Why it may pay to outsource your marketing automation for lead nurturing.
Much has been made of the promise of marketing automation technology to enable a modern marketing miracle – automating complex lead nurturing campaigns that will:
- market to an unlimited number of prospects
- tailor your marketing communications to give buyers the information and offers they want, exactly when and where they want them
- track buyer responses to help you gauge their sales readiness
- provide granular reporting to help you fine-tune your lead nurturing campaigns
- leverage lead nurturing to gain buyer trust, leading to purchases
Over the past decade, we’ve witnessed an explosion in the marketing automation platform market. Early players like Marketo, Pardot and Eloqua now lead the market at the enterprise level, while plenty of new upstarts jockey for position among small and medium-sized business customers.
As marketing companies themselves, marketing automation providers have done a superb job of educating the market about the benefits of automating lead nurturing. And the benefits are very real. Customers prefer to be nurtured – with timely, relevant offers of useful content and offers, instead of mass advertising and old fashioned sales calls. Customers are consuming content in more ways than ever – TV and internet, desktop and mobile devices, SMS, email, social media and more.
The challenge is to be able to scale delivering the right content at all times to an unlimited number of prospects, across a plethora of channels. Thanks to marketing automation, this is very doable today.
A promise unfulfilled.
Marketing automation enables you to market at an unprecedented scale right from your laptop. But, managing your marketing automation platform is anything but automatic. In fact, it can be so laborious and complex that many companies that try to do it eventually end up throwing in the towel, reverting to simple email campaigns and manual lead tracking again.
Marketing automation providers of course would have you believe that automating your lead nurturing with marketing automation is easy. Just install their platform, set up some workflows, then sit back and watch the qualified leads roll in.
The reality is different. Marketing automation platforms are feature-rich by design. So they require complex user interfaces to access all of those features. As a result, learning the interface can take weeks.
Then there is the process of lead nurturing. Lead nurturing is a discipline unto itself, within the broader discipline of marketing. Whole courses can be taught about it. One does not learn lead nurturing in just a day, a week, or even a month.
Once a marketing staff person or team have gone through the process of learning how to conduct lead nurturing campaigns and to enable them with the marketing automation tool they’ve purchased, the next steps are designing the campaigns, building the workflows, and creating the communications (emails, web pages, social posts, SMS, etc.) for the campaign. These steps can take weeks or months for each campaign.
What many companies find is that their existing marketing teams don’t have the expertise and/or the bandwidth to implement lead nurturing with marketing automation. Yet the majority of companies believe that lead nurturing and marketing automation are necessary for their success. What to do then?
The Outsourcing Model to the rescue.
While the benefits of lead nurturing and marketing automation are undeniable, the time and expense required to implement in house can be prohibitive. A new breed of agency has emerged to meet this challenge however: the lead nurturing agency. This type of service provider, equipped with a marketing automation platform and staffed with lead nurturing and marketing automation experts, can help you design, build and launch your campaigns within just days, manage the day-to-day administration of your campaigns, and provide you with real-time campaign ROI reporting.
Because these agencies service a volume of clients, they can conduct your campaigns for you at a fraction of the time and cost your company would incur trying to do it in house. This frees your marketing team to focus purely on content and offers, with all of the automation heavy lifting offloaded to the agency.
ZUZA is also a lead nurturing automation service provider (visit ZUZA Campaigns). We’ve authored a white paper which describes in greater detail the effort involved in using marketing automation to run lead nurturing campaigns. This paper can help you make an informed decision about whether to invest in marketing automation or outsource to an lead nurturing agency. Please click here to download this white paper.
Here’s to the Marketing Champion in all of us. See you in the next post.
(From your Carlsbad printing company, ZUZA.)