Marketing automation is one of the most powerful tools you can add to your marketing arsenal. It is much more than creating a few emails and landing pages in hopes prospects will look and click for more information. Getting the most out of this expansive tool requires strategy and planning. The challenges that emerge are that companies don’t often have the strategic resources in-house – and they REALLY don’t have the time to invest in planning. However, using marketing automation when your business has the foundation built, led by timely and relevant messages, is the key to its success.
Understanding the complex strategy behind automated campaigns and associated follow-up campaigns is like having the goose that lays the golden eggs. Having worked with hundreds of companies that have deployed marketing automation, I’ve found there are some “must-dos” in approach and executing ROI-driven automation strategies. This 3-part blog series tackles those imperatives and will hopefully serve as a helpful guide for those businesses that are either planning to get marketing automation or have already purchased a platform and aren’t making the most of it.
“63% of companies that are outgrowing their competitors use marketing automation.”
(The Lenskold and Pedowitz Groups, 2013 Lead Generation Marketing Effectiveness Study, Nov 2013)
Must-do #1: Be honest about your foundation
Timing is critical for all business decisions, especially ones that require specialized skills and new software implementation. Marketing automation might seem like a sound approach to your marketing – but the timing might be off if you don’t have the right foundation in place. Ask yourself: Do you have marketing basics in place? If your website hasn’t been updated since 1998 and quality content has not been a priority in your marketing efforts, set this foundation first. Without the basics…
- A good website built on a usable (read: flexible and scalable) platform
- A strong contact list
- A clear messaging strategy you can execute against
- A solid content library
- A team or outside help to manage the initiative and handle the tasks
…you’ll be frustrated and scrambling to justify the spend and the resources required to implement and operate marketing automation. The quicker you get these foundation items solidified, the quicker you can focus on automated marketing and driving revenue.