Creating a strong brand preference attracts more leads into the funnel with a higher win rate. Combined with strategic marketing automation, it brings your brand to life during the early-to-mid stages of the sales cycle. Marketing automation & powerful content tells your strategic story while winning your prospects hearts and minds. Using marketing automation, we want our prospects to go from the problematic status quo to the opportunity-filled future by solving their biggest problem by purchasing your solution.

It’s important to assess your overall marketing automation strategy, and your ability to overcome the status quo.

Stepping back and observing the lead path from click to close – are we satisfying the informational needs of our target prospects?

Marketing automation and content marketing should do more than drive leads into the funnel. Content marketing can satisfy the information needs of prospects with the result of increasing brand preference.

In your organization you need to know your target prospect, the complexity of your prospect and what are the right messages to target them with. Consider that our prospects might have to share the content with the person who makes those important decisions.

With this knowledge your content should be: “Short, Smart and Sharable”.

How do we get there with Marketing Automation?

Start by establishing the objectives and business case for why our content is created.  What business objectives does that content accomplish?  Content marketing goes well beyond simply purchasing the latest analyst reports that aligns with your business cause.

Secondly, we need to create personas or roles that we can then strategically bucket our prospects into. Brand preference dissolves quickly and loyalty is hard to obtain and retain. Revenue growth depends on your ability to know your prospects better than your competitors, and better than themselves.

Thirdly, we map those roles and personas to our strategic content. Mapping the prospect through their lead to opportunity processes with rich views of buying activities and interactions. In short, the new map of your prospect’s buying processes needs to account for the new sophistication of buying.  Your map needs to reflect the new dynamics of how buying decisions are made today.

Lastly, we don’t want to forget discussing the budget required for strategic content marketing and how the content marketing line item fits within the budget.  Most organizations will claim to be performing content marketing, but the budget doesn’t match the objectives.

If we underfund content marketing you will constrain the revenue growth but we also don’t want to overfund and watch our profits suffer. Objective based budgeting and setting Return on Marketing Investment (ROMI) goals will help give you strategic control over your marketing dollars.