5 Minute MadTech – Sales Automation and Marketing Automation: Part 3

Where have you been? Thanks to the internet,  you can catch up on Part 1 and Part 2 here.

What allows Sales Automation (SA) and Marketing Automation (MA) to be on an upward trajectory? Tech, baby. As we move into the automated future, the friction of MA/SA implementation should be first to go. The star of the show, ladies and gentle-bots: Artificial Intelligence.  

Waves of Innovation

Gartner has represented the constant growth of SA through different “waves”:

  • “Wave 1: Client-server and desktop based sales systems”
  • “Wave 2: Web 2.0 and API-based sales systems”
  • “Wave 3: Algorithmic SA with predictive analytics and AI”

Waves 1 and 2 were gnarly, but we’re on the front end of the big kahuna – #3. Tech is simplifying the sales process by automating – and thereby accelerating – communication between sales and marketing departments. Knowledge Tree states, “Automated analytics about the performance of content can be automatically shuttled back to marketing so they can see which content performs and which doesn’t. The result is that teams can invest in assists that win and eliminate low-performers.”

Box checked for automation – but what about AI? CRMs are the biggest intersection of sales and marketing departments. According to Medium, “AI applications in CRM is just a tip of the iceberg. As AI technology strengthens, CRM which is ripe for disruption is going to be the biggest beneficiary moving from being a system of records to a really helpful tool helping organizations become more efficient and productive.”

As long as the machines don’t rise up against us, the future is looking much smoother.

MA, FTW

The Huffington Post quoted a Gleanster study which, “…reports that 90% of respondents report regular and periodic use of Marketing Automation for large-volume email campaigns.” The article continues to explain that MA, “has revolutionized the way organizations are managing their time and targets.” Now the best possible prospects are given time to convert, saving time, energy, and money.

Data integrations and predictive analysis will be the main focus for MA growth, via AI integration.

The Huffington Post continues, “The most valuable use of AI in marketing is to enable personalized conversations with customers, knowing their goals, ambitions and profiles. This type of personalized communication eliminates spam, which often plagues marketing today.” Digital natives know when they’re being spammed, unwillingly part of  chain emails, etc., and the lack of personalization is an instant red flag. In spite of this, in recent years many have concluded that mass emailing works… but does it? This answer isn’t so black and white.

Personalized one-on-one conversations can now move beyond simple list segmentations. “…Visitors can expect to have a unique conversation with the brand, based on their specific needs. Dynamic ad copy, one-to-one emails, customized website and mobile experience, AI will make hyper-personalization possible at scale.

AI may allow MA to practice safe marketing. Rather than communicating with promiscuity, the personalized approach that AI has introduced will reach mass audiences creating interactions that are aligned with actual individuals, rather than more vague segments.

Wrapping It Up…

AI has expanded well-beyond sitting on your kitchen counter (ordering your paper towels and surreptitiously shilling for Burger King.) It’s being implemented across MadTech, and SA/MA are no exception. If only we could get it to open the pod bay doors.

5 Minute MadTech — Sales Automation and Marketing Automation: Part 2

Now that we’ve washed SA/MA’s laundry, let’s start putting it away.

The goal: Achieving harmony and interoperability between SA and MA to drive (and optimize) customer acquisition. In our 5 Minute MadTech series on Account Based Marketing, we explained the importance of lead generation quality over quantity, i.e., that it’s better to fish with a spear than a net. SA and MA leverage this idea by removing labor-intensive tedium from the process. It’s a complex ecosystem, though. Which is more important for your goals? How do you achieve the right balance?

The critical factors: Complexity and Transactional Volume.

Sales Automaton vs. Marketing Automation explains which tech should take the lead  based on these two factors. Here’s our breakdown of that explanation:

  1. Low Complexity, Low Transactional Volume
    If your business has a short sales cycle with a low sales volume, SA may not be the most important tool to consider. Simply put, “The effort of tracking every opportunity is more work that it may be worth.”  Higher importance: MA
  2. Low Complexity, High Transactional Volume
    “Marketing Automation is critical for the non-complex sale, where the speed and volume of transactions are the core of the business.” MA assists in identifying and nurturing prospects until the final sale can be executed, with lower costs per customer acquisition. Higher importance: MA
  3. High Complexity, Low Volume of Transactions
    It’s extremely important to implement SA. “There are multiple stages and meetings to a new client acquisition, and you want to be managing the information around each.” Higher importance: SA
  4. High Complexity, High Volume of Transactions
    “In this environment you need [MA] to attract and nurture a high volume of prospects through the initial buying process.” This allows the sales team to manage the pipeline with SA to depict who’s extremely close to the purchase decision point. SA & MA get equal weighting

According to The Huffington Post the digital marketplace “…has set a fast pace to lead conversion, and businesses have no time to lose on customers that may not convert at all. Sifting through leads consumes time and energy that can be utilized more effectively.”  How are MA and SA evolving their tech to achieve even more value from automation?

In our next 5 Minute MadTech, we’ll dig into recent MA/SA tech innovations in measurement and analytics, and uncover how artificial intelligence may be the next big thing in the category. Are the robots getting their own, smarter robot overlords?

Email Marketing is Hot, Again?

Email, the oldest form of modern outreach, is newly relevant as a tool of marketing communication. Truth is, it’s never really gone away, and new technological tie-ins make it more effective. At our recent breakfast event, experts discussed what makes for the best email marketing campaigns, and the automation tools that make it better.Cassie Lancellotti-Young

One of our guests, Cassie Lancellotti-Young, EVP Customer Success at Sailthru, told us why it works, the best new practices, and challenges she faces. Here are excerpts of our (email) exchange, lightly edited for clarity and space.

I.I.: Email seems “hot” again? Why?

Yes, definitely. It’s still the most effective channel to hit a consumer, and open rates are on the rise with proliferation of mobile devices and what Forrester calls the “always addressable” customer. People have been talking about the “death of email” for nearly a decade, but it has not come to fruition, and good marketers are getting smarter about targeting with personalization, predictive analytics, etc. There’s definitely been a number of new channels in the mix, but all are a complement to the email program.

Have you got some hard metrics?

More than two thirds of U.S. adults are “always addressable.” They own more than one device and are on the internet more

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