The ROI behind automated marketing

Wouldn’t it be great to have a way to digitize your best salespeople and broadcast them into thousands of businesses simultaneously to generate new, relevant prospects? Sadly, that’s not possible. Sales personnel, by definition, work in a one-on-one fashion to close deals. It’s the role of B2B Marketing to help fill the pipeline with qualified leads (leaving ecommerce out of the equation for now). Traditionally, this meant communicating one message to the masses. But in the Age of personalization, automation, re-targeting & Co. this time is over.

So what Is B2B Marketing Automation?

With the development and accessibility of technology, tools like automated Marketing allow businesses to provide uniquely relevant information to individual prospects at the exact right time for the individual. The target’s behavior on your website, in response to your emails, on your social channels is tracked on an ID level and Marketing messages like white papers, product brochures, etc. are provided based on this data. In doing so, the information provided speaks to your prospects pains, needs, and desires.

Automation then is about scaling the personal touch and the reach of your brand. Traditionally, marketing automation has been confined to email. But a more modern and effective approach collects data from multiple channels including social media, company websites, and content creation/delivery platforms. Then, it uses automated distribution through these same channels to influence buyers throughout their decision-making journey.

Why Are B2B Firms Using Automated Marketing?

Here are some of the most common reasons B2B marketers choose to automate their efforts:

  • Increasing sales revenue (including generating new leads and upselling to existing customers)
  • Saving time and reducing repetitive tasks, making marketing more productive
  • Improving customer engagement
  • Targeting new leads more effectively
  • Accelerating leads through the sales funnel
  • Making communication more timely
  • Having a way to more effectively measure results

What Are Other Companies Getting from Marketing Automation?

ROI varies by company, industry, and level of experience with automation. Here are just a few statistics from recent years that show promising trends...

Compared to non-users, companies using marketing automation see 53% higher conversion rates from initial response to qualified lead and a revenue growth rate that is 3.1% higher.Aberdeen Group, 2012: “Marketing Lead Management Report”

More than 65% of B2B marketers report at least a 10% increase in sales opportunities through lead nurturing. Fifteen percent see opportunities increase by 30% or more. – DemandGen “2014 Lead Nurturing Benchmark Study”

88% of top-performing companies are effective in routing ‘hot’ leads to Sales versus just 57% of the rest of the pack. – Aberdeen Group “State of Marketing Automation 2014: Processes that Produce”

What’s the Real ROI for Your Company?

That’s the critical question. Automation software and processes require resources to implement. They have to be worth it! Nineteenth century merchant John Wanamaker is famously quoted as saying “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted: the trouble is I don’t know which half.” That’s a funny sentiment, but should no longer be accepted as inevitable.  No marketing team can guarantee or predict a specific ROI for a marketing initiative. But they should absolutely be able to track and report results so you can tell what’s working. With the analytics tools available today, there’s simply no excuse for not knowing whether your money is being well spent.

Ways to Measure ROI for Automated Marketing

In the final analysis, an increase in sales revenue is the most important number that determines whether a marketing solution is effective. But with marketing automation, you also have a number of checkpoints that allow you to keep track along the way. For example, you can measure things like:

  • The number of new leads (keeping in mind that inbound marketing needs to be part of the equation)
  • The quality of those leads (using a scoring/grading system agreed upon by both Marketing and Sales)
  • Conversion from one stage to the next (e.g., from inquiry to lead to prospect to customer)
  • The average number of touches and the length of time required to move prospects through to closing

With this data at your fingertips, it’s easy to see where your marketing is falling short and make adjustments to optimize every aspect of your B2B sales funnel.

Want to learn more about how to implement marketing automation that delivers real ROI for your business? Let’s talk!