You know your business needs marketing software – here are three tips to help you make the right choice.
Understanding your customer and their needs has been the cornerstone of successful marketing for many years. Modern tools now allow organisations to collect vast quantities of data so that they gain a deeper understanding or purchasing habits, preferences and demographic information.
However 46% of marketers claim that they are prevented from properly leveraging this data because it is held in disparate systems; the information they need to improve marketing activities is not stored centrally, making it impossible to form a complete understanding of their customers. These systems typically include:
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● Email marketing.
● Social media monitoring.
● Lead nurturing systems.
● Content management systems.
Using these various systems, your business probably already has the data it needs for automated marketing, but lacks the tools you need to make best use of the information.
Choosing the right software
The importance of data for marketing and sales has elevated the importance of the CMO. In 2012, Gartner predicted that by 2017, CMOs will spend more on IT than CIOs as they purchase products and services that will allow them to better target their prospects. As the CMO is handed more budgetary control, they will also be expected to make informed technology purchasing decisions.
The truth is, the correct marketing automation tool for your business will be different to that of your partners or competitors. There are, however, several features that are non-negotiable:
Your ideal marketing automation tool will be able to access multiple data stores to ensure you have the information you need to leverage your customer data for maximum profit. For future-proofing potential, your business may look at doing away with data silos altogether, replacing them with a big data solution from which every business unit can operate.
“35% of marketers said response attribution was the most challenging multichannel marketing issue for their organisation, followed by campaign coordination.”
The 2013 Digital Marketer – Experian
Reporting and intelligence
Marketing automation is a process of continuous improvement. Your ideal system will need to have in-depth reporting and intelligence functions that allow you to cut your data any way you choose so that you get the insights you need, including your customers’ ‘digital body language’.
With the right tool, your business will be able to improve:
· Lead generation and qualification processes.
· Internal sales operations.
“Companies that use big data and analytics effectively show productivity rates and profitability that are 5% to 6% higher than those of their peers. McKinsey analysis of more than 250 engagements over five years has revealed that companies that put data at the centre of the marketing and sales decisions improve their marketing return on investment (MROI) by 15% to 20%. That adds up to $150 billion to $200 billion of additional value, based on global annual marketing spend of an estimated $1 trillion.”
Jonathan Gordon – McKinsey & Company
“This goldmine of data is a pivot-point moment for marketing and sales leaders. Those who are able to drive above-market growth, though, are the ones who can effectively mine that gold.”
Jonathan Gordon – McKinsey & Company
Social media distribution
As well as social media monitoring, your ideal tool will provide automated distribution of targeted messaging. Social is now becoming ingrained at all levels of the enterprise, increasing the volume of messages your team needs to handle. If your business is serious about becoming truly socially enabled, your chosen platform will need to be able to process all of these additional communications streams.
“In our recent survey of B2B marketers, the most pressing content marketing challenge
was “getting the right people to view the right content.” One-third of respondents cited that
challenge, compared with only 13% who were challenged with “producing engaging content” and
11% who were challenged with “developing a content strategy.”
“Facebook ingests approximately 500 times more data each day than the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Twitter is storing at least 12 times more data each day than the NYSE.”
Reinventing Social Media – BI Intelligence
Into the future
To successfully automate your marketing, you will need:
· Unified data – access to the various data silos that exist throughout your system.
· Reporting and intelligence – generating the insights you need to continually improve marketing and your other business processes.
· Social – tools that allow your business to use social internally and externally for communications and messaging.