If your company isn't using marketing automation yet – then it's time for you to start thinking about adopting it. That's because marketing automation is not only growing in popularity and use because it's a solution that's proven to be powerfully effective. Today, more than 67 percent of the world's marketing leaders rely on a marketing automation solution in order to handle their marketing efforts, and 90 percent of marketing agencies that use automation say that their marketing strategy has proven successful.
If you want your organization to get on the bandwagon and reap the benefits that marketing automation can provide, you need to make sure that you're ready to make the change. To ensure that your company is prepared to switch over to an automated process, consider the following checklist. By making sure that you've tackled each the following steps, you can be certain that your organization will find the transition smooth and beneficial.
Step 1 – Get Everyone On Board (and Excited)
It's called marketing automation – but it is a process that is, in no way, limited only to marketers. In fact, marketing automation solutions benefit a wide range of people at an organization, including sales teams, IT folks, executives, marketing people and more.
If you want to ensure the success of marketing automation at a company, you need to inform everybody of what the new process will look like – and how it will affect their role at the organization.
While marketers will have the most direct control over how marketing automation tools are used, salespeople will need to be able to handle the leads that are brought in, while IT will need to have a good understanding of the software so they can install, teach and troubleshoot it. Executives can also help allocate money for it or encourage a positive attitude towards it at the company.
Make sure all key department leaders are involved in making key decisions regarding marketing automation and that they're on board with the process. Also, talk with each department about what their marketing automation goals are. This can help you set KPIs and ensure that your marketing automation software is ultimately helping you accomplish what you've set out to do.
Step 2 – Do an Audit of Current Marketing Tools and Efforts
Marketing automation tools are countless , and there are a huge variety of ways that you can automate your marketing process, from creating email marketing campaigns to analyzing display ad data so that you can make better ad placement decisions.
To make sure you pick the right marketing automation tools, do an audit of your current marketing efforts. Which strategies bring in the most leads and convert the most? Which marketing techniques show little ROI and end up being a waste of budget?
Look at the effectiveness of your current marketing tools, then see where you can use improvement. These areas are likely the places where you'll want to supplement or replace what you have with an automation tool.
You should also consider auditing your current marketing processes for the amount of time and energy that they take. If there is a specific area of marketing that requires a lot of manpower and hours for something that might be able to be done by a machine (i.e. posting social media posts, personalizing marketing emails, and more), then you may want to turn to a marketing automation solution to help you create a more efficient workflow at your company. According to surveys, close to 75 percent of marketers say that the biggest benefit of marketing automation technology is saved time.
Step 3 – Start Collecting the Right Data
To effectively use many marketing automation tools, you need to collect an accurate list of your leads – and relevant information about them. Before you turn to marketing automation, make sure you have the right data about your current prospects and that the forms you have available will also collect the most helpful information.
During the sales process, make sure you gather leads' email addresses, as well as their names. However, it can also be helpful to gather more demographic information that will allow you to appeal to them more accurately, including their age, geographic location and more. There are multiple touch points throughout the process of nurturing and converting a sales lead where it is appropriate – and helpful – to collect data about them. Some of those touchpoints include:
• landing pages, where you can collect initial name and contact information
• social media channels and posts, where you can gather information about customers' specific opinions and concerns
• email newsletters, where you can provide multiple links and allow leads to self-segment by clicking on links that are relevant to them (and ignoring those that are not)
• sales calls, where you can have a conversation regarding what a customer truly wants and needs and how you provide those things
• customer feedback surveys, where you can discover more about the customer's experience working with or buying from you
• and many, many more.
Try collecting unique and varied data at each touchpoint. This will allow you to paint a fuller picture of the lead and what he or she is ultimately interested in – so that you can target your messages and ensure your content is relevant.
Studies show that by sending very target marketing messages and personalized appeals, you can increase your profits by 15 percent.
Step 4 – Make Sure You Have a Standout CRM
One way that sales and marketing work together with marketing automation is by relying on a great CRM. A CRM can help you keep all leads straight – and ensure that you deliver the right marketing info to them at the right time. Some of the best CRMs include Salesforce, Zoho and HubSpot. If you're collecting the right info via your forms, your CRM will organize it – making automation easier and more effective.
Marketing automation tools are extremely powerful, and it's time for your organization to start taking advantage of their potential benefits. Take some time to make sure your company is prepared for the transition, then make the switch. You'll not only get a good grasp of your current marketing situation and how it can improve, but you can also help ensure that your company is embracing the most up-to-date technology and software available.