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Measurement is the Only Way to Marketing Automation Independence

Using marketing automation tools without proper measurement is like having a fireworks display with all duds. Instead of ooh’ing and aah’ing over the dazzling array of information at your disposal and ramping up for the grand finale of actual conversion, you’re left wondering if you’re making any progress at all.

Organizations today too often don’t have the data to support important metrics because they don’t know what the important metrics are. That’s how trivial numbers like total emails sent somehow become benchmarks. In most cases, companies have been slow to adopt a proper benchmarking strategy because they’re embarrassed to put a figure on what they’ve been doing prior to implementation. Measuring the right data adds a layer of accountability which can be scary – but scarier still is the prospect of staying the course without that extra layer of accountability.

For every one dollar that’s spent on marketing automation, organizations need to spend three dollars implementing and enabling measurement solutions in the first 18 months. Right now, it’s the exact inverse. Companies expect too much out of their automation (without putting in the necessary work of processes) and spend accordingly, forgetting that marketing automation is a conversational tool, not one that can significantly drum up lead generation by itself.

Chances are you already have some form of marketing automation in place, but you may still be struggling to understand if you’re seeing progress or not. Make sure you’re benchmarking these three key measures that will tell you what you’re really achieving.

1. Engagement

Lead scoring may not be as important as you’re making it out to be. It’s essentially a measure of how many people might be a good fit for what you’re selling. What you really want to know is can you drive interest in the form of a hand raise? In other words, how many people are going out of their own way to express interest in talking to you further? Engagement benchmarking is the only way to tell for sure.

When you focus on engagement instead of just lead generation, you can better gauge the effectiveness of your outreach efforts to identify the right people. You’re looking to build trust, and the best measure of that is the number of hand raises you’re getting. Benchmark this type of penetration by adding this to your scoring process and tracking form conversions to measure your progress month over month.

2. Source pipeline

After the initial campaign led to the consumer hand raise, how much pipeline is your marketing team filling with their buyer interactions? Through each step in the pipeline, there’s an opportunity or a need that must be addressed. Healthy organizations are able to convert at least 50 percent of their hand raises into qualified buyers and move them through the funnel. No matter how healthy your pipeline is, though, there’s always room for improvement, which is what proper benchmarking is all about.

The more educated your buyers are, the shorter the pipeline is leading to the sale. You should always be able to see how marketing was able to accelerate a buyer’s journey and spark interest. Measuring your influence directly leaves no doubt and no room for sales to claim the opportunity, and no room for attribution finger pointing.

3. Velocity

Once a qualified buyer enters the opportunity cycle, how quickly do they progress? Traditionally, marketing has only been concerned with the baton pass to sales. That’s not good enough to really see the effectiveness of your campaigns, your outreach, and your automation software.

By paying attention to velocity, you’ll be able to pinpoint exactly what follow up messages need to get in front of the buyer so that they can hit the ground running with your product post-purchase. Benchmarking will help you improve the consistency of your processes, especially when transforming things you’ve learned about buyers in your meetings with them into problem solving content and messaging.

Marketing automation is a necessary part of the tech stack, but it shouldn’t chain you to unnecessary reports, guessing projections and questioning if you’re really seeing an ROI for you efforts. By getting a handle of the three things listed above, you’ll eventually be able to make some sense out of all of your efforts and realize true independence means breaking free from irrelevant reports and metrics and realizing real results that impact revenue.

2 Comments

  1. Adam Schoenfeld on July 19, 2017 at 4:24 pm

    These are great points, Justin. How do you recommend best measuring “engagement” in this context? Conceptually, getting people to raise their hand and/or show interest makes sense, but want are some of the activities that you typically measure? Would it be things like content views, live chat interactions, and email replies?

    • jgray@leadmd.com jgray@leadmd.com on July 19, 2017 at 5:30 pm

      Adam,

      Yes, essentially we recommend gaining visibility as many interactions between the buyer and your assets as possible. Assets extend to both online and offline interactions for example measuring a piece of content on your site and the buyers interaction with said content is fairly simple but recording an interaction at an event or a conversation is equally important. Each of these channels must be integrated into your core marketing platform so it can be measured. Now, as most of our customers also operate in the high ticket enterprise solution space we also want to roll up that engagement amongst all of the buying committee members. This engagement coverage combined with recency is the key to a true account based engagement score. I find that capturing all of the offline activities is actually the more challenging ask.

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