Marketers are tasked with looking for the most effective way to gain the most reach whilst targeting the right people – not an easy task. Traditional marketing strategy involves a lot of spraying and praying followed by a refining of leads to create broadly defined market segments. If those segments respond well to campaigns, they are then targeted with the next round of marketing efforts and throughout this costly and labour intensive process they are valued and judged on their level of brand engagement to determine how sales ready they are. This approach is also known as the rule of averages - achieve the greatest reach in order to boost sales... or so we hope! This strategy has its merits, but it is highly inefficient because on average only 20% of leads are sales-ready when they first come in.

Technology has played its part in helping to identify and target segments using data harvesting techniques across multiple channels, but the danger of focusing on targeted data from channels such as pay per click and social advertising is that it can become far to granular, eliminating people who might be interested in your products or services. P&G have recently experienced this and as such made the decision to move away from targeted advertising in order to broaden their reach. P&G found that their marketing had become too targeted and as a mass market brand they felt they needed to increase their reach to drive trials and considerations. It’s likely that other brands will follow suit and shift their focus to a broader reach approach, but how do marketers strike the right balance of lead volume and lead quality?

One answer is Marketing Automation which provides an ‘always on’ solution enabling marketers to run both wider reach and targeted campaigns simultaneously. Marketing Automation uses intelligent lead nurturing frameworks giving marketers a new very powerful weapon to add to their arsenal. Marketers can now focus on cold, warm and hot leads all at the same time whilst being able to easily identify who falls into which lead category. These frameworks also make it possible to transition leads from one campaign to another automatically using built-in lead scoring and grading metrics. According to Marketo - when done correctly - this can result in 50% more sales leads with a cost saving of 33% per lead.

Using Marketing Automation, it is possible to reach a wide audience in a way that meets your requirements and reduces the risk of eliminating potential customers through targeted campaigns becoming too granular. Once a lead is engaged with your brand, you can take them on a fully automated journey that delivers the right message, at the right time and as your customers become more engaged with your brand the net can be tightened.