What You Will Learn
- 1 Digital Marketing Foundations
- 2 Conversational Copywriting and Storytelling: The Power of Words
- 3 Inbound Marketing: Content is King
- 4 Influencer Marketing: The Power of Social Media
- 5 Growth Hacking for Digital Marketing
- 6 Email Marketing: Centralize Multi-Touch Engagement
- 7 Marketing Automation
- 8 Lead Management: Maximize Prospect Interest & Engagement
- 9 Sales Funnels (Digital Marketing in Sales Enablement): Address the Independent Buying Cycle
- 10 Best Digital Marketing Tools
- 10.1 Customer.io: automate more timely emails
- 10.2 Constant Contact: deliver powerful emails, simply, and easily
- 10.3 HubSpot: generate leads, close deals, and manage your pipeline on auto-pilot
- 10.4 Pardot: Supercharge your marketing analytics automatically
- 10.5 AdRoll: automate your ad campaigns
- 10.6 Marketo: automatically nurture leads effectively
- 10.7 Dialog Tech: automate your inbound call analytics
- 10.8 Oracle Eloqua: deliver personalized campaigns across multiple channels
- 10.9 Bizible: track your marketing interactions across all channels
- 10.10 Act-On: nurture your inbound and outbound leads
- 10.11 LeadSquared: automate the customer journey
- 10.12 Bremy: automate your marketing materials
- 10.13 Infusionsoft: get CRM, sales, and marketing tools automated together
- 10.14 Genoo: grow, engage, and acquire customers
- 10.15 Salesfusion: attract, capture, and streamline leads
- 10.16 BuzzPortal: automate customer engagement
- 10.17 iContact: segment and automate customer experiences
- 10.18 BuzzBuilder Pro: automate cold email campaigns
- 10.19 Net-Results: create automated marketing workflows
- 10.20 GreenRope: streamline and simplify marketing automation
- 10.21 MailChimp: deliver automated email campaigns
- 10.22 Gliffy: automate your marketing processes
- 10.23 Jumplead: use inbound marketing automation
- 10.24 DataForSEO: add fresh data to your marketing campaign
Digital Marketing Foundations
Successful digital marketing, demand generation, and lead management processes hinge on a modern strategy closely aligned to buyer needs and expectations across all phases of the buying process. Using a wide spectrum of digital channels, today’s buyers employ an extensive network of tools and resources to make the most informed purchase decisions.
The modern Digital Marketing era is driven by the self-educated buyer who digital marketers must engage to achieve a relevant, targeted, and value-based customer experience. Digital Marketers are increasingly enhancing their understanding of how data can fuel the delivery of meaningful interactions. This access to vast sources of information that digital marketers are applying to execute and achieve more refined digital marketing simply can’t be gleaned manually.
Buyers demand and deserve value-based interactions across all points of engagement. More importantly, timing and relevance are critical factors for content delivery and sales engagement. It has become a mandate to tailor content aligned to the buying process in a manner that demonstrates how your solution or services can help prospective buyers address their challenges and objectives. People have no interest in being inundated with product specs. They do, however, seek informative interactions to support their search.
Digital Marketers are leveraging the power of digital marketing automation to refine, target, and optimize program initiatives, including customizing content and automating communications. Digital Marketing automation technology empowers digital marketers to improve their knowledge of buyer behavior and understand how it plays out in campaigns.
With the ability to manage, report, and automate the moving parts of a campaign with digital marketing automation technology and expertise, leading organizations are aligning digital marketing to sales, powering revenue performance, and fueling overall business growth.
Benchmark data from research firm SiriusDecisions indicates that the number of B2B organizations using digital marketing automation is accelerating, and adoption rates will grow to 50% market penetration by 2015.
The Five Tenets of modern Digital Marketing
While managing the operational efficiencies of digital marketing and sales can seem daunting as an ongoing endeavor, companies of all sizes and business models are revamping their strategies by focusing on specific areas of optimization.
Organizations are proactively developing formal processes to enhance their efficiency and engage in a meaningful way by addressing core competencies of effective digital marketing.
This guide will help you understand the core competencies of digital marketing, as well as the benefits of implementing automation technology as part of your business structure. The information provided highlights a variety of different topics, building on The 5 Tenets of modern Digital Marketing:
- Targeting. The first step in building any sustainable structure is to ensure a proper foundation. Think of your database as this foundation. Without the proper data management and hygiene in place, your digital marketing operations will suffer because it’s nearly impossible to meaningfully segment and refine your prospects.
- Engagement. Meaningful digital marketing is centered on the customer. No longer can digital marketers or sales reps relegate communications to company centric conversations. To engage with prospects and customers in a meaningful way, you must develop tactics to address and align messaging across all digital channels. To do this effectively, you must have a content digital marketing strategy in place to provide educational engagements.
- Conversion. Digital Marketers are using technology that responds to the buyer’s actions in real time and delivers profile information that reflects their timeline and research journey. Automated campaigns
have higher conversation rates and are much more resilient for maintenance. By automating your campaigns, you can improve the buyer’s experience, develop loyal relationships, and track conversion data more effectively. If you understand the nature of conversions, you can leverage that data to refine business initiatives across your organizational structure.
- Analytics. As accountability for digital marketing investments increases, data analytics provide a helpful tracking resource to define and measure. By implementing systems for reporting and intelligence, organizations can better understand the impact that sales, digital marketing, and other efforts are having on overall business performance. This insight helps you refine strategies and develop repeatable processes for success.
- Digital Marketing Technology. Organizations across all sizes and industries are leveraging tools to simplify business processes. Successful digital marketers understand the importance of aligning digital marketing automation, sales force automation (SFA), and customer relationship management (CRM) platforms in the cloud. They can then extend capabilities with cloud applications by integrating other key technologies to connect the dots of internal efficiency and maximize prospect and customer interactions.
