Your Grandma versus Twitter. Marketing automation versus Customer Lifecycle Marketing. There is a gap in understanding with your grandmother and social media, and I believe the same exists in the world of marketing technology. I have found that most people that I speak with are unsure of the differences (if they can identify any) between marketing automation and CLM. Before I dive into the technical differences, I have a bit of an analogy that should paint a clearer picture of the general perception.
Have you ever tried to explain social media to your grandma/grandpa? It seems that at least a handful of grandparents know enough to be dangerous regarding Facebook, but what about Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest? After my attempts at sharing about “Tweets, retweets, favorites, and followers,” the conversation typically ends with grandma stating, “Well, that’s nice, but it seems a lot like Facebook, right?” This is how too many people view Customer Lifecycle Marketing when compared to marketing automation, and I hope that through this post, you can begin to gain a deeper understanding of the differences between these two technologies.
Let’s get down to it: What makes lifecycle marketing automation different from marketing automation? What makes one a better candidate than the other for an organization? Can lifecycle marketing work for B2C companies? What about B2B2C? How about higher education? These are questions we hear frequently by organizations of all sizes, varying verticals and with different business models. So here it is, the truth about lifecycle marketing automation.
First and foremost, lifecycle marketing automation is based on the concept of lifecycle marketing. Lifecycle marketing focuses on engaged relationships instead of the more traditional marketing approach based on connections. In the past, marketing was conducted to a database of contacts merely because they were contacts an organization was connected to (with a phone number, street address or email). Instead of the “batch and blast” approach marketers used in the past, lifecycle marketing focuses on the individual or organization and their journey with your brand. Where a person is in their journey or lifecycle dictates how the contact or company is communicated to, by whom, and how often.
Take the concept of lifecycle marketing and build it into a marketing automation platform, and you have lifecycle marketing automation.
Marketing Automation on Steroids
Marketing automation is a marketing and sales solution that takes email marketing, marketing campaigns, lead nurturing and reporting to the next level. According to Focus Research, marketing automation has seen the fastest growth of any CRM-related segment in the last 5 years. Additionally, Show Me Leads reported there are over 110 vendors in the marketing automation space. Needless to say, there are a lot of solutions to consider!
Marketing automation platforms can score leads based on how they engage with campaigns or content. Scoring can also be based on demographics or lead attributes such as business size, title, revenue and location. These scores can build highly desirable stack-ranked lists of prospective customers for sales teams to contact. Take marketing automation to the next level and not only do sales teams have leads ranked upon on engagement and profile scores but also their lifecycle stage. Profile and engagement scoring can’t always give you information about the relationship a person or business has with your brand. With lifecycle marketing, sales and marketing teams alike have visibility into contacts’ engagement with the brand, relevant profile attributes and where they are in their journey with the company.
Is Lifecycle Marketing Automation worth considering?
Here are some statements to consider when evaluating marketing automation solutions to help determine whether or not lifecycle marketing automation could be a good fit for your organization.
- Your sales process takes weeks or even months from beginning to end.
- You want to send different messages to different contacts based upon profile attributes, level of engagement and/or lifecycle stage.
- You want to measure the ROI of marketing efforts based upon engagement and moving contacts through your brand’s lifecycle instead of open and click-through rates.
- Your marketing team has access to lead and customer data but either doesn’t know what to do with it or doesn’t have the time/capability to use it effectively.
- You have multiple, disparate data sets that different teams are trying to make sense of in a siloed, disjointed effort
Interested in learning more? Want to proceed past your grandma’s understanding of Twitter versus Facebook? Download our eBook, Lifecycle Marketing 101, for more information.