All marketers know about the 4Ps (Price, Product, Promotion and Place) of marketing. Those pillars have been around forever. We learned about the subject in college as much as we learned about the importance of late night pizza, fake IDs and spring break fun.
While the 4Ps still hold true for traditional marketing, the adoption of marketing automation has brought on a new paradigm. Today’s successful marketers use a new methodology for driving revenue success—the 4As of Inbound Marketing.
This methodology helps companies build an effective revenue engine by driving leads through the funnel in a repeatable and measurable fashion.
#1. Assess Your Marketing and Sales Operations Effectiveness
The process starts with an assessment. How do you know how to improve if you don’t know what to improve? Auditing current marketing and sales processes is essential for finding gaps where improvement is needed and for setting benchmarks to measure against future progress.
- How do leads enter your system today?
- Is your sales team effectively processing leads?
- Are leads leaking out of your funnel?
#2. Align Sales and Marketing
Sales and Marketing alignment is crucial to the success of the revenue generating machine. This step involves bringing Sales and Marketing together to agree on a common goal. If Sales isn’t on board, marketers will most likely run into barriers during the third automation step.
- Define lead stages including the top question “What is a lead?”.
- Map out a complete funnel process that will be implemented in the automation phase.
- Agree to service level agreements on lead processing.
- Define roles and responsibilities for inside and outside reps.
- Get early input on how to automate sales processes.
#3. Automate Marketing Efforts
Many times, organizations jump to the automation step thinking everything will fall into place. That’s like trying to build a house without a blueprint.
Automation is where Sales and Marketing begin to see the benefits of their hard assessment and alignment work. With the processes nailed down, organizations can begin to automate activities such as lead scoring, lead nurturing, lead recycling, campaign management, analytics and other vital programs.
#4 Analyze Results
Successful marketers and organizations keep score with KPIs (key performance indicators). Reporting and analytics are where the art of marketing meets the science of marketing. This steps involves developing the top reports that provides closed-loop reporting to track a prospect from the top of the funnel to closed business.
- What is marketing’s contribution to revenue?
- What are my most/least impactful marking programs?
- What are leads conversion rates from one lead stage to the For any given program, what is my cost per lead? per acquired lead? per opportunity?
- Which campaigns influence the most revenue?
- How are leads progressing through the funnel stages (e.g. Conversion rates of marketing qualified to sales qualified)? How can we accelerate this process to fuel revenue growth?
Like paving a highway, once you are done, it’s time to start over. The 4As process is continuous so marketers can optimize efforts on an ongoing basis.