Keyword Research: Understand Your Niche and Customer Journey
In order to market your products and get found online you need to know what are the most common searches that customer do on search engines.
But the point is that those searches are also connected with the phase of their customer journey. That is, depending if the customer is just starting to be curious about a topic (for example, searches “what is…”) , or is already comparing two products or solutions for his/her problem (is searching a “comparison”), or is looking more information about one specific solution, or it is searching for the best price, or the fastest delivery, etc.
Customers are searching different keywords along their customer journey and we need to satisfy all those different queries in order to guide the customer to the final of these potential sales.
You can start analyzing keywords with this free keyword research tool: Ubersuggest.
Google Trends: Explohttps://neilpatel.com/es/ubersuggest/re what the world is searching
Organic Traffic: Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Paid Ads: Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
Conversational Copywriting and Storytelling: The Power of Words
Inbound Marketing: Content is King
Social media is a driving communication force where buyers, sellers, and thought leaders are connecting to exchange ideas and information. The influx of content, information, and education available across these digital channels has tasked digital marketing teams with a variety of new roles to manage, across web, brand, and content.
Prospective buyers initiate their own research and discovery processes to identify solutions to their business challenges and ask peers how they are addressing industry trends. Once they’ve figured out there’s a solution to their problem, they narrow the list of companies that likely can solve their problem.
Buyers do this by leveraging a number of channels and content offerings, including: searching Google, attending a webinar, downloading an eBook, attending an event, asking their network for recommendations, visiting your corporate website, reading your blog, listening to a podcast, attending a virtual trade show, watching a product demo, seeing a video customer testimonial, reading shared content on social media, and the list goes on.
This new world of buying is transforming the role of digital marketing and sales. To help support the buyer’s discovery process and ultimately progress to becoming a loyal, satisfied customer, it’s imperative to rethink the selling model. To the earlier point, buyers don’t want cold calls, generic emails, or case studies of companies they can’t relate to. They want value-driven insights, information, and engagement.
Digital Marketers have realized the value in providing compelling content and are increasingly thinking like publishers to engage with their community of influencers by storytelling and education.
Effective content marketing supports the buyer’s independent researching and brand engagement, and is specifically tailored to address evolving needs. Realizing this shift, digital marketers are increasingly focused on measuring the impact of different types of content on various stages of the sales and digital marketing processes.
In the information exchange- driven marketplace, content is a critical component to connecting with prospects and customers. Digital Marketing automation enables you to circulate and track content based on buyer profiles and segment your prospects and customers according to their roles, interests, and other attributes that make sense for your business. Automation also helps you trigger relevant content based on consumption and channel delivery preferences.
Influencer Marketing: The Power of Social Media
Growth Hacking for Digital Marketing
Within a digital landscape that is evolving at a staggering pace, marketers are confronted with an expanding spectrum of terminology. What does “synergy” bring to mind (besides a dystopian sci-fi film where robots take over the world)? And what is “snackable content” exactly (besides being somewhat hunger inducing)? As the digital industry endeavours to define its constant progress, the buzzwords are growing increasingly elusive.
As a growth hacker, every strategy you execute, every tool you implement and every technique you develop should be informed by your desire for growth. It might seem self-evident that the singular goal of growth hacking is growth, but the beauty of this, and what makes growth hacking such a valuable practice, is its flexibility. It doesn’t matter if you’re a one man startup or a multinational corporation; growth hacking doesn’t discriminate and anyone can leverage it.
Digital is a battleground on which marketers are fighting to achieve competitive advantage. There can be uncompromising targets, constraining budgets, limited resources and a surplus of competitors against a backdrop of advancing tools and platforms. A conventional approach to marketing is no longer enough. The only way to survive, is to adapt.
Growth hacking and digital marketing are intrinsically linked. The shared mentality behind both is an emphasis on experimentation, creativity and measurement in order to accomplish goals.
In startups, growth hacking is a discipline that can be cultivated within a marketing team. In larger organisations, there can be a separate, cross-function growth contingent. Either way, growth hacking and digital marketing are two very complementary specialisms; it’s no coincidence that a quick LinkedIn search generates a multitude of profiles whose titles include “Head of Growth and SEO”, or “VP of Growth and Analytics”.
Growth hacking and marketing share the same fundamental principles, and can even share the same metrics; increased engagement, increased conversion, increased retention. The key difference between the two is the scope of their goals.
A marketer could use engagement rate to analyse an overall goal of building brand awareness. A growth hacker, by comparison, could set a goal of increasing social sharing by 50%. To put it simply, marketing activities can have a broad focus that encompasses any part of the funnel, whereas growth hacking depends on setting highly defined, achievable goals in order to reach a specific, singular outcome… growth, in case it wasn’t obvious enough!
Implementing Growth Hacking in Your Team
Behind any effective growth hacking activity is a rigorous, structured process that’s rooted in iteration and scalability. Whether you’re a startup or large organisation, B2B or B2C, this process can be customised and incorporated into a successful growth strategy.
- Perfect Your Product: Analyse the needs and preferences of your target market and use this data to enhance your product. Growth hackers call this the “product-market fit”. It’s important to make sure your offering is as strong as possible before using it as a catalyst for growth.
- Set Measurable Goals: A growth hacker’s success lies in defining precise, actionable goals that will feed into the overall goal of growth. This will limit the temptation to broaden your focus and maximises the time you can spend on testing and refining your approach.
- Test Your Approach: Growth hacking is underpinned by creativity and experimentation. Testing is essential for gauging what will and won’t work for you. Keep your tests lean and simple and record the data so you can implement the best combinations to enhance your growth.
- Analyse Performance: Analytics are essential to staying on track with your goals. As you chart your progress, this data can also be used to adjust and adapt other areas of the process accordingly, from your product to your goals.
