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Industry Research : TreeHouse Interactive Offers Tips to Increase Bottom Line Success
TreeHouse Interactive™, a technology provider in on–demand marketing automation and partner relationship management (PRM) solutions, announces its top 10 "must-dos" for companies looking to get the most out of marketing automation in 2013.
"It is no secret that getting a marketing automation system up, running, and contributing to your bottom line takes both implementing technology and changing processes," said Chris Frank, marketing director, TreeHouse Interactive. "But for many marketers, getting over this hurdle is where they stop. If your New Year’s marketing resolution is to make the most of your automation investment, you need to assess your entire marketing picture—from technical capabilities and database cleanup to business processes and metrics. This will enable you to truly maximize your marketing return on investment this year."
Following are 10 New Year "must do’s" to optimize marketing automation ROI:
1. Integrate what is most important – One of the core benefits of marketing automation is the ability to qualify, nurture and distribute leads. Being effective here means integrating marketing automation with your CRM system. By integrating these, you can take leads that have fallen out of the sales process or leads that have converted to customers and put them on a nurturing track for either re-engagement or customer retention. For online retailers, shopping cart integration is also important because it will better enable you to power up-sell, cross-sell and customer loyalty efforts.
2. Leverage anonymous web visits to create leads – It’s important to evaluate your use of marketing automation web analytics and behavioral tracking. Some systems give you the ability to see deep into website behavior and identify companies that have demonstrated interest in your content as anonymous visitors. This information can then be linked to services which allow you to find and download contacts at these companies based on the information they have interacted with on your site. Analyzing this and other behaviors can help you infuse new qualified prospects into your database and sales funnel.
3. Connect forms/landing pages – Many marketers, even though they are using a marketing automation system, are not connecting campaign elements effectively so they can see campaign return on investment (ROI). Be sure your forms and landing pages are linked to campaign elements in your CRM and marketing automation systems for reporting and are correctly linked to email communication. Be sure to also take down forms or landing pages related to campaigns that are no longer active.
4. Remove the dead weight – Most marketing automation solution providers charge based on the size of your database. As such, it makes good sense to remove contacts that you either cannot reach or who have no interest in what you do. Remove not just hard bounces—totally invalid addresses— but also consistent non-clickers, non-openers and non-purchasers for online retailers. If you feel some of these are still valuable contacts, first try an engagement campaign to target them and cut the ones that do not respond.
5. Clean up your data – The more contacts you can categorize correctly and provide normalized data for, the better your chances of producing the numbers necessary to reach your goals. Be sure your marketing automation system supports the ability to mass update contacts and then categorize as much as possible. Drill down into data and categorize by contact type, product interest, titles, vertical markets, roles, etc. The more you can categorize, the better you can target your campaigns. More targeted campaigns have consistently demonstrated higher response rates and revenue.
6. Define your leads – It is essential to have an agreed upon lead definition that is constantly updated through regular meetings with your sales team. This will help you know what qualifying questions need to be asked by marketing at what point in the buying cycle. Ultimately, this practice contributes to better qualified leads and produces the revenue you are really going after.
7. Implement effective list management – Don’t waste time creating lists in your CRM system that aren’t automatically synced into your marketing automation system. An information sync should be up and running or you will have increasingly difficult problems with targeting. Ideally, upload lists to your marketing automation system first. Place contacts on the correct nurturing and communication path, and send only qualified leads on to sales. There are always exceptions, but if you don’t get contacts on the right subscriptions and nurturing paths or if you clog your CRM system with a large amount of unqualified leads and contacts, you’re asking for future headaches.
8. Don’t 'set and forget' the nurturing process – Nothing is worse than a prospect getting a timed nurturing email for a product that is no longer available, a promotion that is no longer running or a white paper download that is out of date. Frequently revisit your nurturing paths and be sure that the communication is relevant and actionable.
9. Remember to focus on what is most important – Be sure that every campaign has real dollars tied to it, and ensure that your marketing automation and/or CRM system can identify what revenue is being generated by your efforts. No matter how short or long your sales process is, setting your systems up to report this data is essential for making better marketing decisions down the road and getting buy-in from executive and financial teams for your initiatives.
10. Get access to an immediate view of success – Having said revenue is the most important metric, be sure that you have clear and insightful reporting that is more immediate in nature when looking at campaign effectiveness. Be sure your marketing automation system automatically delivers metrics on open rates, click-through rates, landing page traffic, landing page conversion rates, number of social shares, conversion sources and so on. Establish base metrics for each and see how new campaigns compare. If you’re not set up to get these campaign metrics now, review the execution process within your system.
Bonus Tip: Review your content marketing effectiveness – For many companies, content marketing is now playing a key role in moving buyers through the buying cycle. Review what content is being consumed by buyers in your marketing automation system. Identify high and underperforming pieces. Is there a pattern in successful buying cycles in terms of specific content, type of content or even the format of content? Use this information to help fuel better content creation and more effective nurturing.
Today's Tip of the Day - Capability And Reliability
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Published: Monday, January 14, 2013