Marketing automation for SMEs? Shooting at sparrows with cannons?
The use of a marketing automation tool has now become a real relief for many companies in the course of the increasing and diverse tasks in marketing. This is also reflected in the study by the Wuerzburg-Schweinfurt University of Applied Sciences on the deployment and use of marketing automation in German companies, because 45% of those surveyed use marketing automation and 30% are planning to use it. Areas of application are primarily e-mail marketing – an area with a high degree of automation – as well as social media and other online marketing channels. The benefits of consistent use are evident throughout the company, as PROMATIS can confirm. As a highly decorated Oracle Partner, the medium-sized company is very familiar with one of the top marketing automation tools and has been using it intensively for years. Eloqua, the B2B marketing suite from Oracle, was implemented back in 2016. Together with the CRM tool Oracle Sales Cloud, an integrated marketing and sales solution was designed from the outset, with the focus being and remaining on the customer or prospective customer. The criticism that was frequently voiced at the beginning of this project – that a complex and universal tool such as Eloqua was oversized for a medium-sized company – proved to be purely pessimistic. The opposite was true, as the tool supports, facilitates and automates many marketing tasks within the PROMATIS Group.
But let's take a step back. The marketing department of the PROMATIS Group is responsible for all marketing-oriented tasks of all companies belonging to the Group in Germany, Austria, Croatia, Switzerland and the USA. This means that localization alone in terms of language, legal requirements and spelling, etc. means an enormous effort for a target group-oriented approach. The industry-independent orientation of PROMATIS also increases complexity, as each industry follows its own habits and needs to be addressed accordingly. The central unit for a systematic approach is data management in the CRM system with all relevant and necessary information. A specially designed interface between the Sales Cloud and Eloqua ensures that the information is always up to date, so that the necessary information is prepared for sales and available with stored additional information, and marketing can make selections for target group-specific campaigns at any time with regard to the interests, regions or functions of the addressees.
The fact that this structure, which was conceived years ago and played a pioneering role in the world of marketing automation, is an asset for PROMATIS is demonstrated by its intensive use. Complex multi-stage campaigns in different regions can be carried out at the touch of a button. This includes target group segmentation with individually definable criteria, multilingual personalized letters including integrated links, for example to landing pages, which in turn track the interactions and send the relevant information to the site visitors, as well as the automated sending of responses. The entire process, which was systematically modeled in advance, runs in a time-controlled manner and documents the individual steps directly in the system. All information, including the entire content of the campaign, is stored in the CRM system and is promptly available to the sales department for further activities.
Up-to-date evaluations that can be called up directly from the system are an indicator of the impact of a campaign and an important building block for marketing planning. For instance, the bounce rate – the delivery rate of the e-mail – provides information on data quality and results in a to-do list for the sales department to optimize this process if necessary. Click rates provide information about the attractiveness of the content and show which topics are top or flop, which marketing must work on intensively in the follow-up.
Another essential advantage of systematic use is compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Necessary data is systematically stored and can be retrieved at any time, requirements regarding data security and minimization are defined in technical organizational measures (TOM) and are validly implemented in order to comply with the strict requirements of the GDPR.
These features alone have now become indispensable for marketing and sales, as they minimize the time and effort spent on routine tasks, freeing up space for an even more targeted and personalized customer experience.
The fact that Eloqua can do much more can be seen in other areas of its application, such as intelligent lead nurturing. KPIs, which are defined jointly by marketing and sales, are stored in Eloqua and are re-evaluated after each campaign. Hot Potentials can thus be identified and processed in a more targeted approach. Other features, such as the integration of social media portals like LinkedIn or the use of AI, are interesting possibilities that are currently being analyzed and tested for optimal use at PROMATIS.
For PROMATIS, the use of a marketing automation tool is a real, measurable benefit. The expectations of a marketing automation tool listed in surveys, such as increasing productivity and reducing time expenditure, have long been reality at PROMATIS. The 360-degree view of the customer/prospect facilitates a targeted approach and qualified lead nurturing can show trends regarding what products or services should be made available through which channel and at which time. The introduction of a marketing automation tool – long before the hype around it started – shows once again: PROMATIS is a trendsetter of digital business processes with the hallmark of high efficiency!
Author: Sabine Rudolf
Image: © putilich / istockphoto.com