Three Strategies To Solve The Marketing Automation Conundrum

Tired of hearing sales and marketing teams bicker about how to best generate leads and communicate with customers? It’s a commonplace complaint which causes many a workplace migraine. Yet with the advent in sophisticated Marketing Automation (MA) opening up the SMB and mid-market landscape this year and into 2014 there is ample opportunity to generate improved and higher impact gains from customers than ever before.

It’s worth mentioning that MA technology alone is not the silver bullet  - not unless some serious thought is taken on how best to approach it for impressive results.  

Here are three of the top areas which, when approached and managed strategically, will strengthen MA for more exacting RoI and more precise gains.

1.Bridge The Departmental Gap: That aforementioned workplace migraine is a symptom of poor cross-functional collaboration. In the current economy it simply does not make sense to have two teams, marketing and sales, work in silos. Bring them together with sales working with marketing and any other user sponsors earlier in the relevant selling cycle to smooth and automate the process. The strategy requires for each to be open and transparent about which key messages are being delivered; the rate of vendor and customer responses; and how to achieve better campaign cut-through. The aim is to get more quality profitable leads via both departments, rather than high in volume, or in a fragmented manner, many of which may not necessarily convert.

2.Plan Content Planning: Everyone in marketing bangs on about the need to have ‘good and relevant content’. Sales is about good lead gen, whereas marketing is about identifying, analysing, surprising and delighting customers for profit. Customers want to click to interesting landing pages, hear compelling messages, experience ground-breaking integrated campaigns and evocative calls-to-actions across channels. Get familiar up front in a planning stage with the value of great content and the right communications which will need to be produced. This will transform marketing automation execution. Then produce a grid with the core messages and channels in a matrix format. This will in turn develop a sounder and more efficient way in which to deliver marketing automation, and the process will feed a higher response campaign funnel.

3. Optimise Data And Advanced Scoring: Enrich the data you already have. It’s important to make the MA system as streamlined, intuitive and analytically effective for maximum business RoI. This can be achieved with standardized contact centres and forms which will in turn reduce data de-duplication. Any ‘spurious’ data which has taken time and effort to obtain can be archived (though not deleted) because it may be useful for other campaigns or to other non-related departments. It’s also a very wise move to implement advanced statistics to create more rigorous scoring models which will help improve data capture, data management and data utilisation. Amp up and nurture valuable data at the system’s fingertips and there will be a better prognosis for targeted marketing automation impact. 

Should perceived MA ‘obstacles’ exist, such as those outlined above, then there’s a case that these strategies need to be activated both in the planning and review stages. This is where time is put to quality use. 

Effective planning, content development, data review and departmental collaboration will eventually produce 360 degree RoI.

The effect will be three-fold: better insights, stronger and actionable campaign metrics, and greater sales.

And, hopefully significantly less migraines for all concerned.

Image by Kimhungan

by Laura Abrar