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and building better
1 I Marketing automation and building better customer engagement Case Study
By Jessica Medforth
Marketing Manager, Promapp Solutions Ltd
B2B Marketing Conference, 30 – 31 March, Crowne Plaza, Auckland
2 I Marketing automation and building better customer engagement
1.0 Introduction 3
2.0 Key drivers for implementing marketing automation; the challenges faced 4
2.1 Defining the marketing challenge 4
2.2 Key indicators of the need for change 4
2.3 The project; a phased approach 4
2.4 Choosing the right marketing automation solution 4
3.0 Bridging the gap between sales and marketing 6
3.1 Mapping the lead lifecycle 6
3.2 Confirming buying signs for lead qualification 6
3.3 Setting up a knowledge sharing platform to improve lead interactions 7
3.4 Determining a change management approach 7
4.0 Delivering targeted and rich interactions to maintain and cultivate relationships 9
4.1 Automating the free trial process 9
4.2 Customising content to stages of the buyer’s journey 9
5.0 Lessons learned to date 11
6.0 Conclusion 12
7.0 References 13
8.0 About Promapp 14
Table of Contents
3 I Marketing automation and building better customer engagement
Marketing automation and building
better customer engagement
By Jessica Medforth
According to a Forrester Research report, “58% of top-
performing companies (defined as those where marketing
contributes more than half of the sales pipeline), have
adopted marketing automation.” (Wizdo & O’Neill, 2014).
Statistics like this, along with a desire to reap the benefits
promoted by marketing automation providers, such as
generating more quality leads, increasing productivity and
improving conversion and engagement rates (Schulze,
2014), are driving adoption rates.
It certainly peaked our interest at Promapp, where we
are in the process of implementing marketing automation
platform Marketo. This paper presents Promapp’s journey
the ‘right’ platform, implementing our chosen solution and
finally leveraging it to drive customer engagement and
revenue growth. As the lead on this project, this paper is
predominantly opinion based. It focuses on the practical
steps taken, appealing to those:
• wanting to learn more about how marketing
automation could help their business
• about to embark on a marketing automation system
• who have just begun with marketing automation and
are looking for ideas on where next to focus their
efforts to get the most out of their investment.
Marketing automation first came on the scene in the late 1990’s. Evolving as part
of the digital age, it is by no means a new concept (Marketo, 2013). In saying
this, the reputation of marketing automation as an effective means of providing
customised and meaningful communications to a wider audience through an
increasing number of channels is growing.
4 I Marketing automation and building better customer engagement
2.1. Defining the marketing challenge
Promapp is a NZ-based process mapping software
company founded in 2002 by CEO Ivan Seselj. The kiwi
start-up didn’t take long to gain momentum and its rate
of growth was recognised in 2010 with a New Zealand
Deloitte Fast 50 award and a Deloitte Asia Pacific Tech
Fast 500 award later that year.
Over the past five years, Promapp’s year over year growth
has averaged around 40% and today, Promapp has a
customer base of over 300 organisations in New Zealand,
Australia and the United States. Staff numbers have
quadrupled and this increased headcount included the
appointment of two full-time marketing personnel, which
as of March 2015 has risen to a total of three.
The newly appointed Marketing team was predominantly
focused on two things; generating new leads to flow into
the sales funnel and establishing Promapp as the leader
it is in the Business Process Management (BPM) space
through ongoing lead nurturing. The ultimate outcome
being the addition of another valued customer to our client
Delivering this mandate involved a range of marketing
tactics, including SEM, event sponsorship, inbound
marketing, email marketing, PR, content creation,
advertising etc. While the tactics themselves were often
successful in their own rights, it was becoming apparent
that there was an opportunity to improve co-ordination
and execution to get even more out of our marketing
2.2 Key indicators of the need for change
A combination of factors led us to the conclusion that it
was time for change, including:
• Productivity of the Marketing team was being affected
by time spent on manual processes to generate,
nurture and report on the progression of leads
• A desire to expand our presence overseas created a
need to be able to send geo-specific content to leads
while observing different time zones
• A lack of available metrics and over-time analytics
made it difficult to:
• Distinguish between passive leads and active
leads and therefore provide qualified leads
to sales based on more than demographic
• Measure effectiveness and true ROI of different
marketing activities and channels
• There was no easy way to share market intelligence
between sales and marketing. Greater system
integration was required to establish one point-of-
truth for sales and marketing data.
And so our marketing automation journey began.
2.3 The project; a phased approach
2.4 Choosing the right marketing
There is an abundance of options when it comes to
marketing automation solution providers. With this, and
our marketing challenge in mind, it was important that we
established a set of system requirements and a weighting
model that best reflected our needs.
