The hidden dangers of a ‘mindless’ marketing stack

Matt Fenn on Marketing automation,


A great marketing stack needs to personalise effectively, so why do we build them without a central point of control?

Online marketing is a journey.

Anyone with a website frets about getting more visitors, and anyone with visitors stresses about their conversion rates.

Even given a website with visitors that convert into leads, you’ve got to think about email marketing to keep those leads hooked and coming back for more.

And shouldn’t you be using chat on your website to answer your visitor’s specific questions - striking while the iron is hot?

Or, what about autoresponder drip campaign emails that nurture over time to stop your hard won leads from drifting off to one of your competitors?

After all, we all need leads, they’re the life blood of any business and you know that these days your website is the most powerful marketing tool you have.

And when new prospects check out your website, that it’s down to you to hook them.

After all, you’re doing the marketing right?

So where do you start?

Google Analytics is a good start. You get to sweat the statistics, visitors going up or down? Check the bounce rate, see how many visitors are coming from which sources, what devices they are using.

All of a sudden there’s a lot of data to wrap your head around.

But unfortunately it’s not really helping you to identify actual leads. So you create some ebooks that you know your potential customers will absolutely love! And grab some landing page software to run a proper marketing campaign.

As you start to generate leads from your content you realise two things:

  1. I need to be storing these in a CRM.
  2. I need to be following these leads up over time!

So you get to grips with a CRM and an email marketing service.

Then you spend a few days hooking up the landing pages to the email marketing software, and the CRM. And as you are doing this you begin to wonder whether the email open, click and website activity for your contacts could be sent to your CRM? Maybe. Maybe not. Perhaps if we throw a data syncing service into the mix..

It seems as though the harder you work to try and do online marketing properly the more expensive, time consuming and complicated it gets.

What’s more, the information you have about any particular lead is spread across your email marketing, landing pages software and your CRM. Making it very difficult to focus on the right leads and respond to their buying signals as and when they happen.

Did some of those leads come back today?
Are they on your pricing page RIGHT NOW.

How should you know? How can you focus your sales efforts on the right leads when all you’ve got are high level statistics?

So you take a look around to see if there might be a better way.


"3% of marketers would label their ability to act on insights derived from customer data as ‘excellent’, with more than half (54%) labelling it either ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’."
(Source: Econsultancy)


Designed to build relationships

Turns out there’s a whole category of marketing software that is designed from the top down to identify, convert, nurture and turn website visitors into customers.

It’s designed to build relationships across marketing interactions.
And it’s called marketing automation.

STOP! Stop right there... I can see your eyes glazing over as fear, uncertainty and doubt close in. Everything you know about marketing automation floods into your mind.

“It’s expensive, it’s complex, it’s for really big businesses. It’s expensive.. (did I say that already?)”

Well yes you did. But the good news is that it doesn’t have to be. More on that in a bit, first - let’s take a quick look at how this type of software is different.

When you are building out your marketing process, most people go through the process I described earlier, responding to an immediate need with an immediate solution:

Website + tracking + conversion forms + landing pages + email marketing + email autoresponders + live chat + CRM.

Unfortunately, it’s not until you’ve built a significantly complex marketing technology stack that the downside of this approach really starts to cause problems, as the interaction and synchronisation of contact information and timeliness of system responses to contact behaviour can get out of step at any point.

This is why enterprise level businesses were early adopters of marketing automation software, they hit that pain point before the rest of us.

And they found that using one integrated system to cover all of these basic marketing tasks was actually more powerful than the sum of their parts. Why?

I’m glad you asked!

“Joined up thinking” is where marketing automation ultimately wins.

When you track and manage your lead’s interactions in a system that knows about conversions, page visits, email opens as well as any interactions you push in via Javascript or an API, you can do something pretty amazing.

Something your leads appreciate and is impossible using a fragmented marketing stack.

As a marketer you can create a customer journey that uses any of these touch points to move leads through stages where you refine and personalise your communication.

That’s laser focused targeting... Everyone wins!

