Saturday, August 1, 2009

For Those Still Using Batch & Blast

Marketers should be revered. Seriously, marketing departments should all ask that red carpeting be installed in their offices immediately. I’m sure you could make the same argument for sales as well, but look what marketers have to deal with today.

· Email open rates down
· Email click-thru rates down
· Email deliverability rates down
· Diminishing returns from online advertising
· Diminishing returns from offline advertising
· Increased accountability for all ROMI spend
· Reduced budgets
· Reduced staff
· Increased demand for net-new leads
· Increased demand for qualified leads

And don’t put away your violins just yet, because in addition to all the above, our bosses now expect us to be social media experts, marketing automation experts, lead scoring experts, lead nurturing experts, segmentation experts, database experts, web analytics experts, even CRM experts, all while asking us to make do with less than we had before.

But before you decide to chuck it all and sell Amway instead, fear not – there is a solution!

The pain you are feeling is most likely because you are trying to leverage old marketing tools in the new economy. The fact that any Tom, Dick and Harry can now Batch & Blast thousands of emails from the comfort of their own bedroom, all for only $24.95/month, means that the final nail has been hammered into the coffin of Batch & Blast marketing. It is officially the end of an era.

Step 1: Retire Your Current Batch and Blast toolThrow a farewell party. It’s been a good ride and it got you to where you are. But realize that Batch & Blast was easy. That’s why everyone did it. The new economy requires more evolved tools and more evolved thinking. It will be harder than Batch & Blast – then actually easier as you gain momentum.

Step 2: Understand the Marketing Tools You Now Need
Today’s economy requires (yes requires) the following new marketing tools to get your messages through all the clutter. It’s a brave new world so make sure your marketing toolbox includes ALL of the following:

Tool #1: SegmentationCutting smaller and smaller pieces of your database into smaller and smaller segments is critical. In fact it is the next rung up your Marketing Evolution ladder from Batch & Blast: Segmentation.

Batch and Blast meant one-message-to-everybody. Segmentation now means having different conversations with different groups. The more defined the group, the more relevant your message. And relevancy drives success in the new economy. That’s why it is first on this list – because it will produce by far the biggest bang for your buck. Make sure your segmentation tool can handle requests like this:

“Show me a list of all IT Managers in our database that work for companies with at least 500 employees and annual revenues of at least 100m, who have opened at least one email from us in the last 30 days, have visited our website at least twice in the last 60 days and have downloaded a free trial with the last 7 days.”

BTW: This list shouldn’t take more than about 5 minutes to generate.

Tool #2: Marketing Automation
Can you imagine trying to manually manage different conversations with all these different segments? Especially with reduced budgets and reduced staff? Your segmentation efforts will be severely limited. Marketing automation is what makes segmentation truly scalable. It is also what gets you to the next rung on your Marketing Evolution Ladder – One to One Marketing (messaging driven by: because you did this, you now get this). Let the low cost and high efficiencies of marketing automation handle things like:

· Relationship-building Nurturing Programs
· Welcome/Onboarding Programs
· Subscription Renewal Programs
· Upsell/Cross Sell Promotions

Tool #3: Lead Management/Scoring
One of the biggest complaints sales has with marketing-generated leads is that they are not qualified. Typically the flow goes like this: (1) Marketing generates a fresh batch of leads and sends them to sales, (2) sales cherry picks the good leads and (3) the rest leak out of the funnel. (4) Marketing generates a new batch of fresh leads and…(see #2). The endless lead-loop scenario.

This is where marketers should show a little love to poor salespeople. Why send ALL leads to sales and make them waste their valuable time qualifying everybody when marketing can now leverage nurturing/scoring, sending over ONLY qualified leads at the precise moment they are worthy of sales interaction.

Sales wins because they now have a priority list of who to call first, second, third. Marketing wins because their hard-fought leads won’t get ignored anymore just because they aren’t ready to buy this minute.

Tool #4: Closed-Loop ReportingNo matter what, your boss will expect quantifiable results from this new tool. Both you and your boss will want to know things like:

· How much additional revenue did our nurturing/scoring program generate last quarter?
· What was the percentage increase of our subscription renewals since implementing these automated programs?
· Which campaign(s) were the most effective at reducing the sales cycle?
· Which campaign(s) were the most effective at increasing the average revenue per deal?
· Which segment had the highest ROI growth?
· Which segment within the above segment produced the highest ROI growth? Are these our new best customers?
· How much additional revenue was generated from our ‘inactive’ database as a result of our re-engagement automation program?
· Which of our assets (case studies, white papers, etc) produced the highest opportunity to close rate last quarter?

While your new marketing toolbox will tell you the I in ROI, you’ll need a true CRM integration to tell you the R in ROI. For this reason it is important that your new marketing toolbox be able to fully integrate with your CRM. The more automated the integration, the better.

Tool #5: Get a GPS (Warning – Sales Pitch Ahead)
Those of us who have a GPS have come to completely rely on them. So why would you ever start down this road without a clear roadmap?

Astadia is Eloqua’s #1 deployable partner as well as SFDC’s #1 deployable partner. Astadia has over 200 sales specialists and marketing specialists that can help you completely architect and integrate your whole sales and marketing transformation. They know the bottlenecks, the shortcuts, the detours, in short the fastest route in getting everything working. Armed with the experience of helping Best in Class companies around the world, there aren't many sales and marketing transformation challenges they haven’t faced and solved before.

Updated 5-8-12
Visit my brand new website and learn more about Marketing Automation Best Practices

Steve Kellogg
-Demand Generation/Marketing Automation Consultant, Astadia
-Eloqua Certified Marketing Best Practices Consultant

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