TechnologyAdvice Expert Interview Series: Marketing Automation Trends and Challenges

Nilesh Patel, the CEO of LeadSquared, was a recent guest on the TechnologyAdvice Expert Interview Series to share his insight on the intersection of sales, marketing, and technology. The series, which is hosted by TechnologyAdvice’s Josh Bland, explores a variety of business and technology landscapes through conversations with industry leaders.

Marketing Automation Trends

In this episode, the discussions were on Marketing Automation trends, the importance of lead capture, and how lead generation and marketing automation work together.

Below are a few highlights from the conversation:

TechnologyAdvice: How should marketers look at B2B and B2C differently?

Nilesh Patel:

Marketing Automation TrendsMarketers view of B2C will be based on the nature of products and how it is being bought by the customers. The mediums to attract customers, steps involved in the sales process and metrics will differ for a marketing person in e-commerce firm versus a marketer selling real estate. Ecommerce marketer has to figure out how to convert website traffic and mobile app users, to orders. The marketer selling real estate will be focused on generating a qualified lead for sales people.

Marketers in B2B are more focused on generating leads using various sources and tactics. This may involve events, inbound marketing, outbound tele-prospecting and more. The deal size is usually higher and they can afford to have higher customer acquisition costs.

The underlying common element for both the marketers will be to drive engagement with prospects and customers in all channels where the customers and potential customers can be engaged.

I also believe and there are facts out there as well to support it that reviews and ratings are critical in making decisions for B2C and for B2B firms selling products.

Software systems required to run the marketing and customer acquisition will also differ for both B2C and B2B. The classic CRM systems popular in B2B for example, are inadequate or almost irrelevant when it comes to managing customer acquisition and either need to be replaced by complete customer acquisition software or integrated with marketing automation and other tools.

TA: What are some trends in marketing automation?

Patel: There are two types of customers: one who already has a CRM and one who doesn’t. If you look at the lower end of the market, you see a need of contact management and basic marketing functionality. Those businesses would benefit from a having a customer acquisition system that takes care of lead conversion, lead capture, lead qualification, lead nurturing and sales management all rolled into one as they have very limited bandwidth to use multiple systems. So we see a trend where some marketing automation firms will gravitate towards becoming a customer acquisition platform. This will emerge as a strong alternative to traditional CRM systems.

Most marketing automation are focused only on email as a medium to connect and engage with subscribers. The subscribers are available on mobile and other channels apart from email. We see a trend where the marketing automation players will empower marketers in communicating with subscribers on the website, SMS, in-app notifications and other such channels.

TA: Do you think there will be a point where people do everything with marketing automation through their phone?

Patel: There is definitely a trend of accessing information over mobile. Primary users for lead intelligence on mobile will be sales people. For example, if you see an email come in from a contact, the system can help you frame the most appropriate response based on the lead behavior. So those kinds of things will be possible to do on the phone and will be very valuable. This is besides the intelligence on contacts, which you can already access in lead generation software.

For marketing users, a mobile app will help them get access to reports and analytics. In the near future, you can have systems that may enable marketers to intelligently create and execute communication campaigns from mobile. Building high-quality creatives like emails and landing pages will be a difficult problem to address on mobile in the near term. I see those kinds of things to continue to happen primarily on desktops.

You can subscribe to the TA Expert Interview Series via Soundcloud, in order to get alerts about new episodes.

This podcast was created and published by TechnologyAdvice. Interview conducted by Josh Bland.

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