Marketing automation could be called the Swiss Army knife of marketing technologies. A typical marketing automation platform includes an email marketing component; a database; automation for activities including lead scoring, lead nurturing, and reporting; campaign management tools; native connections with CRM and event management systems; inbound and social marketing features; website visitor tracking; all integrated to provide visibility, promote engagement with leads, and gauge success.
In a well-planned system with a well-designed user interface, it’s easier than it sounds to manage all these capabilities, especially if you implement them in a rolling pattern, giving your staff time to adjust. (For more information on implementation, see Marketing Automation: One Step at a Time by David Raab or Gleanster Research’s The New Rules of Digital Engagement, which contains a handy list of milestones for the first 30 days of marketing automation.)
That said, numerous studies indicate that most companies don’t make full use of automation’s advanced functions. This can result in frustration and disappointment when anticipated gains in productivity and ROI don’t show up. In some cases, the root of the problem is a system built for a behemoth large company that’s being used by a company that needs a nimble, agile, right-sized system. Case in point: Flycast Partners.
When more agility gives better results
Flycast Partners provides IT Service Management consulting and implementation services to organizations across North America. Flycast ensures that its clients remain ahead of the curve on technology adoption while maintaining the rock-solid principles of the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) in practical, focused projects.
Flycast knew from its inception that it would need a lead generation solution, so it initially adopted an enterprise system used by many successful large companies. That, as it turned out, was a mistake.
“We needed a lead generation system that didn’t require a dedicated, full-time employee to run it,” said principal Bill Doucette. “However, we weren’t willing to give up the functionality and the features that had been available through the big enterprise product.”
Flycast traded its enterprise solution for Act-On, and found exactly what it needed. “Right away, our sales staff was gaining traction and closing deals,” said Doucette. “It takes other resellers using an enterprise solution a couple of weeks to turn out what we can do in a couple of hours with Act-On.”
With its focused sales team using the Act-On platform for the past year, fast-growing Flycast has equaled or exceeded the sales of larger resellers – and exceeded its sales goals ten fold.
“We’ve built our success on Act-On,” Doucette said. “It has shortened the sales cycle, eliminated time wasted in cold calls, and allowed us to reach prospects while interest is high. We can also tailor our message to products in which we know they’re interested….it’s a feature-rich solution that we won’t outgrow. It’s simple to use with a very flat learning curve, but full of functionality. We love it that you don’t have to be certified to use this tool.”
Act-On has proven to be the right-sized solution for mid-sized companies, and for departments of enterprise companies that prize speed and agility.
Swiss Army Knife photo by AJ Cann, used under a Creative Commons 2.0 license.