The 3 Essential Phases of Conversational Marketing through Automation. Phase Two: Technology

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1 The 3 Essential Phases of Conversational Marketing through Automation Phase Two: Technology Presented by Sponsored by

2 Phase 2: Focus On The Technology In Part One of this series we discussed Conversational Marketing as it pertains to analysis of what makes a successful buyer-seller dialogue; the creation of buyer personas to identify the prospects you re talking with; and the necessity of mapping content to tightly target those personas. In Part Two of this 3-part series, we ll evaluate the enabling technologies themselves, including essential functionality, the criticality of CRM integration, and some of the most effective approaches to automated multi-channel marketing. In addition to viewpoints from industry experts, we will also examine a case study of a new automation adopter. 2 A DEMANDGEN REPORT EXECUTIVE BRIEFING Combining Art with Science to Yield Results Automation is where the art of marketing meets science. How the two commingle is where the magic happens when it happens. Known for his pragmatic stance on the topic, Peter Burris, Principal Analyst and Research Director for Technology & Marketing at Forrester Research, begins by defining what automation platforms do, and what they don t do. The most important thing to note is that marketing automation provides mechanisms for interactions. It does not make those interactions relevant or potent. You still have to ensure that interactions are relevant and potent to get any meaningful measures of those interactions. For example, Burris says, you can do a great job of designing and developing the material to populate a marketing automation system. You may fill it with the syntactically correct artifacts. But if the underlying strategy is wrong then your metrics are going to show that nothing s working. And it won t be because you haven t integrated and configured the system well. It ll be because you re doing a lousy job of marketing. The opinion that sales and marketing as disciplines must grow up and catch up to the new breed of breakaway buyers is becoming pervasive. When you buy a marketing automation platform, it brings with it a science for how you do marketing, Burris adds. But this presumes a level of maturity inside marketing and sales functions that often is not there, or is not supported by the rest of the corporation. Many (if not most) marketing automation vendors have built their platforms to help foster this adaptation. When Marketo got started we wanted to keep in mind that buyer behavior has changed in BtoB marketing and selling. Marketers simply must adapt to that, says Amy Guarino, VP of Business Development at Marketo. The key behavioral change is that if someone wants to buy, they no longer just pick up the phone and call a salesperson. It s now more similar to the way people buy consumer products. There s a tremendous amount of information available on the Internet. People want to self-educate so that they have a very good understanding of what their requirements are before engaging with a salesperson. Firms that operate on the front lines of marketing automation independent implementation consul- There s a tremendous amount of information available on the Internet. People want to self-educate so that they have a very good understanding of what their requirements are before engaging with a salesperson. Amy Guarino VP of Business Development Marketo

3 3 A DEMANDGEN REPORT EXECUTIVE BRIEFING Our goal is to tell visitors that because of an action they ve taken on the site, they ve just upped their own lead score. tants increasingly view this self-education process as prospects demanding far greater transparency from vendors. With the launch of its new website, com, marketing consultancy and Marketo valueadded reseller, LeadMD, is banking on transparency as a key sales driver. LeadMD CEO, Justin Gray, says his firm s site is designed to pull back the curtain in terms of what s happening behind the scenes by revealing to users the path and lead score their own actions are generating, in real time. We re going to show visitors how we score them, as in, because you just downloaded this item we can now divulge to you what your path as a lead is within our organization. I ve never seen anyone engage with potential buyers on a site in this way, Gray says. Again, transparency is the whole point. Our goal is to tell visitors that because of an action they ve taken on the site, they ve just upped their own lead score, Gray says. To us, that means that a lead s actions might generate a warm rating; they re on the radar of our sales team; and if they take a few more actions, they re probably going to get a call. We want to be able to show that a conversation has been taking place that they may or may not be aware of, and how that translates to their own sales cycle. Gray adds that technologically, the following elements of any lead management system are indispensable, whether invisible to the user or not: Platform CRM & Sales Analytics Tools Social and Multimedia Integration Justin Gray CEO LeadMD Lead Scoring & Profiling Executive Benchmarking through Reporting and Dashboards SEO / SEM The Importance of a Unified Automation Strategy As many sales automation adopters quickly learned, CRM was not the end-all. This is the void now being filled by marketing automation. The next riddle to be solved is integrating the two platforms to complete the behavioral circuit and spit out the vaunted qualified lead. Practitioners and analysts have squarely aligned behind this idea. It s critical to integrate marketing automation with your CRM, says Marketo s Amy. Guarino. That s the way you can understand what s working and what s not within your marketing activities. Thinking of the overall revenue cycle, you re doing a lot of different activities campaigns, messages, and analytics with marketing automation. When you sync this with Salesforce, you re able to see not only the number of leads generated, but because of the messaging or the targeting, that certain leads are converting at X rate while other leads are converting at a far slower rate. You need to know which sources and activities are delivering leads that will close as revenue, and put a timeline on that. Forrester s Peter Burris concurs. In the past, to have CRM provide marketing functions, you had to rely on individual salespeople as data sources. Today, as you integrate more online mechanisms for interaction, that data is created by the interaction itself and is not dependent on the quality, timing or coherence of manual data entry. As an implementation specialist, LeadMD s Gray routinely tackles front-line assimilation issues. One of the biggest push backs we get is why are you analyzing our sales process when you re supposed to be helping us with our marketing efforts? What sales reps don t always understand is that when they modify data fields in SalesForce, they re triggering events in the marketing cycle. A unified strategy adjusts for that.

