As a term marketing automation strongly refers to the marketing department. However, the goals of automating marketing should derive from the company's business goals - why and how the company wants to reach and serve its customers in the digital world. Marketing automation is more than just technology: it is a part of a bigger change in the way the company does business. In the best scenario it affects the whole organisation and encourages into new ways of marketing, sales and service. In the worst case scenario it is used only as a newsletter tool by a few people in the organisation.
Naturally marketing automation usually interests both marketing and communications departments but it shouldn’t be solely left as their project. Here are three things that should be considered before starting a marketing automation project:
1. Unified message
It has been said that good customer service is the best marketing, and vice versa. Currently marketing moves more and more away from push advertising and closer to an unique dialogue with the customer - regardless of the channel. Marketing automation enables targeted messages instead of mass messaging and makes it possible to show individuals dynamic content according to their interests.
Sometimes it happens that customer service, web shop and marketing all approach customers with several non-uniform messages the same day. It is worthwhile to find out the company’s overall communication needs in terms of marketing, sales and customer service and define the customers’ digital customer journey. The company should then align all marketing and communications to seamlessly support this journey. Luckily with marketing automation the overlapping messages can be avoided.
2. Utilising customer data
With the use of marketing automation customer data starts to accumulate to the company’s database, be it the marketing automation tool’s own database or a CRM-system, and effective use of this data should be planned right from the beginning. The data can be almost anything - for example name, hometown, favourite car brand, visited web pages or date of birth. The data can then be used for example in targeted marketing, segmenting, customer loyalty or product/service development. While it seems like a good idea to collect any information you can get it is best to only collect data that you are likely to use at some point.
3. Proper training
Marketing automation familiarises the marketeer and the whole company with new technology. Some might have better digital skills than others but usually a thorough training is in place for everyone new to the system. Without proper training the full benefits of marketing automation might be left unrealised. In most cases the users of the tool are found within the marketing department but the possibilities of marketing automation should be communicated wider in the company. It is also wise to reserve plenty of time for learning as Rome wasn't built in a day either!
In general, the possibilities and use cases for marketing automation in the company should already be mapped carefully in the initial phase of the project. This way different wishes and requirements can be taken into consideration when implementing the system. We at Fluido can help both on the strategic and operative levels when planning, implementing or developing marketing automation. As a technical marketeer we also have partners for delivering quality content.
Digital Marketing Manager
Picture Moyan Brenn