There’s no denying that marketing automation is helping technology companies relate to their target audiences during the early phase of their decision-making. Ed Goffin is a marketing manager at Pleora Technologies, a maker of video-sensor technology. Lindsay Sykes is a marketing manager at Intouch Insight, a maker of CX software for service-related businesses. I was recently able to sit down with these marketing experts and ask them questions about their marketing automation systems and how it has helped them. Here are some of the main topics we discussed:
Can you describe to me how your company was functioning before using marketing automation and what sort of problems you were facing?
Sales and marketing efforts weren’t always focused on the same projects – we were on different paths. Everything that the sales team gathered was going into Salesforce, but at the time it was more like an archival database. The records hadn’t been updated and as marketing, I never felt as if there was any real data we could use. Because there are a lot of duplicated or incomplete data, we were never confident we could email them successfully.
Before we consolidated all our solutions under the Intouch Insight brand, there were different verticals for all the solutions. We needed to find the key problems that people cared about and what sort of content would work for them. Language for one industry wouldn’t necessarily work in another industry. There was a bunch of content, but it was generic and sent to everyone on the list.
What type of marketing automation tool are you using? How have things changed now that you’re using marketing automation with the right content?
While the sales team uses Salesforce, we use Hubspot for our marketing automation. After leads spend a lot of time in the automation tool, they will go through different campaigns and we can map out what stage they’re at, such as awareness or interest, and they’ll get content that will help move them down the funnel. We understand what they want and who they are so much better, plus sales can get a better qualified lead than before.
Once we decided to use a marketing automation tool, we looked into what there was on the market and decided to use Pardot. The integration was easier because it was owned by Salesforce, we had it up and running within 6 months. With Pardot, we can put leads in a campaign, and they can run through the information. Now, we can properly pinpoint what vertical they’re in and give them the right information, instead of just giving everyone the same thing. We can build a profile to better understand who this person is.
How do you evaluate your leads? How do you rank/score a lead?
We use marketing automation to grade each of our leads. If they check all the boxes and we think it’s worth their time to pursue a phone call, we hand them off to sales. The loop finally gets closed and the record gets updated- it might even change what messaging gets sent to that prospect in the future.
Before, we were casting such a wide net that it wasn’t bringing in quite the right traffic. Marketing automation allowed us to understand the correct search terms that would bring the right type of people to our website. Our overall numbers reduced, but more of those leads became marketing qualified than before.
We use HubSpot Lead scoring and it’s split into two tiers. Tier 1 is when right off the bat someone requests a demo, they become an immediate MQL for sales and receive a certain score. Tier 2 is anyone who interacts with the content on the website. They receive a lower score to start than tier 1 people. On both tiers, leads can gain or lose points depending on their attributes or actions.
We would love to take every lead, but we have to act conservatively. You can’t send all your content to everybody, know which channels are brining in the best leads. But also, don’t just stop your metrics at the leads. Follow and understand where all the leads who are most likely to purchase your product are coming from.
What have you been able to do now that you have a strong marketing automation system set up? What is the relationship between marketing and sales now?
Sales can now focus on MQL instead of any type of lead, or business development, which they wouldn’t have been able to focus on before. Also, when we move into a new vertical, where we don’t have the benefit of brand awareness, marketing automation changed how we understand the market. Such as who makes the decisions and what content to give to them, etc., without marketing automation we would have been in the dark.
One of the most tools that you can have is your reporting platform. We can see the whole life cycle and map it back to the original source, to better understand our leads. Instead of going for the ‘spray and pray’ method, we now aim for less leads that are more likely to buy. We worked with Sales to determine what an MQL looks like and now they’re almost always sent good quality leads.
These two marketers have clearly made good use of marketing automation in technology when it comes to communicating with leads and bringing those who are ready, forward to sales. It’s interesting that both stress the strategic planning that happened alongside their software implementations. This shows that marketing theory and the thinking behind how we communicate with prospects matters now more than ever.
Click below to learn how marketing automation can help you target your audience better.