4 Key Tactics To Maximize Your Marketing Automation Investment in 2012

Published: January 18, 2012

By Mani Iyer, CEO, Kwanzoo, Inc.

In order to find smart ways to identify and nurture prospective customers who visit their web site, B2B companies have been making significant investments in marketing automation and RPM platforms such as Eloqua and Marketo.

However, B2B marketers face an interesting challenge. While the corporate web site remains critical, with the rise of social and mobile to add to the more traditional B2B channel mix (email, web, display), there continues to be a proliferation of online channels. It is harder than ever to gain an individual prospect’s attention and even more challenging to get time-strapped B2B professionals to visit your web site in order for the identifying and nurturing process to begin in your RPM system, for any individual prospect.

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It’s time to think different. Instead of focusing on ways to drive a prospect to an Eloqua or Marketo landing page on your web site, you can now approach your demand generation campaigns in a whole new way.

Find & Engage Prospects – Everywhere
Prospects may touch your blog, community site, social pages or a partner page, but may not be visiting any web site pages monitored by your RPM system.  So simply engage the prospects wherever they are, with interactive, branded, marketing units, embedded wherever you own or can rent a presence.  Partner-owned channels, be it their web sites, email blasts, or community sites, are another avenue. Rapidly create and offer engaging co-branded marketing units to partners that they can easily incorporate into their campaigns, or launch via their channels to prospects and customers. Capture a short-form lead, right at the point of engagement, and drop it into Eloqua or Marketo for ongoing nurturing. Less re-directs, less friction, fewer leads lost and fewer opportunities missed.

Learn with Every Interaction – Everywhere
You may be a large enterprise with four divisions, and 17 product lines, all competing for precious real estate on your corporate web site homepage. Your RPM system can tell you what web pages a specific prospect has visited. Use that to score a lead, which helps  determine if the lead is sales-ready. However, what if you could arm your sales person with additional insights, all gathered online, from your prospect, making for an even more engaging sales conversation? What is their key pain point from your rather long list? What is the likely buying period? Which of your products is a best fit? Moreover, no, you are not getting these from a landing page form or a long survey, which they are not going to fill out.

You send out newsletters and nurturing emails to tens of thousands of prospects each month. You can now learn more about specific prospects and their needs directly from inside your email. Get answers in a simple, non-intrusive way, no matter where you are able to engage the prospect.

Offer a Different User Experience
B2B marketers can learn a lot from B2C marketing colleagues. Remember, your prospects are first, real people! An approach or tactic that you see in the B2C world can work just as well for B2B. People love to engage and interact. People want to know what others are thinking, and how does it relate to what they think. People love offers, discounts and promotions. Of course, the specific promotions appropriate for B2B would be different. People like to share their knowledge, choice of products, inform colleagues and give a shout-out for something they love to their friends. So think about enabling people-to-people engagement, interaction, and more personalized offers in the process. This would make for a much more fun experience, even though the end game might be to get a B2B prospect to receive an appropriate white paper download or register for a webinar.

Improve ROI with Relationship Targeting
Targeting B2B marketing offers and content gets a whole lot easier, when you leverage data. Marketing Automation Systems, along with Real-time IP data providers have been delivering better targeting on landing pages for some time. It is quite common to pre-fill form fields with the company affiliation of a prospect (mapped from the prospect’s IP address).

What is now possible is to leverage the same Real-time IP data, combined with Target Account or Account Relationship information in an RPM system to dynamically change and serve highly targeted, relevant, marketing offers everywhere. Marketers will soon be able to define rules in their RPM system to map or update Target Accounts into different sales pipeline stages. RPM systems will then interact with external partner systems to make all of this possible.

In summary, 2012 promises to be an exciting year. B2B marketers will be able to better profile prospects inside lead nurturing emails, quickly widen their lead funnel to capture more “top of funnel” leads into their RPM systems. Marketers will be able to add interactivity, improve prospect engagement, deliver greater content and offer relevance on their landing pages than ever before. All of this while enabling social interactions and “word-of-mouth” mentions, into social and mobile channels, by prospects everywhere.

*Note: Kwanzoo is a partner of both Eloqua and Marketo

Mani Iyer is CEO, Kwanzoo.com and serial entrepreneur.  Previously he was a VP at PeopleSoft and Senior Marketing & Technology Executive at Oracle, Ingres, Digital, Microsoft.

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