Automating your inbound processes
Marketing Automation and Consulting
What is marketing automation?
Let’s provide you with a scenario. Say, you’ve got a website that is search engine optimized and your marketing team spends hours driving traffic to your website. At the same time, your sales team spends a lot of its time qualifying, planning and going after those leads. Is that the most efficient way forward? In short, no it isn’t.
Marketing automation involves the use of tools that automate your engagement with potential and existing customers. This keeps both teams – marketing and sales – focused on what they’re good at i.e., creating unique campaigns and increasing product sales. Thereby, not only increasing productivity but also leading to greater lead generation.
So, why do YOU need marketing automation?
- Increased productivity:
Every company has routine organizational and marketing tasks. Ordinarily, these processes are handled manually. By substituting these manual processes with automated solutions, you leave your marketing team with more time to focus on creating innovative campaigns.
- Reduced staff costs:
Imagine a scenario where one employee can compete with 40 employees from the sales and marketing division. Automated processes nurture leads and smoothen out marketing workflows resulting in reduced costs on the hiring of staff. Within months of initiating this process of automation, you will be able to connect with your clients and potential clients on autopilot.
- Smoothens out workflow:
While performing repetitive tasks manually, employees tend to make errors. If you automate your inbound marketing campaign that involves assets like enquiry forms, CTAs (calls-to-action) and conversion pages, you will have a smoother marketing workflow. This is because marketing automation systemizes activities, documentation and normal workflow processes.
- Understand your customer better:
Marketing automation makes you think about your customer and his/her journey when they connect with your brand. It makes you put yourself in the position of the customer and helps you understand them better because you’re able to visualize your buyer’s journey through different stages. At every stage of the buyer’s journey marketing automation allows you to nurture your customers with targeted and relevant content.
- Multiple channel targeting:
One of the foremost reasons to adopt marketing automation is to know that it allows marketers to reach customers through offline and online channels without making it impersonal. Your marketing team could send out posters, emails, tweets, make phone calls, etc. depending on which stage of the journey your customer is on.
- Analyze your marketing campaigns:
Tracking and monitoring your marketing campaign closely is integral to understanding the performance of your campaign. Marketing automation simplifies the process and extrapolates the use of tracking. This helps to configure your future marketing expenditures based on the success or failure of your current and past campaigns.
- Great return on investment:
Marketing automation provides benefits for the long-term and has great RoI. Consider the following statistics:-
- 78 percent of high-performing marketers identify marketing automation as one of the foremost contributors to improved revenue.
- 84 percent of top-performing businesses used or planned to use marketing automation software between 2012 and 2015.
- Successful B2B marketers reported, on average, a 20 percent increase in sales opportunities from nurtured leads.
How can BlueOshan help?
At BlueOshan, our priority is to understand the DNA of your brand and your business. We create a marketing plan that interweaves marketing automation tools with your objectives creating a solid foundation – a foundation that helps increase efficiency, return on investment and ultimately customer satisfaction.
Our in-depth knowledge of the digital marketing process flows, and its many variants equip us to handle:
- Implementation of marketing automation in any company or industry irrespective of size – enterprise or start-up.
- Standard or customized marketing technology platforms.
- More than 25 marketing automation tools like HubSpot or Zoho to ensure greater leads and conversions through different inbound marketing strategies.
Marketing Automation – A closer look
How does marketing automation work?
For a complete understanding of how marketing automation works, let’s use an example and run you through the different steps involved in marketing automation.
Let’s assume you own a website that sells personalized diet plans. Your website is up and running. You’ve optimized your website (SEO) and even have your ad out on different search engines (SEM). You see thousands of people visit your website with differing levels of interest and engagement. More than 95% of these visitors don’t buy or are not ready to buy right away.
How do you boost your engagement and generate more leads?
When some of these visitors land on your website, you offer them a free download of “The 5 best recipes for a healthy breakfast”. In return for the free download, you ask them to give you their email address and some personal information.
Each of those visitors who downloaded the content would be considered leads. If you have your marketing automation process ready, you can create a personalized email drip campaign designed to convert these cold leads, people uninterested in your business, to warm ones, people ready to buy your service. The drip campaign is personalized based on specific conditions. These specific conditions could be – did your lead open your newsletter, did your lead see your campaign and enter your landing page based on the campaign and/or did your lead come directly to your homepage form your SEM/SEO and so on. Based on the information you capture you can automate your future interactions and engagement with each of your leads, personalizing them without much effort.
How do you convert cold leads to warm leads?
Using marketing automation tools, two days after those visitors downloaded the recipes, you can automatically send them an email with “Five foods that are ruining your diet” video. A few days later they receive another email saying, “How I changed my life through proper diet” webinar recording. By providing relevant content to your visitors, you’re nurturing them by gradually heating them up from cold leads to warm ones, ones open to buying your service or product.
