When it comes to nurturing leads with marketing automation tools like Marketo, Eloqua, SilverPop, etc make sure you don’t fall prey to widespread - and avoidable - mistakes!
In short, there are two false assumptions to watch out for:
Assuming that having marketing automation tools means nurture marketing won’t involve much manual work.
Assuming that nurture content strategy should be centralized by HQ.
Because, here’s the spoiler, nurture marketing takes a lot of manual work despite ‘automation’ tools, and regional tailoring is a must for success.
As a Marketo Certified Expert (MCE), I regularly see companies use marketing platforms to plan and implement nurture campaigns. I’ve seen first-hand how the two assumptions above can seriously undermine the value and effectiveness of lead nurturing programs.
Marketing automation tools are just that. They’re technological programs that help us to better execute plans. This guy (Greg) even have suggested we drop the “automation” from marketing automation tools. Which isn’t the worst idea.
To be effective, all marketing tools require skillful human thinking and analysis that comes from a marketer’s “hard experience.”
Greg’s recognizes the “the long term potential in building out a strategy for moving leads through the buyer's journey, ultimately turning them into revenue for your company (and recognizing a positive ROI on your investment in the technology).”
He argues that “the technology is just a tool [emphasis mine], and it is nothing if we don't have a map to follow (buyer journey), motor to propel us (technology), a guide (Sales Rep/Customer Success) to keep us out of trouble”.
These are great points.
When it comes to regional differences, business leaders know that developed markets have different business revenue models than developing markets. Thus, leaders implement differing sales strategies for different regions.
However, when it comes to marketing and content, many of these same leaders hold their worldwide content strategy overly centralized at global HQ, instead of allowing for regional tailoring.
Just like sales strategies, it often not best for every market to share the same content strategy, based on local differences, such as market maturity, or development levels in specific areas.
Companies may cling to a centralized content strategy across markets for a variety of resourcing and talent reasons. But strides must be made. The need to tailor content for nurture programs based on local nuances is increasingly critical as sales and marketing continue to become valuably intertwined. Both sale and content strategies must be regionally savvy.
So what can you do?
Prioritize “manual” strategy work to create a solid campaign foundation, before actual implementation of automated nurture programs. To prep, conduct deep research into who you will talk to and what they want to know. Then, create a nurture strategy and focus on the audience you want to communicate with. Optimize your strategy throughout the nurture process to increase engagement and conversion
Provide useful feedback to HQ on each market’s content nuances and push for leeway to build local content strategies for local markets. Provide brand and product awareness insights about your local market. Provide research on local target audience personas and how they differ from global standards. And provide how your local market’s sales model differs from the rest of the world and what it might mean for local content strategy.
Don't be shy to take action for control of your own nurture campaigns, and be sure that you lay the strategic foundations that will enable you to take the best advantage of the marketing “automation” tools you have access to.
Post authored by Match Song, Marketing Campaign Manager, Greater China at DWA.
Match Song is a DWA Marketo Certified Expert (MCE) and campaign manager in Greater China, where she helps Chinese marketers plan and execute nurture strategies, using the latest marketing technologies. Feel free to contact Match on LinkedIn to discuss more best practices when it comes to marketing automation.