Marketing Automation

The Business of Intelligence and Marketing Automation

I used to love Google Analytics because I could see how many people were visiting my site or my clients’ sites, and where they were coming from.  When I learned about the power of Marketing Automation (MA), it was like turning on a light in a dark room. The business intelligence that MA generates is incredible. Business intelligence (BI) – is defined (at least by Wikipedia) as the set of techniques and tools for the transformation of raw data into meaningful and useful information for business analysis purposes. We have found that the use of MA (we partner with SharpSpring) in our day-to-day interactions with current and prospective clients has created an enormous amount of business intelligence. For the sake of this discussion, when we refer to BI, we will be talking about website activity and sales efforts.

BI is critical to ANY organization.  At Lighthouse, our current clients’ needs come first, but we want to keep new clients coming in, which requires an intentional sales effort.  That means prospecting, qualifying, calling, following up, presenting, quoting, landing an account and then maintaining it.  Referrals are great, and we get a lot of them, but there is nothing like good old fashioned sales calls – by phone, email, direct mail or personal visit – and you have to track ALL of that activity.

Calling on unqualified leads is neither effective nor profitable. For many small to medium-sized businesses, they simply don’t have the time or the know-how to provide qualified leads to their sales team.  This is where Marketing Automation (MA) can help by using tools to create the intelligence to separate the qualified leads from the scrap heap, and make your sales team much more efficient and happy (ever been around a sales person in the middle of a sales drought? Not fun.)

Let’s say you have 1,000 leads – and they are not current clients.  The MA tool that we use, Sharpspring, has a Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) built into it’s program that allows you to create profiles for each of those 1,000 leads.  All we need is their name, the organization name that they work for, and their email address.  The more information we can add to that profile though, phone number, address, etc., the better.

Marketing automation has the ability to track every move they make when it comes to interaction with your company. Web visits, email threads, forms submitted, calls made, links clicked – all of these interactions are logged into what we call the “Life of the Lead” and SCORED. This is where it gets good. MA creates Business Intelligence by assigning a score to each interaction; completeness of profile, for every interaction both on the web and through email, for the TYPE of lead that they are (more on that in a subsequent post.)

This is all done behind the scenes and continuously.  At any one time, you can see a snapshot of your lead list and see who has the highest scores.  These are your qualified leads.  We also give these leads a decay rate – we subtract points for inactivity, creating an even larger gap between those qualified, warm leads, and those that are not qualified.  You can also see in real time, when your clients have visited your site, what pages they have gone through and how long they were on there.  Every morning, you get a summary of the previous day’s activity, and you can also set your sales team as owners of different leads, and have them notified via text or email if one of those leads reaches a milestone of activity.

There are many reasons to incorporate Marketing Automation into your sales and marketing strategy, but the ability to create Business Intelligence and automatically qualify leads should be reason enough!

For more information on how Lighthouse can help you set up a Marketing Automation program powered by SharpSpring, give us a call, or fill out the contact form here (which is connected to SharpSpring – so don’t be surprised to get an email from us thanking you for your time!)