Sales and marketing have been playing broken telephone. Traditionally, marketing campaigns ended with delivering leads to client – and that’s where the action stopped. Little was known about the status of the leads – whether they’re hot or cold or their location along the purchasing journey. And worst of all, there was no analytics to understand how effectively sales teams were turning leads into revenue.
In short, marketing agencies – and clients – have struggled to measure ROI on marketing campaigns due to inadequate lead analytics. Until now, software used to track websites and software used to track sales processes have existed in silos. And the technology hasn’t completely closed the loop from ad impression to sale.
The marketing automation revolution
This year, 2016 marks the marketing automation revolution. Clients no longer need to receive potentially unripe leads – and have their agencies dust off their hands, believing a job well done.
Marketing intelligence has radically improved and the opportunity now exists to nurture leads and uniquely assess the quality of each lead before it’s pushed into the sales funnel. We can now analyse behavioural data to deliver personalised content to engage with the customer or potential customer along their journey, as well as glean insights about their behaviour to ensure they’re actually viable leads.
This gives digital marketers the ability to deliver more accurate, considered and appropriate leads – with more context and power for the salesperson. It provides real-life answers in an intangible digital world.
Banners be gone
Nay-sayers might (incorrectly) compare marketing automation with digital remarketing. Although banner ads still play a crucial role in the digital marketing ecosystem, users tend to block banner ads out.
Conversely, most South African consumers favour email as a method of marketing and receiving information. When there’s an element of personal value, there’s a greater chance of engagement. Marketing automation nurtures leads with dynamic and personalised email marketing, delivered to the user’s inbox when they need to see it.
What’s more, automated marketing shows almost immediate benefits to the bottom line. With an astute strategy and deep level of integration, G&G has become a symbiotic partner to our clients, as we provide an ongoing stream of leads to their sales team – alerting the team of the lead, the lead status and how best to respond.
Planting the lead
Once leads are delivered, the client can closely track how many of those leads were effectively turned into sales and, in time, more accurately illuminate weaknesses in their sales teams. Or, in the case of cold, sour, unripe leads: the shortcomings of their marketing campaigns.
Digital agencies evangelise about analytics and measurability. Marketing automation takes this to another level, using micro, personalised data to measure and drive macro-conversions.
This is the core of marketing automation. It’s not just another sparkling starfish in the sea of digital marketing tactics – it means properly understanding the user and their path to purchase. It means using this understanding to more intelligently, transparently and effectively tap into the moment a user is ready and comfortable to complete a purchase.
So tune in, don’t tune out. The future of marketing is here. And even if you don’t understand it, it already understands you.
Desiree Gullan is executive creative director, G&G Digital
Want to continue this conversation on The Media Online platforms? Comment on Twitter @MediaTMO or on our Facebook page. Send us your suggestions, comments, contributions or tip-offs via e-mail to email@example.com.