10 Ways to Make Your Marketing Automation Better
When Mexico’s most notorious drug lord broke out of prison and made headlines around the world, most people expected an action-packed story filled with high drama and intrigue. Instead, we soon learned that Joaquin Guzman Loera—better known as El Chapo—barely broke a sweat when he “casually walked across his cell, crouched over and broke out of prison through a hatch in his shower,” according to a New York Times report.
While the search for one of the world’s best-financed fugitives continues—and we likely won’t know the real story behind his escape for months to come—it’s worth noting that sometimes even the most challenging tasks can be resolved with simple solutions. That’s especially true when it comes to marketing automation.
To liberate your marketing without triggering a global manhunt, stick to the following simple-yet-effective best practices for automating and integrating your marketing channels:
1. Use Data to Stay (Hyper-) Personal
You may have heard that your marketing messages need to be personalized, but understand that personalization runs deep. Extend the personal touch to every element of your marketing, including your message, content, offer, templates, timings, and mode of communication. Leverage analytics tools, or your marketing intelligence platform, to gather the customer data to maximize personalization.
2. Apply Business Intelligence
The best marketing campaigns run on intelligence, user personas and lead tracking. Using market research, studies, surveys and real-time lead tracking is essential to driving ROI.
3. Save Money by Investing In Analytics
Analytics help prevent marketers from wasting a fortune by forcing them to make decisions from a place of knowledge. These tools ensure the adoption of the right approach, the right channel and improved results. Gaining such insights into market and user behaviors will help you plan the right message at the right time, for the right audience.
4. Strategize Your Drips
Direct marketing campaigns won’t manage themselves, so you’ll need to create a dedicated content strategy to support your campaigns. Whether designed for emails, newsletters or other direct communications, your content strategy should nail down the basics: Who, What, Where, How, How Much and How Often. And don’t forget to include responsive design when it comes to decisions made around landing pages and email templates.
5. Integrate Sales and Marketing
Many sales managers say the “inability to integrate” is a major reason for sales and revenue goals falling short. While some platforms help with automating sales and email marketing campaigns, most miss the mark when it comes to integration. But integrating your email marketing, marketing automation and CRM systems can make a huge difference to your overall success rate, not to mention the time it will save you.
6. Go Mobile or Go Home
Not surprisingly, mobile and social media channels are expected to draw the most marketing dollars going forward. As Business2Community.com recently reported, “70% marketers will increase their spending on mobile while 68% will integrate mobile into their marketing communications. This is a clear indication that irrespective of your marketing channel, small screen’s vitality cannot be overstated. From website design to newsletters, email template, and landing pages; everything has to be responsiveness as a key feature.”
7. Keep Your Data In-Sync
Because most small business owners are juggling multiple systems, devices and platforms, it’s very important to sync all that data. Otherwise, you’ll be confounded by scattered bits of information that keep you at cross purposes. Having this data synchronized, however, will empower you to save time while specifying and targeting the right segment of your audience.
8. Consider a Multi-Tasking Platform
Marketing automation platforms come with many bells and whistles, but some are restricted to performing just one task, such as email marketing, very well. Other platforms take a multi-tasking approach, enabling users to manage email, sales, social and digital marketing campaigns simultaneously within a single system. This single dashboard approach can streamline your focus while saving time and possibly increasing revenue.
9. Don’t Assemble, Nurture
Blasting your messaging to all prospects is a major step in the wrong direction, since it is neither personalized nor likely to increase sales. Instead, use nurturing tracks to create additional touch points and keep communication fresh and meaningful for your prospects and customers. Remember, today’s buyers are most likely using a variety of inputs (blogs, social sites, vendor websites, etc.) to educate themselves on the product or service they’re considering for purchase. Your job is simply to help them reach the right decision, a task that is much easier to achieve when the prospect has been nurtured through communications that are relevant and timed to their stage in the buying cycle.
10. Integrate Across Channels
Similar to the way you would integrate sales and marketing, you should strive for cross-channel integration of your various marketing efforts. One key advantage to doing so is that it maximizes content utilization. With an estimated 45% of marketers saying they either can’t create the content required, or can’t use it effectively, cross-channel integration improves efficiencies across the entire marketing process while aligning different teams’ performance.
To break out of your marketing automation slump, take a step-by-step approach to automating and integrating your marketing channels. Doing so will grow revenue, mitigate human error, improve conversions and elevate HR performance.