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  1. 1. Marketing automation and building better customer engagement 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. 2. 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. 3. 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 identifyingtheneedforautomation,evaluatingandselecting 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 implementation • 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. 1.0 Introduction 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. 4. 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 base. 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 investment. 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 attributes • 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 automation solution 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 System (CMS) • 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. 5. 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 over time. 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 troubleshooting • 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. 6. 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 qualification 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 to buy. 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 categories: 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. 7. 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/ customised communications. 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 CRM. 3.4 Determining a change management approach 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 target audience. Figure 3.3.1: Marketo Sales Insight (Marketo Community, 2013).
  8. 8. 8 I Marketing automation and building better customer engagement Figure 3.4.1: Promapp Process Map (Promapp Solutions Ltd, 2015)
  9. 9. 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 implementation project. 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 buyer’s journey 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 automation. 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. 10. 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 implementation stage • 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/ or Editor) 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 to tackle.
  11. 11. 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. 12. 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 automation. Marketing automation has provided a means to: • Increase the productivity of the marketing team • Improve alignment between our sales and marketing teams • 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 campaigns • 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 6.0 Conclusion
  13. 13. 13 I Marketing automation and building better customer engagement Lenskold Group, Inc. (2013). Lead generation effectiveness study. Retrieved from Lenskold Group website: Marketo. (2013, February 15). The Evolution of Modern Marketing Automation. Retrieved from Schulze, H. (2014). B2B Marketing Automation Report 2014. Retrieved from Slideshare website: Wizdo, L., & O’Neill, P. (2014). Gauging your Progress and Success. Retrieved from Forrester Research website: 7.0 References
  14. 14. 14 I Marketing automation and building better customer engagement 8.0 About Promapp Speaker Biography Jessica Medforth 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 PromappSolutionsLtdworkswith300+organisations 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.