I’m Kenneth Vogt, Commercial Director of Bitesize Bio and founder of Vera Claritas Inc. I play the role of Richard Roeper, Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert all rolled into one, reviewing and highlighting the webinars and video presentations found at the Life Science Marketing Society.
Today I’m commenting on the presentation entitled:
It is described this way:
Marketing automation is much more than email marketing management. Businesses that use marketing automation to nurture prospects experience a 451% increase in qualified leads. (source: The Annuitas Group)
With a smart strategy and the right tools, you can:
- increase brand awareness and engagement
- drive demand
- close more deals
Learn how to engage life sciences prospects and customers through the buying journey, hear MA success stories and strategies, and get answers to your questions, whether you are new to marketing automation or you are looking for advanced lead generation and nurturing strategies.
This presentation is brought to you by Christine Slocumb, President of Clarity Quest Marketing. Christine has over 20 years of marketing, business development, and product management experience in Fortune 50 and startup firms. As the founder of Clarity Quest Marketing, she has grown revenues and brand valuation for biotech, life sciences and healthcare companies using innovative marketing strategies and tactics.
What I learned from Christine is you are potentially missing out on four critical things when it comes to marketing automation.
What is marketing automation anyway? Marketing automation is a tech platform that streamlines, automates and measures marketing tasks and workflows. It does it utilizing email marketing, web tracking, lead scoring and several other tools and methods. These tools are readily available, easy to use and often inexpensive. Even if they weren’t, the ROI is so good you would want to use them anyway.
So let’s look at what you may be missing in your marketing mix that can up your performance and improve your returns.
1) You aren’t nurturing your leads into qualified leads
As noted above, according to a study done by the Annuitas Group, businesses that use marketing automation to nurture prospects experience a 451% increase in qualified leads.
All leads are not created equal. Qualified leads are the only leads that turn into sales in any kind of volume or in any predictable manner. You need to get to the right person with the right message at the right time to convert leads into sales. Miss any of those “rights” and — no sale.
Nurturing campaigns bring real, measurable ROI for your marketing dollar. They make “the right time” possible. More than any other “right”, this is the one that is most frequently missing from marketing campaigns, and that hole is what devastates convertibility of leads.
2) You focus on the seller’s journey rather than the buyer’s journey
It is natural to think in terms of what you want out of the interaction between you and your prospects (and customers). But if you instead focus on your prospect’s experience, you will have a better experience. There are several steps along the customer journey path from their perspective:
- Attract — this is where they are first drawn
- Capture — this is where they offer up that they are willing to have you keep in contact with them
- Nurture — this is where you interact (and re-interact) with them
- Convert — this is the first phase where they are qualified to be passed on to the sales team
- Expand — this is where you stay in touch and capitalize on their good buyer (and user) experiences
The goals and methods of each phase are quite distinct. If all you do is focus on the Convert phase, you will rarely get there. Wielding marketing automation properly empowers you with customizable capabilities at each phase, ultimately leading to the result you want — sales, and efficient sales at that.
3) Your company doesn’t do lead scoring (or at least it doesn’t do it right)
Both buyers and salespeople are annoyed by the failure of marketing departments to score leads for when it is properly time to move the prospect from the marketing department to the sales department.
Effective lead scoring is based more on behavior than demographics. Marketing automation is well suited to gathering that behavioral data and giving it meaning.
What ends up happening in many companies who are falling down on this requirement is their salespeople have to labor to accomplish what amounts to marketing tasks that are better suited to marketing automation. This soaks up time from salespeople that would be better focused on closing new (and repeat) business.
4) Your marketing strategy gets lost at the implementation level
Jumping straight into the technology is exciting, but this is not the time to prioritize for excitement. Here is what your priorities should be:
- You need a quality content library FIRST.
- You need business goals and marketing objectives defined before implementation of marketing automation.
- You need to target key accounts with personalized content.
- You have to make sure your domain is a safe sender of email.
- You must clean your lists.
- You have to get opt-in permission.
- Only now is it time for that exciting tech.
Doing it right will start creating quality leads sooner, in greater volume, and will keep creating them in the long term. This can happen in as few as two quarters. This can be a real differentiator on the commercial side of our industry. You can jump out in front (and stay there) by doing your homework upfront.
You know you want to watch the original presentation on which this commentary is based. Find it here:
For more analysis, observation and witty repartee, be sure to check out our podcast with our very own Dr. Nick Oswald and Harrison Wright, plus interesting and exciting guests. Here is the specific episode examining the presentation above.
Photo credit: Grisel D’An