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.
Detailed: People | Process | Technology
Many of an enterprise’s various organization get involved with the Marketing Automation domain. Marketing, Sales, Product and Customer Service seem obvious – but the Operations and IT groups are knee-deep as well.
ATG maintains a set of more than 75 key business processes to support management of Customers and Revenue for Service Providers. Sixteen of these processes originate, or are impacted by the Marketing Automation domain. Below are the key processes that are touched in this domain, categorized by the Organizational Unit that owns the process:
Opportunity Management – Prioritizing, tracking, and managing of sales opportunities.
Customer Service Organization
Up-Sell Processing: Ongoing – The central method for increasing Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) and is the process of moving a customer to a better product or service throughout their lifetime with your company.
Cross-Sell Processing: Ongoing – The central method for increasing Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) and is the process of selling a separate product or service to a customer during the customers’ entire lifetime with your company.
Pro-Active Customer Notification: Success Focus (Recommendations, Advice of Charge, Overage Notifications) – exceeding customer expectations by using data and triggers to notify them of an opportunity or looming risk.
Renewal Processing – the methods used to renew a customers services, may be manual or automated.
Trial Processing – configuration and management of products that do not bill at all during an agreed upon time frame, includes processes for provisioning and reporting
Lead Management – The process of identifying and nurturing potential customers.
Pro-Active Customer Notification: Marketing Focus (New Lead, Up-Sell/Cross-Sell Existing) – A proactive approach to obtain new leads and/or up-sell/cross-sell to existing customers.
Pro-active Customer Notification: Operations Focus (CC Expiry, Notification of Payment Received) – a proactive approach to notify customers of pertinent payment information.
Vendor Management of Monetization Ecosystem – oversight and communication duties of ecosystem software components and their vendors, including management of vendor road map and change logs and general relationship nurturing.
Maintenance and Oversight of Monetization Ecosystem – process around assuring that all touchpoints and connections in the ecosystem are optimized and working to their full potential.
Monitoring & Testing of Vendor Functional Releases – as ecosystem components release updates and patches, each is checked and tested to confirm all systems are working together as required by the business’ requirements.
Cross-Training of Monetization Ecosystem Components – process for training organizational resources on the appropriate software systems.
Security Oversight of Monetization Ecosystem – process for maintaining and controlling access and permissions to ecosystem components.
Data Stewardship Across Monetization Ecosystem – process of assigning ownership and sources of truth for data within the organization.
Daily, Periodic, or Ad Hoc Reporting (Extraction, Load, Report, Dashboard) – movement of data between domains to create single source of truth for reporting and dash boarding.
Marketing Automation Key Vendors
HQ: Beaverton, OR
Company Type: Privately held
Act-On’s platform empowers organizations to engage with buyers across the entire lead-to-revenue process. They’ve done it in a way that offers simplicity and ease-of-use for the marketer. Act-On has built a platform that gives small and medium-sized organizations all the value of marketing automation – without the unnecessary complexity of big enterprise systems.
Their platform offers robust core functionality at the heart of an open marketing technology ecosystem. Their next-generation technology gives users the flexibility to customize their marketing stack to suit their own evolving needs by integrating best-of-breed applications — and the tools their team already uses – so they can win, and keep more customers.
Act-On targets SMBs and larger enterprise customers with its marketing automation subscription solutions.
Swarovski – jewelry, watches, and gifts retailer and distributor.
Progressive – online home and automobile insurance company
Hoopla – performance broadcasting for internal use by other companies
ASPCA – the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
HQ: Redwood Shores, CA
Company Type: Public
Eloqua, Oracle’s B2B cross-channel marketing solution, enables marketers to deliver personalized customer experience for their prospects. Operating under the Oracle flagship, Eloqua allows users to develop and manage marketing campaigns by leveraging customizable platforms and Salesforce integrations.
- Marketing Automation – By providing dashboards, workflows, salesforce integrations, and more, Eloqua allows users to generate hot leads for their sales team while monitoring campaigns using real time data.
- Targeting & Segmenting – Eloqua helps give clients a clear picture of prospects to effectively target and segment campaigns with out-of-box dashboards/reports.
