Marketing Automation – The Basics
If you are like most Enterprise Marketers, your Company has implemented marketing automation within the past couple of years. You have your first set of lead nurturing programs in place. Your landing pages are built and are capturing inbound leads. You may be the 1 in 4 marketers who have implemented some type of lead scoring. You are starting to think about the ROI on your marketing automation technology investment. That’s bound to come up at budgeting time for next year. You also want to know, are you spending your limited time and resources on the right priorities? Are you asking all the right questions to maximize your ROI? Are you optimizing the right knobs, and pulling the right levers?
Your “First Order” Metrics
As you think of your marketing spend across technology and programs, here are some key measures that you may be tracking already:
- Top of Funnel: Number of net new leads generated for your revenue funnel this month.
- Mid and Lower Funnel: How leads are progressing through your revenue funnel, as they move from prospects, to sales-qualified-leads (SQLs) which then turn into opportunities (Opps) and deals-won
Some key metrics you may be tracking already include:
- raw leads that turn into prospects (paid) by channel e.g. $82
- raw leads that turn into prospects (organic) e.g. 40%
- cost per lead by channel, and average across all channels e.g. $120
- % leads that turn into opportunities e.g. 6%
- cost per opportunity e.g. $2000
- opportunity/customer e.g. 33.5%
- cost per customer (deals-won) e.g. $5,900 on say $30,000 in annual contract value
As we work with many enterprise B2B customers, we see a lot of energy that goes into driving for the lowest cost possible for raw leads. But if you really think about it, here is how it all breaks down for the typical B2B demand generation process:
- Let’s say your raw leads cost anywhere from $30 to $150 for a product or service that generates $30,000 in annual contract value.
- By the time these leads are nurtured, and turn into an opportunity, your costs are up at $2000 per opportunity.
- Assume that it takes 6 to 10 additional (say 8 on average) mostly “digital” touches before you can turn a lead into an opportunity.
- Each lead nurturing “digital touch” of the prospect will therefore cost you around $250. Now factor in the elapsed time between touches, and the number of different nurturing email campaigns and content offers needed to get to a qualified lead that turns into an opportunity. The impact or value of each successful “digital touch” with a prospect is in fact a lot more!
Question: Are you better off by focusing on new ways to accelerate “digital touches” by your existing prospects? Will that have greater impact on your revenue than focusing on optimizing cost per raw lead? [Our quick take: YES!]
80-20 Principles for Marketing Automation ROI
You have made a significant investment in your marketing automation technology. We understand that any new campaign strategy or technology that you add into the mix needs to seamlessly extend and dramatically improve what you do today. Here are a few 80-20 principles for you to think about, as you look to maximize your ROI:
More than 80% of your prospects will never visit your website! It’s just the way it is. They are out on the web, and you need to reach out, engage, profile and capture information about them, right where they are! They are influencers, even decision makers for your B2B complex sale cycle. They may have a voice in the purchase decision, but may not know your brand at all. They are the “other 7 people in the room”, and when one of them is in your marketing automation database, you have only reached 1 out of 8 of them, via your own website!
We have thought a lot about this. Instead of waiting for your prospects to come visit you, why not go out to them? Build and deploy branded, cross-channel campaign assets, everywhere. Apply a range of tactics with smart polls and mini surveys with targeted offers, smart banners with content offers, and branded, in-banner lead forms with offers. Catch your prospects where they are, engage, gather insights, have a conversation, and influence them.
Not just 80%, but 100% of your prospects today remain “unknown” to you outside your website, and that is a significant missed opportunity! Just imagine if you could engage with all prospects that are “known” to your marketing automation platform, all across the web. Serve them highly relevant messages, promotions and offers since you know who they are. Then record their interactions back inside your automation system. You can now accelerate your high impact lead nurturing cycle not just inside your own outgoing email campaigns, but all across the web!
80% and more often, 90+% of your prospects will not click through your lead nurturing email to your landing page. They may completely miss your primary call to action. This is why you will want to drop in a “secondary” call to action such as an in-email poll, where you learn a bit more about the prospect, but then send them on to the same landing page to drive additional clicks and conversions. You can get not just one, but two “digital touches” completed. One via the poll, and the second on your landing page when you get them to download an asset, or register for a webinar. Again take any insights you can collect back into marketing automation to accelerate lead nurturing.
Not just 80%, but over 99% of your prospects are unlikely to ever click on your banner ad or promotion. Typical banner ad click through rates are well under 0.1%. Since this is a critical channel to reach a new set of prospects, it becomes all the more important that we engage with each prospect effectively. Present targeted promotions with A/B testing, or better yet, personalize the promotion using intelligence on the prospect’s target account, or other attributes of the individual prospect, straight from your marketing automation system. This is the only way to maximize your paid media ROI, and tap this channel effectively.
Not just 80%, but well over 95% of B2B marketers are yet to generate leads from social media. We are seeing that folks are interested in doing this, but very few have taken the steps necessary to make it happen. We have been fortunate, in working with a few B2B “trailblazers” who have had good success with this type of program. SAP, for instance, recently ran a campaign on Facebook that saw a 5X relative to their landing page conversion rates!