Marketing used to be chiefly concerned with providing the right messaging at the right time to qualify a lead or retain an existing customer, but we’re moving into a new era in which consumers expect the dots to connect without having to make these connections themselves. It’s at this point that marketing as a service can elevate the buyer journey and help ensure more loyal customers and clients.
As you scale your marketing efforts from what we call level one to level two marketing, you need to integrate your CRM with an easy-to-use marketing automation platform, a strategy that is relevant to you and your industry, and the right team to implement that strategy and activate those tools.
Successful marketing is becoming more difficult as your competitors continue to scale their efforts. How do you choose the right technologies when 7,000 marketing technology companies all claim you need their solution (with more starting up every day)? How will you navigate the tsunami that is artificial intelligence and machine learning ready to flood the market with unanticipated advancements? How will you build the perfect marketing team that can create engaging content, load it to your marketing technology and operations stack, promote it on social, drive qualified leads, and measure and track meaningful data?
I’d like to introduce you to the concept of Marketing as a Service (MaaS).
What Is Marketing as a Service (MaaS)?
Marketing as a Service (MaaS) is designed to support your marketing efforts through a synthesis of strategy and implementation. Different marketing departments are going to have different priorities and need customized support based on their unique objectives. Your MaaS partner should provide tailored strategies and tactics to succeed with your business objectives and marketing challenges.
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Are you looking to personalize your email campaigns? Maybe you need to fine-tune your lead scoring to send more qualified leads to your sales team? Or perhaps you could use help onboarding new customers?
In the past, you would develop and present a budget to the executive team while lobbying for more full-time employees. Then you’d spend three months hiring the perfect candidate, another six months getting them fully immersed in their new position, and likely have to do it all over again with just a few short years when that employee either leaves for a new opportunity or gets promoted into another position.
But with a MaaS provider, you can tap into whatever expertise you need at the time and go to market with strong campaigns quickly and effectively. In essence, your MaaS provider becomes a vital extension of your marketing department.
Do I Need Marketing as a Service?
A recent report found that 72 percent of companies plan to invest in marketing lead management software within the next three years — with about 40 percent implementing a marketing automation platform for the first time.
But marketing automation, like any tool, needs regular maintenance and monitoring to ensure success and efficiency. Not every marketing team has the resources and skill sets needed to take full advantage of their marketing automation platform.
With a platform like Act-On, you can be up and running within a month, but developing your content, setting up your workflows, and creating personalized and segmented lists using behavioral triggers will take additional time and resources. Through an analysis of thousands of customers, we’ve determined three key factors that will determine your success using a marketing automation platform. We call them the Fundamental Three.
- Properly installing the Act-On tracking beacon
- Integrating your forms with Act-On
- Regularly emailing to at least 20 percent of your list
These seem fairly simple (and they are), but there is a technical component to each.
Too often, a marketing person is dependent on someone from IT or their outsourced “website guy” to install the tracking beacon, which allows you to track the engagement activity of any known and unknown visitor to your website. So when someone goes from “anonymous” to “known,” you’re able to retrieve their previous history interacting with your digital properties.
Once you have converted that website visitor from an unknown prospect to a known lead, you want to begin nurturing that relationship and educating them about why they should do business with you. This means creating segmented, personalized email lists (as opposed to the batch and blast of a level one marketer) so your content speaks to their unique needs.
These are just a few areas where a MaaS provider can help your marketing team onboard with your marketing automation platform, get trained with the software’s capabilities, and begin creating effective campaigns.
What Does Marketing as a Service Include?
End-to-end MaaS providers, like Act-On, provide in-depth training on your new marketing automation platform, help with key integrations, and suggest proven tips to ensure email deliverability. As a new customer, you will also receive world-class onboarding. Lastly, your MaaS provider should offer a full suite of marketing accelerators in either an a la carte fashion or as a package. This way, you can pick and choose which accelerators are most critical to your current business needs.
At Act-On, we segment our accelerators into four categories.
- Inbound: Assistance building your inbound marketing programs, identifying the content you’ll need to develop, and creating the forms to convert all that content.
- Outbound: Help creating automated programs to send segmented demand generation and nurture emails to your prospects and customers. You’ll also get assistance with event promotion and integrating offline marketing activities with your online presence. Lastly, we guide you through the nuances of transactional and sales emails and create a system capable of sending both to your various email lists.
- Sales: Covers lead scoring, lead qualification, CRM integration, and setting up sales productivity tools.
- Loyalty: Learn best practices for cross-selling and upselling, developing nurture programs for onboarding new customers, and creating trigger emails based on customer behavior and activity.
So if you’re looking for help setting up your marketing automation platform and developing effective marketing strategies, please contact Act-On today to learn more about our Marketing as a Service solution.