This blog was written before Pardot was renamed to Marketing Cloud Account Engagement. You can read more about the name change and what it means here.
Proving return on marketing investment is the biggest focus of any good marketer. For too long, marketing has been labelled as the cost centre of a business, while sales reap the praise and rewards for bringing in customers. When we successfully demonstrate ROI though, with hard data and not a hypothesis, assumptions, or correlations between marketing activity and sales results, we marketers prove our value. B2B marketing automation is the ultimate way to do this.
The reason I’m so confident?
With sophisticated B2B marketing automation software, we finally have full visibility of our prospects as individuals.
Where typical monitoring software like Google Analytics shows us the behaviour and conversion rates of groups of prospects, anonymously entered as cookies, software like Pardot reveals a mass of information about each and every person that converts on our website. This gives us their exact digital touchpoints and behaviours on an individual level.
Yes, it’s kind of stalker scary but immensely powerful in terms of building buyer personas, profiling audience segments, improving our marketing strategy and having a harmonious relationship with the sales team.
How B2B marketing automation software helps prove ROI
Disparate automation software such as Hootsuite, ActiveCampaign, MailChimp, and the thousands of others in the market, go some way towards providing the full picture of a prospect in our database.
Yet these are siloed and only tell us how each person in our database is engaging with single channels i.e. our emails or social media channels, not both and certainly not with the full picture of how this marries up to what each person then does on our website.
In short, B2B marketing automation software is holistic and allows us to see the precise journey each person within our CRM took throughout their purchase process.
Let me give you a hypothetical example.
With Pardot marketing automation, let’s say we know that John, a Managing Director from a well-known brand based in London, first found our website via our LinkedIn Company Page, specifically from a post shared by the marketing team.
During this website session, John downloaded a valuable piece of content about lead nurturing and provided his personal data which is now stored in our CRM.
John returned to the website 3 times within the following week, reading a different blog post each time but all were about Pardot lead scoring.
Using our preset automation rules, we emailed John a case study about a business in his industry and how lead nurturing software helped them to grow. John opened and clicked this email to download this second piece of content.
Two days later, John visited the Pricing page of our website, which added enough lead points to his profile that he was triggered as sales-ready.
One of our Business Development Managers gave John a call to talk specifically about marketing automation for lead nurturing and how lead scoring could help John to qualify his leads.
John booked an appointment and converted to a customer the same day.
Marketing can now confidently and resolutely say that LinkedIn, blogging, email marketing, and case study content are in huge part attributable for John becoming a customer.
They can use their B2B marketing automation software to calculate the value of each of those touchpoints, based on John’s sales value.
Then, marketing can use these numbers to show that all-important metric: ROI.
Without a B2B marketing automation software, how would you achieve that same goal?
That’s why B2B marketing automation is the key to demonstrating ROI that cannot be debated.
Which brings me to my question for you, are you using a full-scale B2B marketing automation software yet? If not, can you afford not to be?
Of course, I know transitioning to this kind of a system takes time, investment and resource but there are plenty of external solutions for getting you there.
For a chat about Pardot specifically feel free to contact us. We’re always happy to have a quick consultation about your needs and how we can support you with implementation, training, a managed service, or all of the above! It’s pretty helpful because we aren’t just software nerds, we’re marketers through and through.