Marketing Automation & The Last Mile Problem

Marketing automation is a software platform that helps a B2B company automate marketing campaigns with the goal of generating more leads, closing more deals, and accurately measuring the success of what’s working in the marketing department.  

Different types of companies have their own unique ways of finding new leads, nurturing them, and turning them into customers. As a result, most modern marketing automation platforms aren’t one-size-fits-all. And because of the variation in buyer journeys across the B2B landscape, these platforms must be tailored to meet the needs of unique prospects

Having said that, all modern B2B marketing automation platforms  have similar foundational components, including:

  • Campaign management
  • Email marketing
  • Social media marketing
  • Online advertising
  • Lead nurturing
  • Landing pages
  • Website Lead capture forms
  • Marketing Analytics

Regardless of industry, channel, or use case, marketing automation platforms help B2B companies build personalized, seamless journeys for buyers at scale.  

But there’s a problem...

The Last Mile Problem

The goal of all marketing automation platforms is to find, capture, and nurture prospects to the point that they are ready for your sales team.  

So let’s say that you have an inbound prospect that responded to one of your online campaigns, clicked through to your website, is sitting on your landing page, and completes a form that indicates that they are a super qualified prospect.

What do you do today?

Probably give the prospect a message saying “thanks we’ll contact you shortly” and send them away while you pass the lead to your sales team and wait for them to follow up.  The problem is that this is often time-delayed with a sales rep responding hours or even days later.

The Last Mile Problem: Qualified prospects are turned away at the moment they're ready to engage

Adam Blitzer, the founder of Salesforce Pardot and currently the EVP of CRM applications at Salesforce coined this the "Last Mile Problem.”  Meaning that, your marketing team spent tons of time and money creating campaigns, targeting prospects, writing killer content, building websites and landing pages, collecting lead data in forms...and then finally when you have a qualified lead ready to engage you turn them away and wait for sales to “follow up shortly.”  

In today’s real-time world, that approach simply doesn’t make sense.

The companies that adopt a more real-time approach to engaging in high fidelity conversations with qualified buyers are the ones that will compete more effectively for new business

Enter Conversational Marketing

Conversational marketing is a new approach that solves the Last Mile Problem.  Instead of turning qualified prospects away at the precise moment that they are ready to engage with sales, have a conversation with them!  

Today’s conversational marketing software has all the bells-and-whistles of online meeting software, so it’s way more than live chat.  Real-time selling requires chat, screen sharing, and voice calls, the key tools that a rep uses to answer questions, handle objections, talk pricing, and persuade buyers to take the next action

Solving the Last Mile Problem

When a marketing automation platform is used in conjunction with conversational marketing software, that’s a real homerun.  You get all of the benefits of your investment in marketing automation to put campaigns into market, define your buyer journeys, and collect and capture leads.  

Plus you solve the Last Mile Problem.

Now when qualified buyers respond to your campaigns, land on your site, fill out your forms, respond to your emails, or download your content...you can capture those activities and have your sales team engage with the right buyers at exactly the right time.

The proof is in the numbers.  Companies that use conversational marketing apps alongside traditional marketing automation platforms see a +200% increase in conversations with qualified buyers, a +36% increase in overall marketing qualified leads (MQLs) and a +62% increase in B2B marketing pipeline...the stats that directly drive top line revenue.

Conversational Marketing dashboard showing the impact of solving the last mile problem

Qualified is a conversational marketing platform that solves the last mile problem for B2B companies that have invested in Marketing Automation platforms.  Curious to learn more?  We invite you to sign up and one of our reps will show you a live demo of how companies like yours are changing the game and one-upping the competition.

Posted on
April 24, 2019
by
Sean Whiteley

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