Marketing automation starves without a Content Marketing strategy

Marketing Automation without great content is a like a Ferrari sitting in the garage. It has no fuel.

If you’ve invested in Eloqua, Marketo, Silverpop, Pardot or the like, this post is for you. (Find New Customers is a Gold partner for Silverpop and closely aligned with Eloqua and Marketo.)

I’m the President of Find New Customers and I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Jim Burns, CEO of Avitage, in a podcast. (Jim is currently recovering from major surgery and we wish him the best.)  I asked Jim for an example of why great content is so important in B2B lead generation.

“Can you share an example, Jim?”

Jim said  “Content the bait on the your hook.  Or the gas in your sports car. Without it you catch no fish and your sports car won’t move.”

Jim’s well-crafted response makes a key point.  Great, compelling and remarkable content is much more important for B2B lead generation than which marketing automation platform you choose. The quality of your content plays a very important role in the success of your marketing automation project – regardless of vendor.

JB:   Sure.  This is a specific example, but frankly it’s so universal I think it’s extremely relevant.

Most people think that the marketing automation technology itself is going to start to address the problems of generating leads and tracking that lead activity.

Working with a company that implemented this almost two years ago, but they did not have a defined program in place.  They didn’t define what a lead was, for example.  They didn’t define a nurturing plan, they did not define even a scoring plan.  In fact, what they said was when we send something out if a buyer clicks that’s a lead.  And that lead was instantly dumped into and the little bell rang for the salesperson, you’ve got a lead, and as you can imagine salesperson came to realize that those were not what we would call sales ready leads.  As a result, a little over 14 months later they had virtually no pipeline for new business.

In the last six months we’ve been helping them with a series of efforts around producing content — first defining what leads are and what it means to be a sales ready lead, secondly defining a nurturing process that also involved inserting a telesales group in the middle between the click from some campaign and the hand-off to sales, but also mapping out a seven-step nurturing process and building out the content.  And now they’re starting to get to a point where they’ll have 10 to 12 marketing qualified leads a week and building.  So this is a dramatic change from just a few months ago after 14 months of — really of drought despite the investment.  And I think that’s very, very common.

We think the technology’s going to solve the problem and it isn’t.  It requires a process, it requires a program, and that I think of marketing automation and fishing with a hook, but the content is the bait.  And that’s the key.  Without the content, you’re not going to get people clicking on your various links to give you the information you need.

Thanks for the interview, Jim. You can check out content marketing expertise by visiting Avitage.

What do you think? We love comments and those who share our content on social networks.

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Jeff Ogden (@fearlesscomp) is President of the B2B lead generation consultancy, Find New Customers. He presented “How to Build an Awesome Personal Brand” at the 140 Social Media Conference and appeared to discuss B2B lead generation on Sales Lead Management Radio.

To learn more about Jeff, please click on Who is the Fearless Competitor?

Find New Customers helps companies (with between 150 and 5,000 employees who sell complex products to businesses) to implement world-class lead generation programs. As companies struggle to create quality sales opportunities, they turn to lead generation companies like Find New Customers.

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