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Sponsored content: Why marketing automation needs your attention

Marketing automation technology empowers marketers to improve their knowledge of buyer behaviour and understand how it plays out in campaigns.

Marketers are leveraging the power of marketing automation to refine, target, and optimise program initiatives, including customising content and automating communications.

Benchmark data from research firm Sirius Decisions indicates that the number of B2B organisations using marketing automation is accelerating, and adoption rates will grow to 50% market penetration by 2015.

Before we dive into how marketing automation helps achieve greater efficiency, let’s see what the five tenets of modern marketing tenets are.

Targeting

The first step in building any sustainable structure is to ensure a proper foundation. Think of your database as this foundation. Without the proper data management and hygiene in place, your marketing operations will suffer because it’s nearly impossible to meaningfully segment and refine your prospects.

Engagement.

Meaningful marketing is cantered on the customer. No longer can marketers or sales reps relegate communications to company centric conversations. To engage with prospects and customers in a meaningful way, you must develop tactics to address and align messaging across all digital channels. To do this effectively, you must have a content marketing strategy in place to provide educational engagements.

Conversion

Marketers are using technology that responds to the buyer’s actions in real time and delivers profile information that reflects their timeline and research journey. Automated campaigns have higher conversation rates and are much more resilient for maintenance. By automating your campaigns, you can improve the buyer’s experience, develop loyal relationships, and track conversion data more effectively. If you understand the nature of conversions, you can leverage that data to refine business initiatives across your organisational structure.

Analytics

As accountability for marketing investments increases, data analytics provide a helpful tracking resource to define and measure. By implementing systems for reporting and intelligence, organisations can better understand the impact that sales, marketing, and other efforts are having on overall business performance. This insight helps you refine strategies and develop repeatable processes for success.

Marketing Technology

Organisations across all sizes and industries are leveraging tools to simplify business processes. Successful marketers understand the importance of aligning marketing automation, sales force automation (SFA), and customer relationship management (CRM) platforms in the cloud. They can then extend capabilities with cloud applications by integrating other key technologies to connect the dots of internal efficiency and maximise prospect and customer interactions.

How marketing automation helps across the spectrum

Automation helps sales and marketing teams work collaboratively by integrating technologies central to data management, such as CRM. This connection bridges the gap and improves visibility into data detriments—or missing information—so marketers can standardise lists of values, normalise data, and ensure accuracy in future data collection sources.

Focusing on data management and cleanliness is a powerful way to make a significant impact on the sales and marketing funnel by improving demand generation, as well as the quality of marketing and sales accepted leads.

In a nutshell, here’s what automation can do for your marketing goals:

Use behavioural insights:

Understanding buyer behaviour on social media sites is critical. The information that buyers interact with comes with an additional layer of trust that other information does not, and thus is more likely to form a base of that buyer’s opinions about your company or services. Marketing automation provides marketers with the ability to segment based on behavioural data and attributes.

Maximise the value of your data

To optimise the value of marketing automation and improve the performance of campaigns, marketers are realising it is imperative to integrate their marketing automation platforms with their databases. With an integrated data process in place, marketers can improve key performance indicators (KPIs) in their campaigns, such as open and click through rates, as well as conversion rates from leads to opportunities.

Keep it focused

Automated marketing campaigns can segment potential customers across a number of dimensions including demographics, activities, length of engagement and interests, among others — and they also can segment the message types. You can build a target audience based on information including title, geography, job function, visit frequency, or topic of interest. Targeting and segmentation are crucial for marketers looking to avoid batch and blast outreach methods. Targeting and segmentation also are crucial components of marketing automation technology.

Offer timely & relevant communication

Effective engagement and communication is delivered at the right time, relevant to its recipient. With marketing automation, you can drive the initiatives and offers that resonate with prospects based on their behaviour and indicated interests. By delivering information at critical moments in the decision-making process, you can cultivate a greater role in the discovery and engagement process.

Centralise multi-touch engagement

In the information exchange-driven marketplace, content is a critical component to connecting with prospects and customers. Marketing automation enables you to circulate and track content based on buyer profiles and segment your prospects and customers according to their roles, interests, and other attributes that make sense for your business. Automation also helps you trigger relevant content based on consumption and channel delivery preferences.

Maximise prospect interest & engagement

Marketing automation provides an efficient way to manage lead qualification, or the process of reviewing the criteria of each prospect/customer with the goal of moving that buyer to the next phase of the buying cycle. Most buyers initially will need to be nurtured, which means that they are not quite ready to buy. Marketing automation provides tools to assess buyer fit and behaviour, which then allows you to easily determine the attributes of a likely lead.

Manage & optimise demand generation

Marketing automation helps marketing and sales teams avoid letting leads slip through the cracks and into the black hole of lost opportunities. By feeding leads into marketing automation, lead information is automatically captured and routed to your sales team based on geography, industry, product interest, or other assigned business rules to alleviate the lead management process. Whether you have a direct sales force, named account model, or a distributed channel and sales organisation that requires sophisticated routing capabilities, marketing automation helps ensure that leads are efficiently and correctly delivered to sales.

Stay in touch and top of mind

Nurturing helps accelerate active opportunities by empowering prospective buyers with content that supports their research and discovery process. Therefore, it can be effective as part of a trigger alert program to help marketers track and correspond to prospect actions. Nurturing offers an innovative approach to managing different types of leads, based on interest or other profile attributes.

Identify target attributes

Marketing automation platforms have automated lead scoring in place so that, for example, if a prospect is actively opening all communications sent by marketing, his or her lead score has the ability to rise. This person scores higher based on behavioural attributes and Digital Body Language. A higher lead score will be passed to the sales team much quicker to enhance the odds of closing the deal.

Address the independent buying cycle

Sales needs to ensure they are providing the necessary tools and content to help buyers make a purchase decision. Marketing automation provides the sales team with a library of tested content for every scenario. Sales reps can choose from marketing crafted emails for various scenarios and buyer stages—which lets them focus on selling rather than customising email communications— and ensures the messages they are sending are optimised. It also allows them to track how buyers are responding to those messages because they are tracked by the system.

Drive smart marketing

Marketing automation integrates data from social media, email, websites, and sales pipeline from your CRM to close the loop and help you make more informed decisions that drive lead generation and engagement tactics. This also helps prevent the need to constantly re-create frequently used personalised emails throughout the sales process. This ensures that sales reps are using marketing-approved messaging, branding, and content. It’s critical to use metrics across all channels, so you can stay plugged into real-time insights, even on the go.

Eliminate silos and engage your community

Bringing together the efforts of sales and marketing is an ongoing challenge, and marketing automation offers a platform to garner measurable and visible results to track the success of their campaigns, while improving the quality and flow of leads. Meanwhile sales executives can monitor prospect interest levels and—with higher quality leads from marketing—can close more deals.

This is a sponsored post by Oracle. For the full report click here.

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