The Cosmic Countdown. 10 reasons why marketing automation missions fail
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Marketing Automation sounds like the perfect solution, but perhaps it hasn’t delivered quite as well as you thought? Here are 10 reasons why Marketing Automation missions fail, and the solutions behind them!
we have a problem!
Marketing automation sounded like the perfect solution.
You recognised that buyer behaviour has changed. That the
internet has put customers more in control of the purchase
process than ever before. That many of the old marketing rules
don’t apply any more.
So you invested time, money and faith in a marketing automation
platform. It’s in place, it might even be linked to your CRM
system. But it’s not delivering the hot leads you’d hoped for.
It hasn’t improved your marketing productivity. It hasn’t upped
conversion rates or reduced your incremental cost per lead.
And you’re too busy to work out why.
This guide counts down why marketing automation missions
fail, and gives you practical, actionable suggestions on how
to ensure your marketing automation programme flies.
help us with
You might know your products or services, but how well do you know your
buyers? What business problems do they have? What keeps them awake at
night? What can you offer them to meet this need?
Only by asking these questions can
you get to the heart of what you need
to communicate, and when. Marketing
automation gives you the ability to
deliver the right information to each
individual prospect at the right time,
but how do you get the best from it?
n Have you agreed personas for your key
prospect types, and are you staying true
n Find out where your prospects are going
online, and join them there. Put together
a co-ordinated social selling strategy,
building advocacy at every touchpoint
n Keep listening to what the market is talking
about, and show that you’re listening.
Remember, it isn’t about you any more
Companies that have
used marketing automation
report 53% higher conversion
rates and nearly 10% higher
Never underestimate the power and importance of content.
It’s the fuel that powers your marketing automation rocket.
But you need a tankful to keep you moving.
Writing compelling, useful, relevant and consumable content will
be the number one success factor in converting more sales, bar
none. This is where the bulk of your energy and investment should
go – strategically planning out and mobilising your content assets
to provide real value to your target audience and tell an engaging
story about your business.
93% of B2B marketers use content
marketing. But only 42% say
they are effective at it.
Source: Content Marketing Institute
n Attract unknown contacts through breadcrumb
content, identify them through gated content,
nurture them with relevant content
n Lists, blogs, cheatsheets and infographics are
useful allies, enabling you to cover a number
of points at once in an easily digested form
n Before beginning a piece of content, have it
clear in your mind the persona, stage of the
buyer journey, message and what you want
them to do
Can’t get off
Have you defaulted to more traditional ways
of doing things – ‘batch and blast’ emails, shouting
louder because you’re being heard less?
A demand generation strategy using marketing
automation is an intensive and long-term process.
The majority of your prospects won’t buy from you
today. A marketing automation platform is designed
to help you get results in the long-term.
Only 27% of B2B leads are salesready when first generated.
n Make it easy for people to find you. Despite
being a business critical tool, many B2B
companies still haven’t optimised their websites
for easy viewing and user-friendly functionality
n Analyse and continually reassess subject lines,
bullet point benefits and calls to action. Test
at least two variables in each project to see
what works best
n Double-check who is contacting your
prospects – it could be that they’re receiving
multiple messages from your company, so
ignoring them all
Effective inbound – attracting unknown
prospects and converting them to known
contacts – ensures that your marketing
automation platform can get to work on
engaging prospects through the buyer
journey to sales.
ss all relev
Getting your search and social activity up
to speed involves an investment of time and
knowledge, but it doesn’t take a huge financial
commitment. And once your automated
model is in place, the process is essentially
65% of companies have acquired a lead
through LinkedIn, and almost half via Twitter.
Source: B2B barometer and Econsultancy
Historically, marketing and sales have found it difficult
to co-ordinate their approaches. A marketing automation
platform gives both parties unprecedented opportunities
for success, but efforts have to be integrated.
Sales won’t define lead criteria based on ‘digital body language’,
content engagement or buyer journey stage. But they do monitor
prospects’ interest levels and propensity to buy. Your marketing
automation platform can provide sales with invaluable insights.
n Lead score like a salesperson – don’t use the same lead criteria checklist
you’ve always used. Delivering better quality leads comes from using the
information your platform provides to deliver real insight
n Build a useful profile – don’t dump every web page view into the
sales lead sheet. Filter and build a true picture of what the prospect
is interested in
n Mirror sales speak – don’t use terms like ‘digital body language’.