- Optimise: Whether this involves implementing an entirely new approach or refining a previous effort, there is value in the “learning-by-doing” concept. Success, like most things, will come with a little bit of patience and practice.
Email Marketing: Centralize Multi-Touch Engagement
While many digital marketing communication channels have emerged along with the evolution of automation tools, email is still perhaps the most critical point of engagement that supports marketing communication. Digital Marketers are equipped with an arsenal of prospect information, garnered through web forms, third-party lists, social media, conference registrations, and a variety of other channels. Email helps support overall multi-touch communications strategies, enabling digital marketers to deliver these targeted messages based on customer preference across different points in the buyer’s purchase process.
Email provides a platform for right time, relevant communication when used with behavioral triggers. It also provides the opportunity to serve up relevant content at the time when a buyer is engaged and likely to respond.
List management is critical to having visibility into inactivity so digital marketers can accurately measure and understand the effectiveness of email communication. Keep in mind, however, that your email sender reputation is a core component of your potential reach, and maintaining your deliverability score is key to ensuring continual reach and communication with contacts. Too many blocks, spam trap hits, and/or complaints from targets are just a few ways to get blacklisted, but it’s also important to maintain strategies for list management, frequency of sends, engagement metrics, and policy/security compliance.
As privacy protection and compliance becomes an increasingly critical consideration for digital marketers, email suppression has become a primary technique for high-volume email delivery. Additionally, it’s vital that digital marketers ensure the prevention of unwanted solicitations and senders to avoid landing on blacklists and irreparably damaging their brand’s online reputation.
The standard opens and clicks are one way to measure the impact of email marketing effectiveness, but marketing automation provides visual click through reporting so you can see which links within an email get the best response. This helps optimize the overall effectiveness of email communications. By knowing which email messages and offers are the most engaging, you can fine tune your trigger-based digital marketing campaigns and serve the right message.
Reactive Digital Marketing: Using Behavioral Insights
The seismic shift from face-to-face to online sales has hindered the ability to see and learn from body language when interacting with prospects. Today’s salespeople are engaging primarily — in many cases exclusively — online and are closely aligning their efforts with the key attributes found in online behavior. We call this Digital Body Language. By analyzing and understanding prospect online behavior — email responses, web page views, social engagement, and other core attributes — digital marketers have a wealth of insights to personally guide prospects through the buying process.
The notion of understanding buyers is no longer based on information that the sales team types into a sales force automation (SFA) system. It’s now based on information that’s gathered from all buyer interactions. As we learn more about buyers across all touch points such as events, webinars, social, and video, we gain a deeper understanding of their Digital Body Language and have many more predictive insights than from their SFA record.
When digital marketers can automate the digital marketing process taking into account a potential buyer’s Digital Body Language, they will be able to triumph over their biggest challenges:
- Increase revenue performance with qualified digital marketing leads.
- Align digital marketing to sales with process and system integration.
- Boost demand generation efficiency and effectiveness.
- Demonstrate digital marketing value and accountability.
- Establish a modern Digital Marketing system of record.
Social media sites are a hub for information gathering, primarily because the distribution of that information is through trusted networks and communities. As social media users, we review a constant flow of information from friends, family, and colleagues. This information passes the test because it’s trustworthy or particularly interesting. Social media has added another component to the buying process as a result.
Understanding buyer behavior on social media sites is critical. The information that buyers interact with comes with an additional layer of trust that other information does not, and thus is more likely to form a base of that buyer’s opinions about your company or services. Digital Marketing automation provides digital marketers with the ability to segment based on behavioral data and attributes.
What Social Media Says About Buyers
Understanding who is participating in social media conversations that concern your brand is an indicator of interest, and potentially, intent. If someone is polling your followers for information on your brand, it’s usually an indicator that they are involved in a buying decision. If sales can see when a hot prospect is sharing your content, they can get better insight into the topics and content that is important to that buyer. Social media offers visibility into key behavioral attributes, allowing digital marketers to leverage extended channels for lead generation and brand building. Social media enables digital marketing organizations to capture:
- Social profile and behavioral data on leads.
- Common attributes, connections, or sharing behaviors to support segmentation strategy.
- Relevant conversation monitoring to improve sharing tactics.
Database Digital Marketing: Maximize the Value of Your Data
Campaign success hinges on a variety of critical factors managed by both sales and digital marketing teams. A sound data management strategy is an integral component to ensure that organizations are aligning relevant and appropriate messaging with prospect expectations at every possible touch point.
The foundational element of successful digital marketing automation is your database. Good data quality enables relevant, real-time messaging. If you want to target based on demographic data, you need to ensure the data that you’re collecting is both accurate and up to date. Campaign effectiveness will suffer if you’re unable to target accurately as a result of bad data. Key prospect and customer data at the contact, demographic, social and company levels enables digital marketing organizations to provide relevant information at appropriate phases in the buy cycle. But often there is missing contact data, such as a job title, which can prevent quality leads from getting in front of sales. Even if quality leads get through, if sales reps can’t contact the prospects, then overall conversion rates will suffer.
It’s crucial to implement data management as the foundational component of any program. Digital Marketers cannot establish systems to optimize the visibility and insight that data provides if the information is decentralized and unaligned with other business processes. By implementing the right strategies to maintain accurate data, you can enhance campaign initiatives and provide relevant prospect and customer offers.
Beyond missing attributes, digital marketers also are challenged by the reality of data decay rates. SiriusDecisions estimates that B2B contacts become obsolete because of people changing jobs and companies at a rate of 2-3% per month, creating a constant stream of inaccurate contact data.
The data element is the single most important area for companies to understand. Yet at the executive level, it is often the least understood. Without clean data, digital marketers waste precious money and time. When data is accurate, open rates increase, conversion rates improve, and revenue increases.