- Sales Enablement – Eloqua helps sales reps identify, track, and engage prospects by showing detailed profiles of sales prospects and their activity.
Due to their Oracle acquisition, Eloqua’s target market includes many enterprise companies though they still retain many of their customer base in the small and midsize business market. These targets are primarily in the telecommunications, e-commerce, and high tech industries, but their customer base spans over a wide variety of industries.
eBay – prominent online auction site
Comcast – multi-national mass media company, largest cable company in the world by revenue
BlackBoard Inc. – educational technology company
Portland Trail Blazers – NBA basketball franchise
Fidelity Investments – multi-national financial services corporation
HQ: San Francisco, CA
Company Type: Public
Salesforce Marketing Cloud, formerly ExactTarget, is driven by a single mission: to inspire and enable organizations to drive phenomenal business results with digital marketing technology. They power customer journeys across every touchpoint — email, mobile, social, web, and beyond — helping marketers put customers at the center of everything they do.
- Sales – The world’s #1 CRM solution gives sales teams the power to close deals like never before with an array of cloud-based tools
- Service – From call-center software to self-service portals, service solutions enhance customer service to better anticipate customer needs
- Marketing – Personalized, cross-channel customer journeys deliver exceptional brand experiences and make the most of every customer interaction
- Community – Harness the power of social and mobile to create engaging online communities, build deeper customer relationships and drive productivity and innovation
Salesforce Marketing Cloud’s target market is industries and companies of all sizes looking to connect to their customers using cloud technology.
American Express – global services company that provides customers with access to products, insights and experiences
Health Leads – new model for healthcare
Rosetta Stone – speaking the language of customer satisfaction
Spotify – music sharing platform
Sprint – national cell-phone service provider
HQ: Cambridge, MA
Company Type: Public
HubSpot was founded in 2006 as a result of a simple observation: people have transformed how they live, work, shop, and buy, but businesses have not adapted. This mismatch led Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah to create the vision for the inbound experience and to develop HubSpot’s platform to support it. With our powerful, easy to use, integrated set of applications, businesses can attract, engage, and delight customers by delivering inbound experiences that are relevant, helpful, and personalized. HubSpot is, after all, on a mission to make the world more inbound, one business transformation after another.
HubSpot targets all types and sizes of businesses, from smaller SMB to large enterprises.
University of Southern California (USC) – one of the largest university is the United States.
EvaluAgent – contact center software company
Birch – IP communications leader
Beretta – world’s oldest family-owner firearms company
HQ: Chandler, AZ
Company Type: Privately held
Infusionsoft, one of the fastest growing private companies in Arizona, offers email marketing and sales platforms specifically tailored for small businesses. By focusing on smaller companies, Infusionsoft is able to provide a basic sales platform/CRM to their customers along with marketing automation and lead generation capabilities.
- Small Business CRM – Infusionsoft gives customers the ability to import and organize contacts, score leads, and track engagements. Their product helps representatives gain more information on contacts to help drive sales.
- Marketing Automation – The backbone of Infusionsoft’s system is its ability to maintain marketing campaigns. Infusionsoft provides customer communication, landing page development, and traffic monitoring capabilities to their small business customers.
- Sales Automation – Infusionsoft automates lead scoring, and basic quote/contract generation and management. Infusionsoft generates automatic quotes for hot leads that the customer can accept with one click. This enables streamlined sales prospecting and produces faster turnaround times on contracts.
Infusionsoft has over 10 thousand small business customers in a wide variety of markets. Many different customers including financial groups, swimming pool contractors, and orthodontists are included in their customer base. Other than the small business criteria, it is hard to pin down a specific target market because of this wide variety of customers.
Optibike – electric bicycle manufacturer
Presidential Pools – swimming pool and spa contracting company
Blue Chip Athletic – wrestling apparel manufacturer
Left Foot Coaching Academy – soccer coach learning center
HQ: San Mateo, CA
Company Type: Public
Marketo is the global leader in Revenue Performance Management. Marketo’s powerful yet easy-to-use marketing automation solutions transform how marketing and sales teams of all sizes work — and work together — to drive dramatically increased revenue performance and fuel business growth. The company’s proven technology, comprehensive services, and expert guidance – in areas ranging from demand generation to lead nurturing – are helping corporations around the world to turn marketing from a cost center to a business-building revenue driver.
