In the 1990s, modern Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software was born as arguably the most revolutionary resource for sales organizations. CRM platforms help Sales track activity from the lead stage all the way to becoming a customer, driving sales and increasing revenue.
But what about Marketing?
In recent years, innovative technologies like Marketing Automation Platforms (MAPs) have become a valuable resource for marketers trying to streamline online marketing processes such as lead generation and nurturing.
On average, 49 percent of companies are currently using marketing automation, and 60 percent of companies with over $500M revenue have adopted a MAP. And for good reason: Seventy-five percent of companies using marketing automation see ROI within 12 months.
However, what exactly is marketing automation? How does it work and, more importantly, how can it help life sciences companies market more effectively?
What is Marketing Automation?
Marketing automation refers to the technologies designed to automate repetitive marketing tasks, allowing organizations to more effectively market across multiple online channels such as email, social media, and webpages.
Simply put, marketing automation is the basic, continual process of getting the right content or sales message to the right person, at the right time.
Think about it this way: If a prospect is searching for a product or service and finds a website that has great content, wouldn’t they want to see more of the content that is most relevant to them? And then, at some point, if they like what they’ve seen so far, wouldn’t they want to see even more information about the specific product(s) or service(s) a life sciences company offers?
This is where marketing automation can play a crucial role.
How does Marketing Automation work?
Marketing automation is just a small piece of the inbound marketing puzzle. Utilizing all the information a life sciences company knows about a person to understand their wants and needs, it delivers the information they need to make a purchase decision, exactly when and where they need it.
Good marketing automation considers the evolving needs of leads and customers, and the behaviors and interactions they have across all marketing channels. By utilizing behavioral inputs from multiple channels such as social clicks, page views, or content consumption, marketers are given the context they need to fully understand an individual’s challenges.
The most effective marketing automation not only collects data from multiple channels, but uses those various channels to send their marketing messages as well. That means the success of campaigns relies less on the email, and more so on the various channels that influence a buyer’s decision.
Why is it useful for Life Sciences companies?
Marketing automation allows life sciences organizations to nurture patients, healthcare providers, hospital administrators, etc. with tailored, useful content that can help convert them to customers or delight them as current customers. This type of marketing automation typically generates significant new revenue for companies, and provides an excellent return on the investment required. It takes repetitive tasks out of play so more time can be spent focusing on fresh marketing initiatives for what matters most: improving patient outcomes.
Where does Sales Enablement fit into the puzzle?
Sales enablement is a crucial component of Marketing and Sales’ trifecta of tools, and is often considered the final frontier of Marketing and Sales alignment. It ultimately allows integrated CRM and MAPs to coordinate efforts to paint a more holistic, data-backed picture of an individual’s activity.
Furthermore, developing and executing a sales enablement strategy is critical in keeping Sales teams competitive and relevant in the ever-evolving healthcare landscape. This is why life sciences companies need to ensure that their Marketing and Sales teams are working in lock-step to meet both individual healthcare provider (HCP) needs, as well as key accounts and networks.
The opportunity costs of misalignment between Sales and Marketing range from customer dissatisfaction to lost deals to compliance violations. With a well-defined and executed sales enablement strategy, life sciences companies can truly leverage their customer relationships in new, measurable and compliant ways.
Though there are many benefits and pieces that must be put in place to establish a successful marketing automation strategy, there are two key principles to keep in mind when developing one that scales and evolves.
- Marketing automation does not do marketing and lead generation for an organization, but can help scale efforts.
- Marketing messages should be centered around the real, live person at the receiving end of campaigns.
If a life sciences company can leverage all the marketing tools, channels and behavioral data possible to paint a complete picture of a person, they can nurture them based on their unique challenges and interests, not based solely on the emails they open or click through. This results in increased revenue, and happy, delighted customers. It’s a win-win strategy for all involved.