B2B Marketing Blog

4 Signs Your Marketing Automation Strategy is Failing

This blog was written by Alex Aspinall and was first published by our friends at B2B marketing, who have kindly allowed us to share it with you.
 

Marketing automation has many advantages. But none of them are particularly easy to realise, not least because many marketers underestimate the upheaval required to make their MA systems do what they want.

Beware the common pitfalls, and learn to recognise when it might be time for a change of tack. Here are four telltale signs that something's gone wrong:

1. Your leads are being rejected

One of the main bullet points on the box your MA platform came in was: more effective lead management. Marketing automation means marketers are able to pass only the hottest leads over to sales, and myriad inter-departmental benefits cascade down from there. But this nirvana is far from automatic.

If sales are rejecting a large chunk of MA-approved leads, it’s very likely that the agreed definitions and scoring models in place are wrong. Yes, the system has spat them out and labelled them ‘ready to buy’ but that’s only because you’ve set the parameters by which it decides what’s what. It pays to regularly monitor the attributes of prospects that close and those that don’t. Subtle adjustments to lead scoring rules can make all the difference. 

2. You’ve got no time to think

Relatively few marketing departments are blessed with spare time. I’m yet to meet a marketer boasting about their super-manageable workload. But there is a difference between someone who’s busy and someone who’s run ragged. And misaligned MA set-ups can certainly create the latter.

A hell of a lot of work goes into setting up successful marketing automation campaigns; this shouldn’t be forgotten. But the trick to making sure it doesn’t leave you pulling your hair out is to focus down on key groups and key messages. It’s tempting to run before you can walk with MA, but baby steps – and a laser-sharp focus on which sections of your audience to target –  will help.

Topics: Inbound Marketing Marketing Automation

Alternative B2B marketing automation platforms for SMEs on a budget

I regularly reiterate the benefits a marketing automation platform can offer a business, and the assistance it can provide in terms of achieving and sustaining your inbound marketing goals. But what about marketing automation for SMEs? Your budget may not allow for the kind of outlays associated with the top five (HubSpot, Eloqua, Pardot, Act-On, and Marketo), and even if it does it may feel like a risky spend for your first venture into marketing automation software. So why not research one of these platforms, for a lower cost for the specific functionality you require?

Topics: B2B Marketing Marketing Automation

How much time do marketers spend on social media marketing?

I came across this insightful and truly comprehensive report by Social Media Examiner, and found it so useful I thought I’d summarise it here and pass on some of these must-know nuggets of wisdom.

In its entirety the '2015 Social Media Marketing Industry Report' covers the top questions marketers want answered on the topic of social media, how much time is spent on this increasingly vital channel, which platforms are most frequently used, and which ones marketers want to find out more about.

So here are some statistics to whet your appetite…

Topics: B2B Content Marketing B2B Social Media Lead Generation Marketing Automation

3 ways of monetising website visitors and database for media publishers

It’s easy to forget just how much value the people who come into contact with your organisation can hold – and not just for you, but for third parties too. If you haven’t already thought about monetising your website visitors and database, now is the time to alter your view of them, and treat them as an additional revenue stream in their own right.

As a media publisher you must have good amount of website visitors with something in common – interest, behaviour, need… And there are many companies willing to pay for this!

Here are the most innovative and profitable ways you can tap into that incremental revenue, and the things you need to ensure along the way.

This blog is a part of a media publishing series ‘Revenue generating tips for media publishers’.

Topics: Lead Generation Marketing Automation B2B Publishers

A comparison of top marketing automation platforms

When it comes to making big decisions about technology or software, it pays to have access to all the facts, peer reviews and product information you can get your hands on – and for marketing automation platforms this is certainly key.

A marketing automation platform will necessarily revolutionise the way you market your business, the effectiveness and efficiency of the campaigns you launch, and the way you approach new channels. What you really need to know is which platform is the right fit for your business and its needs, which is where we come in.

With our extensive research in what is currently available in the market and the needs of our customers, here is our selection of the 5 most popular and relevant marketing automation platforms for B2B.

We have highlighted the most common features and given grades to whilst reviewing the different platforms for our clients. We thought it was relevant to give a headstart to all those thinking and considering investing in a Marketing automation software.

Topics: Inbound Marketing Lead Generation Marketing Automation Marketing Technology

What is the return on investment from a B2B online community?

This is the single question, budget holders ask most frequently to both marketers and service providers like us.

Everyone understands what are the benefits of adopting an inbound based, community driving approach. Everyone gets it, however to get the support of the big guys you will need to be able to back up the bold statements you’ll be making with some hard facts.

We’ve drawn upon HubSpot’s research with their 30,000+ customers and the findings to demonstrate how a community based marketing strategy can impact your metrics – from website visitors to actual tangible customers.

The ROI is represented in three main areas, visits, leads and sales:

Topics: Marketing Automation B2B communities

How much does it cost to launch a B2B online community?

Building a community is a big commitment for all parties involved, and one of these commitments is financial. Yes, depending on the company size, the financial commitment might be perceived as big or not and you need to commit for at least 6-12 months before you start realising results and a return on investment.

To give you an idea, it costs between £36k and £250k. That doesn't help does it? The reality is that the costs vary greatly depending on many factors and how you choose to go about it.

Let's hit the nail on the head, in order for a 12-month inbound/community marketing program to be successful, there will be many daily, weekly, and monthly tasks that need to be completed to stay on course for achieving your business goals and getting a return on your investment.

So you have two options:

Topics: Marketing Automation B2B communities

Are you a B2B marketing technophobe or technophile?

In a recent survey, Adestra explored the attitudes of marketers towards emerging technologies, and their feelings towards adopting (or ignoring) it. They predicted that the research would unearth two distinct personas – the technophobes and the technophiles – and were surprised to discover that there were actually three separate camps. So which category do you as a marketing professional fall into, and what, if anything, should you do about it?  

Topics: B2B Marketing Marketing Trends Marketing Automation

Old vs new ways to define and approach a B2B marketing lead

There has been a very interesting discussion going on in the "B2B Marketing" LinkedIn group around the topic of how many times to email or call a lead before it's considered dead.

Topics: B2B Marketing Inbound Marketing Marketing Automation

Are some marketing automation companies victims of their own success?

If you are selling a product or service, you have a huge commitment to your existing and potential customers. You have to deliver.

If you are selling Marketing Automation services, you have a big commitment to your existing and potential customers. You have to lead by example.

Over the last couple of weeks we have been conducting a review of marketing automation software for ourselves and also a couple of our clients.

I’m left especially disappointed with three of those marketing automation providers (which will remain anonymous) and the way in which they have managed my journey through their “lead nurturing programme”.

Topics: Inbound Marketing Marketing Automation