I’m sure you’ve heard a lot of hype around the relatively nascent trend that is marketing automation. It’s made it through the early adopter phase and continues to earn gravitas as a mainstay in digital marketing. And this is for good reason. Tens of thousands of firms worldwide have implemented a digital transformation through the technology that has marketing chiefs across silicon valley and beyond waxing lyrical.
As with any marketplace, there are several leading platforms paving the way for marketing automation (MA). As a Salesforce evangelist, I have been wedded to the Pardot marketing automation platform for years. Pardot is owned by world leading CRM Salesforce, therefore, naturally the integration between MA and CRM is seamless; a vital component of any successful MA strategy.
It’s always a challenge to justify a new investment, even more so if you’re delving into the unknown. We try our hand at helping to create a business case for MA by providing our top four reasons why Pardot could transform your business.
Marketing and sales alignment
Pardot is a great enabler for effective marketing and sales alignment; a nirvana for all organizations. Of course, fundamentally, marketing automation is a tool for nurturing inbound leads through the sales cycle. This, however, can only be viewed as one half of the story. For the system to fulfill its objective it must deliver sales-ready leads to the CRM in a way that is manageable.
To get to this point, marketing and sales must come together to map out lead management, customer journey and lead assignment processes. It’s likely that custom fields should be created and synced to ensure that data is feeding from MA to CRM, and vice versa.
A big selling point for MA is that sales are able to prioritize the leads which are ready to buy. This can be realized through a blended scoring and grading model within Pardot. Scoring demonstrates how interested a prospect is in your products or services while grading shows how interested you should be in them. Create a scoring and grading strategy that works for your firm and your sales team will be closing the right deals at the right time, every time.
This isn’t just about integrating two systems. This is about introducing a new culture of alignment and collaboration between the marketing and sales functions. This is a prerequisite of any truly scalable organization.
Sophisticated inbound lead nurturing
Here’s the real engine of Pardot, the Engagement Studio. Introduced in summer 2016 to replace linear drip programs. The studio allows users to build out complex nurturing strings using a combination of rules, triggers and actions. Essentially, you can treat prospects differently based on a broad range of variables within one framework.
By nurturing your prospects with this precision you can ensure that they’re receiving the right content at the right time while you’re ascertaining the information and driving the activity, you need for them to become a marketing qualified lead (MQL).
The Engagement Studio can be applied to all areas of the customer journey, from initial contact, acquisition and lead nurturing, through to upsell and retention. It can also be used to manage lists more effectively manage your event communications. It’s a powerful tool that can be leveraged to streamline business processes so you’ll be able to get creative with the Engagement Studio.
Customer retention on autopilot
Don’t think of marketing automation purely as a tool to fill up the top of the sales funnel. There’s a lot that can be done to ensure that existing customers are engaged with your products and services and likely to reorder. By creating custom fields or objects in the CRM you can store custom information about your customer that is unique to your organization. Sync this data with Pardot to trigger a series of communications which encourages them to reorder.
A typical application is with SAAS companies. You might be able to extract data related to customer engagement with your proprietary software. This could be a good indication of whether or not your customer is likely to reorder. For example, if the customer has logged in only once per month, they’re less likely to retain the service. Use your systems to trigger notifications and tasks for sales or customer success teams.
Get a 360 view of your customer with MA and view the information from a prospect record within your CRM. Pardot allows you to view every single prospect activity and the number of points that were gained from each engagement. What’s more, with the Pardot campaign, you’re able to track the first thematic touch point. That’s the initial point that a prospect engaged with your brand. You’re now able to attribute a won deal back to the original channel it came from.
Each prospect has an audit table displaying the prospect’s actions. The table displays the name of the action that occurred and prospect record information that was changed as a result. You’re always able to revert back to see how a prospect got to a specific stage of your lead cycle.