Marketing automation refers to software, technologies and specific tactics in order to make important (and traditionally manual) marketing processes automated (and thus easier to accomplish and derive positive results from). Examples of processes that can benefit from an automation overhaul are customer data integration, customer segmentation, and campaign management.
Capabilities such as social media tracking, email marketing, and marketing analytics are made simpler and more effective thanks to marketing automation, so any business seeking to give its marketing endeavors a healthy boost is sure to see more favorable results. However, learning how to invest in marketing automation isn’t as simple as installing software and letting it run on its own — there’s a lot more care and attention needed to ensure that your automation project becomes a resounding success.
To get you on your way to building a better relationship with your customers and generating significant revenue for your business venture, here are three essential considerations that can make your implementation of marketing automation more informed, structured and optimized to suit your needs.
1. Tracking and measuring it out
Any marketing campaign will need to be accompanied with a technique for monitoring results in order to gauge the campaign’s impact (or lack thereof) on your audience. Specifically, you need to be able to pinpoint the source of your best and most promising leads.
In addition, you need to set particular goals or benchmarks so you can truly see if your marketing performance measures up. Details such as close rate, time spent to close, cost per close, lead volume and revenue gained for every new customer can help you identify areas where your strengths and weaknesses lie, where your performance has lagged or improved after a certain period, and what changes you could introduce to boost your numbers.
2. Consistent maintenance
As mentioned before, marketing automation cannot be initiated on the fly and then be left to its own devices. Your organization has to make sure it accomplishes two things: proper implementation and consistent management.
Careful marketing automation planning is the key. No business strategy has ever been successfully completed without first creating a solid and sustainable plan of action that covers all bases. Your automation project has to be studied extensively to determine, for example, which channels to use (website, email, social media, etc.), the scale at which you need to operate, what your marketing message must contain to communicate to your customers, and what technologies are compatible with your business.
Consistent evolution is a must. Marketing is not a static being; as changes are made to your message changes, the needs of your target audiences, and the consumer environment, your program will need to adapt accordingly, accommodate adjustments, and meet customer behaviors and marketplace trends.
3. Continued study
Your business has to assign the right people to take the reins of your marketing automation program. You can choose to train members of your own staff to handle this project (if you have the means to invest heavily in training), bring in consultants hired by the marketing automation technology provider (if you seek only the top experts in the field), or outsource your automation operations to a third-party entity (which is recommended for companies who are learning about automation for the first time).
Regardless of which option you choose (it could even be a combination of the three), make sure that the automation software you adopt offers plenty of training resources and events so that your team can continue to learn new functionalities and test ideas.