Best Practice Toolkits
Good demand generation and lead management processes require B2B marketing experts to respond individually to each prospect in the buying process. However, truly understanding and responding relevantly to buyer interest cannot be done manually. To ensure that marketers are able to target customers and prospects with the right messages at the right time, marketers need a marketing automation software platform that customizes content and automates the timing of marketing communications.
The buyer’s ability to self-educate has increased astronomically over the last decade. Buyers use vendor, analyst, and social media websites to understand the available choices and their own preferences. By the time they pick up the phone to speak with a vendor, they've probably made their buying decision, based on information provided by you, your competitors, and multiple third party sites.
This transition has meant that we as B2B marketing experts need to work differently. In the past, marketers and marketing software focused on developing and sending high volume, outbound emails. Now, if we hope to guide buyers to consider, prefer, and select the products and services we offer, we need marketing automation software that provides the precise information buyers need as they move through the buying process.
By observing and understanding a prospective buyer's digital body language, marketing automation software can understand much about where they are in the buying process, and what is most of interest to them. Lead scoring, a key part of the platform, allows us to carefully categorize these observations in order to know whether the buyer is ready for a conversation with sales, or should be held back and nurtured with high value web content until buying signals emerge.
Similarly, in order to deliver the right message, our content needs to be highly personalized to the buyer's role in the organization. Executive buyers will respond to different messages than their employees, and those in marketing will respond to different concepts than those in human resources. One thing to consider is that to truly segment our messaging, we need to trust the data in the marketing database. No matter where the data comes from, it needs to be cleansed and standardized continually. Most of today’s marketing automation solutions provide at least some form of data management as part of the service.
This individualized approach to relevance, in terms of targeting, timing, and content, of each marketing message can only be successfully accomplished with marketing automation. Only by automating the underlying lead scoring, nurture marketing, and data management can we successfully understand our prospective buyers and deliver the right message to them.
Marketing, as a discipline, remains as much an art as it ever was. Compelling offers, captivating visuals, great positioning, and elegant copy are as difficult as ever to create. Even as today’s new buying process requires elements of science in automating how the targeting, timing, and content of a marketing message is delivered, the understanding of market segments, buyer journeys, and what moves a buyer along their buying process still differentiate excellent marketers from merely good marketers.
However, as we shift from bulk outbound messaging to understanding and facilitating a buyer's buying process, we need new capabilities. We can only deliver on this shift in how we engage our prospective buyers if we are enabled with a marketing automation platform that guides the conversations, timing, and personalization needed.
Learn how to effectively segment customers to improve sales and marketing alignment & sales effectiveness in Eloqua’s lead qualification and lead scoring video
Eloqua makes it easy to build advanced registration forms without involving IT.
Learn how "factory thinking" and automating demand generation can transform your sales and marketing practices in this downloadable whitepaper from Eloqua.
Unless a company has been exposed for something egregious, it can be hard to tell who will be a safe bet … and who is high risk. Following are five questions that will help you select a partner that will safeguard your reputation:
Have you recently rolled out a marketing automation platform like Eloqua, have you been using one for awhile, or are you considering one in the near future?
Configuring your marketing automation platform, then letting it collect dust is a risky strategy.
Watch this Marketing Roundtable and learn how your peers have implemented Marketing Automation solutions – and have ultimately transformed their business to deliver increased revenue and ROI.