Live from MarketingProfs B2B: Gaining Efficiencies with Marketing Automation

By Lindsay Keller | Oct 5, 2012
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What is marketing automation? How can it help you increase lead generation and conversions? In today’s session, Chad Horenfeldt, Director of Success Consulting at Eloqua and Kathleen Christoph, Email Marketing Manager of PerkinElmer discussed how centralizing your company’s marketing technologies, implementing universal processes, and breaking down internal barriers can make your marketing team more efficient. Some key factors the speakers covered were how to streamline processes and technologies, increase campaign efficiency, and generate more qualified leads using targeting.

The B2B buying process has changed. Before the rise of search, the buying process involved initial marketing to educate potential customers, with the salesperson then continuing to educate them and eventually closing the deal. Now the buyer is in control of the education stage, doing their own research before they even get to the salesperson. With that said, it is important to align content with the buyer’s journey and share content with potential customers at all different levels of the sales funnel.

For example, it is often good practice to start by presenting unknown visitors with blog posts, videos, whitepapers, etc. to educate them and following this with distributing free trials and demos for people further down the funnel, and finally presenting case studies to close the deal. Eloqua and other marketing automation software can simplify this process.

What makes a lead a qualified lead? Eloqua uses a tool called “lead scoring” to evaluate what counts as a qualified lead based on a variety of things like: does the person have the right job title; have they visited the site recently; how many pages have they interacted with recently, etc? Once leads have been identified as qualified, they are sent to the sales team. But before the lead is “qualified” you can still nurture potential customers using marketing automation to further them down the sales funnel.

With marketing automation, you can keep track of who is interacting with your content and make educated decisions on how to further nurture them based on these metrics. Chad, with Eloqua, stressed the importance of something called “progressive profiling”. A good strategy to obtaining more leads is to avoid asking site visitors for all their information right up front, and instead ask for just a few vital pieces of information first, like name and email, and then continue to build out the full profile by asking for more information over time. People tend to be more willing to share more information over time as opposed to being bombarded all at once with a page-long form.

Chad left us with some final thoughts on how to be a modern marketing expert:

  • Work more closely with sales
  • Map out your engagement paths
  • Focus on one area at a time and build from there
  • Segment your audience
  • Design for many channels

Are you currently practicing what it takes to be a modern marketing expert?

Do you currently use marketing automation? If so, I’d love to hear about some of your success stories. Feel free to comment below or reach out to me on Twitter @lindskeller.

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