Marketing automation refers to the array of technology that you can deploy to automate your marketing activities across multiple channels like email, social media, and various websites. 75% of companies that implement marketing automation generate substantial returns within a year of implementation.
The benefits of automating your marketing activities are many:
- Higher marketing efficiency
- Improved lead generation
- Automation of repetitive tasks like SMS messaging, marketing surveys
- Personalized marketing service
- Improved analytics
- Better integration of marketing and sales
All of the above benefits can lead to higher revenue for the company. However, implementing marketing automation strategy requires careful consideration in order to derive the maximum ROI out of it.
The reasons certain companies fail to see visible returns is because of choosing incorrect tools and resources for automation, ineffective integration of marketing with sales, inability to harness useful customer data, and failure to form a unified strategy that meets the requirement of multiple marketing channels.
Here are a few pointers that can help you overcome these challenges and devise an effective marketing automation in your organization:
- Your marketing automation strategy should make good use of data analytics
In this age of personalized service, customers expect organizations with whom they have interacted in the past to not only recognize them during their next interaction but also offer them services customized to their tastes and preferences. The only way to accomplish this is by collecting, sorting, and analyzing customer data and using it to offer tailored services to customers. Not only customer data, there are also a slew of market and sales data that can be interpreted to gain valuable insight. Any marketing automation tool that you employ should have the capability to collect and process such data and interpret it successfully for better returns on your marketing activities.
- Your marketing automation strategy should include all major departments
Any automation software you purchase should be such that it can be adopted by all major departments in your company like sales and customer service. Customer service can generate valuable customer information and help you to effectively segment your customer database based on customer demographic, geographical location, customer interests and preferences, and the like. Such information can help you to roll out effective marketing campaigns that yield higher returns. Similarly, sales can work within the marketing automation framework to monitor the open and click rates, sift through email responses to campaigns, generate hot leads, and the like. In order to be truly successful, your marketing automation strategy needs to encapsulate the functions of all those departments that are critical to your marketing operations.
- Your marketing automation strategy should include identification and tracking of KPIs
There are many key process indicators (KPI) that can indicate how well you have implemented your marketing strategy. These include metrics like Cost per Lead (CPL), Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC), customer value, ROI, conversion rates, and more. Your marketing automation implementation strategy should identify which of these key indicators are critical to you and include the monitoring and reporting of those indicators. This will ensure that you are getting the most returns from your automation investment and if not, you are well-poised to take timely corrective actions to put your automation strategy back on the path to progress.
- Your marketing automation tools should integrate with your current CRM and Sales tools
Any technology you implement as part of your marketing automation program should adapt well to your current technical infrastructure, especially your CRM and sales tools. An automation strategy that fails to do this can turn out to be costly and take much longer to implement. Besides, transition to the new technology becomes a tedious process. In contrast, an automation technology that adapts well to your existing CRM and sales technology can be implemented quickly with minimal changes to your current technical setup and once it is deployed, it can immediately start making use of the data that resides in your CRM and sales tools.
A marketing automation strategy that meets the above requirements is sure to be cost effective and will generate high returns within a short time of its implementation. Two key considerations that you should keep in mind while implementing your marketing automation plan are:
- Align the implementation with your business goals and objectives
Identify main reasons for implementing automation and earmark the results you expect to see at various stages post-implementation. Your automation strategy, inclusive of the tools and software you purchase, should conform to your automation goals and objectives.
- Maintain consistency in management direction during and post-implementation
For marketing automation to be successful, the senior management in the organization need to be consistent in their commitment and approach to marketing. The marketing strategy should tie various departments so that marketing directives can be implemented in a uniform fashion across the organization for better results.
Businesses that use marketing automation to nurture projections, experience a 451% increase in qualified leads. Putting sufficient thought into the creation and implementation of your marketing automation strategy can ensure its success and yield high returns for your business.
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