The marketing automation is a good process for already established and profitable companies that profit is over $100.000 per year.
You should build, test, and know your processes very well before you decide to automate them.
For most startups and new online shops, I suggest starting working without marketing automation tools. Please use the built-in email marketing features for transactional emails and integrate Mailchimp, Zoho CRM, or any other CRM with marketing automation tools.
After a few months, when you collect your own leads and customers, you can look at your processes to automate them. But it is not an answer to all your pain points.
The Purpose of Marketing Automation
With marketing automation, you can streamline your online marketing effort, automate routine processes, acquire real-time analytics, optimize your outreach engagement, and gather actionable intelligence.
This enables you to scale up your sales and marketing efforts more effectively and efficiently.
Streamlined marketing efforts include:
- market segmentation,
- up-selling and cross-selling,
- customer lifecycle marketing,
- customer retention,
- lead management, and
- marketing ROI measurement.
Lead management includes lead generation, lead scoring, and lead nurturing.
These are marketing opportunities that can be lost or frustrated:
- Inability to scale up to meet the increasing demand
- Failure to find new leads (potential customers) due to limited marketing scope
- Failure to convert potential leads into buying customers
- Failure to get customer feedback to improve on the marketing effort
- Inadequate and untimely response to customers’ needs due to a limited scope
- Failure to carry out in-depth market analysis to gain a deeper insight into what the market wants
- Expensive cost of marketing labor Inability to diversify marketing channels
- Failure to carry out repetitive marketing tasks in an efficient and effective manner
Source: Marketing Automation and Online Marketing by George Pain
How to choose the best Marketing Automation software?
According to eMarketer, 86% of marketers said that marketing automation improved nurturing, 73% said that it gave them measurable results, and 66% said that it enhanced targeting and personalization.
As you know, your goals for marketing automation, you know your customers, segments, the content that you generate, and you need, you can explore the market of marketing automation solutions.
I’ve listed some essential things to think about when making your decision on choosing the best marketing automation solution:
Your goals. Can the platform help you get from A to B? And then to C?
Speed. How quickly can you get from start to value?
Ease of use. Is the platform intuitive and easy to use?
Hidden costs. What will it cost for strategic planning and implementation?
How difficult will integration be? Is it native or an API? Or is it development intensive? Will it take more than one day? One week?
Does the data sync automatically between the two systems, or must you do it manually?
Does the vendor’s onboarding program look appropriate for your team? Do they provide a dedicated team to help you?
How much support is included, and for how long? What happens when it ends?
Does the platform have native integrations with BI, web conference, internal chat, and many more marketing tools?
Does the platform support account-based marketing (ABM) tactics such as account scoring?
Does the platform support account profiles that roll up all contact-level engagement data?
Your resources. Some platforms require full-time dedicated support to keep the gears turning.
Your access to IT. Some platforms require ongoing attention from your IT department or other development resources.
First, you need to start with your basic Marketing Automation Strategy
The following are simple steps that help build a basic marketing automation strategy and advance it further as you gain more insight and experience:
Step 1: Set and prioritize your goals
- I want to generate more leads by increasing traffic to my website
- I want to run multi-channel campaigns that are consistent and
- I want to be able to integrate marketing automation with all of my current technology vendors
- I want to sell more my products to my existing customers
Step 2: Map out your customer journey
Your customer journey map is a visual presentation of the process a customer or prospect goes through to achieve a goal with your company. With the help of a customer journey map, you can get a sense of your customers’ motivations – their needs and pain points. Most customer journey maps start as Excel sheets that outline key events, customer motivations, and areas of friction within the user’s experience. Then, this information is combined into a comprehensive vision that describes an average experience with your business.
- Set clear objectives for the map.
- Profile your personas and define their goals.
- Highlight your target customer personas.
- List out all the touchpoints.
- Identify the elements you want your map to show.
- Determine the resources you have and the ones you’ll need.
- Take the customer journey yourself.
- Make the necessary changes.
Source: Hubspot Blog
Step 3: Identify, demarcate and define your customer segments
It is essential to know your customers. You can segment them by sales volume or web visits or by industry, etc. You choose your segments.
Step 4: Critically assess your content
No content can be deemed fit for all. We all have different tastes and preferences. We are attracted to different flavors.
There are those that desire content that is factual to the point. On the other hand, some people desire a substance that triggers emotions. Yet, there are those in-between.
Tune your content to suit specific customer segments that you have identified.
Use marketing automation tools to identify customer behavior to recognize which segment they belong to and unleash appropriate content delivery.
