How do you know when your marketing efforts are working and how well they’re performing? Unless your analytics can show you precisely how your marketing campaigns translate into revenue, you aren’t getting the whole story. With marketing automation and its number-crunching capabilities, you get a top-down view of some key performance indicators that only big data can reveal.
How your content performs at the top of your marketing funnel is a challenge for conventional marketing methods to assess. Leads who are just venturing into your marketing funnel aren’t always easy to spot on their first visit, but a marketing automation system that uses anonymous browser cookies to note IP addresses can give your marketing team a good idea of how persuasive your first impressions are. By tracking and measuring top-of-funnel conversions, you can also spot nascent trends in your prospects’ interest, see potential new markets, and draw clearer lines between prospects’ behavior and desired results. For example, if you know people downloading a particular white paper have a high conversion rate, you can prioritize that information on your website and deliver more content like it to boost early lead gen rates.
It isn’t enough to know how many people are visiting your site; you now need to know more about what that traffic means. Who is your audience? What are they looking for? Why are people visiting this page and not that one? Are your prospects signing up for newsletters, joining email lists, and otherwise sending you signals that they’re eager to learn more? The data your marketing automation system collects at every point along the marketing pipeline tells you and your marketing team volumes about your audience, letting you develop clearer audience segmentation that in turn leads to better customization, a proven sales builder.
When you don’t know how close your leads are to the end of your sales funnel, you don’t know when to hand them off to the sales department. Lead scoring is cumulative, and a marketing automation system uses big data to derive these scores. Over time, the system becomes increasingly efficient at assigning accurate lead scores because data analysis tells your marketing team which signals of sales readiness are strongest. By watching behavioral and contextual data and combining it with demographic and firmographic information, your marketing automation system can build a picture of leads so accurate that you can often predict when a particular prospect is going to make a purchase even before he or she calls your sales department.
Lead generation is vital, but customer retention’s another important piece of the overall revenue puzzle. Customers will tell you what they think in surveys and polls, but sometimes they vote with their feet. A system that tracks behavioral data and puts it into a larger context is an invaluable tool for measuring customer satisfaction in ways that surveys alone may not tell you. Collected data can also give your sales team cues about who might be ready for up-selling or cross-selling and who might be ready to leave soon without customer support.
Looking back at a sale and what led to it gives your marketing automation system a wealth of information about future sales. When you know precisely what’s producing sales – and just as important, what isn’t performing as it should – you’re able to repeat your successes and avoid making the same errors twice.
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