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Goal was to assess marketing automation services success factors across AMC customers
The retrospective assessment of 29 customer engagements was done by AMC Some were organically developed customers Some came via channel partners
MA customer engagements were categorized as Poor, Fair, Good, Excellent based on: Client reported feedback Results of programs Difficulty in building automated marketing programs Repeat or extended services engagements
Customers that ceased services due to external factors while the engagement was running successfully were considered successes e.g. – parent company acquisition e.g. – primary contact left company e.g. – insurmountable technical infrastructure issue
We looked at patterns and common factors for customer engagements in each rating group
Interestingly, while AMC focuses on data-driven results, many customers did not rate the success of the services engagement on the marketing ROI or quantitative program results, e.g. Email open/click Lead profiling Media engagement (downloads/views) CTA execution Sales etc
…more on that later
Retroactive assessment of marketing automation engagements showed 5 key elements for success Content Lead gen programs Lists – existing or old Resources or budget Staff to support the practice of MA or willingness to outsource activities Intangibles Leadership buy-in Belief in MA as a strategy Patience to leverage programs
Customers without “offer content” almost always struggled to launch any effective automated marketing
To be successful, clients need valuable, educational and engaging content for all funnel stages Funnel-aligned content is important to prevent “fallout” during buy journey (wastes all previous effort/investment)
Why is content important?
Explain funnel-based marketing
Why is content important?
Explain Value Transaction™
Why is content important?
Example: courting a relationship v. “want to go to bed?” - One-off short term success spoils long term gains
Successful clients had lead gen – or instituted lead gen – to support or feed automated nurturing programs
Why is lead gen important?
No lead gen = no gas in the tank to fuel nurturing, prospecting
Why is lead gen important?
No lead gen = shrinking audience for engagement strategies You can only beat an audience over the head so many times before they fatigue and disengage
Goal: create flow
Clear success factor: possession of an initial quality lead database
Without an initial list, clients have huge obstacles out of the gate: Database segmentation difficult/impossible Note: touch on why segmentation important for MA
Without an initial list, clients have huge obstacles out of the gate: Lead time to results for MA too long for customers to stomach. Must: Build MA programs Design and implement lead gen Wait for lead gen to ramp up
By this time, customers are getting antsy about budget, timing and accountability to internal stakeholders
But we said lead gen was important!!!
Most successful customers did both. Existing list gets the engine running and lead gen keeps it running
Bottom line: No list or a small list equates to no one to talk to…
Beware the purchased list!
Can be a starting point (better than no database)
Consider the industry: consumer finance products, real estate, etc are historically spammy
Mileage WILL vary. Organically developed databases or affinity/partner lists perform better
Top rated engagements had appropriate resources on the team.
Need the staff to support the practice of MA or must have willingness to outsource activities Content development Copywriters Graphic designers SMEs Email, landing page
In most cases, applying internal know-how to marketing automation was still a huge challenge.
Why resources are needed: Brand assets Review/approval Audience SME for segmentation & messaging Content curation or development
Why they cannot do it themselves: Tools/platform is new/foreign – don’t know what’s possible Funnel-based approach not the paradigm Little/no email or outbound experience Don’t know how to measure
Strong consistency across all groups:
Lack of in-house expertise to strategize and execute marketing automation
Those that had strategy expertise/resources: Poor/Fair was 10% Good/Excellent was only slightly higher at 13%
Intangibles are the enabling factors for all the previous success requirements. Leadership buy-in Belief in MA as a strategy Patience to leverage programs
Leadership generally drives: Budget Accountability metrics ROI metrics Timelines (time-to-results)
Leadership perception = reality
MA is often a paradigm change:
From immediate gratification (prospecting/blasting) To long term investment (nurturing)
Painful if there isn’t a core belief that MA will lead to success Funnel based marketing requires more top-of-funnel investment Reduction in ongoing “hands-on burden” means upfront effort is higher marketing has quantifiable metrics now content marketing is now a routine must
Once running, MA can exhibit phenomenal lead flow through the funnel
But the ramp up take patience Sales may not get 100% of the leads anymore Scoring take time to refine Marketing ownership of leads is longer (part of sales cycle is transferred) “Data driven” means you need initial data to optimize
This quote is self-serving, sure. But look at what the client is saying: “Every marketing discipline” – resources “Results outweigh investment” – leadership / patience
Client: Software for total compensation reporting, marketing and recruiting
TotalRewards was on the verge of abandoning marketing automation altogether.
They realized they weren’t ready to leverage the MA discipline - or the tools - due to large gaps in their overall marketing landscape. AMC helped retain them as a MA practitioner by filling in those gaps. – content, expertise
30% increase in email open rates 390% surge in their LinkedIn following 10% spike in software trial conversions
The company is now: Acquiring better leads Developing stronger customer and prospect relationships Solidifying their position as a thought leader.
Little/no foundation (N. American division had never been tasked with marketing): no lead gen no lead capture no content no MA strategy
As Stefanini has developed their first N. American marketing team and programs, they’ve gone through 3 different heads of marketing in 1.5 years but has kept AMC throughout (trust, continuity, productivity)
Successful: Leadership buy-in Belief in MA (and funnel-based paradigm) Willingness to outsource Strategy Content etc
Gauge the success factors early – make sure you’re in the right “comfort zone”
Set clear expectations and caveats before you start
Reinforce the “total picture” surrounding marketing automation
Many disciplines come into play to wield it successfully
Constantly monitor or “gut check” the intangibles that can derail an engagement
Copy: add the 3 intangibles from previous slide
SearchCon 2016 | Marketing Automation Success Factors with Brandon Larocque
Client Example – TotalRewards Software
“Access Marketing Company has become an extension of our business—
essentially our marketing department—because they bring a depth of
expertise in pretty much every marketing discipline. The results have
far outweighed the investment.”