How do you convert warm leads to customers?
When the lead is warm, you offer them something that you know is integral to converting them into a buyer. For example, you know that most people bought your service after they attended the “How I changed my life through proper diet” webinar recording.
After they’ve watched the webinar you get them invested by asking them to register for the next webinar. The ones who register are saved on your database as people who watched the “How I changed my life through proper diet” webinar. They are then automatically sent offers that are even more personalized to them, converting them from warm to piping hot leads.
After this you automatically import them into a CRM like Zoho and voila! With marketing automation work flows you have sold a diet plan!
Marketing automation goes even further. It helps you turn this one-time customer to a loyal brand ambassador. By promoting an upgrade or the next version of the diet plan, called “athlete pro diet plan” you can upsell to the same client. Other than that, you can even cross-sell by promoting products like healthy fruits, vegetables, etc. Finally, you can cycle-sell by popularizing diet plans according to the season like “winter diet plan” and so on.
By upselling, cross-selling and cycle-selling you’re able to transform a one-time buyer to a life-long customer. Therefore, increasing your ROI to amounts you couldn’t even imagine.
Marketing automation workflows help you transform your business by converting a cold lead to a warm one and a one-time purchase to a continuous one, all the while helping your business and your support staff/team become more efficient, boosting your customer satisfaction and increasing your revenue.
Marketing Automation through Inbound Marketing
Now that you have a clearer picture on the different steps and processes involved in marketing automation, it’s time to look at how it functions with relation to Inbound Marketing.
What is Inbound Marketing?
Inbound Marketing is the opposite of traditional marketing which is interruptive, usually in the form of cold calling, unsolicited emails, intrusive ads and is marketer-centric. Inbound flips this model on its head.
Inbound marketing is customer-centric, educational and informative, and through the inbound process, nurtures customers through the sales & marketing funnel providing them with the right content at the right time.
What is the Inbound Methodology?
The Inbound Methodology has four stages:
- Attract: First, we attract strangers to your site turning them into visitors. Some of the key tools used in this stage are blogs, SEO and social media marketing.
- Convert: Next, we convert some of these visitors into leads. To do this, we need to obtain their contact information. For users to give up their contact details, you’ll need to offer something in return. The offer can be in the form of eBooks, whitepapers or tip-sheets and we use forms, calls-to-action, and landing pages to collect the information.
- Close: Transforming leads into customers is the next stage. The important tools we use here are Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software and emails.
- Delight: Finally, happy customers can become promoters of your company. Using surveys, smart content and social monitoring, you can continue to delight your client base. Remember, new customer acquisition is always going to be costlier than retaining an existing, happy buyer.
The Buyer’s Journey
While the Inbound Marketer is looking at the four stages of the Inbound Methodology, the buyer is looking at it from a different perspective. Nowadays, buyers do tons of research online before making that final purchase decision. The key is to grab that mindshare while that research is taking place. Hence, it’s important to understand the journey a buyer goes through when deciding. This journey has three stages:
- Awareness: The awareness stage is where the buyer is trying to define his/her problem or opportunity. At this point in time, they’re researching with the aim to name and frame their problem. Some examples of useful content for this stage would be analyst reports, research reports, eBooks, editorial content, expert content, whitepapers, educational content etc.
- Consideration: The consideration stage is where the buyer has clearly defined his/her problem or opportunity. Now, they’re researching to understand all the possible solutions to their problem or opportunity. Some examples of useful content for this stage would be expert guides, live interactions, webcasts, podcasts, videos, comparison whitepapers etc.
- Decision: The decision stage is where the buyer has settled on their solution strategy. They’re likely making lists of available vendors and/or products. Some examples of useful content for this stage would be vendor comparisons, product comparisons, case studies, trial downloads, product literature, live demos etc.
Automation and Inbound – The connect
Using Marketing Automation tools like HubSpot and Zoho, you can take prospective visitors through various phases of the marketing and sales funnel. By recognizing where they are in their buyer’s journey, you can send awareness stage collateral to your visitor, slowly nurturing them into a lead. From there, down the funnel, consideration stage collateral can be shown to your marketing and sales qualified leads. And finally, decision stage collateral is given to your opportunities and customers.
Tools like HubSpot allow you to map exactly where in the journey your buyer is. It allows you to see how many times you’ve reached out to a prospect, and in what way, and what the response has been. Data can be analyzed at every stage of the attract, convert, close and delight process. Your marketing and sales team can use this data to further narrow down on the perfect customized action plan for buyers in your different target segments.