To optimize the value of digital marketing automation and improve the performance of campaigns, digital marketers are realizing it is imperative to integrate their digital marketing automation platforms with their databases. With an integrated data process in place, digital marketers can improve key performance indicators (KPIs) in their campaigns, such as open and click through rates, as well as conversion rates from leads to opportunities.
Digital Marketing automation helps sales and digital marketing teams work collaboratively by integrating technologies central to data management, such as CRM. This connection bridges the gap and improves visibility into data detriments — or missing information — so digital marketers can standardize lists of values, normalize data, and ensure accuracy in future data collection sources. Focusing on data management and cleanliness is a powerful way to make a significant impact on the sales and digital marketing funnel by improving demand generation, as well as the quality of marketing and sales accepted leads (SALs).
Digital Marketing automation helps support effective data management so digital marketers can:
- Improve campaign targeting and segmentation.
- Align the efforts across the organization by demand generation, digital marketing, sales, etc.
- Reduce inaccurate or duplicate data within CRM systems.
- Improve campaign performance with better email marketing engagement results.
Targeting & Segmentation: Keep It Focused
Automated digital marketing campaigns can segment potential customers across a number of dimensions including demographics, activities, length of engagement and interests, among others — and they also can segment the message types. You can build a target audience based on information including title, geography, job function, visit frequency, or topic of interest. Targeting and segmentation are crucial for digital marketers looking to avoid batch and blast outreach methods. Targeting and segmentation also are crucial components of digital marketing automation technology.
Without automation technology, it is difficult to segment leads within a database, and even more challenging to send the most appropriate messages. When equipped with buyer profiles, digital marketers can leverage customer data within to build market segmentation strategies, understand where to focus digital marketing resources, and rank opportunities against their true potential. Detailed buyer profiles also are useful for developing content marketing, as they provide digital marketers with a better understanding of the types of content to send to potential buyers: information that is reflective of their phase in the buying processes.
Targeted and segmented prospect data is critical to assure that any company’s digital marketing messaging is relevant, appropriate, and aligned with prospect expectations at every possible touch point.
Trigger-Based Marketing: Offer Timely & Relevant Communication
Every marketer knows the importance of providing the right message at the appropriate time. Trigger-based digital marketing enables critical response to behavioral attributes and actions, such as an email click through or continually demonstrable interest in a particular asset or offering.
The key to executing trigger-based digital marketing is timing and relevance. By aligning the content and timing of email messages with behavior, digital marketers can optimize their points of engagement and encourage feedback via calls to action. Trigger-based email programs enable digital marketers to transform existing customer data into measurable rules that help execute on business objectives.
Digital Marketing automation supports content delivery based on interest, inquiry, and engagement. By providing tailored information specific to prospect or customer actions, you can more definitively provide value to assist and empower potential buyers. This dramatically helps reduce cycle times.
For instance, when an email recipient clicks on a link or call to action to learn more, predefined rules can be set to ensure that this particular prospect, who expressed topical interest, should receive a specific asset or information based on their behavior.
Effective engagement and communication is delivered at the right time, relevant to its recipient. With digital marketing automation, you can drive the initiatives and offers that resonate with prospects based on their behavior and indicated interests. By delivering information at critical moments in the decision-making process, you can cultivate a greater role in the discovery and engagement process.
Lead Management: Maximize Prospect Interest & Engagement
Lead management is the lynchpin of demand and revenue generation strategy. Digital Marketing automation technology enables digital marketers to implement a framework that outlines the process between digital marketing and sales for handling leads. Without a proper system in place to manage all your potential buyers across a high volume of channels (email, social, direct, etc.), it’s impossible to capitalize on their interest.
Industry benchmarks indicate that organizations leveraging a lead management system to maximize their digital marketing automation see a 416% increase in closed deals, according to SiriusDecisions. Moreover, IDC estimates that companies that implement lead management systems are enjoying a 10% increase in overall revenue.
While close collaboration between sales and digital marketing is necessary across all areas of the organization, it’s especially critical during the lead management phase, so that both teams are in sync regarding the criteria, attributes, and characteristics of different types of leads.
Although the general practice of lead management focuses primarily on the organization of data distributed across the various sales cycle stages, digital marketing automation technology enables digital marketers to streamline an otherwise manual and time-consuming task.
3 Steps to Establish a Qualification Process
- DEFINE each stage of the buying cycle (inquiry, digital marketing qualified lead, sales qualified lead, etc.).
- DETERMINE what criteria will be used to arrive at those definitions.
- CREATE a lead scoring model (for instance, start with the buyer’s role, function, or vertical).
Digital Marketing automation provides an efficient way to manage lead qualification, or the process of reviewing the criteria of each prospect /customer with the goal of moving that buyer to the next phase of the buying cycle. Most buyers initially will need to be nurtured, which means that they are not quite ready to buy. Digital Marketing automation provides tools to assess buyer fit and behavior, which then allows you to easily determine the attributes of a likely lead.
Lead Routing: Manage & Optimize Demand Generation
The immediate challenge of data collection is that there are so many sources of information, feeding into multiple data stores, that it gets really difficult to maintain a consistent process of data collection. With a thoughtful lead management system in place, you can optimize the effectiveness of their activities that ultimately decide the most appropriate course of action for each lead, or group of leads.
Lead routing is a critical step in this process because it helps categorize and prioritize leads based on a company’s criteria, and get leads where they need to go to keep digital marketing and sales initiatives going.
Digital Marketing automation helps automatically route digital marketing-qualified leads based on a score or rank, so sales can focus time and energy on leads that are ready to buy. This is critical in eliminating the lead- distribution bottleneck that occurs with manual processing.
