Many email marketing service providers are adding features to their platforms that make them look more and more like marketing automation platforms, including features such as complex automatic email messages that are triggered by predefined subscriber interactions and lead management features.
On the other hand, you have the marketing automation and lead generation platform pure players with companies such as Eloqua, Marketo and several others.
In B2B (email) marketing, email is increasingly becoming a way to follow the customer in every step of his buying process and to provide personalized information, based on the signals the customer gives via a multitude of channels, including the website, social media etc. It’s fully integrated marketing (automation). You can expect this market to change a lot and it will be interesting to see how ESPs and MAPs evolve. One of them is Silverpop.
The company recently released the results of a study conducted by Forrester Consulting on its behalf. The survey found that “B2B marketers who develop consistent, repeatable processes and invest carefully in automation achieve stronger, more qualified sales pipelines”.
Filling those pipelines with “sales-ready” leads is a challenge, especially in a recession where companies struggle to find the right balance between focussing on existing customer (which traditionally is believed to be more cost-efficient) and acquiring new leads and customers.
Lead management not an option anymore?
In the study, I quote now, “Forrester sees demand development growing more challenging as business prospects flock online to investigate products and services and respond less to marketing offers”.
Some key findings:
1) Lead management is becoming
2) Mature lead management pays off in a measurable impact on pipelines, marketing efficiency, and accountability
3) Process development and sales collaboration are essential first steps
4) Successful lead management improves marketing’s standing and stature
When I was young, it seemed that life was so wonderful (no, wait, that’s a song). When I was young, ages ago, Silverpop to me equalled ESP. Thanks God there is the Wayback Machine to prove it (for the nostalgic minds, including yours truly, see the Silverpop home page as it was in 2001 below this post).
It’s clear that the company now is about something else: “engagement marketing solutions” as they call it. And that includes email marketing but also marketing automation, lead management etc.
As I said, it will be interesting to see how the market evolves.
There’s much more in the press release from Silverpop, including some practices that B2B marketers should implement, according to Forrester Consulting, to “make lead management efforts pay off”.
If you have a history in B2B marketing, as I do, or if you follow lead management (and marketing automation) companies like Eloqua and Marketo, as I do, and/or you know about and follow marketing automation solutions from vendors such as Unica and SAS , you will know most these practices but to many (email) marketers they might sound very new.
My advice if you’re a B2B (email) marketer: look at it, thoroughly. Read more on the Silverpop web page here.
What do you think?