Marketing Automation

A vice president of business development recalls his reliance on early Customer Relationship Management databases to organize full days of outbound marketing calls. It could take 52 calls to contacts in a company to get a first meeting scheduled. Imagine how receptive those prospects would be at that meeting!

Contrast that to today’s prospect who use the Internet to research their options and initiate vendor relationships based on the best information they find. According to a DemandGen 2012 Report, 77% of the buyer’s research is done before they contact any vendors. And buyers are 57% through their buying cycle before they contact a new vendor (Corporate Executive Board Study).

When your marketing efforts provide self-educating buyers with multiple opportunities to learn about your products, industry solutions and services, you will want to track how much and what kind of your content these prospects consume.  Marketing Automation systems automatically monitor your prospects’ consumption of your content as well as automatically feed more in-depth content to them as they progress through their buying cycle.

Multiple Sales Touch Points

Rather than thinking of the buying cycle as a one-dimensional path from prospect > contact > lead > qualified lead > quote > customer, consider a multidimensional radar view.

Content Marketing Sales Process

Content Marketing Sales Process
as portrayed by Tom Martin

As your contacts consume more and more content, they identify themselves as a contact and increase their value as a qualified leads and eventually request quotes. To visualize how a contact continuously increases their “lead score”, consider:

  • The type of content consumed (email, web page, eBook, whitepaper, instructional video)
  • The amount of content consumed

As the variety and amount of content consumed increases, the contact gradually moves from the outer circle of unidentified awareness through the inner circles of aware, prospect, lead, qualified lead, customer.

Market leaders use their marketing automation systems to track and record their prospect’s online behavior — giving them an accurate picture of the prospects’ wants and needs.


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