The highest weighted requirements for Promapp included:
• Integration; the system needed to have a native
integration with our Customer Relationship
Management (CRM) system and Content Management
• Lead scoring; the system needed to be able to score
both demographic and behavioural data in order to
allow us to qualify and prioritise leads
• Lead nurturing; the system needed to enable us
to segment leads in order to deliver personal and
targeted nurturing campaigns
2.0 Key drivers for implementing marketing automation;
the challenges faced
5 I Marketing automation and building better customer engagement
• Reporting; the system needed strong analytics and
reporting functionality to give us visibility into the
effectiveness of our marketing activities and channels
Other weighted criteria taken into consideration included:
• Cost and time to implement; the cost to purchase,
implement and secure ongoing support was a
deciding factor, as well as the time and complexity of
the implementation process and system integration
• Ease of use; the system needed to be intuitive and
easy to use for marketers
• Training, service and support; we needed to be
trained on how to use the system quickly, be able to
access self-help tools and we expected same day
response from support personnel on queries and
• Future requirements; the system needed to be one
that could grow with us as a business. We wanted
a provider with a strong track record, who could
demonstrate an ongoing commitment to new and
advanced platform features and updates
How does this stack up with the requirements of other
companies? Well according to Schulze (2014), pretty
close (see Figure 2.4.1).
We evaluated five systems against the established criteria,
including international players Marketo and Hubspot, an
emerging platform Jumplead, the Microsoft Dynamics
add-on ClickDimensions and local New Zealand digital
platform provider Ubiquity. It was a close race, however
in the end it was Marketo that best met our requirements.
Figure 2.4.1: Criteria used to evaluate marketing automation platforms and vendors (Schulze, 2014)
6 I Marketing automation and building better customer engagement
The decision to use marketing automation required a
maturity in our thinking as a business with regard to how
sales and marketing work together to turn leads into
customers. Before we could dive into implementation,
there were several steps we needed to take.
3.1 Mapping the lead lifecycle
The first step was to map out the lead lifecycle to gain a
better understanding of the stages a person goes through
on their journey to becoming a customer (see Figure 3.1.1).
This helped us to establish where ownership lies at various
stages of the lifecycle, as well as identify the stages at
which marketing could add the most value.
As we went through this exercise, it became evident
that the set-up and way we were using our CRM did not
support the lead lifecycle model and therefore the future
requirements of the business. This resulted in a separate
CRM project, which was effectively a redeployment
of our existing system that ran concurrently with the
implementation of the marketing automation system.
3.2 Confirming buying signs for lead
In order to be able to qualify leads from a marketing stand-
point, we needed to get clear on our buying signs. In the
past, we’d relied heavily on demographic characteristics to
separate the good leads from the not so good ones. With
marketing automation, we could combine demographics
with behavioural data to more accurately gauge propensity
In conjunction with sales, we compiled a list of demographic
and behavioural criteria that would form the basis of our
initial lead scoring strategy. This list included both positive
and negative signs, which were ranked in order of priority
and assigned a score.
To begin with, our lead scoring was based on the following
A lead’s score continues to accumulate until it reaches a
target score (i.e we set our target score at 100) at which
time the lead status changes from passive to active and an
alert is sent to sales to make contact. If the sales person
qualifies the lead, they become a sales opportunity, if not
they are either recycled to marketing to continue nurturing
or qualified out.
3.0 Bridging the gap between sales and marketing
Figure 3.1.1: The Lead Lifecycle (Marketo, 2014 - taken from implementation documentation)
7 I Marketing automation and building better customer engagement
3.3 Setting up a knowledge sharing
platform to improve lead interactions
Marketo’s native integration with our CRM, and in turn our
ability to embed elements into our existing CMS, provided
us with a platform for greater knowledge sharing between
sales and marketing from which we both benefit.
From a marketing perspective, the ability to easily tap into
the wealth of knowledge sitting in our CRM allows us to
refine our market segmentation and deliver more targeted/
On the flip side, it lets sales prioritise leads based on lead
score (stars), as well as the speed at which that score
climbs (flames). It also provides insight into the various
touch points an individual has had with us as a company
prior to and during their interactions with them (see Figure
3.3.1). The ability to view what pages a lead has visited
on the website and/or what emails they have engaged
with enables our sales team to have a more meaningful
conversation with the person by tailoring it to the things
that person is interested in. This is all data extracted from
the automation solution and made available to view in
3.4 Determining a change management
As with any new system implementation, it was important
that we determined a plan for managing change in order to
minimise disruption to the business and help aid adoption
of the ‘new way’.
