This post was originally published on Business 2 Community.
According to an online survey of 1,000 US marketers, 76 percent of us believe that marketing has changed more in the last two years than in the past fifty. And while the profession is shape shifting, marketers are having trouble proving their value to everyone. Nearly 80 percent of CEOs don’t trust marketers, while 91 percent do trust CIOs and CFOs. Why the disparity? Why do CEOs trust CFOs and not marketers? It all ties back to the ever-evolving digital landscape and the value placed on a relentless focus on analytics and ROI.
The position of a CFO is inherently numbers driven, while traditionally, marketing was considered a more creative career. Marketers need to evolve with the virtual progression. So what’s the key to earning the trust of higher up executives and the prospects on your lead list?
What juicing is to health nuts, marketing automation is to marketers—trendy, popular and a little controversial. And though I don’t know if juicing is here to stay, I know marketing automation is. The trick is to use marketing automation in a way that does not feel ‘spammy’ or creepy, but rather to add value, prove relevancy and build a rapport with recipients.
Research by Gleanster has proven that top performing companies are nearly four times more likely to adopt a marketing automation strategy, which is no surprise, as it can drive down cost of acquisition (CAC) and help close the loop on reporting analytics. This helps marketers prove their value to the higher ups.
Because nurtured leads produce, on average, a 20% increase in sales opportunities versus non-nurtured leads, your sales team will spend less time calling (and calling) unqualified prospects. Businesses that use marketing automation to nurture prospects experience a 451 percent increase in qualified leads, and we all know how difficult it can be to create a well-groomed list of adequate leads. The trick (well, calculated hard work) is that the marketing team needs to nurture these leads before passing them onto sales to see results.
Nurturing leads through marketing automation doesn’t mean bombarding everyone in your database with promotional product emails—almost no one likes that. Sending relevant, interesting information that recipients want to open and engage with is now one of the primary jobs of someone in marketing. All marketers need to be writers and content creators. After sending out useful content, it is essential to reflect on the numbers to see what worked, what engaged your audience and identify how you can do better. Track your progress somewhere, ideally in your CRM or automation platform, to see the metrics of your content performance, as well as tracking conversion rates and revenue numbers.
Using marketing automation to prove out your value in clear metrics will provide marketers with evidence to prove their worth. Deliverables need to be clearly measured and identifiable.
There’s more perspective on this topic in this case study, put out when we first implemented our own marketing automation system.