Marketing is Gaining Importance Through Technology
12 August 2013 3 Comments
In our latest post I focused on Big Data opportunities for Product Management. The next couple of posts will be dealing with Marketing Automation. Marketing is becoming increasingly more technological. The effectiveness of a good online marketing solution can’t be denied. Target groups can be addressed quickly and directly. Establishing personalized dialogues are possible too. For marketers there is a variety of electronic solutions available to manage, implement and measure their activities.
Gartner, a leading market research company for the IT industry, predicts that software spending will be driven more by marketing managers or CMOs than by information managers or CIOs in 2017. The pace by which Marketing is automating their processes certainly leaves few doubts about Gartner’s prediction. The fact that marketing is becoming more technological would in any case mean that powerful marketers need to expand their digital competences.
Improved Lead Generation by Marketing Automation
Marketers are measured primarily by the number of interested consumers (or leads) they obtain. This figure also provides the link to Sales. Qualified sales contacts are the basis of specific sales activities.
Marketing Automation provides marketers with a software solution that revolutionizes their activity field. The implementation starts with a precise target group analysis:
- Who are the business decision makers?
- What does our target group’s buying process look like?
- What content is interesting for our target contacts?
- How and when do information needs of potential customers change?
- What marketing activities have to be aligned to attract and develop prospective customers?
Your marketing methodology will not be changed by a digital solution. But the complexity of your information is managed electronically. Digital campaigns are based on the analysis grid, which will provide best results when developed in close cooperation with Sales. Common knowledge structure about the target group and the derivation of communication activities becomes a legally binding instrument for customer facing departments such as Sales.
Personal Marketing Communication
A better understanding of information needs is just the starting point of Marketing Automation. Online behavior of website visitors is analyzed and used to send personal advertisements, by the strength of the software. Depending on who does what clicks, your tool will know what content needs to be forwarded to what lead through the predefined Target Group/Content matrix.
Marketing and Sales as one single team
Marketers using Marketing Automation solutions dive deeper into sales processes. Because campaigns programs are put to the opportunity status. Since the acquisition of new customers is much more expensive than development of existing customers, cross sell and up sell initiatives are an important aspect of Sales. Again, Marketing doesn’t play an exclusive role upstream to the actual Sales process. Sales colleagues are supported in their persuasion through communication activities over several decision phases.
Close collaboration between Marketing and Sales has always been an important success factor. Through better ways to control and measure marketing activities, actual cooperation is relevant in practice. What previously has been presented by Sales in person, is now often and preferably provided online. Marketing now becomes as accountable as Sales has always been. And the pressure to succeed increases.
And what is your experience with Marketing Automation? I would appreciate your comments, ratings and shares on this post.
Errol van Engelen is owner/director at Bizzmaxx, a marketing service provider specialized in improving your sales funnel through Digital Marketing, Lead Generation, Marketing Automation and Marketing & Sales Alignment.