When you hear the word “automation” paired with the word “marketing” – what do you think?
If you’re like most people, you might think, “Holy smokes… a way to automate my marketing! Where do I sign up?”
After all, it’s got the word “automatic” in there, right?
But here's the problem...
You cannot automate marketing. It’s impossible. No wonder there’s so much confusion around the business practice of Marketing Automation.
Marketing done without conscious thought or intention is a non-event. Hence, a waste of time.
In reality, marketing automation should have been named “The business process of working three times as hard to yield ten times the results through marketing workflows – the process of engaging your buyer personas within a particular segment to lead them to the desired goal.”
Quite a mouthful, don’t you think? No wonder they just shortened it to Marketing Automation.
Most traditional marketing campaigns generate your leads at the top of the funnel and prime them for the sales journey. Once a lead enters the funnel, nurturing takes over – making it one of the most important pieces of your sales strategy. The end result should drive to two destinations:
- Hot Lead – Let’s close this business
- Cold Lead – Not qualified or right for our business
Any status in between those two means they should still be in your nurturing funnel.
So why the buzz around marketing automation with an unnecessary “need” for having the coolest, most expensive and complicated software around? Because everyone else is doing it and the results are guaranteed, right? Wrong. When you are deciding whether or not to embark on the journey of marketing automation, there are some serious factors to consider that will impact your business.
- CONTENT, CONTENT, CONTENT
Content is at the heart of marketing automation, and is one of the biggest factors to set you up for success. Without relevant and segmented content, what are you going to deliver to your leads? More importantly, who in your organization is going to be responsible for creating all of this content – whitepapers, case studies, email blasts, landing pages, videos and more? Without useful and tailored information for your prospects to interact with, you are going to have a hard time driving them through the sales journey.
- FTEs & RESOURCES
Now you have your list of content needs, but how many FTEs are you willing to dedicate to the cause? Not only will you need content creators, you will need a technical team for systems integrations and development and a highly experienced marketing team to drive strategy and build out your workflows. And this isn’t a one-time thing, either. Your team will need to constantly monitor the results, tweak the workflows, update content to keep it fresh, and track all of your progress.
- LEAD VOLUME
Without leads, there is no marketing automation. Before you can begin to tap into the power of this complicated system, you need to properly fill the top of your sales funnel. Make sure your existing marketing campaigns are doing their job and pulling in a high volume of traffic with identifying information to segment. Accurate information for the basis of your segmentation is extremely important – you get out what you put in.
- BUDGET & ROI
Bottom line? Your bottom line. Financially speaking, this should be a sound investment for your business. Before taking the dive you should understand the Lifetime Value of your customer and your Cost per Acquisition, and how this directly relates to your ROI. Spending money on a system like this is only smart if it is going to pay for itself and then some.
So, Are You Ready??
Answering a few questions about the status of your business can help you decide if marketing automation is the right move for you. Frankly, most people aren’t ready for it, and that’s ok! There are plenty of other activities that can yield the positive results without the cost, timeline, and headache of a large-scale systems implementation.
For those of you who are in fact ready for marketing automation, there is some magic and a little fairy dust to be had.
Let's Find Out!