By using the classic sales funnel, with disclaimers to how it’s never linear, Scott Vaughan, in his call to “Automate Demand Gen,” illustrates how already automated tasks that fall under Digital Marketing, such as programmatic display, search, video and even social, allow B2B marketers to manage and analyze these functions easily. Similarly, the low end of the funnel is being managed by company’s internal marketing technology, which he refers to as “marketing clouds.” These automated tools increase efficiency as the customer is closer to making a purchasing decision. Automation at the top and bottom of the funnel helps marketers improve ROI.
Somewhere in the middle of the funnel is Demand Gen, most of which is still managed manually. Including lead gen, call gen, content syndication, events, telemarketing and purchased lists—this category primarily relies on third-party data. Unlike the move toward automation in the other areas, B2B marketers are still gathering prospects from events and lists. Vaughan calls this process a “waste,” saying, “these middle-funnel processes and the resulting prospect data remain disconnected from the marketing cloud systems that are having enormous impact at the lower end of the funnel.”
How does Demand Gen waste resources? Valuable time and efforts go into identifying the prospect data, finding providers, setting prices and establishing contracts with each provider. And in many cases, submitting insertion orders and monitoring the reports is a manual function still. The results are usually unable to be analyzed until after the money is spent on a campaign. Vaughan cautions against the significant consequences of manual Demand Gen:
- More leads expected, fewer resources
- Bad leads (25 percent estimated) waste sales resources
- Manual demand gen “hamstring the value of marketing automation” in the other parts of the funnel.
Automation, on the other hand allows for:
- Standardization across all data sources.
- Reduces waste of time/resources on manual planning and purchasing. Allows “one-to-many” approach with providers.
- Technology used to validate prospect data for accuracy and completeness
- Evaluate campaign during its run instead of after to tweak and improve accordingly.
Companies who automate see increases of “10 percent revenue within 6-9 months,” what are you waiting for?
“Think of Marketing in Terms of Real Time, Right Time and All the Time”
This line from Kalia Doner on “Rethinking How Data Improves Marketing ROI” sums up so much of what we’re trying to do.
- Data should be built in from the beginning of all marketing campaigns. Often we slap it on mid-process, and it is not as useful.
- Make sure the data is aligned with overall campaign goals.
- Real-time marketing yields real results.
We can sum this up in “Always be analyzing and automating.” The more info we have during a campaign, the better we can manage and improve tactics used to achieve the strategy. Automate demand gen so it’s not clogging up the more streamlined automated marketing tools you’re already using and always measure at every step.
Both of these tips streamline all marketing efforts and simplify marketing on all levels, and of course, improve ROI.
image via Je.T.