Demo Automation for Marketers

Demo automation is an excellent example of sales 2.0: a thick blend of sales and marketing systems working together to generate, qualify, and close leads.  We’ve already looked at how account executives and prospectors can use demo automation, but now we’d like to shine the light on marketers.  Demo automation helps marketers educate, nurture, and qualify leads for the sales team (as well as close a few deals for themselves).  Demos can be integrated into landing pages and emails – giving prospects a one stop shop for all of your company’s educational materials.  The video personalizes content by inserting relevant information when it’s needed.  This eliminates the risk of losing the lead early on by following them through their buying process.

Web conversion

Engaging, personalized video is stated over and over again as the most effective marketing tool.  Sundaysky found that, “viewers spend 2.5x more time watching personally relevant short-form videos.  There is a 40-60% open rate for emails containing personally relevant videos.  80-99% of visitors click-to-play personalized video.”  Driving viewers towards your demo gives them an engaging experience and gives you, the marketer, insight into your customer’s behavior.  This allows you to follow up with more personalized nurturing campaigns and content.

When constructing your home page or landing page, demo CTAs should be prominently displayed.  The player has additional integrated CTAs for your other content offers as well as survey forms, and lead capture forms.  Instead of scrolling and searching for relevant content, personalized content is front ended to the customer.

 

CONSENSUS™ prominently displays the demo CTA on the homepage

7 minutes from awareness to consideration

Think back to the buyer’s journey.  I’m sure you are all familiar with Hubspot’s or Marketo’s infographics on these topics.  Web visitors or contacts come to your website expressing symptoms of a yet undefined problem.  They certainly aren’t ready to evaluate a product or make a purchase decision, they just want information that might help them understand what they need.  Demos can be created as top of the funnel content pieces.  We build our introductory demos to outline the value proposition, key benefits, and potential use cases for customers.  Demos are personalized to each visitor so they only receive the information that is relevant to their needs.

 

Whitepapers, spreadsheets, and other content offers can be inserted in the demo player that follow the viewer’s preferences.  Say the prospect is interested in increasing their web conversion rate.  After the introductory video, they are able to choose videos that are related to web conversion and associated content offers are inserted: all of which are related to web conversion.  Integrated lead capture forms ensure prospect information is gathered and forwarded to the account development team.

Lead nurturing with drip marketing systems and demo automation

Think about a garden.  A drip watering system is an effective tool at focusing water to seeds and small plants.  The system limits the amount of water that is applied to each plant so it doesn’t get over-watered or so that the water isn’t wasted.  The plant receives a slow drip and eventually grows into a large, fully developed plant.  E-mail marketing campaigns have been great at slowly dripping information to leads and developing them into marketing qualified opportunities.  The problem is, it takes a long, long, long time.  They are called drip systems for a reason.  They move at the pace of a slow drip.

Demo automation works in conjunction with these systems but helps speed up the process.  Think of it as adding a nitrogen spike to your garden.  Since all decision stage content pieces can be inserted into the demo player at relevant points of the demo, prospects can find themselves much further along in their evaluation process than they would with one off emails.

A/B testing messaging

Blanket marketing messages go nowhere.  Demo automation won’t build your initial messaging (that takes extensive research), but it can help you develop and test it.  Demo automation enables marketers to test their messaging and see how it impacts conversion rates.  Say you are running your demo with a list of 3 features: feature x, feature y, and feature z.  After a sample of users have watched and completed the demo, you may start to notice that feature x is only marked as “somewhat important,” while feature z is almost always marked as “not important.”  Marketers can quickly edit the demo to remove feature z and test feature a.

Different demos can be integrated on unique landing pages or placed in email marketing campaigns.  Controlled tests will help you nail down your marketing messaging for the highest conversion rate.  Sales teams will be grateful for the increase in lead quality as well.

This information can be extremely insightful for new product development.  When releasing a new product or feature, you can insert the new feature into the demo player.  You can test interest based on demo engagement metrics.  In the previous example, since feature z was always listed as “not important,” product developers could use this information to pull funds away from product z and apply them to more relevant features.

Lead segmentation

Demo automation segments your leads according to their own personal preferences.  After the introductory video, visitors will be prompted to fill out the following survey form:

When the visitors fill out the lead capture form, their answers will be recorded and become visible on the back-end analytics.  Leads are then segmented according to these preferences. Future drip campaigns can be tailored to each of these segments to increase engagement.  Choosing which preferences to add to the form will take some a/b testing and trial and error.

Capturing and qualifying onsite leads and tradeshow support

Capturing and qualifying leads at trade shows can be a difficult task.  Account executives and marketers typically man your booth and are tasked with capturing the information with every visitor that walks by.  You may be able to leave the conference with several hundred leads, but it is unlikely that many of them will be qualified (they probably just wanted some free swag) and are not interested with pursuing a sales conversation.  Additionally, the challenge is on the account executive to pick and choose which leads to follow up with first.

Our account executive, Dan, eagerly braces for the wave of excited conference goers

Marketers can use demo automation in trade shows to lighten the burden on your booth team by qualifying and prioritizing those leads.  Demo players can be viewed on tablet devices and distributed around your booth.  Visitors can then watch a high level, personalized demo and submit their information.

To ensure leads are genuinely qualified and educated, lead scoring tools display how hot the trade show lead is. The engagement metrics we use are: preferences marked as important, somewhat important, and not important, total view time, and watch time on individual features.  Leads have the option to submit comments in the demo player, which marketers can use to make initial judgments on which leads are actually marketing qualified leads (if the field is marked “asdfasdfasdf”, it’s probably a bad sign.) Total view time is a great indicator of how qualified the lead actually is.  Chances are, if they watch the entire video and filled out the lead capture form, they are ready to hand off to a marketing development rep or account development rep.  As you can see in the screenshot below, CONSENSUS uses a straightforward interface for showing how “hot” the lead is.

Holistic fit to your existing marketing solutions

Demo automation fills in the gaps of your marketing systems by leveraging your existing content to increase personalization.  Conversion rates increase as your marketing efforts can take a more humanized approach-only giving relevant information to the prospect when they want it.  Follow-up conversations by the sales team or through your email nurturing are also more personalized as you gain insights into customer preferences, without extensive data mining technologies.

We love hearing from you.  Please comment on what types of processes and techniques you have found most helpful for marketing automation.  How have you added personalization to your nurturing campaigns?