Archive for December, 2009

Great Free Resource - The Essential Marketing Automation Handbook

I recently attended Dreamforce, the Salesforce.com conference in San Francisco, and dropped by the MarketingGenius booth on the expo floor. After speaking to a great sales rep, Brandon Binder, I found myself in the posession of an equally great marketing resource to take home with me. It is called The Essential Marketing Automation Handbook, by Ardath Albee, and you can download it here. This 48 page handbook details everything you would need to know to upgrade your marketing process to produce better results. It includes chapters on how to implement lead scoring, how to nurture leads by mapping content to buying stages, and how to optimize your lead nurturing strategies so that they accelerate leads through the pipeline to a closed sale. It doesn’t recommend or even discuss any particular product that might help you do these things, just lays out the conceptual framework for why you should do them, and how to go about doing them. Very helpful. While most tradeshow handouts go in the trash pretty quickly in my experience, I’m hanging on to this one.

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New Model for Marketing Measurement

A few days ago, I posted about the marketing automation recommendations from the Raab Associates report Lead Management: Get Started with a New Strategy for Buyer-Centric Marketing and Selling. Another nugget from that report was their 4-pronged model for marketing measurement, which, if fully implemented, would enable marketers to measure their results more comprehensively than most do today, including both their “old” and “new” media. Raab Associates suggest metrics in the following four areas:

  • Operational - these are metrics that track whether your campaign resulted in the desired behavior or not. Some examples are email open rates, online ad-to-landing page click through rates, and print ad-to-800 number call in rates. These metrics would typically be used by marketing to dissect individual program successes and failures, and to generate learnings that will improve later programs.
  • Funnel - these are metrics that track the progress of prospects through the sales process. They typically are tied to CRM stages, and track first how many prospects moved from one stage to the next, and second how quickly they did so. These metrics would be used both by sales and marketing to determine what the pipeline looks like at any given point in time and to create forecasts for future sales.
  • Engagement - these are metrics that track the investment that prospects are making in their relationship with the company. For example, opening an email is a very basic level of engagment, but downloading a white paper, sitting through an online demo or recorded webinar represents a much higher level of investment, and might indicate a greater propensity to buy. These metrics would typically be used for lead scoring, sales prioritization, and by individual sales reps to determine how to approach the prospect.
  • Financial - these metrics require matching marketing costs to business results to calculate, for instance, ROI, cost-per-lead, cost-per-sale. Many firms struggle to do this, but it’s imperative that they persevere and find a way. Otherwise, marketing and executive leadership will never be able to make smart decisions about whether and how to invest scarce resources in the marketing effort.
  • We are quickly approaching the end of the year, and I know many marketers will soon be thinking about their new year’s resolutions. For those marketers seeking improved performance in 2010, upgrading their measurement capabilities might be a great place to start.

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    4 ‘Must Have’ Technologies for Marketers

    I recently came across an interesting white paper, written by Raab Associates, called Lead Management: Get Started with a New Strategy for Buyer-Centric Marketing and Selling. The title oversells the content a bit, but there were a few interesting takeaways for me. One was that there are 4 technologies that marketers will need to be successful. These are technologies that enable marketers to:

  • Recognize individuals from their target market across time and channels, whether the individual has self-identified or not. Once the marketer can recognize these individuals, they need to aggregate information about each individual into a database that gradually produces a complete picture of the prospects activities and interests.
  • Record a concise profile of each individual from the database, and use that profile to drive messaging rules. Without this step, many marketers will get bogged down by the volume of raw data, and won’t be able to develop a coherent marketing strategy for these individuals.
  • React to the individual’s profile at any point in time, and present messages that are appropriate to that situation. So, for example, if the individual is in the awareness building stage, present information about what the class of product does and how it might benefit them. If the individual is in the decision stage, present information about what makes your product unique and show how it compares to the alternatives.
  • Refer the individaul to human agents wherever appropriate throughout the nurturing process. This referral can be into any contact center or channel, and can be either inbound or outbound, but it must ensure that the human agent has all the profile information available to them prior to the contact to be able to best serve the individual’s needs.
  • Marketing automation technology is a fast-evolving space, and the service providers in this space are all over the map in terms of what they provide and how they provide it. I’m hoping that Raab Associates’ classification of needs in this way will help service providers to articulate their particular approach, and will also help marketers to better define their requirements.

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