What marketing automation platform are you using and how long has it been a part of your tech stack?
We have used HubSpot as our marketing automation platform for the past three years.
What are the key features you utilize and find critical on a daily basis? Why?
The two key features we use the most are forms (mainly contact us on our website and gated content) and email workflows for nurture campaigns. We’ve spent a lot of time and effort on optimizing our website for search this year.
One of the ways we measure how well we are doing is traffic, of course. But, more importantly, we measure the number (and quality) of contact us forms we receive, and their source (organic, direct, paid search, etc.). We can then analyze how these forms convert from an opportunity standpoint to determine ROI. HubSpot also makes it easy to set up nurture campaigns. We attend a fair amount of trade shows. Most of the leads we gather aren’t ready to go to sales but are still interested in hearing from us. We can put them into a workflow in HubSpot to keep in touch on a monthly basis to share new content that we’ve created that matches their interests.
We also have a blog subscription form on our website that appears if someone is spending a lot of time reading one of the blogs. HubSpot automates putting those folks on a list so that we can email them links to new blogs as they are published. We use a lot of landing pages in HubSpot, too, for our gated content. Those forms help us feed automated workflows to provide additional similar content. Lastly, by assigning campaigns to all the different tactics like emails, workflows, calls-to-action and tracking URLs, we can really see what is working and what isn’t and compare that information to other campaigns.
Do you believe that you are maximizing the use of your MAP? Why or why not?
I definitely don’t think we are maximizing HubSpot. The fact that we do not have it integrated into our CRM (Microsoft Dynamics) is a huge gap. I’m sure there is a lot more functionality that we don’t use — we haven’t explored it mainly due to the team’s bandwidth.
What are the challenges limiting your abilities to leverage the full functionality of your chosen MAP?
Team bandwidth and skill set. MAP is a side-job for several people at the company and no one is fully dedicated to managing and optimizing it. For example, HubSpot tracks the companies that visit our website. But we don’t have anyone who can take the time to look at that every day to determine if we should do more research on the company to see who we have already engaged with, what initiatives they may be working on, or even as simple as do they have an RFP out to the industry.
What are the features/functionalities you are looking for your MAP to incorporate in 2019 to improve performance? Why?
In 2019, we are going deeper and more sophisticated in the planning and execution of our email workflows. We are including our new SDR resources in the mix, so it is true sales-marketing collaboration and an ABM strategy.
What is your New Year’s resolution for marketing automation?
To get my team more education and spend more time on strategic planning around the MAP. Lead scoring, more A/B landing page testing, more targeted campaigns based on engagement are all on the list for next year.