Fortunate to have the Directors on-board from the outset,
it was imperative to also gain buy-in for the project from
the sales team. We needed to demonstrate to them how
marketing automation would make our combined efforts
more effective and convince them of the direct impact it
would have on overall business results.
The second imperative was documenting our processes for
training and on-going support purposes in order to cement
the ‘new way’ into everyday operations. At Promapp, we’re
all about process and use our own software to document
the way we do things. From a systems implementation
perspective, this is a great position to be in; having a
clear understanding of our current processes enabled us
to easily identify the gaps between them and the desired
future state once the automation system was in place.
Our ‘new’ processes (up to Phase Two) have been
captured in Promapp with work instructions, screenshots
and relevant documentation embedded (see Figure
3.4.1). We know we’re not going to get everything right
from the outset and that our campaigns will undergo
constant refinement. Having processes in a dynamic,
online platform enables us to easily edit and improve how
we do things as we monitor results and glean feedback
from internal stakeholders and, most importantly, from our
Figure 3.3.1: Marketo Sales Insight (Marketo Community, 2013).
8 I Marketing automation and building better customer engagement
Figure 3.4.1: Promapp Process Map (Promapp Solutions Ltd, 2015)
9 I Marketing automation and building better customer engagement
From the outset, being able to deliver targeted and
rich interactions to develop relationships with people
throughout the lead to customer lifecycle was paramount
in our decision to implement marketing automation.
It’s fair to say, we are only just scratching the surface of
what Marketo will allow us to do when it comes to lead
nurturing. This section consists of a few examples of
campaigns we have recently deployed or are looking to
deploy in the near future.
4.1 Automating the free trial process
A free 30 day trial of Promapp is our most successful lead
capture offer and is recognised internally as an important
step on the road to becoming a Promapp customer. In the
past 18 months, the number of those requesting a trial
each month has tripled. Aside from an automated form
fill-out alert, the rest of the response process was manual
including: data entry for tracking, set-up on a demo site
and sending two emails (one with login and password
information, the other a ‘5 days to go’ reminder).
The pre-automation conversion rate from free trial to
paying customer represented a huge opportunity for us
as a business. For this reason, it was prioritised as the
first nurturing campaign to be tackled as part of the
Marketing automation has allowed us to implement
a series of between 5 and 7 emails over a 30 – 44 day
period (see Figure 4.1.1). These communications portray
Promapp’s unique personality to forge a connection with
the enquirer. Furthermore, they have been designed to
educate and inspire through the provision of simple tips
and tricks allowing the trial customer to get the most out
of their free 30 days. We have also been able to factor in
reminders to those yet to log-in to the demo site, as well
as offer a trial extension if more time is required.
4.2 Customising content to stages of the
According to a study carried out by Lenskold Group,
Inc (2013) the percentage of companies with marketing
automation who customise content to the buyer’s journey
is 49%, compared to only 21% for companies not using
Much of this paper covers using marketing automation
to warm leads up to a stage at which they are ready to
speak with sales, but there is just as much opportunity for
marketing to add value at the bottom of the funnel helping
to transition leads from the opportunity to closed stages.
For us, there are four stages a lead goes through once
they become an opportunity and before they are closed,
including: recall, warm, hot and commit. We will be working
close with our sales team to establish what content is
most valuable at each of these stages, before setting up
engagement programs to target the bottom of the funnel.
And what about those we’ve already won the hearts of?
We have an abundance of content and self-help tools
available for new customers to tap into. How can we
use automation to support the Promapp delivery team in
sharing this content with our customers so they can get
the most value out of our BPM software?
4.0 Delivering targeted and rich interactions to maintain
and cultivate relationships
Figure 4.1.1: Free Trial Process (Promapp Solutions Ltd, 2014)
10 I Marketing automation and building better customer engagement
While our plans here are not yet set in stone, we are
certainly not lacking in nurturing ideas, including:
• A welcome campaign to enhance our new customer
on boarding process
• Basic toolset training for those in the software
• Advanced toolset training for those who have been
clients for over a set timeframe
• Nurture campaigns based on their Promapp role
within the organisation (i.e. Chief Process Officer,
Primary Champion, Promaster or Process Owner and/
Both the bottom of the funnel and retention activity has
been reserved for Phase Three of our implementation
project and will be next on the list for the marketing team
11 I Marketing automation and building better customer engagement
Hindsight is a great thing, especially when it comes to
project management as you can never predict all of the
challenges that will cross your path on the road to delivery.
This section is dedicated to sharing key learnings with
regard to our marketing automation journey to date.
