The keys to succeeding marketing automation

Marketing automation is on the rise. Often installed as the extension of a CRM project, it is perceived by many to be synonymous with automated income. Yet the implementation of a marketing automation process is not an easy task. There are sensational success stories, but the failures can also be pretty impressive.

Here are some things you should look into before you taking the marketing automation plunge

  • Define your processes precisely

As I mentioned in a previous post, marketing automation is not magic, and certainly isn’t your marketing department’s  “auto pilot”! It is a tool that will automate certain marketing actions in order to help optimize your marketing processes.

And, it implies having to precisely define your company’s marketing processes: the different contact points, when they are involved in the sales cycle, as well as their impact on decision-making, and the actions taken.

For each step in these processes, you’ll have to define the approach your company will take, depending on the desired response: should we send a white paper? A reminder email?, etc…

  • Integrate the processes to treat your prospects appropriately across their experience of your company.

Remember that in B2B, your company has several points of contact with potential customers: Salespeople, product managers, technical experts etc. Each of these functions should contribute to the development of what will be automated in the “Funnel”. The marketing and sale processes are most important to connect, in order to standardize functions related to the management of leads, marketing campaigns, and lead scoring.

  • Work with targets that are as accurate as possible, namely, micro-segments. This requires a rich and reliable database.

Ultimately, the success of your marketing automation depends on your data. If the data is of poor quality, it will have serious consequences on the effectiveness of your marketing automation, up to and including failure. Nothing is more repulsive to a customer than being solicited unnecessarily and your corporate image is at stake every time this happens.

Marketing automation’s value is based on segmentation, and even micro-segmentation of the target. The message sent to the target “A” at time “T” is not necessarily the same as that of the target “B” at the same moment. Their reality is different, and that difference must be taken into account. Doing so will also distinguish your company in its relationship with its targets.

  • Automate wisely, in quantity and quality

Delivering too many messages, communicating too much ultimately leads to exactly the same effect as doing nothing! The tools available today are increasingly effective but never lose sight of their intrusiveness. Keep in mind that a message must be at the least interesting to those it is destined for and ideally, of value to them. Your content must be relevant, responsive and why not original!

To conclude, marketing automation has always been presented in light of its value-generating potential, but we haven’t heard as much about the kind of investment it represents. It is a major investment. Developing this solution and using it on a regular basis can quickly become expensive. So it must pull in a big return. To acheive  this, you must take the time to program it.

These are the kinds things that must carefully be considered before embarking on such an initiative.

If you’d like to learn more about marketing automation contact us! 

 

 

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