Can Marketing Automation Provide ROI for Industrial Marketers?

marketing_automaton_for_industrialStay with me on this short blog post. There is big payoff at the end for your industrial marketing strategy.

Marketing automation for industrial comes with a healthy dose of skepticism. John Wanamaker, considered the “pioneer in marketing”, long ago said, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don’t know which half.” It is not surprising industrial marketers’ are skeptical of marketing automation and its benefits. They want sales.  They want ROI. They want it now.

First, there is ample evidence on the web that industrial marketers using marketing automation CAN achieve reasonable ROIs.

  • For B2B lead generation, marketers that have bought into marketing automation increased their sales-pipeline by 10%  (The Forrester Wave, Lead-to-Revenue Management Platform Vendors, Q1 2014)
  • Companies that automate lead management see a 10% or greater increase in 6-9 months (Gartner Research)
  • Using marketing automation, nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads (Annuitias Group)
  • Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales ready leads at 33% lower cost. (Forrester Research)
  • Businesses that have adapted marketing automation to nurture prospects experience a 451% increase in qualified leads. (Annuitias Group)
  • ETC.

If you would like to dig deep, there are tons of materials and research about B2B marketing automation. As you can see from the stats above, much of the data comes from independent research, sometimes very expensive to get.  Admittedly, many of the free resources are from marketing automation vendors.  But, on the whole, I have found the data from marketing automation vendors fairly accurate.

For example, the ROI report from HubSpot mimics the numbers I see in my own HubSpot dashboard.

There are several ROI calculators from marketing automation vendors.  Again, the ones I have tried are amazingly accurate because the data the vendors use in the calculations are from their large data samples (HubSpot samples from 14,000 customers) and their own users who actually use marketing automation for the benefit of lead generation. In other words, they are motivated users and they do a good job of squeezing the benefits out of the software.

Sounds great, right?  You say, “Let’s get this marketing project cookin’ “

But…hold on to your, hard-earned, dollars before your take a bite of this elephant. I want to give you the highs and the lows of marketing automation for industrial.

First, the THE LOWS:

If you going to achieve significant ROI from marketing automation you must first immerse yourself in the content marketing, inbound marketing, marketing automation, culture. It is almost a lifestyle thing.  Some call it a movement.

Read books, talk to others in industrial marketing, go to seminars, go to Google and type in “marketing automation for industrial marketers”.  As my dear ol’ Dad used to say, “Son, knowledge is power.”

Knock yourself out.

Now, you are ready to execute and build your team of content marketing and marketing automation experts. Like any new business initiative, getting the right people on the “bus” is the key to success.

(Learn from one of the most successful marketers in the world, Mike Volpe, and how he built one of the most successful marketing efforts ever)

Now you are ready to follow through on the 5 steps to industrial marketing success, built on a marketing automation platform.

Sounds like a lot of work, right?  Sounds like it will take some culture change, right?  Sounds like it will take some time, right?

You bet.

My point is this, there is overwhelming evidence that marketing automation CAN provide a significant ROI.

It is a damn hard work.  NOW THE HIGH.

Nevertheless, all the hard word is well worth it…especially for the industrial sector.  As I said in my opening sentence, there is a healthy dose of skepticism. Most of your industrial competitors have not even heard of marketing automation and are years away from implementation.

Remember, the best thing about the new rules is that your competitors probably don’t know about them yet”- David Meerman Scott, bestselling author of The New Rules of Sales & Service

Further, because of the low content saturation for the industrial market, industrial marketers that emerge themselves into the marketing automation culture can have quick wins and great ROIs.  And, your ROI will continue to accrue as you competitors’ lag behind and your content continues live on the web and produce traffic, leads and sales.

And that…my marketing friends…is the best opportunity for ROI for industrial marketers using marketing automation.