Cloud-based marketing automation software provider Marketo is attempting to reveal the “magic behind the curtain” of marketing automation in a new infographic that serves as a tutorial on the purpose, capabilities and strategic implications of marketing automation technology.

Marketing Information - What It Does, Why It Matters

The infographic begins by defining marketing automation as “the technology that allows companies to streamline, automate and measure marketing tasks and workflows so they can increase operational efficiency and grow revenue faster.”

Marketing automation enables the following modern business processes:

  • Nurture relationships with leads that aren’t ready to buy -- While only 20% of leads are typically sales-ready on arrival, marketing automation software can produce up to 50% more sales leads.
  • Retain and extend customer relationships -- Marketing automation technology enables up-selling and cross-selling that results in higher levels of customer loyalty and retention.
  • Build sales alignment -- Lead scoring and nurturing enables marketers to identify leads at the point in the customer journey where they are ready to make a purchase and integrate marketing automation technology with CRM systems enables automatic alerts of salespeople.
  • Prove and improve marketing ROI -- In addition to automating processes, marketing automation delivers metrics allow marketers to obtain insight that can be presented to C-level executives.

For marketing executives trying to convince senior executives to make a marketing automation investment, Marketo says the technology produces three key results – more pipieline, more productive sales reps and higher revenue. When making the argument for marketing automation, Marketo advises marketers to highlight that automation of key processes can reduce campaign budget by up to 80% as a result of fewer internal human resources and external consultants. In addition, marketing automation can track marketing campaign ROI and conversion rate, and also boost marketing revenues by developing customer relationships at an earlier stage and scaling buyer interactions to increase personalization with less direct human effort.

To measure marketing automation success, Marketo says the key metrics are conversion rate of new names into marketing qualified leads, total number of marketing qualified leads, marketing qualified lead win rate, percentage of sales pipeline that is sourced by marketing and acquisition cost of marketing-sourced customers.

Nine Steps to Buying Marketing Automation

Marketo points out that marketers are now largely expected to buy and manage their own technology, making the marketing automation purchase process more complex and intensive. The vendor recommends the following nine-step process:

  1. Write down goals.
  2. Plan a timeline that includes learning and modifying the solution after purchase.
  3. Identify business requirements that will affect the selection process.
  4. Assemble a team of people who will select and manage marketing automation, with signoff from stakeholders in all relevant departments (such as sales and IT).
  5. Evaluate potential vendors -- Marketo recommends “scouring” of solutions and “tough questions” during the evaluation process.
  6. Talk to references.
  7. Make a decision based on which vendor most closely aligns with written goals from step one.
  8. Get started -- initial vendor review should provide complete understanding of the marketing automation process.
  9. Review, optimize, improve -- as mentioned in step two, the timeline continues beyond purchase and implementation. Marketers should constantly train, re-evaluate and make improvements in marketing automation systems and processes.

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From: Marketo