Your leads go from receiving ‘catch all’ campaigns to personalised communications that reflect exactly where they are on their buying journey.

You benefit from the extra engagement and success that personalisation brings.


"Nearly three-fourths (74%) of online consumers get frustrated with websites when content (e.g. offers, ads, promotions) appears that has nothing to do with their interests."
(Source: Janrain & Harris Interactive)

Econsultancy found that 52% of digital marketers agree that "the ability to personalize content is fundamental to their online strategy."
(Source: Econsultancy)

"In-house marketers who are personalizing their web experiences and who are able to quantify the improvement see, on average, a 19% uplift in sales."
(Source: Monetate/eConsultancy)


The sales intelligence is crazy

Would your sales team like to know which leads are back on the pricing page today?

Sure they would, set up an alert for them, so they know when it happens.

Would they like to review a lead’s browsing activity to understand exactly what they are interested in before speaking to them?

Why not? There could be a cross sell in there.


"50% of sales time is wasted on unproductive prospecting."
[Source: The B2B Lead]

"If you follow up with web leads within 5 minutes, you’re 9 times more likely to convert them."
[Source: InsideSales.com]


Now, everyone has their own approach and usually a few preferred tools to do certain things, and that’s great. But without a central focus on generating and nurturing contacts within a system designed to orchestrate that relationship you’ve got no intelligence.

Costs can go down as well as up

Now you may think that this kind of marketing awesomeness costs.

And so it can. But fortunately it doesn’t have to.

As the marketing tech market moves towards commoditisation the prices of these systems come down, so you don’t have to miss out on employing marketing automation as a technique.

Even if the toolset that comes with an all-in-one solution doesn’t match your exact needs, it makes sense to use an automation system as a hub and connect the specific tools you require to that.

After all. It’s all about personalisation

It’s instinctive to think about the micro tasks you need to accomplish when dealing with marketing tech, and there are so many tools available that the choice within each category is crazy.

But what I would say is that your starting point should be to consider the journey you wish to take your prospects on, then ensure that you have the mechanisms needed to deliver that journey.

A great marketing stack needs to personalise effectively, so why do we build them without a central point of control?

Online marketing is a journey.

Anyone with a website frets about getting more visitors, and anyone with visitors stresses about their conversion rates.

Even given a website with visitors that convert into leads, you’ve got to think about email marketing to keep those leads hooked and coming back for more.

And shouldn’t you be using chat on your website to answer your visitor’s specific questions - striking while the iron is hot?

Or, what about autoresponder drip campaign emails that nurture over time to stop your hard won leads from drifting off to one of your competitors?

After all, we all need leads, they’re the life blood of any business and you know that these days your website is the most powerful marketing tool you have.

And when new prospects check out your website, that it’s down to you to hook them.

After all, you’re doing the marketing right?

So where do you start?

Google Analytics is a good start. You get to sweat the statistics, visitors going up or down? Check the bounce rate, see how many visitors are coming from which sources, what devices they are using.

All of a sudden there’s a lot of data to wrap your head around.

But unfortunately it’s not really helping you to identify actual leads. So you create some ebooks that you know your potential customers will absolutely love! And grab some landing page software to run a proper marketing campaign.

As you start to generate leads from your content you realise two things:

  1. I need to be storing these in a CRM.
  2. I need to be following these leads up over time!

So you get to grips with a CRM and an email marketing service.

Then you spend a few days hooking up the landing pages to the email marketing software, and the CRM. And as you are doing this you begin to wonder whether the email open, click and website activity for your contacts could be sent to your CRM? Maybe. Maybe not. Perhaps if we throw a data syncing service into the mix..

It seems as though the harder you work to try and do online marketing properly the more expensive, time consuming and complicated it gets.

What’s more, the information you have about any particular lead is spread across your email marketing, landing pages software and your CRM. Making it very difficult to focus on the right leads and respond to their buying signals as and when they happen.

Did some of those leads come back today?
Are they on your pricing page RIGHT NOW.

How should you know? How can you focus your sales efforts on the right leads when all you’ve got are high level statistics?

So you take a look around to see if there might be a better way.


"3% of marketers would label their ability to act on insights derived from customer data as ‘excellent’, with more than half (54%) labelling it either ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’."
(Source: Econsultancy)


Designed to build relationships

Turns out there’s a whole category of marketing software that is designed from the top down to identify, convert, nurture and turn website visitors into customers.

It’s designed to build relationships across marketing interactions.
And it’s called marketing automation.

STOP! Stop right there... I can see your eyes glazing over as fear, uncertainty and doubt close in. Everything you know about marketing automation floods into your mind.

“It’s expensive, it’s complex, it’s for really big businesses. It’s expensive.. (did I say that already?)”

Well yes you did. But the good news is that it doesn’t have to be. More on that in a bit, first - let’s take a quick look at how this type of software is different.

When you are building out your marketing process, most people go through the process I described earlier, responding to an immediate need with an immediate solution:

Website + tracking + conversion forms + landing pages + email marketing + email autoresponders + live chat + CRM.

Unfortunately, it’s not until you’ve built a significantly complex marketing technology stack that the downside of this approach really starts to cause problems, as the interaction and synchronisation of contact information and timeliness of system responses to contact behaviour can get out of step at any point.

This is why enterprise level businesses were early adopters of marketing automation software, they hit that pain point before the rest of us.

And they found that using one integrated system to cover all of these basic marketing tasks was actually more powerful than the sum of their parts. Why?

I’m glad you asked!

“Joined up thinking” is where marketing automation ultimately wins.

When you track and manage your lead’s interactions in a system that knows about conversions, page visits, email opens as well as any interactions you push in via Javascript or an API, you can do something pretty amazing.

Something your leads appreciate and is impossible using a fragmented marketing stack.

As a marketer you can create a customer journey that uses any of these touch points to move leads through stages where you refine and personalise your communication.

That’s laser focused targeting... Everyone wins!

Your leads go from receiving ‘catch all’ campaigns to personalised communications that reflect exactly where they are on their buying journey.

You benefit from the extra engagement and success that personalisation brings.


"Nearly three-fourths (74%) of online consumers get frustrated with websites when content (e.g. offers, ads, promotions) appears that has nothing to do with their interests."
(Source: Janrain & Harris Interactive)

Econsultancy found that 52% of digital marketers agree that "the ability to personalize content is fundamental to their online strategy."
(Source: Econsultancy)

"In-house marketers who are personalizing their web experiences and who are able to quantify the improvement see, on average, a 19% uplift in sales."
(Source: Monetate/eConsultancy)


The sales intelligence is crazy

Would your sales team like to know which leads are back on the pricing page today?

Sure they would, set up an alert for them, so they know when it happens.

Would they like to review a lead’s browsing activity to understand exactly what they are interested in before speaking to them?

Why not? There could be a cross sell in there.


"50% of sales time is wasted on unproductive prospecting."
[Source: The B2B Lead]

"If you follow up with web leads within 5 minutes, you’re 9 times more likely to convert them."
[Source: InsideSales.com]


Now, everyone has their own approach and usually a few preferred tools to do certain things, and that’s great. But without a central focus on generating and nurturing contacts within a system designed to orchestrate that relationship you’ve got no intelligence.

Costs can go down as well as up

Now you may think that this kind of marketing awesomeness costs.

And so it can. But fortunately it doesn’t have to.

As the marketing tech market moves towards commoditisation the prices of these systems come down, so you don’t have to miss out on employing marketing automation as a technique.

Even if the toolset that comes with an all-in-one solution doesn’t match your exact needs, it makes sense to use an automation system as a hub and connect the specific tools you require to that.

After all. It’s all about personalisation

It’s instinctive to think about the micro tasks you need to accomplish when dealing with marketing tech, and there are so many tools available that the choice within each category is crazy.

But what I would say is that your starting point should be to consider the journey you wish to take your prospects on, then ensure that you have the mechanisms needed to deliver that journey.

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