Increased revenue. Better brand recognition. New business development. These are a few of the reasons companies conduct marketing programs. There are many tools to help businesses accomplish this, with a new one gaining a lot of attention recently: the marketing automation system.
Implemented and used correctly, a good marketing automation program and strategy can help you add qualified leads to your pipeline and increase name recognition in your industry. With metrics capable of being tracked to each program and lead, it’s easy to calculate the ROI for the program. Marketing automation can streamline your marketing process and increase your marketing efforts’ overall value. Remember, however, that if poorly implemented and used, it’s just as easy for marketing automation to wind up costing you money as you make decisions using poor data, among other things.
So how do you reduce your chances of failure? The following six steps outline actions you can take to help ensure a strong, successful partnership between you and your marketing automation provider:
- Understand your customers: Your marketing team can spend all the time in the world creating emails and content about your company and its offerings, but if you don’t understand who your targets are then your work will be in vain. When building content, be prepared to reach out to decision makers, industry influencers and gatekeepers. All will play an important role in your marketing efforts. The content you deliver must resonate with your targets to gain their attention and solve their pain points.
- Create a marketing process: Without a process, how will any goals be set and achieved? Before your team can successfully utilize marketing automation, it is important to solidify your marketing process. How will each element support the process and what will your marketing efforts do for the overall goal?
- Set marketing objectives: Marketing efforts will have limited success if your team hasn’t determined any goals. Are you trying to grow the number of leads, strengthen name recognition, increase conversion or something else? Once you’ve set clear objectives, marketing automation campaigns can be more specialized and successful.
- Get all partners on board: Marketing automation is a powerful tool, but if you want to maximize returns, all parties involved must be fully invested, understand the goals of implementation and be aligned with the timeline. Marketing, sales, IT and executives all play a role in the marketing automation process. To reach fullest potential, everyone needs to know how to use the tool effectively. How do sales and marketing define a qualified lead? Is your IT department skilled in the tool and how to successfully implement it? Everyone with skin in the game needs to be involved in the effort.
- Select the most fitting tool: Just as every member of your team has different skills, each marketing automation software solution will have different strengths. When determining which software to invest in, find the program that meets your overall goals and your business model. Does your company have the resources to maintain the system or will an all-inclusive program be better? Will you receive the best training to ensure future success? Research, research, research.
- Nurture, don’t sell: Generally speaking, no one likes being sold to. This makes marketing automation a great system since you can nurture your leads until they are interested making a purchase. It is not a sprint to the finish line, but rather a marathon. Trying to close the deal too quickly can lead to lost sales and revenue. Provide your targets with great resources to draw them in until they are ready to close.
About the Author:
TopLine Strategies delivers the complete integration and development of sales, marketing and customer service technologies that enable corporate clientele to improve revenue streams and strengthen customer interactions. Our project management and consulting is designed to achieve timely delivery, 100 percent user adoption of the technologies we implement and deliver measurable returns on investments for our clients.