Having a lead routing strategy in place is vital to the success of other core digital marketing automation components, which will be addressed in the following sections. Without a fundamental understanding of the avenue to sales success, it’s virtually impossible to provide value to leads and progress them through the buying cycle.
Digital Marketing automation helps digital marketing and sales teams avoid letting leads slip through the cracks and into the black hole of lost opportunities. By feeding leads into digital marketing automation, lead information is automatically captured and routed to your sales team based on geography, industry, product interest, or other assigned business rules to alleviate the lead management process. Whether you have a direct sales force, named account model, or a distributed channel and sales organization that require sophisticated routing capabilities, digital marketing automation helps ensure that leads are efficiently and correctly delivered to sales.
Lead Nurturing: Stay in Touch and Top of Mind
Nurture programs offer a unique opportunity to engage with prospects over time, on their terms and in a way that is manageable, understandable, and meaningful. Nurture programs are often great opportunities to develop relationships based on value and ongoing communication. Lead nurturing also enables digital marketers to cultivate leads that are not yet ready to buy.
The more information you have, the more success you’ll achieve creating buyer personas and defining need-based objectives. You’ll also gain a better understanding of the behavioral and consumption patterns of your target buyers. All of this knowledge can then be utilized to refine and optimize your ongoing nurturing processes.
Effective nurtures should take into account both buyer role and lead stage. By looking at these two elements, digital marketers can ensure they are having a relevant dialogue. You want to tailor your communications based on the audience you are talking to (role/persona) and where they are in the sales cycle (lead stage).
Nurtures also should consider buyer engagement. Successful lead nurturing keeps prospects engaged by providing relevant content, such as infographics or white papers, conducive to prospect needs, industry, role or other characteristics, as well as their phase in their discovery and purchase processes. Meaningful nurture offers are based on relevance and value, so it’s critical to think about the attributes most important to your prospective buyers and their surrounding business trends. You’re not nurturing if you keep blasting emails regardless of actual response (or lack thereof).
Nurturing can help establish loyalty and brand affinity long before a prospect is in the purchase phase, but by cultivating latent demand, companies can increase the conversion of unqualified leads to opportunities and drive more revenue.
Nurturing helps accelerate active opportunities by empowering prospective buyers with content that supports their research and discovery process. Therefore, it can be effective as part of a trigger alert program to help digital marketers track and correspond to prospect actions. Nurturing offers an innovative approach to managing different types of leads, based on interest or other profile attributes.
Lead Scoring: Identify Target Attributes
Lead scoring starts with sales and digital marketing aligned to define and establish agreed upon systems to identify where prospects are in the buying cycle. It’s crucial that this system is established in concert, as the two teams can exchange feedback on the quality of leads being passed to sales.
Scoring mechanisms enable digital marketers to identify ready-to-buy prospects, so that teams can allocate appropriate follow up initiatives. Quality data provides the foundation for a successful lead scoring process and for refining that process over time. Perhaps most importantly, lead scoring helps ensure the best leads are followed up on immediately by prioritizing leads according to revenue potential and buyer readiness.
Lead scoring uses common lead quality definitions, such as BANT (Budget, Authority, Need, and Timeline), as well as key qualification data including lead response, activity, and behavior.
By implementing a scoring system, digital marketers can effectively assess and qualify leads and better prioritize those with higher scores, as they are considered more likely to convert to closed revenue. They can be passed off to sales while other lead scores can be determined according to the timing of activity or inactivity. Unqualified or cold leads can be routed to lead nurturing programs until they become active again.
Digital Marketing automation platforms have automated lead scoring in place so that, for example, if a prospect is actively opening all communications sent by digital marketing, his or her lead score has the ability to rise. This person scores higher based on behavioral attributes and Digital Body Language. A higher lead score will be passed to the sales team much quicker to enhance the odds of closing the deal.
What is Progressive Profiling?
To understand prospects in a more holistic view, digital marketers typically leverage firmographic analysis and the market segmentation insights it yields to identify likely buyers. This traditional approach based on attributes like industry type, revenue, employee counts, and geography is still useful, yet it is no longer enough to give B2B digital marketers a thorough understanding of their target buyers.
Whether a company sources its prospects internally or purchases a digital marketing list based on this data, it still ends up with too many targets, making it virtually impossible to sort the suspects from the true prospects. Digital Marketing automation enables digital marketers to summarize this wealth of behavioral data — your prospect’s Digital Body Language — in different ways. For example, digital marketers can glean an understanding of a contact’s campaign history, program membership, and activity information. Digital Marketing automation provides an at-a-glance, visual summary of prospect activity for salespeople embedded within their CRM system.
By asking for less information up front, digital marketers can increase conversion rates and accelerate the funnel. However, you will then need a way to evaluate buyer fit if you are not collecting all the data they need up front and progressive profiling allows you to do that.
Sales Funnels (Digital Marketing in Sales Enablement): Address the Independent Buying Cycle
While many digital marketing initiatives are driven by buyer-centric strategies, it’s important to remember that smart modern Digital Marketing strategies are focused on sales enablement in addition to providing value to prospects and customers. Sales enablement — or sales readiness — is about helping your sales reps deliver the right content to the right person at the right time to cultivate a more active role in the mostly independent buying process.
Today’s buyers are engaging with sales later in the cycle than ever. They are self-educating by employing a variety of independent channels to garner peer feedback, relevant research, and case study examples of how to optimize their business. Prospective buyers are in many ways reinventing the sales cycle. SiriusDecisions estimates that the buyer’s journey is 70% complete by the time they contact a sales person.
This shift — which places buyers in control of the sales cycle — makes sales enablement that much more important for companies. Empowering sales requires a number of different tactical measurements and strategic insight.
