The congress started with some professionals explaining the benefits of having a marketing automation system in place. Pretty abstract stories how beautiful life could be having everything under control from a marketing perspective. Being able to register all prospect interactions, being able to score leads based on behavior, nurture them to finally hand over to sales. Sounds quite awesome huh. It is but before you get there prepare yourself for some intense months or maybe even years. At Exact Cloud Solutions for almost a year we are busy with executing our plans. Now we realize marketing automation is not just a project, it is an art that has a major impact on the marketing organisation.Now we realize marketing automation is not just a project, it is an art that has a major impact on the marketing organisation. It affects people, the way we are organised and our systems. So during this congress it was time to reveal the bare truth about marketing automation.
From the start we wanted to create a real time integration between Eloqua and our own Exact Online CRM system. Part of every Exact Online Accounting subscription for free. Since both are cloud solutions means that integration by an API (Application Program Interface) is the most common method. This was a huge effort, to have a technical integration vice versa. Making sure that database structures are aligned in such a way that chances on double records are minimized. Looking afterwards it would have been much more wiser to just start building flows and have a manual integration. It is such a complex challenge where we created too many dependency on having this finalized.
Content still is king
Celebrating the integration in both ways between Eloqua and Exact Online CRM we started to build our first flows. During several exercises with the team we realized that the amount of content that we had to create was enormous. It already starts with a piece of valuable content that you want to offer. Relevant to your target audience to engage with them so they start to create a connection by leaving parts of their contact details. And we have quite some cloud solutions for Entrepreneurs, Bookkeepers, Manufacturers, Accountants, Wholesalers and Professional Services which totals up the 6 pieces of content you need as a start. With every step in the lead nurturing process the number if content pieces increases dramatically. This is where the customer journey starts so it needs to resonate and seduce. If you manage to you want to follow up with an email that makes sense. You really have to think about what to write and what to offer. Another piece of valuable content. A whitepaper, a nice infographic or an animation. With every step in the lead nurturing process the number if content pieces increases dramatically. A moment we realized we needed more resources to create and coordinate the production process. I think the most underestimated part of marketing automation in general. This is what content marketing is about, creating cool mind blowing content that people just want to have and share.
Mindset & organisation
Than you need the people, professionals from various marketing disciplines to make it really happen. This is a main challenge, adopting new methodologies and collaborate for a completely new approach. Many things at the same time so you really need some dedicated marketing talents for it. Content creator, database specialists, marketing automation specialists, communication specialists etc. And above all, sales needs to see the value of it. Its the most important stakeholder. And above all, sales needs to see the value of it. Its the most important stakeholder.If they don’t believe in such an approach, than marketing can nurture and score, of a low number or bad quality leads come out of the system it is useless for them. Hand over leads in such a way sales is able to follow up in the most efficient way.
But if we manage to we have the greatest marketing machine in place of the industry. Registering a huge volume of prospect and customer contacts in a structured way, knowing where we spend every marketing euro and measure which activities finally lead to a subscription. This is champions league marketing, applying the latest technologies, insights and experiences in this machine. Are we finished than? No, not at all and we will never be. New media channels will arise, new networks will appear but also existing networks will disappear. Lots of dynamics that makes our profession complex but utmost challenging.