4 I can t stress enough that the automation platform chosen is just the tail of the dog. Michael Dortch Research Director Focus Research He illustrates the point, using the scenario of a company that s selling through strategic partners. If none of the leads in the system denote who the partner is, that s a big problem. We have to create a roadmap to increase data integrity and locate key fields that are always updated by the sales team; sometimes updated; or never updated, Gray says. If a client s reps are coding deals so that all leads are open until they re converted, that doesn t allow us to market very well throughout the sales cycle. They re not establishing a pipeline or giving us the information we need to modify marketing tasks. Knowing the influences of each platform is therefore a necessity when creating validation and workflow rules that enforce data integrity and make the two systems operate as one. Users can then dynamically link multi-channel activities and build data around disparate actions to better leverage the overall automation investment. Making Channels Work Together The crossroads where marketing art, automation science and integration now meet is the multichannel mash-up. Marketers (and the sales teams that depend on them) are trying to master free-forall social and mobile forums, in addition to web 2.0 functionality and the Five Sisters of traditional media TV, radio, print, events, and outdoor. I can t stress enough that the automation platform chosen is just the tail of the dog, says Michael Dortch, Director of Research for vendor-funded lead-gen and research firm, Focus Research. It is good marketing automation processes that help identify and target outreach to specific groups and personae in a way that all roads lead back a consistent message and brand perception. You have to develop content within that framework, Dortch adds. You have to think of your marketing effort as selling a Swiss Army knife one blade at a time. Some people want the knife, some people want the bottle opener. But the handle the base is always the same. CSS Impact, a software provider to the collections industry, found itself facing multi-channel marketing hurdles, compounded by poor lead quality. We were painfully aware of the need to generate better leads for our sales team, but were limited in terms of time, resources and expertise, says Carl Briganti, CEO of CSS Impact. Our marketing capabilities did not match our marketing goals. Consultancy LeadMD was brought in to re-engage CSS prospects through LeadMD s Managed Services offering. They synced up the Marketo marketing platform with Salesforce.com, and are administering the solution for CSS on an ongoing basis. According to Briganti, the results have been staggering, achieving an ROI of 450% within six months of automating. Speed to market and early successes tend to feature prominently in well-coordinated, multi-channel automation installs. CSS didn t have to wait around for their team to get trained or come up with their own methodology, says LeadMD s Gray. We defined their buyer, defined their technology needs, and defined the necessary sales process in a very short amount of time. 4 A DEMANDGEN REPORT EXECUTIVE BRIEFING

5 About LeadMD LeadMD combines the resources of a digital marketing agency with revenue focused sales and marketing alignment strategy, all through the use of on-demand cloud technology. Creating, managing and converting quality leads in higher numbers is how we enable our clients to out perform their competitors and out market their peers. The most effective way to engage more prospects and convert better leads is through Conversational Marketing. At LeadMD, we will help your team leverage and online channels to build buyer trust and engagement through cutting edge technology such as Marketing Automation. When your focus is on building a demand generation process that truly drives revenue, it s time to engage LeadMD and fix your funnel. About DemandGen Report DemandGen Report is a targeted e-media publication spotlighting the strategies and solutions that help companies better align their sales and marketing organizations, and ultimately, drive growth. A key component of the publication s editorial focuses on the sales and marketing automation tools that enable companies to better measure and manage their multi-channel demand generation efforts. 5 A DEMANDGEN REPORT EXECUTIVE BRIEFING

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