- Marketing Automation – B2B marketing and lead management
- Marketing Management – email and campaign management
- Real-Time Personalization – personalize messages across channels
- Marketing Management – coordinate teams and calendars
Marketo’s target market ranges from small businesses to large enterprises across many markets. Marketo customers are businesses looking for Revenue Performance Management solutions and Marketing Automation software, products and support.
GE Healthcare – provides transformational medical technologies and services
Northeastern University – Boston, MA
Charles Schwab – leading financial services provider
Sony – hosting a wide range of electronics
HootSuite – social media management dashboard
HQ: San Francisco, CA
Company Type: Public
Salesforce Pardot is a B2B Marketing Automation solution that continuously syncs with Professional Edition and higher levels of SFDC. With Pardot, sales reps can get a full view of prospect activity from within their own CRM systems. Individual users can also:
- View all prospect activities within the lead or contact record
- Sort contacts on SFDC by Pardot score and grade
- De-duplicate lead and contact records
- Sync opportunities and accounts with Pardot
Pardot targets all small to enterprise-level businesses that currently use Salesforce and are seeking to add Marketing Automation capabilities to their current Salesforce subscription.
Stanley Black & Decker – world-leading provider of tools and storage solutions
RxBar – creators of whole food protein bars
SignUp4 – event planning software providers
IRT Surveys – IR imaging, analysis, and quantification service providers
Xcentric – CPA-focused cloud service providers
HQ: Sandy Springs, GA
Company Type: Subsidiary
Silverpop, an IBM company, is a cloud-based digital marketing provider. The company offers its end-users email marketing, lead-to-revenue management, and mobile engagement solutions. Its flagship product, Silverpop Engage, uses customer data and individual behaviors collected from a variety of sources to inform and drive personalized interactions in real time. Other software competencies include:
- Marketing Automation – Automate personalized interactions at scale and deliver meaningful and relevant messaging throughout the customer lifecycle.
- Email Marketing – Send personal, relevant, and timely messaging that incorporate customers’ preferences and recent behaviors.
- Mobile Customer Engagement – Help make integrating mobile with other digital channels easy and effective.
Silverpop typically targets companies of all sizes working within the Retail, High Tech, Financial Service, Travel/Hospitality, and Media/Publishing industries.
LogMeIn – SaaS and cloud-based remote connectivity services provider
UncommonGoods – online and catalog retail company
Texas Instruments – multinational semiconductor manufacturer
Big Scary Cranium – B2B Marketing Automation firm
CARFAX – used vehicle history information provider
HQ: Miamisburg, OH
Company Type: Public
Teradata, a data warehousing and enterprise analytics company, has recently acquired Aprimo, a leader in cloud-based integrated marketing software. Now, Teradata Integrated Marketing Cloud powers brand engagement, connects companies with customers one-to-one and boosts sales by leveraging individualized insights to empower every element of a data-driven marketing applications program — including processes, channels, campaign financials, performance analytics, and even digital marketing templates — in a single application, on-premise or in the cloud.
- Marketing Resource Management – Manage workflows, budgets, and market-ready assets that meet brand standards and industry regulations.
- Omni-Channel Marketing – Deepen customer relationships by delivering individualized, relevant, right-time inbound and outbound communications
- Digital Marketing – Create, test, execute, and optimize digital marketing campaigns via email, mobile, social and Web
- Marketing Analytics – Harness the power of customer data to build relevant, sales-generating marketing strategies
Teradata Integrated Marketing Cloud (Teradata Aprimo) targets industries and companies of all sizes looking to empower enterprise-marketing programs and connect marketing and IT.
American Eagle – nationwide clothing brand
Volvo – luxury foreign cars
Samsung – technology and communication services
Ebay – online retail platform
Proctor and Gamble – multi-national consumer goods company