As more and more companies and brands push to develop a powerful online presence, it’s becoming essential for businesses to keep up in the race for relevancy in the digital sphere. In order to stay ahead of the pack and to make the most out of your marketing campaigns, marketing automation platforms can boost your efforts to cut costs and increase results. While it may sound great to “automatically” create marketing for different audiences, most people don’t realize how to choose the right marketing automation programs. There are some important considerations to think about before going out and purchasing the first expensive piece of software that seems to meet your needs. The capabilities of these platforms are endless, but they also can’t work correctly without a great navigator. To properly institute a powerful piece of automation, your marketing and sales departments will need to do some leg work in order to get the most bang for your buck. Read on to find out how you can implement such a platform for successful marketing automation.
1. Define Requirements for Marketing Automation
Before you even start thinking about different kinds of software you like or those may have heard of, you need to define your requirements based on your marketing needs. Contemplate what tools you’re already using for existing marketing campaigns and think about what additional functionality you’d like.
Some marketing automation tools allow you to make different combinations like:
- Email marketing & product recommendations
- Educational guides & promotional emails
- Social media engagement & recommended products
This list could go on forever, but you see a few different ways that marketing automation platforms can combine to create incredible opportunities for you and customers. The first step is to understand what metrics are very important to you, and whether you are ready to incorporate extensive email marketing programs or website automation programs into your marketing strategy.
2. Pick your Marketing Automation Solution
There are a few different marketing automation or “marketing clouds” out there that combine a variety of different services. For example, email marketing vendors like Mail Chimp and IBM Silverpop are able to create automated flows for email marketing. When a person opens an email, they may be entered into a program related to the specific interest in the email that they opened. For example, if you emailed about a new product, and a recipient opened it, then you could email similar products and even email something different automatically if they opened but didn’t click through. There are all types of flows that you can create. Some platforms to consider with marketing automation include:
- IBM’S Marketing Cloud (formerly Silverpop)
- SalesForce (ExactTarget)
- Adobe Marketing Cloud
3. Develop your Marketing and Implementation Plans
With your software and vendor of choice established, it’s time to revisit your existing marketing plan while also developing your implementation plan. Your marketing plan should be adjusted to include how you will utilize your new software, incorporating how metrics will be recorded, your marketing goals for the new software, and how those goals affect a long-term ROI. The implementation plan will include more specific guidelines, such as who will have immediate access to the system, how current leads and information will be transferred from older systems and CRMs to the new platform, how retargeting leads will be tracked, and what other existing systems will have to be integrated. To develop a thorough implementation plan, it’s recommended to work closely with the software vendor (this is where great customer support comes into play).
Insider Tip: You can use flow charts to create in-depth marketing automation flows based on your metrics and goals. For example, if you want to create opportunities for new resort owners. You can develop a flow that educates new resort owners and also recommends products based on their interests as they open and click-through emails.
4. Incorporate New Software
Finally, it’s time to get your automated flows up and running to start getting the benefits of your new platform. You’ll want to strictly adhere to the implementation plan devised earlier, and gain assistance from the vendor as required. Additionally, it might be a good idea to invest in hiring someone to build the flows and monitor activity to make the most of your marketing automation goals. Seychelle Media provides extensive direction and guidance on marketing automation for businesses that are new to this idea of digital marketing.