Every business, enterprise or organization knows that marketing is the lifeblood of every brand-to-customer relationship. When companies or businesses first launch, they are usually driven by builders and sellers. The builders create the product and the sellers are the ones out in the field creating one-on-one connections with potential buyers or customers.

Image credit: www.automizeit.com

Image credit: www.automizeit.com

Eventually, the business will expand and the marketing arm of the business will need to grow. To handle this kind of expansion, a team of marketing specialists need to be employed to ensure everything runs smoothly. On top of this, a good marketing automation system can help your team market to your customers more effectively.

Marketing Automation Defined

If you’re a marketer, you’ve probably encountered marketing automation. Marketing automation is defined in many ways. One definition refers to it as software and technologies that are designed for marketing departments and enterprises to efficiently market at different levels or multiple channels online like websites, blogs, email and social media. It also automates repetitive tasks, leaving you more time to focus on more important things.

Image credit: www.slideshare.net

Image credit: www.slideshare.net

Marketing automation can also be defined as using software in automating marketing processes like customer data integration, campaign management and customer segregation. The use of these automated processes that would normally have been manually performed will be more efficient and makes new processes possible. Marketing automation is an essential component of customer relationship management.

To put it simply, marketing automation tactics and software allow companies to buy and sell just like Amazon. Nurturing prospects with highly personalized and useful content helps convert prospects into customers and customers into happy and loyal customers. Having this type of marketing automation usually generates new revenue and ensures ROI for companies.

The Initiatives

Although marketing automation is not always easily executed, it’s certainly not impossible. At present, the term has become a buzzword in the online world. Marketers have the impression that all digital marketing processes and tools that are needed for growth, including the ones that generate new leads, are under marketing automation. This misconception leaves many marketing specialists with sophisticated marketing tools to automate processes, but not possessing the solution to generate new leads. The consequence is that marketing specialists begin to buy lists of email addresses to nurture instead of working on generating inbound leads. Although it seems like a quick fix, it’s not a long term solution, nor will it build a solid relationship with your customers.

Image credit: www.which-50.com

Image credit: www.which-50.com

4  Best Practices: Making Your Marketing Automation A Success

1. Choose The Right Tool

Choosing the right marketing automation will boil down to what part of the funnel the business is trying to improve, the feature you require, your allotted budget, the size of your business organization and the resources you have within the premises to enjoy the advantages of marketing automation.

2. Nurture

Lead nurturing is one of the core features of an effective marketing automation. This is the process of moving leads that are not sales-ready. Marketers automate one-to-one email messages to leads, thus qualifying and delivering them to sales as warm leads. To make this process more effective you should:

  • Keep it personal. You have to remember that lead nurturing is a cautious conversation over a series of emails. As a marketer, you have to make sure that each step in the conversation flows naturally and be sure to avoid offering the same content twice in the same flow.
  • Follow up. Lead nurturing should not stop when a certain prospect is finally sent to sales. Lead nurturing should be coming from the sales qualification person once the prospect has shown interest in getting a sales follow up. But marketing and sales should help each other in creating the templates and the segmentation rules for all prospects.
  • Accelerate, recycle and reconstitute. Accelerators move prospects faster through the funnel with relevant nudges. Recycling campaigns re-assign and track leads that are not are not getting follow ups from sales. Reconstitution campaigns creatively re-activate dead leads.
Image credit: www.emailaudience.com

Image credit: www.emailaudience.com

3. How You Score Your Leads

Lead scoring allows marketing and sales to know how much a prospect is interested in your solution and how well they are aligned with the target demographic. Elements in scoring include:

  • Lead scoring. This is the sum of the individual scores for all activities your prospects have performed or acted upon.
  • Company score. This is increasing the score of individuals within the enterprise if you receive multiple leads form the same business or company.
  • Product score. This is maintaining individual scores for each product line.
  • The score decay. Points should be deducted from any prospects that are inactive for weeks or months.
  • Recycle. Once sales follow up with a certain prospect, the lead may be ready. Return the prospects back to marketing for more nurturing.

 4. Measure Your Impact

Learning and optimizing your automaton campaign are some of the most important steps in the process. Measuring your impact will make you aware of what things are effective and what things are not. You can do this by:

  • Choosing the right metrics. Avoid any metrics that may sound good and impress people, but in reality, don’t measure the impact on profits of ROI. Instead of vanity metrics, use KPIs and other performance metrics, diagnostics and leading indicators.
  • Having a goal. It is essential to launch marketing campaigns with a good ROI estimate for each program.
  • Having measureable programs. This requires solid forethought because it’s often impossible to go back to poorly designed campaigns to measure any impact. If tracking and analytics are not set up properly before the campaign, success can be hard to achieve.
  • Making the necessary changes. Shift any programs to the most productive investment after analyzing multiple programs.

There should be no shortcuts in marketing! Put in some good work and you will surely succeed in marketing automation.

About Author

Jon specialises in research and content creation for content marketing campaigns. He’s worked on campaigns for some of Australia's largest brands including across Technology, Cloud Computing, Renewable energy and Corporate event management. He’s an avid scooterist and musician.