The “Must-Dos” in SMB Marketing Automation: #3 - Use the Right Resources - Access Marketing Company

The “Must-Dos” in SMB Marketing Automation: #3 – Use the Right Resources

Marketing automation is one of the most powerful tools you can add to your marketing arsenal. Getting the most out of this expansive tool, however, requires strategy and planning. Having worked with hundreds of companies, I’ve found there are some “must-dos” in executing ROI-driven automation strategies. This three-part blog series tackles those imperatives and will hopefully serve as a guide for businesses planning to use marketing automation to its full potential.

Must-do #3: Use the right resources

Most of us learned how to drive a car in our teens, and it didn’t come automatically. Only a small percentage of us know how to fly a plane, and that required a much more advanced skill set. And likely, an extremely small percentage of us know how to fly a Nighthawk twin-engine stealth attack aircraft. Those who do trained extensively on which buttons and levers needed to be pulled at the right time.
Marketing teams vary in size from a marketing team of one to a full team filled with generalists and specialists. Larger companies with sizable marketing groups have been earlier adopters of marketing automation, but small- to mid-sized businesses are fast-growing users as well. In those SMBs, it’s often a small handful or even just one person tasked with learning a new platform. Most marketing automation platforms strive to make their tool as user friendly as possible, but they still require a certain level of experience with software to operate. Getting outside resources may be the best shot SMBs have at deploying and maintaining a successful MA strategy – and it’s nearly always budget very well spent.
Perhaps you have a marketing automation specialist already in place, and if so, you’re ahead of the curve. This resource can work with the rest of your team to build out campaigns and launch plans. Having an experienced MA specialist is certainly helpful, but not a necessity to implement marketing automation.
It’s good to remember that many digital marketing agencies are also happy to help you whether it’s a little help at the beginning to get things set up properly, or whether you need ongoing coaching and tactical support. The right agency partner can even work with you on implementation, and then provide training and advisement to inform your own MA initiatives. We all need a coach from time to time. In my own experience, Act-On has a Professional Services division which utilizes both external partners and internal experts to get you started on the right foot. Beware of any marketing automation strategy that doesn’t start with an experienced resource to aid in the set-up and initial deployments.
Whatever your business situation, know that marketing automation is for “pilots” and an email platform such as Constant Contact or MailChimp is more for a traditional “driver”. Decide if you’re driving a car or flying a fighter jet and put the right resource in the cockpit.
Marketing automation has many dimensions – and while it’s often sold as a turn-key solution – it’s anything but. These must-dos are a great way for you to approach automated marketing with a more realistic understanding of the requirements and an awareness of some elements that will be important to your success.

This is the third post in the three-part series, “The ‘Must-Dos’ in SMB Marketing Automation”, written by guest blogger Lynn Anderson. The first and second posts can be found here.

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