• Don’t look at any one system in isolation
In today’s data-driven world, we need our business
systems to be integrated. The changes required to
our CRM system were greater than we anticipated.
While we have now successfully synced our CRM
to Marketo, tackling the two projects simultaneously
took more effort than we anticipated.
If you are considering embarking on marketing
automation and plan to integrate with other systems,
get those systems working the way you need them
to first before committing to the implementation of a
marketing automation platform.
• Investing adequate time and resource
There is little doubt that marketing automation
can make a big difference to the productivity of a
marketing department, however it requires significant
investment in time and resource to get it up and
running and for little initial return.
According to Schulze (2014), 75% of B2B marketers
implemented their marketing automation systems
in 6 months or less (see Figure 5.0.1). At Promapp,
we are in month 8 and about to enter Phase Three
of our implementation. This is predominantly due to
having only one full-time employee in the marketing
department for 4 of the 8 months and the added
complexity of the CRM project.
So dedicate the resource up front and, if you are not
planning to increase your headcount, bear in mind
the impact that the project may have on your other
marketing channels during this period.
• Start small and build on it
Marketing automation systems come with so much
functionality and so many exciting features that it can
be quite overwhelming or distract you from the task
at hand. Identify where your greatest opportunity lies
and start there. For us, it was the free trial process.
Marketing automation is a continual process of trial
and error and it takes time to build up your content
assets. As you start to get a picture of results over
time, it’s also likely that you’ll want to make changes,
so you don’t have to do everything at once.
• Marketing automation is only a small piece
of the puzzle
The statistics around marketing automation are
impressive, but you don’t get these results simply
by having an automation platform. If your content is
bad, automating it is not going to make it any better.
Likewise, you can’t segment your database on
criteria that you don’t possess data for, or on criteria
for which your data quality is poor. It’s really the work
done outside of the software that will determine the
effectiveness of your campaigns.
5.0 Lessons learned to date
Figure 5.0.1: Time taken from purchase to implementation of marketing automation platform (Schulze, 2014)
12 I Marketing automation and building better customer engagement
This paper demonstrates how marketing automation has
been used to optimise our marketing efforts at Promapp.
We have made a conscious decision to get smarter
about the way we do things with the help of marketing
Marketing automation has provided a means to:
• Increase the productivity of the marketing team
• Improve alignment between our sales and marketing
• Use lead behavior and engagement over time to
predict propensity to buy, taking the guess work out
of knowing when to pass leads onto sales
• Align the deployment of content with the stages
of the buyer’s journey through targeted nurturing
• Gain greater insight into the effectiveness of different
marketing campaigns and channels and in turn
demonstrate the value of the marketing function in
driving revenue growth
13 I Marketing automation and building better customer engagement
Lenskold Group, Inc. (2013). Lead generation effectiveness study. Retrieved from Lenskold
Group website: http://www.lenskold.com/content/LeadGenStudy_2013.html
Marketo. (2013, February 15). The Evolution of Modern Marketing Automation.
Retrieved from http://blog.marketo.com/
Schulze, H. (2014). B2B Marketing Automation Report 2014.
Retrieved from Slideshare website: http://www.slideshare.net/hschulze/marketing-automation-trends-2014
Wizdo, L., & O’Neill, P. (2014). Gauging your Progress and Success.
Retrieved from Forrester Research website:
14 I Marketing automation and building better customer engagement
8.0 About Promapp
Jess is the Marketing Manager at Promapp Solutions, a NZ-based process mapping software
company with 300+ customers in New Zealand, Australia and the United States. She has 7 years
B2B marketing experience gained across the ICT and Building Supply sectors and has a particular
interest in all things digital. Jess holds a Master of Business in Marketing Management from the
University of Otago, where she also minored in German. She got to make use of her language skills
in a three month secondment to Berlin in 2012.
Promapp Solutions Limited
Eden 5, 12 Normanby Road, Mt Eden, Auckland 1024
+64 9 281 3436
Connect with us
worldwide to foster a thriving business improvement
and process management culture.
Our software, Promapp, is a cloud based application
that makes it easy to create, navigate and change
business processes. It provides an intuitive online
process repository, an integrated process mapping
tool and a process improvement toolset.
Promapp connects the dots between process, risk,
compliance and quality management, gives you
centralised control of documentation and a single
point of update.
Our success has stemmed from a central philosophy – that expressing and managing process knowledge can
be kept simple, and that this information is crucial in sustaining an on-going culture of process improvement. We
consider our prime audience for communicating process knowledge to be the teams within the business itself.
Visit the website to try Promapp for free.