Utilizing technology can propel your marketing efforts and is truly worth your time and investment when it’s done right. Specifically, I’m talking about a cutting-edge tech trend that has made some great advancements: marketing automation.
This trend is expected to grow exponentially and become even more sophisticated. On a basic level, marketers can expedite the busy work, leaving more time for creativity and strategy.
- Automation can be used to analyze buyers’ digital behavior to personalize, engage, and inspire, including through the use of print.
- It allows marketers to experiment and test to see what works, providing quick course-correction if needed.
- Automation can find the right prospect, create the right message, and deliver it at the right time, both digitally and traditionally (ex. a printed newsletter or a direct mail piece to cut through the digital noise).
On a deeper level, marketing automation has the potential to strengthen the partnership between marketing and sales departments, removing some of the “us vs. them” mentality, also known as silos. Sales teams will no longer hound marketing for leads, and marketing teams will not need to give sales a hard time for not following up on those hard-earned leads.
But, before you take that leap into automation, here are three things you must consider:
1) Define your strategy
Without a sound strategy (based off of your revenue goals), you will not be able to pick the right marketing automation tool, because believe me, there are many in which to choose. During your research, ask yourself, “What do we need it to accomplish?”
When implementing a marketing automation platform, you want to be certain that your company will use all of the awesome capabilities it provides (and not to pay for capabilities you won’t use). Having a strategy in place will ensure that doesn’t happen.
2) Understand your data
Knowing your data will help you choose the right marketing automation software. It serves as the foundation that will guide you in your search for the perfect tool that fits your business.
Your team should know:
- If your data is clean or not
- How it’s formatted
- If it comes from single or multiple sources
- How you want to use that data
Big tech companies like Adobe, Oracle, Salesforce, and IBM tend to present their automated offerings at a high level, not understanding the minutia of your data, hence creating a knowledge gap on how their software will fit into the inner workings of your business.
To narrow the gap, be sure to involve others in your selection process (like third-party service providers) who understand how your data is being used, and are experienced in marketing automation solutions.
3) Keep Customers at the heart of everything you do:
Keeping customers at the heart of your business will most definitely lead to success.
Because, frankly, what is really driving this automation process is the desire to fulfill customer expectations of a unified multichannel brand experience (hint: that goes back to #2 and cannot be done without collecting and utilizing data).
I carry that same philosophy in my print business. I know print has to be able to be tracked, monitored, and measured just like digital channels are handled, because in the end it is the customer’s satisfaction that makes or breaks every business. Let me know how I can help …
Photo by Franck V. on Unsplash