We live and work in a "flux" world - a world where change is the only constant and realizations and revelations alternate daily. Companies which once viewed their websites as nothing more than an online brochure now see them as lead generating machines and conversation engines.
The changes in customer behavior, new and emerging media and the so-called Web 2.0 are challenges for marketers wanting to serve the cross-channel customer.
That is why marketing automation today is about changing how we view our own corporate culture, specifically from the customer viewpoint, and the internal organization, from a multi-channel perspective. It's about communication and collaboration. Corporate silos must fall and offer marketing sales and other stakeholders a unified view of opportunities.
Customer data: garbage in results in garbage out
The current challenges for marketing automation processes rest in the need to provide more complete prospect information in function of the cross-channel buying journey. It's easy enough to track and manage prospects downloading a white paper or other information which may qualify them as a lead, but what next? Now you have to indentify the lead and obtain the contact information in order to exploit the opportunity to nurture him and turn him into a loyal customer.
This is time consuming and doesn't provide you with details about the interests or possible requirements of the visitor. How do you tell where the prospect is in the buying cycle? That's key to understanding how to approach them.
Limited website and customer interaction intelligence means underperforming marketing campaigns, poorly qualified leads and lost sales opportunities.
With lead generation programs as with anything else: Garbage in results in garbage out.
The only thing worse than no leads is a lot of bad leads. Poorly qualified leads waste resources, impact morale and may alienate potential customers. Often sales automation lead scoring programs are too mechanical in nature. The lead scoring mechanism in place doesn't give the marketing and sales team any real insight into a website visitor's intent and the result is a funnel filled with too many irrelevant leads.
The multi-channel imperative
A lead nurturing program is only effective if it can help you provide relevant information at the right time to a prospect how and where he wants it. You know there's interest, but you need to know where in the buying cycle the prospect is and if the right information from you will hasten a buying decision. A modern integrated customer-centric marketing automation and lead management program provides the data required to achieve all this.
Marketing and sales are not quite out of their silos yet in many corporations. The process of marketing generating leads for sales is still often linear. New marketing automation processes must help break down silos.
No longer can you simply have marketing at one end of the line and sales at the other with no real time collaboration or communication. Web 2.0 presents all stakeholders the opportunity to share not just information, but opportunities in real time. If you want your sales funnel to be buzzing, then you need to move forward towards marketing processes which are dynamic and operate as your customers do, in real time and across all channels.
Download our white paper "Efficient customer interactions: how to prevent marketing fatigue?" and learn how to optimize communication in a cross-channel and customer-controlled world.
Download the paper, including essential tips, here.