Sales teams must be prepared to have strategic, problem solving, value-creating, and differentiated conversations, rather than traditional product, feature, or company-focused pitches. Taking cues from Digital Body Language, it’s become critical for sales professionals to understanding the nature of online selling. This puts a premium on content and creates new requirements for both sales and digital marketing organizations that must align in a seamless, joint selling effort.
Winning sales reps aren’t simply focused on closing deals. They know the value in providing the benefits of a true consultant, and helping simplify the decision-making process based on a clear understanding of buyer interest, needs, and behavior. When a prospect finally reaches out, sales reps are equipped with every available attribute about the buyer and can then be prepared to deliver value.
Sales needs to ensure they are providing the necessary tools and content to help buyers make a purchase decision. Digital Marketing automation provides the sales team with a library of tested content for every scenario. Sales reps can choose from digital marketing crafted emails for various scenarios and buyer stages — which lets them focus on selling rather than customizing email communications — and ensures the messages they are sending are optimized. It also allows them to track how buyers are responding to those messages because they are tracked by the system.
Business Intelligence: Drive Smart Digital Marketing
Digital Marketing and sales efforts are often only as effective as the data and intelligence feeding them. Because there is such an extensive network of information and details available about prospective buyers, digital marketers and sales teams must have systems in place to collect and analyze this data, and to act on it efficiently.
Equipped with rich reporting and intelligence about prospective buyers, digital marketers can refine their engagement strategy and provide content aligned to specific stages of the buying process that helps build trust and rapport with the buyer. Business intelligence helps digital marketing organizations to:
Business intelligence helps digital marketing organizations to:
- Inform Strategy: Optimized customer profiles enable digital marketing analysts to make better and faster strategic decisions. A sound segmentation analysis helps digital marketing analysts understand new market opportunities, identify common attributes, and create digital marketing strategies that maximize your reach and positioning as a thought leader.
- Streamline Sales: Richer profiles feed sales intelligence, such as prospect scoring, to help salespeople identify likely buyers. This provides a better understanding of what products customers are most likely to buy, and their time frame for making purchases. These become easy sales qualifiers, and they also can help sales teams develop product bundles or identify cross-sell and upsell opportunities.
Accountability across the organization has pressured digital marketers to implement systems for measurement to help demonstrate the impact initiatives have on generating qualified sales leads and revenue. It’s essential to have dashboards in place to understand data elements of each phase of the digital marketing and sales funnel from multiple systems.
Using insights from your shared digital marketing dashboards, you can drill down into the details to analyze behavior, actions, and effective tactics. You also can develop custom reports and charts based on your information needs and objectives. Digital Marketing automation provides visibility into key data including:
- Closed-loop campaign reporting to understand how digital marketing activities and campaigns are driving pipeline, revenue, and ROI.
- Campaign engagement reporting to analyze which channels and offers generate the most interest, engagement, and conversion.
- Website analytics reporting for insight into website demand generation performance, including who is on the site and how they convert.
- Database health reporting to help diagnose the health of the digital marketing database, including growth or shrinkage rates, activity rate of various segments, and record completion.
Digital Marketing automation integrates data from social media, email, websites, and sales pipeline from your CRM to close the loop and help you make more informed decisions that drive lead generation and engagement tactics. This also helps prevent the need to constantly re- create frequently used personalized emails throughout the sales process. This ensures that sales reps are using digital marketing-approved messaging, branding, and content. It’s critical to use metrics across all channels, so you can stay plugged into real-time insights, even on the go.
Digital Marketing Automation: Eliminate Silos and Engage Your Community
Bringing together the efforts of sales and digital marketing is an ongoing challenge, and digital marketing automation offers a platform to garner measurable and visible results to track the success of their campaigns, while improving the quality and flow of leads. Meanwhile sales executives can monitor prospect interest levels and — with higher quality leads from marketing— can close more deals.
Digital Marketing automation technology helps teams refine their strategies by connecting the efforts across both the art and science of digital marketing. Digital Marketers are streamlining campaign execution with the ability to better target, engage, convert, and analyze business in more meaningful ways, both qualitatively and quantitatively.
Digital Marketing automation functionalities help digital marketers improve campaign execution, testing, measurement, prospect profiling, and lead nurturing. Digital Marketing automation also provides visibility into critical analytics, so digital marketers are effectively acquiring new customers, driving revenue performance, and enhancing their most significant strengths to develop strong brands, build creative campaigns, and deliver compelling content.
Best Digital Marketing Tools
Customer.io: automate more timely emails
Customer.io lets you send targeted messages to your customers that you can craft based on how they interact with your business.
The best part about this tool is that it integrates with your mobile app or website so you can see data in real time and triggers actions by adding in predefined rules.
Basically, it makes personalized messages simple.
Other features include A/B testing, conversion tracking, customer profiles, and in-context conversations.
The cost is based on the size of your email list and total email credits.
For 200 people and 400 monthly email credits, Customer.io is free. At 5,000 people and 10,000 monthly email credits, the cost is $50 per month.
For 15,000 people and 30,000 monthly email credits, the tool is $120 per month.
At 500,000 people (look at you) and 1 million monthly email credits, it’s $1,250 per month.
But the capability doesn’t stop there. Other pricing levels are available as well.
Constant Contact: deliver powerful emails, simply, and easily
Constant Contact is an extremely useful email-marketing automation tool that has some unique features to take your marketing beyond just the basics.
It offers Facebook fan promotion, coupons and deals, and event management.
You can also edit emails with the tool, use an autoresponder, and more.
The cost for 0 to 500 contacts is $20 per month for just email marketing and $45 per month for access to all features.
For 501 to 2,500 contacts, email marketing is $45 per month. All features are $70 each month.
2,501 to 5,000 contacts costs $65 every month for email marketing and $95 per month for full-access to features.
