Evaluating Marketing Automation Software? See Why You Might Consider Predictive First

March 6, 2014 by Jamie Grenney

Some interesting research came out recently from softwareadvice.com analyzing what drives organizations to purchase marketing automation systems. Their key findings included:

  • Improved lead management was the #1 reason for evaluating marketing automation
  • Lead nurturing topped the list of desired capabilities
  • 91% of buyers were evaluating marketing automation for the first time
  • 48% were currently managing marketing activities in their CRM application

Top Reasons for Evaluating Marketing Automation Software

Marketing Automation

This got me thinking, is marketing automation really what these companies need? If you’re looking to improve lead management, chances are you’ve got one of two challenges…

  • You’ve got too many leads — And yes, even small companies have this challenge. You might be buying lists or experimenting with new tactics, so you need to know which leads are worth investing in.
  • You think you might have good leads sitting in nurture — It’s natural for sales to have a recency bias. When a new lead comes in, they’ll work it for a couple days, and then flip it to archived. Over time you’ve probably built up lots of these archived leads, so you need a programmatic way to re-engage them.

Now don’t get me wrong, I think marketing automation is important plumbing that every company needs eventually, but I’d argue that if you suffer from one or both of these challenges, it might be better to start with predictive lead scoring first.

The reason being is that predictive lead scoring is less risky, offers a faster time-to-value (more on this in a future post), and makes a bigger impact to the bottom line. Why not get a quick win and then come back to marketing automation as a phase two?

Predictive vs. MA

Now if you’re one of the 9% of companies that already has marketing automation platform in place, terrific. The activity data you’re able to collect may be helpful in scoring leads, especially as your prospects get deeper into the funnel and you use your marketing automation system to design personalized journeys for them. If you’re able to accurately predict the value of a prospect on first touch, it makes these automation tools infinitely more powerful.

Marketo - Workflow

Guide to Predictive Lead Scoring

Jamie Grenney

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VP of Marketing at Infer • formerly VP of Social at Salesforce • live in San Francisco • grew up in both St. Louis & Colorado • wife Theresa • son Holbrook

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