B-to-b marketers warm up leads through digital automation

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B-to-b marketers warm up leads through digital automation
B-to-b marketers warm up leads through digital automation

For Travelex Global Business Payments, a b-to-b payment solutions company that targets corporations and mid-sized corporations globally, business moves quickly. Potential leads can quickly turn cold if the marketer doesn't take advantage of a lead in real time. Four months ago, in a move aimed at driving efficiency in its lead generation processes, the company began streamlining data across its website, e-mail and CRM. 

This summer, the b-to-b marketer began working with technology vendor Marketo to automate e-mails sent to potential leads. This e-mail platform is integrated into Travelex's Salesforce.com CRM program to help maximize the use of its data. When a lead responds to an e-mail, the data is updated in Travelex's Salesforce.com dashboard. Prior to this integration, Travelex manually extracted information from its e-mail campaigns and added it into the CRM platform, which was time consuming and inefficient.

“Often, by the time we had input this data, we would end up losing the lead or a lead would go cold,” says Debbie Brown, global head of marketing at Travelex. “Using automation, we are not losing leads. We are only focusing on hot leads and getting them to the right people quickly to help drive sales.”

Not only does this digital integration of lead generation tools help Travelex with speed, it also contributes savings, bringing down the cost of customer acquisition. “We are already saving about 25% just by automating, without being fully implemented,” she says.

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As many marketers face tighter budgets, the age-old b-to-b dilemma of targeting the right person in a revolving-door business environment, automating data processes can greatly improve lead generation.

“Today it's not just about having the data, but understanding that data goes bad quickly,” says Jim Fowler, CEO and founder of Jigsaw, a lead generation company owned by Salesforce.com. “For b-to-b marketers, the raw data is becoming more commoditized. B-to-b marketers used to spend a lot of money to rent a list, but today's reality is that everyone has data now. The competitive advantage moving forward is being able to understand data and quickly react to it.”

The Hartford Financial Services Group, an insurance company that sells insurance products ranging from 401K plans to auto insurance, is targeting small businesses for the first time with a new online campaign. This fall, the brand teamed up with marketing agency Rodgers Townsend to create an integrated campaign called “Achieve What's Ahead,” that employs several digital tools. 

The Hartford decided to target small businesses that might be struggling to survive due to the reluctance of banks to offer them them loans during the recession. “The recession has put small businesses in a tough position,” says Jeff Reid, assistant VP, online brand management at The Hartford. “We saw it as an opportunity for The Hartford to be friends with small businesses, and an online campaign is a cost effective way to find leads.”

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