Marketing automation helps companies make use of data deluge
Marketers juggled with a number of problems in 2013, including creating top-quality blogs, white papers and info-graphics and producing enough content. However, many companies still struggle to make actionable use of customer data in their marketing campaigns. According to Strong View’s “2014 Marketing Trends Survey,” marketers are collecting more customer data than ever before, but they experience more problems accessing and leveraging this information in their campaigns. Especially when it comes to client engagement, companies are struggling to manage data.
For B2B marketers that need prospect information to run successful email marketing campaigns, data management presents significant challenges. More than half of respondents to the survey said they plan to increase their budgets for email marketing in 2014, but without an online marketing system to manage information, they may not see the desired return on investment.
Customer data will be more important for marketing in 2014
In the short term, the most effective marketing techniques will be based on the understanding of the lead’s context at a particular time, StrongView said. This will be especially significant for B2B marketing because companies need to know where leads are in the sales funnel so they can send appropriate communications. To do this, marketers are going to need to learn how to use data in their initiatives.
One of the top priorities for marketing in 2014 is creating higher levels of customer engagement. Email marketing and search engine optimization are still the most important channels, although social media is growing in significance. One of the primary interests marketers reported was automated email programs that could boost a client’s lifetime value.
According to an infographic from Monetate, common challenges with data are a lack of personalized communications, uncertainty of what to do with data, not having the right technology platforms and the inability to link information back to an individual prospect. Many organizations are capturing customer information, but they aren’t sure what to do with it once they have it stored in a database. In addition to not running the most effective campaigns possible, you could be wasting your budget on data collection if you don’t put the information to use.
How to use prospects’ information more effectively
Data needs to be kept in one place, and you need to have a complete portrait of customers. In many cases, this may mean you aren’t using the right tools to sort and manage your database. Customer relationship management programs can help the marketing and sales teams make the best use of client information, especially when they are linked to other applications, like marketing automation. Data needs to be shared across both of these teams so marketers can create effective materials and sales representatives can close a higher percentage of their deals.
In general, marketing is going to become more data-driven in the near future. B2B organizations that don’t start using key information to design more effective campaigns could be placing themselves at a disadvantage. You need to make sure you are collecting relevant data and understand how you are going to use it in campaigns. For example, personalized emails can drive higher rates of customer engagement.
Marketing automation can help you cope with the deluge of customer data and use this information to create more relevant, targeted marketing efforts. Especially with the continued importance of email marketing for B2B, an automated platform with analytics tools can give marketers a better idea of which content is performing well and what needs to be adjusted. Analyzing key lead information can help you gain a more complete understanding of the customer journey, which can improve marketing efforts.