It’s great that your business is thriving and you’re looking to take things to the next level. Marketing automation is a great way to improve efficiency in your workflow.
Chances are, you may have even automated some of your workflows already. For example, running a small mailing list.
Yet for most, building a marketing automation strategy is a daunting prospect. Especially if you’re not familiar with marketing strategies as a whole.
So we’re going to look at how you can build a successful marketing automation strategy. One that helps not hinder progress and development.
What is Marketing Automation?
Marketing automation is the practice of automating repetitive marketing tasks. These tasks can occur across a range of channels and networks.
The chances are that you’re familiar with workflows as a series of tasks to complete a larger task. In automation, these tasks are undertaken by software instead of human interaction.
In an automated workflow, there are also tasks, although some refer to these as commands. An automated workflow comprises several rules, and these rules include triggers and commands.
For example, take the following rule. “If customer’s location is in the United Kingdom, then set the default language to UK English.”
In this example, the trigger is the customer’s location. The executed command is the setting of the default language.
What Are The Benefits of Marketing Automation?
The biggest benefit to marketing automation is scalability. Once automation is working, and in place, it can save many hours a month in automating that one task alone.
Combine that with an entire network of flows. Now you’re freeing up budgets to recruit in areas where automation isn’t possible.
Marketing automation also improves consistency. By having the same rule execute in the same way, there is no ambiguity involved. That’s opposed to a human workflow where it’s much easier to make mistakes or forget to activate a task.
Automating your marketing is also beneficial for the end-user. By speeding up the process in the back-end, the customer gets the same content faster.
And the best automation software also provides in-depth data analysis reports. These are useful in optimizing your automation strategy as a whole.
How To Create a Marketing Automation Strategy
Your marketing automation strategy is no different from any other strategy in principle. It requires precision planning and setting achievable, measurable goals. And having an understanding of what’s involved in marketing automation itself is vital.
A key stage you should start at is defining the objectives and the problem areas you wish to solve. Over time, this data comes from automation software.
The software provides insights into how successful your workflows were in converting sales. But at first, you may need to conduct market research or outsource a strategist. Especially if you aren’t sure where to start.
Here are some examples of considerations in building your marketing automation strategy:
What Marketing Tasks Are Repetitive?
Comb through your existing workflows and highlight anything repetitive. It could be the task of automating an email newsletter. Or, partaking in one-to-one communications with contacts.
Chances are there will be some quick fixes. These fixes often result in big gains in the short term, freeing you up to execute a longer-term strategy.
Once you have a list of the tasks you’d like to automate, consider using platforms for automation. Suppose your business uses Facebook as a marketing channel to target specific demographics.
You might also use email to talk about different products or services. Are there any overlaps between the two? If so, automate this overlap.
Did you know that automation software allows you to post to many social media accounts at once? You can create one post that is then distributed across many platforms at a set time in the future. Coupled with tracking and data analysis, they provide a great all-in-one automation solution.
What Obstacles Lay Ahead?
The chances are that as an established company scaling up, you already have a growth plan in place. If you don’t, you need one. Because a good marketing strategy isn’t possible without knowing your end goals! Otherwise, you’re marketing blind and might as well not have a strategy at all, which is disastrous.
Are there any hurdles in your way? An example of this could be legislation changes coming into effect. You might foresee an increase in corporation tax, for example.
An increase in tax may mean you suffer a short-term reduction in funding for labor costs. Or, if you’re a seasonal business, a well-planned automation strategy accommodates this, using off-season as downtime and preparation ready for the next marketing campaign.
When is Marketing Automation Not Advised?
It’s a common misconception that automation is easy and doesn’t take long, but that can’t be farther from the truth. Automation is a skilled, labor-intensive process where individual rules and workflows can take days and weeks to perfect. For small businesses, this can become a huge cost burden for minimal gain.
And, if you’re not tech-minded, even the most user-friendly drag-and-drop tools can’t troubleshoot any problems for you in the network of flows. Thus, it is more for established organizations who are serious about taking their business to the next level.
These businesses can afford to outsource a specialist to set up the automation at first, which becomes cost-effective over a prolonged time.
To provide some context, it’s akin to a computer programmer working on new software. Thousands of lines of code can be broken by one misplaced character, which can take time to discover. And when thousands of rules are in place, one small conflict can break everything that comes after in the workflow.
The Best Marketing Automation Strategy
So there you have it, a brief introduction to the benefits of marketing automation and how it can give you a competitive advantage. You’ve probably realized that it would be useless to implement this without putting in some time and effort to plan.
You need to know what value you want from your marketing automation strategy and how effective it’s going to be for costs to make sense in the long term.
After all, we’re talking about scaling up your business. It’s a long-term strategy, so don’t rush into something that you’re not yet sure about how to complete. If you feel like you could use some help with creating a marketing automation strategy contact us today for a consultation and see how we can use your flow to help you grow.