Are you a recent adopter of marketing automation? At Demodia, we would like to welcome you to Marketing Automation for Dummies and our marketing automation hotline:
- if you are feeling an overwhelming anxiety, please press 1.
- If you are on the verge of a panic attack, because you have no idea where to begin, please press 2.
- If you are wondering how to implement the software, please press 3. If you are beginning to doubt your decision, please press 4.
- For a multilingual support, please press 9.
- If you are planning to use marketing automation software only for email marketing, please stay on hold - we will send the team from Inception to plant in your head the fact that modern marketing automation platforms go beyond email.
Jokes aside, let's first clarify what adoption of marketing automation technologies really means. Just because you purchased from a vendor, it doesn't mean that you have adopted these solutions - a lot of B2B organisations jump on the automation bandwagon but don't utilise the platform's full potential. Therefore, purchase and adoption are two very different things - do you want to be a purchaser or adopter? If you want to adopt and utilise the full spectrum of solutions that marketing automation platforms have to offer, stay tuned. In the following lines we will walk you through the entire process of becoming a true adopter.
We Support, Not Automate
In online marketing today, content is king. If you're a smart marketer, you know that content should be the core of your inbound marketing efforts. Marketing automation doesn't automate creativity - it supports it. So before you start implementing and executing a plan on how to use marketing automation, make sure that your content marketing strategies are in place. From that point on, it gets easier.
#1: Identify Your Goals
Before you start using marketing automation solutions, make sure you have identified your key goals. Write down where you want to go and marketing automation will help you get there. You can define hard and soft metrics. For example, hard metrics could be lead generation, better quality leads and improved conversion rates. Soft metrics could include better marketing ROI viability, time reduction and sales-marketing alignment. Define your goals, so you can use the necessary tools from the marketing automation toolbox to execute them.
#2: Plan and Execute, But Be Cautious - It Takes Time
Identify your goals, set your content marketing strategy in place and make sure you take full advantage of what your marketing automation platform has to offer - but be cautious. Just because your delivery process is automated it doesn't mean that the creative process will take less time. Make sure you deliver high-quality content that will inform, educate and entertain your target audience - and please don't try to sell your products or services in the very first draft of your whitepaper - do you promise? Lead generation and nurturing is a gradual process - a time will come where sales will close-the-loop and your leads will turn into buying customers. Focus your early efforts onto implementing engaging content and generate leads for nurturing.
#3: Target And Personalise
Do you know what I like? I love it when I get an email containing a link to an ebook, an invitation to an event, or some other valuable information actually hits my areas of interest. Best of all is when that email is personalised. When reaching out to your audience, please use the behaviour analysis that your marketing automation vendors offer and make sure you send out personalised messages to your leads. Freud was right, we are creatures of superior ego, and being addressed by our first name increases the odds of click-throughs and engagement. Segment, target and personalise - every marketing automation 2.0 platform offers these solutions, so make sure you use them to their full potential.
#4: Nurture, Nurture, Nurture
Marketing automation solutions provide valuable insights into visitors' behaviour. The lead scoring system these platforms offer enables you to decide where a particular lead is within the sales cycle. A piece of advice - its better to be a bit late with your sales call than too early. Nobody likes to be ambushed - don't ruin the mood of a sales representative and their lead by pushing an early sales call, it may jeopardise your efforts so far. Use the rich pattern of tools and tactics that modern marketing and automation solutions have to offer to gently nurture your leads through the sales cycle. Remember, marketing automation is a tool and it is only as effective as your marketing strategy and process. Don't expect the technology to achieve anything if it is not implemented, configured and managed intelligently. Incorporating marketing automation will take some time and effort, but implemented properly it will optimise the entire marketing and sales process, planning, execution and analysis.
Now you have the basics mastered, continue on to marketing automation best practices for success for more detailed insights.