request.ancestors = 1,3279,5364,5603
session.lev = 3
session.chaptersite = 0
session.chapterroot = 1
session.chaptername =
session.homePageLayout = 0

The three Cs of B2B marketing automation

By Erin Shampine

Integrating marketing automation into your B2B marketing strategy can be a daunting task. While many Software as a service (SaaS) providers are happy to help you get the technology up and running — and even provide some helpful thought leadership along the way — very few offer strategic insights into how marketing automation can help your business. Here are a few guidelines to consider if you’re thinking about implementing a marketing automation system for B2B demand generation and lead nurturing.

Commitment

This is not easy stuff. It takes time, internal resources and a firm budget to pull off. Marketers need to be “all in” when it comes to implementing a marketing automation solution, and be ready to commit for the long haul.

There are several steps to take when building a lead nurturing strategy:

  • Evaluate your company’s content inventory
  • Build target audience personas
  • Develop a lead scoring methodology
  • Map out the communications touch points and related key messages

But all of this preliminary planning will only make your initial program less “wrong” when it launches. The value of marketing automation is that it enables marketers to build a knowledge center. Testing your content, communications cadence and lead-scoring algorithm will allow you to fine-tune your strategy, making your program more effective over time. You just need a little patience to let the learning happen.

Content

Having a stockpile of quality thought leadership content is critical to the successful use of a marketing automation system. Demand generation and lead nurturing programs present marketers with an opportunity to build trust and maintain a consistent dialogue with prospects.

But if you don’t have a good inventory of white papers, case studies, eBooks, and articles (or the resources to start and continue creating them), you’re putting your marketing automation investment to waste. You need superior content to feed the engine.

Collaboration

Collaboration with sales is vital to building your demand generation and lead nurturing communications strategy. Work with your sales team to determine how to score new leads entering the system, when to contact them and what content to offer, and, perhaps, most important, collaborate to determine when it’s appropriate to hand a nurtured lead off to sales.

These “three Cs” are just a few tips to think about when making the decision to implement a marketing automation system within your company. There are many others to consider, but start with these and you’ll be better prepared to make this critical decision.

Erin Shampine is a senior strategic planner for Eric Mower + Associates. She can be reached at eshampine@mower.com.

 
Comments
Order By:

No comments have been entered for this page.  

Add a Comment - www.marketing.org

Your comment will be submitted for approval after you confirm your email address.

  refresh
Please enter the text from the image into the box below.
Note: the characters are case-sensitive.
Note: Comments must be approved before they will appear on this page
 
Speaker's Bureau BMA BUZZ BMA Marketing Opportunities

Here you can find a speaker, or make yourself available to speak on your areas of expertise.
Learn more >

Get the latest BMA and B-to-B related insights from the BMA Buzz, the official BMA e-newsletter or daily updates from the BMA SmartBrief.
Learn more >

BMA offers a wide variety of marketing opportunities for you to reach this very influential, highly specialized audience of B-to-B marketers.
Learn more >