Successful companies know that marketing automation is key to improving lead management and running successful campaigns. In fact, eMarketer reports that marketers proactive in leveraging marketing automation were “three times more likely than laggards to report achieving competitive advantage in customer engagement/loyalty and almost three times more likely to have increased revenues.”
Benefits like this have enticed more companies to adopt marketing automation. At the same time, technology changes so quickly that it can be hard for businesses to stay up-to-speed on the latest features and keep their competitive edge.
I see this all the time in my role as a lead consultant. As soon as a company has their marketing automation system up, running, and humming, new capabilities open up new possibilities and they feel behind. While all the growth in marketing automation is exciting, it can at times feel exhausting.
So how can teams using Salesforce Marketing Cloud keep pace with changes and maximize ROI on their marketing automation investment?
At Torrent Consulting, we use annual Salesforce Health Checks to assess a business’s Salesforce use and determine whether it’s operating to its fullest potential.
Signs You Need a Marketing Cloud Health Check
Marketing automation plays a critical role in a businesses success - it’s a key strategy to generating leads, improving customer engagement, and driving sales revenue. So how can you tell that you’re making the most of Marketing Cloud? Here are a few tried-and-true signs that it’s time to take a closer look at how well your marketing automation is scaling with your business needs.
- You’re not seeing the results you’d like from your content creation efforts. When you first embarked on the big wide world of content creation and promotion you saw big returns. Leads started coming in faster and better than before, but after some truly awesome progress came a plateau. While it’s typical to experience a large spike and then level off, this may also be a sign that it’s time to re-evaluate your content approach for fresh opportunities and levers that will keep you capturing clicks and eyeballs. This may include revisiting landing page and form performance or considering different targeting and channels that will help capture leads your content isn’t currently converting.
- You’re having trouble prioritizing which leads should be sent to Sales for follow-up. Qualifying leads is one of the most challenging aspects of mastering marketing automation. If it’s hard to prioritize which leads are ready for Sales, then refining lead scoring or grading is an opportunity to get to know your prospects better, improve your understanding of the content that convinces and converts, and improve the quality of leads sent to Sales. Pairing Pardot with Marketing Cloud can be beneficial for many companies who are looking to improve their pipeline.
- You have leads that aren’t ready to buy yet and are falling through the cracks. Creating and identifying qualified leads tends to take the lion’s share of attention and effort from Marketing, and with good reason. At the same time, leads that aren’t quite Sales-ready run the risk of getting picked up by competitors if they aren’t continually nurtured and reminded to keep your company top-of-mind.
- Your Sales team has underwent recent changes such as reorganization, new leadership, or multiple new team members. It might seem like a really positive move: new leadership, a growing team, better organization! And it likely is. But when Sales experiences change, Marketing must adapt. The link between Marketing and Sales is so tight that changes almost always present a need for marketing automation tweaks or optimizations. For example, if the Sales structure changes so reps are organized by region instead of product specialization, then Marketing needs to rethink the way it segments and funnels leads. Similarly, if Sales experiences a growth spirt and doubles the size of its Mid-Market team, then Marketing may need to consider how to target and generate more Mid-Market leads to keep fueling Sales success.
What To Expect in a Marketing Cloud Health Check
Like any Health Check, we seek to understand your current state, identify any gaps and opportunities, and lay out simple solutions that work within the realistic constraints of your Marketing team. This process includes four phases to find the most critical improvements that help maximize your investment.
Ask questions and conduct joint reviews to understand your Marketing Cloud goals and key processes.
- What metrics are being used to measure success?
- What is org usage like, including studios and features used?
- What are current business processes for using the platform?
- What touch points are being leveraged and which are not?
- How is Marketing supporting each of the Customer Lifecycle stages?
- Where are there gaps in the Customer Lifecycle and why?
Document and/or revisit system usage, applications, and configuration settings along with key findings and specific solutions.
- Map out marketing processes and features at each stage of the Customer LifeCycle.
- Determine what people, process, and platform solutions are available to fill existing gaps and opportunities. (Be especially careful of the common trap to first look at more technology as the solution - often times improvements don’t require more investment, just ingenuity!)
Prioritize improvement areas and new features.
- Outline Marketing goals and objectives, as well as current progress against each.
- Identify realistic constraints such as time, budget, and available resources.
- Consider identified solutions against Marketing goals, objectives, and constraints to determine most critical areas of impact.
Develop strategic plan and timeline to address improvement areas and meet key Marketing goals.
- Outline a cadence and key dates to implement the top priority solutions.
- Assign an owner to each of the improvements and give that person responsibility and accountability to see it through.
- Plan on quarterly check-ins to track progress of performance and improvements.
When to Conduct a Marketing Cloud Health Check
At the risk of sounding cliche, the best time is now. According to Gartner Research, customers will manage 85% of their relationships without talking to a human by the year 2020. Ensuring your marketing automation is fully optimized to your business needs and the rapidly evolving technology capabilities will help you keep pace, outwit the competition, and succeed with customers as their behaviors and expectations change.
You’ve got Salesforce Marketing Cloud, now keep it tuned up and working at peak performance. And to learn how to get the most out of your Salesforce investment, download our free eBook: