One of the great benefits of marketing automation, of course, is the ability to reach customers at scale with a large volume of — hopefully — timely, relevant, and well-cadenced messages.
But it can also work by helping fine-tune the campaigns of a business with built-in limits to its market reach. One example is CleverAdviser, the UK-based intelligent investment service, which offers Independent Financial Advisers (IFAs) actionable insights based on real-time analysis of large quantities of fund data.
“The IFAs are the target audience,” says Joanne Graham, CleverAdviser’s marketing and support manager. And since the number of IFAs in the UK is limited (a little over 20,000 according to some sources), business has to be earned.
“We’d never used marketing automation up to a year and a half ago,” says Graham. “We were quite in the desert.” The company had looked at marketing automation by Net-Results. “It never went live,” says Graham. “We had no marketing of any form,” she says, “it was all word of mouth.”
The change came when a long-standing friend of the business — “a trusted adviser,” Graham calls him — surfaced at Salesfusion, the international sales and marketing automation solution based in Atlanta, GA. That was Patrick Boughton, now Salesfusion’s director of sales for the EMEA region. Prior to joining Salesfusion, Boughton had worked in the same sector as CleverAdvisor, but for a different company. “I showed them how we had used MA,” he explains, “to increase leads and better nurture them, and to increase conversions.”
Now CleverAdviser uses components of the Salesfusion solution to attract new business, develop new leads through outbound and inbound marketing. Since going live, only four months ago, CleverAdviser has qualified 20 new leads. That may not sound like much, but — says Graham — “We wouldn’t usually see that many in the pipeline in a couple of years.”
Success was achieved through integrated email campaigns, both outbound and inbound. Initial blasts to the IFA marketplace were accompanied by nurture campaigns triggered by visits to websites and landing pages, form completions. Prospects are scored, and guided through the sales cycle with a tailored diet of relevant content.
“One of the key challenges,” Boughton says, “had been incomplete forms.” There’s now automatic notification of incompletes, triggering specific nurture campaigns.
CleverAdviser is now starting to evaluate other elements of Salesfusion’s offering, such as social media integration. Salesfusion integrates with Oktopost, a B2B-geared social media management platform, to track social interactions and incorporate the resulting data into campaign strategy.
As for Salesfusion, it’s in the process of expanding beyond the US into Europe and EMEA. “I’m a strong believer in marketing automation,” says Boughton, “and I can’t quite believe how few customers in Europe and EMEA are using it.” Also on the Salesfusion roadmap is building out its business intelligence functionality: “That’s the next thing down the line,” says Boughton.