Features

How Can Marketing Automation Work Best for You?

Written on
May 10, 2012 
Author
Ellen Valentine  |

ADOTAS - Let’s face it — today’s consumer is more educated, more self-reliant and more demanding. This means many things for digital marketers. For one, it means we must be more personal. Social media has clearly made marketing a one-to-one game. It also means we must be everywhere customers are, increasing the need to deliver more relevant, helpful content. And, finally, certainly it means our role in the industry has fundamentally evolved. Clearly, our job is much more complicated than it once was.

So, today’s marketers face the challenge of needing to reach thousands of individuals who are in and out of multiple channels, multiple times each day, at a personal level. Now, consider this at a practical level.

Kind of daunting, right?

With marketing automation technology, however, marketers are able to do just that. They can deliver targeted, relevant messages with a “set it and forget it” tool. Marketing automation can help:

Free up time to focus on the bigger-picture, revenue-driving tactics
Streamline interdepartmental workflow and passing back and forth of data
Deliver personalized, highly relevant, content that is also perfectly timed
Coordinate tightly integrated messaging across multiple channels

Many marketing departments are beginning to recognize these benefits and are interested in taking a step forward, either with a new installation of marketing automation technology or with an expansion of capabilities of their existing platform. Those to whom the first applies, of course, often wonder where to begin.

As you’re adopting various aspects of marketing automation, here are a few general guidelines that I recommend adhering to from the outset:

1. Assess the impact marketing automation could have for your company. Prospects can begin a low-friction relationship with you and your websites using marketing automation technology. You can use the power of data collected through their subsequent visits to customize and personalize how you market to your prospective buyers. This is why it’s important to review all of the capabilities and benefits that a marketing automation solution has to offer, and develop a preliminary road map of which aspects you’re going to implement and in which order.

2. Evaluate impact to processes and workflow. To successfully implement certain aspects of marketing automation, such as developing new ways to track and manage companies in the sales funnel, you’ll need to get the demand generation team in alignment, which may take time. Others tactics, such as using landing pages, personalization and dynamic content, require less discussion and collaboration with other departments. Keep these considerations in mind as you’re determining where to focus.

3. Start with a few key features and gradually grow in sophistication over time. While marketing automation can drive a wide array of business optimizations, adopting them all at once could overwhelm your team and push out the time to launch and, in turn, require accompanying process changes. It may be wise to postpone implementing key sections of the software as you focus on increasing the efficiencies and effectiveness of other facets of your marketing automation installation.

Most importantly, remember — marketing automation is rapidly changing. New techniques are always being developed and new technologies are continuously being introduced. Over time, implementation recommendations will mature and foundational principles and practices will ultimately emerge.

It’s my hope that these three tips will merely serve as a starting point to help you improve your capabilities through marketing automation adoption, communicate marketing automation practices to your management team and increase your overall effectiveness.





Ellen Valentine has more than 20 years of experience as vice president of marketing/CMO for a number of technology companies. She has deep expertise in launching new products, evaluating product and market positions, designing go-to-market strategy, and managing all digital marketing initiatives. She believes that great people and effective technology are foundations for success, but great execution is the ultimate differentiator. As a Product Strategist at Silverpop, she’s focused on coaching and mentoring Silverpop clients to adapt and thrive in marketing’s changing role. She’s also a sought-out speaker at industry conferences and events.

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