More importantly, critically assess your content in terms of validity, reliability, and effectiveness in terms of meeting customer’s informational needs, satisfying pain points, and achieving your overall marketing goals.
Step 5: Customize your message content creation and delivery to specific segments.
When you have a marketing automation strategy, now you can go to the next step – the Marketing Automation Checklist.
YOUR MARKETING AUTOMATION CHECKLIST
Use this checklist to ensure your marketing automation solution has all of the capabilities you need for both your current and future programs.
When it comes to making your team more productive, a marketing automation solution must allow you to handle the following:
- Integration with your CRM or be a part of CRM
- Email batch and trigger: Send large quantities of email; track and report on deliveries, opens, and clicks; automatically send triggered email responses based on the recipient’s actions or behavior; and track clicks on specific links within
- Email deliverability: Ensure your messages are being delivered and find fixes for low- deliverability
- Landing pages: Build landing pages without the help from IT and direct traffic to customized, personalized landing pages
- WebForms: Place web forms on landing pages, microsites, or your website, and progressively collect information from visitors with each subsequent site
- Mobile: Optimize emails for mobile phones and tablets as well as monitor, test and react to how your customers interact with your mobile phone
- A/B Testing: Experiment with subject lines, copy, graphics, calls-to-action, frequency, etc. to see which emails are performing best and test content on landing pages, social ads, display ads, and more based on segmentation.
- Templates/libraries: Take advantage of templates and pre-built programs for email, landing pages, webinars, tradeshows, lead scoring, and lead nurturing
- SEO: Analyze keyword rankings for you and your competitors; generate lists of new keywords; gain recommendations on web and landing page optimizations; identify inbound links
- Cloning: Quickly replicate successful campaigns with minimal effort
- Personalized multi-channel campaigns: Create a consistent, personalized, 1:1 conversation with your audience on all channels, including mobile, social, email, and eCommerce platforms
- Calendars: View all of your events and campaigns in a color-coded, centralized team calendar and easily compare them to
- Social: Segment and score based on activity within social Increase engagement with social programs such as referrals, sweepstakes, and social share buttons.
- Lead/customer lifecycle management: Easily and effectively engage, track, nurture, and manage all leads at each stage of the Campaign/Deployment.
Look for a marketing automation solution that makes it possible to easily target the right person with the right message at the right time across channels using:
- Segmentation: Segment your database by demographics, simple behaviors (e.g., click on a link in an email), and cross-channel behaviors (e.g., shared content on Facebook).
- Nurturing: Set up and deliver a series of content offers; understand how leads engage with your content so you can respond accordingly; easily add new content to campaigns;
- Multi-channel campaigns: Track cross-channel behaviors to send personalized nurture emails and coordinate marketing across channels
- Real-time personalization: Personalize emails, landing pages, and website content for different site visitors based on their behaviors and attributes; personalize content in your content management system; and use tokens to auto- populate messages with program-specific information (such as names and dates).
- Advertising integrations: Seamlessly incorporate personalized digital ads into your outreach and nurture emails
The right marketing automation solution helps unite everyone on your marketing and sales teams. To that end, find a solution that enables:
- CRM/database integration: Enable your marketing automation and CRM system to sync in real-time so that your data is always up-to-date, allowing you and your sales team to act quickly and
- Lead scoring: Use multiple scores for multiple products; score website visits and form-fills based on their relevance; score based on complex behaviors; and separate interest from the fit. Add scores for positive engagements such as visiting your pricing page and subtract scores for negative engagements such as inactivity or visiting your careers
- Sales insight: Filter and present sales with the most useful, relevant prospect data; trigger sales alerts based on lead activity and even prioritize alerts based on content downloaded or other actions taken; and prioritize leads by who is most likely to Allow sales to send and track marketing-approved email templates and add prospects to nurture campaigns.
One of marketing’s most important functions is linking revenue with the campaigns responsible for generating that revenue. Ideally, your marketing automation solution will help you do just that by supporting:
- Program ROI: Analyze your channels and programs based on successes, content offers, new names, pipeline, revenue, opportunities, etc. Identify your top-performing programs to run again and your poor-performing programs to
- Multi-touch reporting: Go beyond seeing the first or last marketing touch that influences a deal and give credit to every campaign contributing to a closed deal.
COMPARE YOUR OPTIONS
Now that you know which features to seek out, take the time to evaluate more than one solution.
Even a single side-by-side comparison can give you real context into which functionalities you truly want and need.
Write down some specific tasks that you need your marketing automation solution to be capable of: