Corporate America is full of buzz words and tongue & cheek jargon. Chances are you've heard directly or indirectly about Marketing Automation. However, in the midst of everything else on your plate, you've not quite had the time to peel the layers back on the subject. This phenomenon is all to common and it's a shame because marketing automation can be a difference maker for you and your organization.
When you make the decision to leverage your marketing efforts to enable automations, you'll be opening a door to a wide range of possibilities. Making the choice to prioritize marketing efforts that lead to successful automations can be extremely difficult. Leading a culture change to establish a narrative for why Marketing Automation is needed is even harder! Especially, if you don't understand why you should care about marketing automation to even prioritize it.
If You Can't Beat Them - Join Them!
In 2021, 76% of companies reported using automation and 26% of companies that are not yet using automation are planning to use it (HubSpot, 2021)
The shift from not having any skin in the game to being a full participant has evolved in recent years. That statistic was 2 years old - we can assume that the number of companies using automation has only grown. Finding the key areas to implement marketing automation & having a sound marketing strategy is truly the key. Without the guidance of business goals, it's extremally hard to guarantee tangible success of your automation efforts.
Marketing Automation Builds Better Marketing Practices
In order to have automations that drive real value and impact for you business, you must take the time to ensure you're already practicing sound marketing competencies. If you're not taking the time to ensure you're existing marketing practices such as lead generation, awareness emails, newsletters etc. are operating effectively, then how can you be prepared to enable automations? Each of the examples listed, will require a different sets of data and strategy. For example, lead generation efforts where marketing and sales teams aren't aligned will always be doomed to fail.
Automation is not a "quick solve" for inadequate business processes.
However, it will shine a light on areas of opportunity for your organization to close gaps that nobody may have even knew existed. Contact and account clean up would be two big symptoms from engaging in marketing automation efforts. Due to needing accurate data to enable automations, you will be forced to clean your contacts and ensure account data is accurate. Once you've addressed the "to-do" list that typically accompanies marketing automation, you will be enabled to build the automations your organization actually needs.
CYA with Analytics & Compliance
Marketing automation also includes all the analytics that comes with your activities. If you're doing marketing automation efforts but not tracking the success of your campaigns, the user adoption or the overall effectiveness of your marketing automation platform...you're missing out badly! Things don't end once you've delivered an email to a contact segment. Being able to have the receipts to advocate for your marketing automation efforts will be a gamechanger.
It's a challenge without automation to always show the true impact from marketing efforts. Marketing Automation can be a catalyst to spur new ideas over your business by providing more questions that should be asked! Leveraging the data you collect to create a powerful reporting dashboard for all levels of the business, should be your ultimate direction.
Running a business is hard enough, so why do it blindly?
Having greater insights and a grasp on your data can also lead to better compliance practices as well! As regulations continue to tighten when it comes to consumer privacy laws, it's more important than ever to make sure you're on the right side of the law. A sound marketing automation strategy should also cover consent.
As your organization grows and begins to engage and multiple channels of communications, how do you ensure your business is operating safely? It would take clean data and having a great understanding of how the data in your business flows to answer that. Let your technology work for you and provide analytic dashboards that provide real-time consent status KPI's. Not to mention, your automations can block you from engaging in communications that may be unlawful. The uses of marketing automation run quite deep, however it's on you to unlock those capabilities & not be overwhelmed by the possibilities.
Close Gaps Between Marketing & Sales Teams
Marketing Automation is a great tool to use to close the divide between your marketing and sales teams. From a tactical standpoint, managing folders of contact data in excel spreadsheets for manual loads can be tedious & demanding. Depending on how much data you're working with, you may even stress the limits of Excels capabilities. This can lead to uphill battles of ensuring the data your sales team has is always up to date and accurate. These factors ultimately lead to unneeded stress and anxiety. Imagine dealing with those dynamics & still being expected to have the capacity to build out solid strategies for business processes. That's a tough ask! Another famous gap between marketing and sales is simply communication.
Marketing Automation will force the issue when it comes to working across business functions.
The traditional email & meeting cadence may not be sufficient to reach alignment across multiple business functions. You will have to meet consistently, hold process mapping sessions, do testing, calibrate etc. Automation efforts requires a certain level of skin in the game to realize it's true impact. How can your marketing teams provide quality leads to sales, when they are not connected to their counterparts? Automation will force both marketing and sales to be on the same page, so business processes can be more effective. Without automation, yes you can survive and manage. However, how long can you afford to simply "manage" ?
Enhance Your Customer's Digital Experience
When you know better you can indeed do better! Another huge benefit of marketing automation, is the ability to build out a robust digital experience for your customers. Automation is equally about planning out work as much as it's about executing efforts. Being able to take a step back to asses the journeys your customers are going through when they do business with your organization is imperative. We live in a constantly evolving digital environment. Marketing Automation can help you not only view your customer digital journeys differently, but allow you to support them in a more effective fashion.
A targeted simple hello, can be the trigger to a journey of brand advocacy.
Let your marketing automation efforts fills in gaps between your touchpoints, with customers. From everything to following up with massive lead list to even qualifying leads to save time and energy. This is why it's important to understand the landscape of your data, your business processes and your customers to enable these types of automations.
Providing a clean and desirable digital customer experience can transform your business and position your organization to win in a sustainable fashion. You probably can already notice your customers are growing and getting smarter. Don't let them pass you by... meet them or beat them!