others like Marketo and Eloqua can integrate with a CRM.
It is also useful to look at overall industry rankings like the Gartner Magic Quadrant. Dom Nicastro at CMS Wire gives a great overview. Other great industry resources include Forrester and Demand Gen Report.
Marketing Automation can greatly improve conversions from marketing to sales. However, adding automation to your marketing strategy is a big step. Understanding the impact it will have on the very nature of your organization is critical. Once you have decided on a MAS and undergone the initial setup, be prepared with a road map of specific goals for your first year. Have quarterly meetings to locate missed opportunities and evaluate successes.
About the Guest Author
Jesse Nobbe is an Architect and Lead Developer at Tegrita Consulting Group. Tegrita is a Gold Partner with Oracle, working primarily with Oracle Eloqua. Jesse has been working with Marketing Automation and Web Development for the past 4 years. Jesse is also a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. You can contact and follow Jesse on LinkedIn.