Many marketers are intimidated by the comprehensive features and functionality built into automation platforms from Oracle Eloqua, Marketo, Pardot, Hubspot, ExactTarget and others.
It’s understandable, right? Communications professionals have historically trained and matured in a creative environment. So, the requirement to utilize technology to segment, target, collect, analyze and interpret prospect interactions is daunting — even when it is in the cloud.
The uncomfortable secret of marketing automation is that most companies use a fraction of a platform’s capabilities. These elegant (and expensive) systems are often relegated to the status of glorified Email distribution.
That’s why I invited Jim Meyer and Pierre Moynier of eTrigue to visit with the Strategic Communications Group (Strategic) team as part of our professional development program. Full disclosure, eTrigue is one of our partners and we use their DemandCenter solution to power our own marketing and sales activities.
In an informative hour long presentation and Q&A, Jim and Pierre talked us through the more advanced applications of marketing automation that we can put into play on behalf of our clients.
Perhaps most insightful was their segmentation of these applications into four types of campaigns, including:
1. Form Response: how to effectively engage with a prospect after they have registered for and downloaded a piece of premium content, such as a white paper, analyst report or presentation.
2. Drip Marketing: meaningful contact with prospects on a consistent basis, identifying activity and engagement that contributes to lead scoring.
3. Nurturing: outreach influenced by a prospect taking an action, which may include registering for a Webinar, visiting a Web site and/or downloading collateral.
4. Sales Acceleration: often executed in conjunction with one or more other campaigns, this is about motivating a prospect to take a specific action that propels them forward in the sales cycle.
For me, thinking about the use of marketing automation in the context of campaigns provides structure. This makes the adoption of features like dynamic progressive forms and persona creation understandable and, perhaps most important, more easily put into action.