Increasing Productivity through Marketing Automation Platforms (MAPs)
My experience in this post comes from implementing MAPs in 3 different companies – in one of those companies, the MAP providers (Eloqua, Marketo, Aprimo) were a channel of distribution for us, so I had unique visibility as to their effectiveness. When a process is followed, time efficiencies can be gained; skipping implementation steps risks losing significant time to see effectveness. When investing in these systems, you have to commit as an organization to move QUICKLY else you risk the ‘Ferrari collecting dust syndrome…’
You’ve heard of the brand new Ferrari collecting dust syndrome – someone buys a new car and it collects dust due to lack of use. This same analogy has been used in investing in what is perceived as expensive marketing automation software to run routine marketing campaigns to accelerate revenue. Implementation of these systems is very challenging to say the least in larger enterprises – outlining business process, integrating with sales ready tools, identifying KPIs and metrics, getting buy in, etc. There are several key considerations when evaluating the need to increase productivity through marketing automation efficiency.
1. Map out your lead flow process from inquiry to close by studying your Salesforce.com information, your marketing automation information, and interviewing your key sales stakeholders. I’ve done this in two different companies and have found stunning results in both the process and in the experience that sales expects from marketing.
2. Implement lead scoring through progressive form input/dialogue. The progressive lead scoring will allow only the most qualified prospects deemed worthy a real time conversation (which is more costly than an automated touch). The idea is to pass only the best qualified along to a telequalifying or inside sales entity.
3. With the MAP platform, synthesize ALL campaigns to maximize effectiveness, to include SEO (search engine optimization). It’s no good just to have campaigns for the sake of campaigns. Some of the MAP platform providers are VERY early in on this process themselves which is somewhat shocking but true!
4. Engage your marketing automation vendor early and often in your process flow (Eloqua, Marketo, soon to be Netsuite). They do have best practice information as does other companies like SiriusDecisions. You are better off engaging the MAP platform provider directly.
5. Engage an outside party to help to move things more quickly. An outside party can take the pressure off difficult conversations and can have the added insight of having been through other operational deployments.
What have you found that works for you?