Automation, Technology and Living the Four-Hour Marketing Dream

Written by: Danielle Stitt

Ten thousand marketing fanatics, 246 sessions, three days. It’s Hubspot’s Inbound 2015 conference and I’m in Boston to drink the marketing Kool-Aid. With keynote speakers including Seth Godin and Brené Brown, high on my agenda is zeroing in on best practice marketing automation for financial services. It’s all about choosing the right tools and technology to do the work for you.

For those who missed the Tim Ferriss classic, ‘The 4 Hour Work Week’ (now celebrating its 10th anniversary), then it’s time to catch up. It showed us how working smarter, not harder, was the path to finding time to do the things you love. And right alongside Ferriss, offering mentorship and support for the concept all the way, was Hubspot’s keynote speaker, bestselling author and all round revolutionary thinker, Seth Godin.

Hearing from Seth will be a highlight of the Conference, and we’ll be reporting in more detail following his session and of course, keeping you abreast via Twitter during. Follow us at BlueChip_Comm to get real time insight.

Which brings us back to marketing automation and living the four hour marketing dream. For financial services marketers it can deliver more sales-ready leads so you can do less to earn more and meet (or exceed!) those revenue targets.

Automation works

Hubspot’s Demand Generation Benchmark’s Report found “companies exceeding their revenue goals generate significantly more website visits, leads, MQLs (marketing qualified leads), sales opportunities, and customers than those that don’t. Attracting the right type of traffic to your website and generating the right type of leads is important, as is nurturing those leads to become MQLs, opportunities, and eventually customers”.

The rise and rise of search

So why am I so fired up about marketing automation and how can you use it to be the financial services marketing rock star?

Search has changed how customers find, engage and make decisions about the companies from which they choose to buy. In the typical B2B path to purchase, potential customers are already 78% through their decision making before reaching out . This makes them hungry for information during their research phase, hence the rise of content marketing as a powerful tool.

So we create useful content, exchange their email for our content and we’re done. The sales team can give them a call, right? Wrong.

Scaling up

Just 27% of B2B leads are sales ready when they first divulge their contact details (Marketing Sherpa). It’s like meeting a hot potential date at a bar and immediately inviting them home to meet Mum and Dad. It’s jarring to go from one download to fielding sales materials or calls, just as it would be crazy to go from flirting over a cocktail to question time with the parents. We all need time to develop a relationship.

Marketing automation allows you to nurture your potential ‘dates’ at scale, to build those relationships in a way that makes sense to your prospects. You’re looking to deliver the right information at the right time. And from a business perspective, you want to nurture your leads from initial suspect to purchase-ready prospect. The best part, and Godin would love this, is that once you’ve set up your automation rules, you can sit back and watch the leads qualify themselves!

Here’s where to start your journey as the four-hour marketer:

1. Dynamic content

Initially keep it simple by tailoring your messaging around your content to your customer segments. For example, if your whitepaper is useful to both financial advisers and SMSF trustees, customise the call to action for a whitepaper download by speaking directly to the two segments in your targeted communications (think different emails and different content download landing pages for each segment). This alone can increase click through rates by 62% according to Mailchimp .

2. Drip campaigns

Once you’ve captured an email, don’t stop the conversation. Simpler to set up than the full nurture campaign (see next point), drip campaigns are a series of pre-written emails that provide your prospects with further relevant information, introduce them to your organisation and educate them about their topic of interest (a.k.a. building your organisation’s reputation in the prospect’s mind as the expert).

These emails are pre-scheduled and must be sent in a timely manner. Ideally, you want to include a test for the prospect that alerts you to their sales readiness (and your marketing automation platform should have a lead scoring feature that’s well suited for this purpose). This test could be a special introductory offer or pricing sheet download that demonstrates they’ve moved from research towards purchase intent (who downloads pricing unless they’re pretty ready to buy?!).

3. Nurture campaigns

While the drip campaign is more ‘one size fits all’, your nurture campaign allows for different prospects’ paths to purchase. Nurture campaigns take longer to map out and set up. They will pull dynamic information from your database and segment your prospects based on how they interact with your communications. Your automation software will send them in different directions based on their interests for a very personalised (yet automated) experience. Nice! Oh, and at a lower cost per lead . Double nice!

This is the high level and there’s much more to discuss and learn. Thus I’ll be front and centre in the Hubspot conference sessions and will report back on how we can all become the automation guru (and maybe even get a selfie with Godin!).