Email marketing for 5,001 to 10,000 contacts is $95 per month, while all features for the same amount of customers is $125 per month.
HubSpot: generate leads, close deals, and manage your pipeline on auto-pilot
HubSpot is an inbound-marketing tool with the goal of turning outbound leads into inbound ones.
It’s perfect for content marketing.
Basic pricing is $200 a month for 100 contacts. Content creation tools, content optimization, email marketing, a social media suite, and a marketing analytics dashboard are all included.
Pro-pricing is $800 per month for 1,000 contacts and is the most popular option.
Everything included in basic exists in pro, plus marketing automation, goal-based nurturing, and custom workflows.
You also get Salesforce integration, smart content, attribution reporting, user roles, A/B testing for CTAs, and A/B testing for emails.
Enterprise pricing is $2,400 per month for 10,000 contacts.
Revenue reporting, custom-event reporting, custom-event automation triggers, predictive-lead scoring, contacts and company reporting, and event-based segmentation are included.
Pardot: Supercharge your marketing analytics automatically
Pardot, a Salesforce company, is a marketing automation suite perfect for boosting your revenue.
Amp up your engagement with CRM integration, email marketing, lead nurturing, lead scoring, and ROI reporting.
This tool is perfect for helping sales teams shorten sales cycles.
Standard pricing is $1,000 per month, and features include email marketing, in-depth prospect tracking, lead nurturing, and lead scoring and grading.
You also get ROI reporting, forms and landing pages, and standard CRM integration.
Pro pricing is $2,000 per month and includes all standard features plus advanced email analytics, email-rendering preview, and spam analysis.
Email and landing page A/B testing, advanced dynamic content, and Google AdWords integration are all included.
You also get API access, multiple scoring categories, an integrated marketing calendar, and social profiles.
Ultimate pricing is $3,000 per month and includes pro features as well as customer-user roles, custom-object integration, and API access for up to 100,000 calls per day.
It also includes a dedicated IP address and phone support.
AdRoll: automate your ad campaigns
With cross-device and cross-platform retargeting capabilities as well as flexible segmentation, you can provide customized experiences that dramatically improve marketing efficiency.
Key features include retargeting across devices and platforms, dynamic LiquidAds, flexible segmentation, transparent analytics, and expert optimization and conversion reporting.
AdRoll offers customized budgeting, full control over ad spend, a free 2-week trial, and no contracts or commitments.
Marketo: automatically nurture leads effectively
This marketing software lets you drive revenue with lead management, mobile marketing, and more.
Marketo is a cloud-based tool for companies large and small that not only helps build customer relationships but sustains them as well.
There are no set-up fees, and the tool comes with a free trial, so you don’t have to commit until you’re sure it’s right for you.
Their first product was “Lead Management” in 2006, but the company has grown tremendously since then and now offers a larger variety of features.
Dialog Tech: automate your inbound call analytics
Previously Ifbyphone, Dialog Tech is great for voice-based marketing automation, so that you can boost ROI with call automation and analytics.
You can optimize voice interactions with Dialog Tech’s tools by measuring your success and adjusting accordingly.
Features include keyword call-tracking, phone surveys, caller-profile data, reverse lookup, conversation analytics, in-call scoring, geolocation routing, voice broadcasts, SMS, and more.
Keyword call-tracking is a game changer for voice interactions.
Otherwise, you really have no way of tracking that kind of data over the phone yourself unless you’re manually recording calls and playing them back later.
And even then, you’d have to manually track how those customers reacted after hearing certain keywords.
Unfortunately, they don’t publish their pricing. So you’ll have to get in touch with them to get a quote.
Oracle Eloqua: deliver personalized campaigns across multiple channels
The company was launched in 1999 with the goal of boosting lead generation.
Now, the tool has grown into an effective personalization device across various channels like email, video, and mobile.
Oracle Eloqua will give you all of the lead-management tools you need and segment your audience in specific ways to get them to buy.
Plus, you can track reports and insights into a buyer’s journey with just a few clicks.
Basic pricing for less than 10,000 contacts is $2,000 each month, while the standard plan is $4,000 every month. Contact their sales department for information about enterprise pricing.
Bizible: track your marketing interactions across all channels
You can maximize AdWords ROI and use multichannel tracking to get a full picture of both sales and marketing metrics.
Big features include keyword-level metrics for AdWords as well as metrics for campaigns and ad content, UTM parameters, detailed lead history, custom reports, and integrations.
According to NGData.com, the cost is $500 per month for one AdWords account, $1,000 per month for up to 5 AdWords accounts, and $2,000 per month for unlimited AdWords accounts.
Act-On: nurture your inbound and outbound leads
With this tool, you can take your revenue to the next level.
The company was founded in 2008 and first sold software through Cisco exclusively.
The professional package starts out at $900 per month for 2,500 active contacts, 3 marketing users, and 50 users in sales. You’ll get 30,000 API calls-per-day.
Enterprise pricing is $2,000 per month for 2,500 active contacts, 6 marketing users, and 100 sales users. You’ll also get 30,000 API calls-per-day with this feature.
LeadSquared: automate the customer journey
LeadSquared, founded in 2012, helps small and medium companies align their marketing and sales efforts.
Capture leads from inbound email, online campaigns, phone calls, your website, chat, and more with this tool.
LeadSquared offers a free trial, and pricing for automation plans start out at $200 for the basic package (5,000 contacts).
The cost is $600 for the standard one (25,000 contacts), and $1,800 for the enterprise package (100,000 contacts).
Bremy: automate your marketing materials
Bremy will let you configure a customized digital package of email newsletters, database publishing, video proofing, and more.
Key features include streamlined video proofing with multi-user collaboration, advanced digital-asset management, and streamlined publication creation and modification.
Bremy also offers custom-targeted email campaigns and populated templates.
