Marketing Automation (MA), also referred to as Lead-to-Revenue Management Automation, is the technologies and strategies that allow companies to streamline, automate, and measure marketing tasks and workflows so they can increase operational efficiency and grow revenue faster.
MA drives prospect interaction, measures and analyzes response information, and delivers leads to your sales team while providing an intelligent understanding of a potential or existing customer through their lifecycle. Customer communications, lead generation, lead scoring, and marketing campaigns are among the marketing tasks which can be automated in a Marketing Automation solution.
Dynamic content, based on behavioral & demographic segmentation, that contains text, graphics, or HTML, can be personalized in an email or a landing page. Companies benefiting from Marketing Automation range in size from large enterprises to SMBs across all industries, in both B2B and B2C. These solutions closely integrate with CRM systems at or near real-time, granting businesses access to the wealth of information on their current or potential customers.
Three things to remember about Marketing Automation
Marketing Automation Components
New Prospect Generation
New Prospect Generation, sometimes referred to as Lead Generation, positions itself at the beginning of Marketing Automation and at the top of the Sales Funnel. Companies that don’t have a grasp on their leads and a methodology to generate them, probably aren’t quite ready for a Marketing Automation system, which helps handle the next steps.
Whether leads are generated via traffic to a website, attendees at a trade-show, or a purchased lead list, this part of the funnel is the widest. Lead nurturing enables a company to automate drip marketing campaigns that send relevant messages over time, based on prospect behaviors and predefined campaign steps.
In a social media-driven world, an enterprise cannot simply abide by traditional marketing logic. Social Marketing seeks to develop and integrate marketing techniques to influence social behavior and benefit the target audience. Social analytics provides insight into who shares a company’s content, social conversion rates, and how much social lift results from your campaigns. Social engagement and promotion creates social applications such as polls, sweepstakes, and referral programs. Social sharing and campaigns can be shared via automatic posts to social sites, or via intelligent share buttons. Social listening and tracking can then tell what is being said about a company’s specific campaign.
All of this information can then be tied back together to a given campaign and provide a beneficial impact to the bottom line.
Marketing Automation allows companies better insight into scoring and grading leads based on demographics, specific prospect behaviors, & BANT (Budget, Authority, Need, Timeframe) criteria.
How frequently are customers and/or potential customers interacting online with a company and its offerings?
When was the last time interaction occurred?
Is this a Marketing Qualified Lead or a Sales Qualified Lead?
Online behavior tracking can be linked with real-time triggered emails that listen for specific customer behaviors and events and respond with appropriate real-time messages. Triggers like these can be highly customized and based on any data that you are tracking.
Customer / Account Maintenance
Customer & Account Maintenance is a process unique to the Service Provider space.
Companies in this space typically keep careful track of Company Lifecycle Duration (typically the number of months or years that a customer retains their service) and Average Revenue Per User (ARPU – which tracks the dollars that are spent per month with the company). Companies that are able to keep their customers longer and raise the average revenue per month over time, typically become leaders in their space.
Customer & Account Maintenance includes a broad set of process service modifications including up-sell/cross-sell, suspension, and disconnect/cancel. Customer Maintenance is closely related to the sub-domain Customer Service, which handles important though not service-impacting customer requests.
Overage Notifications inform customers once they have reached a certain percentage threshold of the allotted usage of their service. One example that most people would be familiar with would be an alert from a mobile phone provider stating the user has reached X% of their data usage for the month. Depending on the needs, multiple thresholds for these alerts can be set.
Customer Success is focused on proactively meeting and exceeding clients’ expectations. In a call center environment, a customer success agent is monitoring customer usage, product and service performance, churn, trialing results – all things related to creating and retaining customers.
Customer Success agents are the gatekeepers for CSAT/NPS surveys, following up on results one-on-one with all deemed worthy. It is also within their purview to reengage to determine if their wants and needs have shifted, and provide an up-sell/cross-sell path to meet the customer’s evolving needs.
Data – both customer and transactional – drive the customer success agent’s focus, and extending each client’s lifecycle with their organization the brass ring.
Up-Sell / Cross-Sell
This process is the central method for increasing Average Revenue Per User (ARPU), which is an essential growth metric for most service providers.
Up-selling is the process of selling more of a particular service. For example, moving from 6 MB for $25/mo to 18 MB for $45/mo internet speed is a typical up-sell.
Cross-sell is when a customer purchases a separate product or service from what they had originally. For example, if the customer originally had internet service, but expanded to include phone and cable, that is an example of ‘cross-sell’.
The combination of up-sell and cross-sell is the primary method of driving more revenue within an existing customer base. Another common phrase is walletshare. Many service providers have a goal of increasing the walletshare from their customer base, which is often done through up-sell/cross-sell measures. The concept of ‘bundling’ or ‘packaging’ is a method for accelerating up-sell/cross-sell.
Up-sell/cross-sell can be done at time of customer creation, or over the course of the life of the customer. In the context of a call center, many agents are compensated specifically for up-sell/cross-sell as they perform their typical customer care. “Thank you for you updating your credit card information, did you happen to notice that we have expanded our internet offerings in your neighborhood and are offering a special 3-month free during the summer?”
Marketing efforts shouldn’t stop once the deal closes.
Marketing automation allows companies, whether B2B or B2C, to reach out to their current customer base via an automatically triggered message based on their renewal date. This ensures that each customer is aware of upcoming renewal dates to be sure clients won’t slip through the cracks. These messages can be tailored to a specific company or person’s interests and activity, along with any special actions you would like to suggest.
Renewal time also presents a great opportunity for further up-sell/cross-selling. There are varying statistics out there, but let us not forget – it’s cheaper to retain customers than to go out and get new ones.
Marketing Automation Key Vendors
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