As the consuming public starts demanding more information about the products and services that they purchase, marketing automation software becomes a necessary tool for marketers in every industry.
This software allows practitioners the ability to communicate to a large and diverse group of prospects over a specific amount of time. However, the “automation” part of marketing automation can sometimes lead to list fatigue and message saturation.
The combination of this powerful software and a “hungry” sales team can churn through even a large database fairly quickly. So the question becomes how do you ensure that marketing automation software is adding names to your database instead of depleting it?
In this blog post, we’ll unpack some of the practical and actionable ways to safeguard your marketing database.
The Problem of Database Fatigue
All organizations, regardless of industry or market size are dealing with a database of leads and prospects. The typical marketing team is putting together campaigns, premium content and email messages to communicate with this pool of potential customers.
In addition to all the great efforts that the marketing team is putting forth, the sales team is also making efforts to communicate with these prospects on a daily basis. Typical sales teams are making calls, sending emails and visiting with prospects at trade shows and conferences throughout the year. This plethora of marketing and sales “touches” can quickly overload and overwhelm potential customers.
These tactics, if not closely monitored, can lead to database fatigue, opt-outs, and message saturation. When these negative outcomes transpire, it can be difficult for organizations to re-engage these prospects even when they’re ready to make a purchase decision.
Combatting Database Fatigue
The issue of database fatigue is a real problem that must be reversed if marketing teams want their message to be heard and consumed by their buyer personas. Smart marketing and sales teams are working closely to monitor both the frequency and type of messaging that prospects are receiving. Here are some practical and actionable steps that organizations can take to make sure that their prospects continue to stay engaged with their product and service messages throughout the purchase lifecycle:
1. Monitor Frequency
The frequency of your marketing and sales communication must be closely overseen. There’s no magical number of days or weeks that need to pass between touches.
Rather, marketing and sales should be creating their own communication frequency benchmarks based on internal trends and best practices within their industry. This communication frequency “tight-rope” must balance the priorities of keeping the organization top of mind, while not annoying and overwhelming the prospects with information.
2. Monitor Engagement
In addition to monitoring the frequency of marketing communication, committed marketers are also checking prospect engagement levels. Things like are emails being opened, is content being downloaded and are prospects watching the videos that have been produced?
By monitoring engagement levels, marketers and salespeople can keep a finger on the pulse of whether the messages are resonating with potential buyers. If engagement levels are high, this is a good indication that your message is resonating, and your communication frequency is timely.
3. Creating Recycling Programs
Closely-knit sales and marketing teams are constantly passing leads back and forth. Even the most productive and competent sales teams will have a significant number of leads that do not convert to customers.
Astute sales managers are turning these leads back over to the marketing team for continued nurturing. Additionally, they are providing the marketing team detailed information on why the prospects didn’t convert to a customer.
Marketing teams are then taking this information and creating lead recycling programs. These recycling programs have marketing messages, campaigns and premium content that speaks specifically to these prospect’s concerns. The end result is highly relevant and pertinent content that keeps prospects engaged even after an initial lost sale.
Build the Top of the Funnel
Finally, the marketing database should never be a static element. If marketing teams aren’t constantly adding names to the top of the funnel the result will be database depletion, regardless of how large the initial prospect list is.
Rather, both marketing and sales should be constantly adding leads to the top of the funnel. These leads should be coming in through a variety of different tactics and channels like search engines or email marketing (such as HubSpot, Marketo or Pardot).
A well functioning marketing and sales funnel will have new leads constantly entering the top. Then marketing automation and sales efforts will mechanically move these leads down through the stages of the funnel. Once the leads have traversed down through the funnel, they either convert to customers or get recycled. A dynamic set of strategies and tactics will make sure that the marketing database does not stagnate and deplete, but instead just cyclically repeats.
Marketing automation software is an extremely powerful tool that can help teams of all sizes foster personalized and highly relevant conversations with thousands of people simultaneously. However, it is important for marketers to constantly monitor important benchmarks like how many touches a prospect has received, what the prospect’s engagement levels are and what tactics are in place to continually fill the top of the funnel.
By closely tracking these metrics organizations can be assured that sales and marketing will be closely aligned, the funnel won’t get depleted, and most importantly, prospects will be engaged with your messaging at every stage in the sales funnel. If you work to implement processes and procedures to ensure your marketing database never depletes, you’ll be amazed at the effect this has on your sales numbers and bottom line!
*OpenView does not promote any specific marketing automation software.