Yes, it’s a question – I can’t be doing all the work here.
As it is difficult for this to be a live two-way conversation, perhaps you would leave me a comment below and I’ll respond to them, or collate them into a future blog.
In the meantime, I will use a list of questions that a recent customer sent through to us who was looking at Marketing Automation.
What is marketing automation?
We asked this customer if they needed Inbound Marketing or Marketing Automation because if you need more leads then you should be considering an Inbound Marketing strategy. Whereas if you have plenty of leads and are concerned that you are not nurturing those that aren’t ready to buy, and need lead scoring to see which ones are ready to buy, then you need Marketing Automation.
What is sales automation?
It turns out that this customer had seen the Virtual Sales Presentation and wanted to understand that better. However, sales automation is also available through Marketing Automation platforms like Infusionsoft and HubSpot.
HubSpot also enables Sales People to map out processes or Sales Sequences as they are termed, to automatically carry out a series of actions. Typically this would be for a lead nurturing cycle of automated emails (with personalisation tokens).
How popular is marketing automation in the technical B2B marketplace (from the manufacturer’s perspective)?
The short answer is “very popular once you recognise the savings in time and resources that come from automation, and the fact that you will convert more of your leads to sales".
HubSpot has many users across the globe and many case studies. If you’d like to find other businesses just like your who use it you can find them here.
Similarly there are dozens of Infusionsoft B2B customers but Infusionsoft does seem to have more B2C focused customers.
What range of marketing automation solutions are available: in terms of budget, minimum contract term, functionality, connectivity with CRM?
This is a good question and one that I wrote a recent blog on. Each has their own minimum contract terms, usually a year. I would say that if you are considering using Marketing Automation then a “let’s give this a bash for three months” approach will not pay dividends for you.
Some platforms like SharpSpring allow you to do this, but our recommendation is that you do this properly, spend some serious time developing your buyer personas, get some help building a Inbound Marketing strategy, and use a proper Ninja expert when it comes to automating processes.
How does the new EU email directive (GDPR) affect a UK company wishing to send emails to prospective, historical and current clients?
As always, our advice here is to play “with a straight bat”. If you don’t have explicit permission to send marketing emails to contacts, then simply don’t do it. It will affect your email deliverability.
There is only one grey area with existing customers where you could email them once to ask if you can have their permission to send further marketing emails. Some will drop out, but the remainder will be a fully opted in list of people.
How can I ‘sell’ it to my M.D. who will be questioning the need for such a system and its associated cost?
I’m glad you asked that because I have been thinking about that recently and have put together a blog post all about selling Marketing Automation to your boss.
Do you have any clients using this in a similar industry to us, and can you show us an example of what kind of thing they are using?
As it happens we do have several other clients in this same industry, as this customer. But client confidentiality means that we can’t share what any of them are doing with marketing automation or content marketing beyond our published case studies.
We can always demonstrate what Intergage is doing with Marketing Automation and share our journey of on-boarding with HubSpot, of course, through a demo.
Undoubtedly, everyone looking at Marketing Automation will have their own questions, based on their understanding and needs for their businesses.
Hopefully you have overlapping questions about marketing automation to this customer. If you have any extra questions – just leave them here in the comments.
If you'd like to know more about Marketing Automation, and what inbound marketing is download our free e-book now.