How Marketing Automation plays an important role in the new age Buying Process
Gone are the days when leads and customers would purchase products on a whim. Today every company – big or small has to deal with a longer buying cycle.
The good news: Longer buying cycle means your team gets more opportunities to convince the lead or the customer.
The bad news: 75% of these opportunities happen before the lead/customer comes in contact with the sales person.
Lesson to Learn: Marketers now have a bigger role to play in the buying process. From capturing the buyers attention to locking in customer loyalty – marketers undertake the entire responsibility.
- Marketo Report
What companies have to say about this changed scenario?
Marketing has always been seen as a ’cost center’. And with the bigger role of the marketers in the buying process – things have become more challenging for the companies. For instance – they know what to do but do not know how to go about it.
This is because of the lack of visibility regarding which marketing strategy impact revenues and which don’t. Julie Hopkins, puts it - “We know half of our marketing strategy works, but do not know which half.
And this is where Marketing Automation comes in place…
According to Marketo Report – Today marketing is no more about a range of guess-work and manual processes. All thanks to the upbeat marketing software - Marketing Automation that manages and tracks website, landing pages, social media, email marketing, direct mail, and events under one platform. And yes, most importantly it directly integrates with the other business intelligence systems.
Chris Fletcher, Gartner analyst comments – ‘’Marketing Automation helps marketers guide prospects through the buying process, and – when the prospects are converted to leads – hand them over to the sales team. Doing this, they precisely know which marketing interactions help in the buying process and which don’t. They successfully map these efforts to revenue to prove the impact of every penny spent. This is a boon for all the marketers who always have been struggling trying to justify the marketing budget used.’’
Four core functions of Marketing Automation Platform:
1. 360-degree view of leads and prospects: Marketing Automation tracks all details of prospects (contact information, demographic data and behavioral data) across every interaction. Most importantly all this information gets available to the marketers into one data repository which helps in lead and customer engagement.
2. Lead nurturing: Marketing automation enables marketers to automate the process of delivering personalized content and messages across different mediums. These contents match to the leads’ interests and demands.
3. Marketing schedule: Marketing Automation helps marketers streamline and automate department’s operational functions – planning marketing timetable, tracking marketing strategy, and managing the overall marketing budgets.
4. Marketing Analytics: Marketing Automation provides effective analysis of data - to unlock the potential of the marketing initiatives.
This helps the marketers to:
- Segment prospects based on behavior and demographic data
- Build marketing strategy that is more effective
- Prioritize marketing budget for different marketing campaigns.
Overall – Marketing Automation enable the marketers to stay competitive with current marketing strategy, best practices, and knowledge for data-driven decision-making.
Manash Chaudhuri is the CEO of ConvergeHub, Inc, headquartered in Silicon Valley, California. Holding more than 19 years of experience in Operations, Sales and Project Management, his company’s first product Converge Enterprise has been successively nominated twice in CRM Idol competition.