You’ll have to get in touch with Solution Dynamics for Bremy pricing since these details are only available upon request.
Infusionsoft: get CRM, sales, and marketing tools automated together
And don’t we all?
If you’re a small business owner or blogger, this tool is perfect for you.
Infusionsoft makes it simple to create a new sales or marketing strategy and execute it so that you can capture and close sales more quickly.
Save time by automating repetitive tasks like follow-ups, billing, contact management, and payments.
Pricing starts at $99 for 500 contacts and 2,500 emails per month.
The Essentials Package is $199 per month for 12,500 emails each month.
The Complete Package is $299 per month for 50,000 emails per month.
Genoo: grow, engage, and acquire customers
Capture lead forms, profile customers, and create new landing pages to drive results fast.
Key features include a centralized lead database with unlimited leads, landing page design, CMS, lead activity tracking, SEO analysis, and more.
The Standard package is $199/month for 3 users and 5 lead capture forms, and the Premium package is $599/month for 10 users and unlimited lead capture forms.
The Elite package is $1,495/month for 50 users and unlimited lead capture forms.
Salesfusion: attract, capture, and streamline leads
Salesfusion is another tool that helps B2B companies link sales and marketing more closely together.
The truth is, 70% of the buying cycle is complete before the customer ever contacts sales.
Salesfusion helps businesses build revenue funnels by creating custom digital conversations that marketing and sales representatives can use to convert customers.
The tools help your team say the right thing to the right leads at the right time.
Pricing depends on the number of contacts you want but begins at $700 per month for 5,000 contacts.
BuzzPortal: automate customer engagement
And it isn’t just for digital. BuzzPortal works for email and social as well as voice, fax, and more.
Key features include a link-tracking tool, list manager, landing-page builder, online surveys, an autoresponder, and an event manager.
You’ll need to contact BuzzPortal for a price quote.
iContact: segment and automate customer experiences
Integrate landing pages, email marketing, social media management, and analytics together to outsmart your competition and reach more contacts.
Plus, you’ll have access to strategic advisors who can help you “optimize your sending strategy and inbox delivery for maximum conversions.”
This is the tool for you if you’re looking to grow your business and become notable in your industry.
Pricing depends on your number of contacts, but you can easily use their price slider to pick your list size.
iContact is a minimum of $14 per month for 500 contacts for the basic Email Marketing package, and $99 per month for 500 contacts for the Pro Automation package.
You can also choose to be billed annually, instead.
The Pro Automation package includes features not available with the basic Email Marketing package, such as:
- Triggered Messages
- Landing Pages
- Engagement Tracking
- Behavioral Targeting
- Social Monitoring
- Funnel Reports
- Custom Objects
- Zapier Integration
BuzzBuilder Pro: automate cold email campaigns
BuzzBuilder Pro is useful for entrepreneurs, sales teams, and marketers. Find prospects, generate leads, and nurture them more easily.
Key features include advanced email-marketing automation, a website form builder, tracking and analytics, lead nurturing, scoring and ranking, social media marketing, and hot-lead alerts.
Pricing starts out at $250 per month for one user and 2,500 contacts and increases up to $1,500 per month for 25 users and 50,000 contacts.
Net-Results: create automated marketing workflows
Their goal is to help you save time while allowing you to better uncover and nurture leads so that your revenue will grow quickly.
Features include an email builder, form builder, landing-page builder, campaign builder, and A/B-test builder. Nurture leads, automate workflows, and more.
Pricing ranges from less than 10,000 contacts for $960 per month to up to 500,000 contacts for $6,000 per month.
GreenRope: streamline and simplify marketing automation
GreenRope is “the ultimate dashboard for your business.”
This tool is useful for completing marketing automation and CRM all in one place.
Manage operations, sales, and marketing all from one dashboard that will help you visualize your performance and make key business decisions.
Features include interaction tracking, event and project management, calendar booking, SMS marketing, surveys, video tracking, and predictive analysis.
You can also trigger automation, lead scoring, analysis, prediction, and engagement.
Here is a pricing breakdown:
- Starter: $149/month for 1,000 contacts
- Prime: $199/month for 3,000 contacts
- Pro: $249/month for 5,000 contacts
- Premium: $299/month for 7,500 contacts
- Powerhouse: $349/month for 10,000 contacts
- Supreme: $449/month for 25,000 contacts
- Ultimate: $699/month for 50,000 contacts
MailChimp: deliver automated email campaigns
This tool is perfect for contacting prospects or customers who are vital to your success. If you need an effective email tool, this is one you should definitely check out.
Features include email-marketing automation, personalized emails, automated welcome emails, behavioral targeting, engagement monitoring, and more.
With this tool, you can trigger emails based on actions like sign-up date and website activity.
The cost is free for up to 2,000 contacts, and upwards of $425 or more per month depending on your total number of subscribers.
Gliffy: automate your marketing processes
Create organizational charts, high-quality flowcharts, UML diagrams, network diagrams, technical drawings, wireframes, and more with Gliffy.
It works in your web browser to help you visualize workflows and boost marketing productivity.
And, it can help your whole team do the same.
Key features include workflow organization, an intuitive interface, collaboration with anyone with access to a web browser, and more.
The best part? This tool is free!
Jumplead: use inbound marketing automation
Jumplead turns website visitors into leads and then nurtures them until they become paying customers.
Jumplead is a go-to source for everything from lead tracking to CRM, analytics, and automation.
Features include lead tracking, CRM, behavior-triggered actions, email marketing, landing pages, and analytics.
The cost is free for 200 visitors and goes up from there. The pro package is $199 per month for 20,000 visitors.
DataForSEO: add fresh data to your marketing campaign
- Rank tracking API
- SERP API
- Keywords data API
- Competitor API
- OnPage API
- Keyword finder API