Marketing automation sounds really fast. Like everything’s going to run smoothly, progress rapidly and produce results. In the end, in a perfect world, it should.
But let’s back it up first: what is marketing automation, and why should you be interested in it?
Net-Results, a marketing automation platform, defines marketing automation as “a technology solution that supports the marketing and sales process by capturing leads, defining criteria that determines the relevant content to provide to leads, and then nurture those leads to become a sale. In essence, it is generating demand.”
Cool. Wouldn’t you like an automatic demand generator?
Again, let’s drive in reverse for a minute. Before the marketing automation machine can start automating, you have to tell it what to look for, where to find it, what to send, and how to respond.
Do you even know all of that information off the top of your head? Before you embark on marketing automation, answer these questions:
- What are the demographics of a company you do business with: What industry are they in? Where are they located? How many employees do they have? What is their annual revenue?
- Who do you want to communicate with at that company: the president? The purchasing agent? The HR coordinator? The IT manager?
- What does that person want to know? What do you have to tell that person about the industry you’re in (not specifically your company – yet) that would be helpful to them?
- How will you manage communications with your prospects? Who will have those conversations? Who will close the deal?
And, to satisfy your CFO, what’s the value of a customer, and how much should each lead cost in relation to that value? What’s your close rate, and how many prospects do you have to talk to to close a deal?
That’s a lot of question marks! If you answer them fully and with much thought and research, your marketing automation process will be smoother and more successful!