3 minute read

Are you Ready for Marketing Automation?

Written by Jim Perren

So, you’ve heard all about the good things that Marketing Automation can bring:

You want a piece of this pie, but would like to make sure that your project will be a success? Well here are a few tips to help you get it right.

Do you really need Marketing Automation?

Firstly, if you can currently deal with the level of leads that you have ‘manually’ without automation then maybe you don’t need Marketing Automation just yet. Maybe the first thing you should do is to look at your inbound marketing strategy to ensure that there are sufficient leads coming into the top of your sales funnel.

Are you producing enough content in web pages, blogs infographics, whitepapers and videos that attract visitors?

Are potential customers of yours, who are searching for solutions to their problems, able to find your content that helps them to understand their issues?

Does that content nudge them along the sales funnel?

Do you have further content that explains possible solutions and educates, informs and entertains along the way?

If no, then it would be worth putting more effort in here. Then when you are overwhelmed with leads and don’t know which ones to prioritise, then you can use the magic of Marketing Automation to your advantage.

Have you done your Prep?

We have spoken to a few businesses who have undertaken Marketing Automation. The only regret that they have about implementing Marketing Automation was not getting all their ducks in a row before they started.

Specifically, this is to do with creating deep customer personas and understanding why they might buy from you from a psychological point of view. Once this work is done, deciding how to communicate with them and what language to use becomes a lot easier.

What state is your data in?

Before you consider pouring duplicate contacts, incomplete data, or badly formed email addresses into your shiny new Marketing Automation system, just stop. You may have heard of the expression from the world of ICT of “Garbage in, garbage out”.

It also holds true of the data that you hold in your Marketing Automation System. So clean it up.

Use dedicated software or a bureau service to:

  • Remove or merge duplicate records
  • Remove or fix undeliverable email addresses
  • Remove (or flag) any contacts that have gone away
  • Correct any addresses against a Postcode Address File

Then your Marketing Communications will be delivered to the right people, once, and you won’t waste time, energy or budget on contacts that aren’t there, or who you don’t have the right details for.

Choose a partner to work with

If this is your first foray into Marketing Automation, take a guide with you.

Preferably someone who has been there before, and knows what the pitfalls are.

‘Nuff said?

Sales & Marketing Alignment

If you have sales and marketing teams who are slightly at odds then before you step into marketing automation, it might be a good time to get them all into one room. For Sales and Marketing to ‘play nicely’ together there needs to be an understanding on both sides that the world has changed.

Buyer behaviour has changed. The way that customers interact with businesses is now different.

The sales team will need to understand that there is much more to do before a qualified lead is likely to drop into their laps, because the customers expect to find out much more about their issues before they ever contact a sales person.

Salespeople can now do more to make leads come to them. They can set themselves up as trusted advisors to their potential customers by writing blogs or answering questions in LinkedIn Groups. But it may take a little change in perspective, and maybe they'll need to learn some new skills (do they know how to make the most of LinkedIn?).

If you Would like a free, in depth look at what it takes to get ready for Marketing  why not book a Skype meeting to talk to our Marketing Technology Specialist, or come in and see us for a chat. The coffee is on us.

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Orginally published on Monday 30 January, 2017 | Last updated Friday 7 June, 2019

Tags: Marketing Automation