Use terms that they would use when describing the opportunity
after a meeting
Over 40% of senior executives believe they would drive
more revenue with a combined sales and marketing resource.
Source: LBDGA Research – Sirius Decisions Conference
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Putting a marketing automation platform in place will expose
data issues you didn’t know you had. Poor quality data will result
in project failure.
If you haven’t already, take the opportunity to review your company’s
data. Ensure that you’re capturing behavioural, online, and sales data,
and that everyone involved is co-ordinating their data into the same
system in the same way.
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One of the key reasons marketing
automation efforts fail is a lack of
From the start, it pays to get buy-in on
your plans. As you move forward, keep
stakeholders informed and actively seek
out their views on how the platform
impacts on their roles.
n Keep language precise and consistent.
Remember that phrases you use to describe
what you’re doing and how, might not
necessarily translate to other departments
n Create management dashboards to
communicate project performance based
on pre-defined objectives
n If you haven’t done so, run an internal
marketing campaign to educate
Seven weeks a year are lost by workers seeking clarification due to poor communication.
Source: National Assoc. of Prof Organisers, 2012
Open up communications
But no giant leap? As big as the change in buyer behaviour is the
size of the opportunity it creates. Use data and response rates to
refine messaging and audiences, and incorporate triggers into
Marketing automation is a means
to an end. Despite your investment
in research, time and money, the
technology alone won’t help you to
reach your goal unless you’re clear in
your mind about what you’re doing and
where you’re going as a business.
n Low-touch or zero-touch programmes
cut incremental costs dramatically, and
are achievable when nurture marketing
n Don’t think on a campaign basis, focus on
programmes that can be constantly active
and running in the background, triggered
only when the required behaviour is met
n Ensure your targets and timescales are
realistic and achievable. When it comes
to the roll-out phase, take your resources
into account and alter your targets and
time plans accordingly
No.1 cause of project failure? – lack of direction and goals.
Source: Pink Elephant Conference 2012
To boldly go
As your marketing automation platform
begins to deliver on its promises, you need to
consider how to measure and report metrics that
can help you demonstrate return and value of your
marketing activity at board level.
Measurement of revenue and sales should demonstrate
uplift or increase in activity, especially marketing activity
that can be directly attributed.
Companies that excel at lead
nurturing generate 50% more
sales-ready leads at 33% lower cost.
n If you’re attributing revenue and
sales from marketing activity,
calculating ROI becomes
very straightforward. Activity
should be allowed to evolve
to demonstrate month-onmonth improvement of ROI on
n In order to understand your
pipeline and what activity
delivers results, visibility is
needed on where your new
prospects come from and how
much they cost
n To place a true value on an
acquired prospect, end-to-end
understanding is needed on
drop-off and close rates by
channel, to identify appropriate
allocation of resources for
Source: Forrester Research
It can be
It’s early days for marketing automation. Many marketers are still operating in the dark to a certain
extent, not making best use of the systems they’ve implemented. Having a platform, however,
is better than not having one.
When you understand the potential of the platforms
available, and combine them with the experience,
insight and intuition of a good marketing team and
knowledgeable partners, you’ll start to question why
you’d do it any other way.
n Look for progressive partners who have experience
in the marketing automation space, who speak the
language of demand generation, and who can make a
world of difference to your success rates
n Change is often seen as a threat, rather than an
opportunity. So it can take a third party to help you
identify the changes required, carry them out effectively,
and realise the desired results
Nine out of ten business buyers
say when they’re ready to buy,
they’ll find you. Be ready.
Source: DemandGen Report
We’re not alien to all of this.
If you think you could benefit
from a marketing automation
audit, please contact us on:
0845 838 3883
or email: demandmore@LBDGA.com | www.LBDGA.com
About Ledger Bennett DGA
Telephone: +44 (0)8458 383883
Ledger Bennett DGA
Tungsten House, Warren Road
Little Horwood, Milton Keynes
Ledger Bennett DGA
1st Floor Centric House
390-391 Strand, London
We are a B2B Demand Generation agency that uses
sales and marketing know-how to help customers
increase revenue by deploying Inbound Marketing,
Content Marketing and Marketing Automation
strategies. Our highly focused Demand Generation
programmes drive our customers’ business
performance, helping them to:
n Generate more opportunity
n Convert that opportunity into sales
n Retain customers and grow their value
Using more measurable and cost effective
techniques than traditional full service marketing
agencies we are able to maximise business revenue
in the modern world where the internet has
fundamentally changed the behaviour of the buyer.