I continue to read more and more about the increasing rate of marketing automation adoption within the B2B world. At first glance, the numbers are impressive – an estimated 46% of B2B marketers are currently using marketing automation* – considering the relatively short amount of time the technology has been available.
It’s easy to get excited about the technology and the promise of marketing and sales transformation. Unfortunately, research is also showing that many of those marketing automation adopters are failing to reap the proclaimed benefits of their technology purchase.
The primary reason? Lack of content.
Content is the gas that makes marketing automation go. Marketing Automation requires engaging content to advance leads through a buying cycle of awareness that converts lookers into buyers.
But content marketing is hard. Feeding the content beast is a full time job requiring a content marketing strategy, nurture gap analysis and the ongoing creation of relevant, buyer-nurturing content. Few are up to the challenge.
The result is marketers whom leverage marketing automation technology for little more than glorified email marketing, sending the same unpersonalized email blasts to every lead regardless of buyer persona, product interest, or stage of the buyer in the purchase cycle.
If you are nodding in agreement as you read this, it’s important to know that you’re not alone, and that help is available. The first step to addressing the content gap in your lead nurturing effort is an audit.
Whether you approach the audit as a DIY project or invite a team of experts in to help, the goal should be the same – identify and evaluate your existing content and map it to the different phases of the buyer’s journey with the goal of increasing sales.
When you’re done, it should look something like this – but with about 10 times more content categories to address the stages of the lead-to-revenue cycle: