How to Implement Marketing Automation

Posted at Dec 26, 2018 4:11:00 PM by THAT Agency | Share

In the fast-paced and ever-evolving world of marketing, you rarely (read: never!) have the luxury of kicking back and relaxing. There’s always clients to engage, campaigns to plan, tactics to implement, data to analyze, strategies to tweak... Makes you tired just thinking about it! But while you need to have your head in the game, digital marketing automation can help take a variety of tasks off your plate so you can focus on mission-critical goals.

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The Purpose and Power of Digital Marketing Automation

Marketing automation services do not make you irrelevant or obsolete; far from! These services help you work more efficiently and effectively - while freeing up invaluable time in your day. According to research from Forrester, marketing automation spend will hit $25.1 billion by 2023 (up from $11.4 billion in 2017).

Businesses are realizing that automation is crucial in:

  • Controlling marketing costs
  • Targeting audiences
  • Lead nurturing throughout every step of the buyer’s journey
  • Moving strategy forward
  • Data analysis
  • Delivering personalized messages

Here’s just one example of how digital marketing automation can work for you. Sending email blasts is both inefficient and ineffective, right? So, what if you sent an email invite to download a great new eBook to a targeted list of contacts/leads? Some do download the eBook, so you send a follow-up email thanking them.

A few days later, you send another follow up to those who downloaded the eBook and offer them an exclusive case study on a related topic. When they download that, your sales team is notified, and your team can follow up with this now-very-qualified lead.

You do all of this automatically; you don’t have to wade through lists to target people, send one-on-one emails, or remember to follow up at a specified time. At the same time, you are delivering personalized messages and value to your audience.

The big question is: how do you implement digital marketing automation?

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To Engage a Marketing Automation Agency or to Handle It In-House?

This is the first big consideration. Do you have the time and human resources necessary to implement a system and manage it so your marketing efforts are seamless and streamlined? An agency's marketing automation services can be tremendous time-savers, and the agency will have the expertise you need to put the right solutions to work for your business.

Handling it in-house can save you money (but not time - which is money!); you will need to make sure you have someone to whom you can entrust the oversight of the solution. And that person will likely need a team to support them. This makes sense if you are a marketing-heavy business or provide those services to clients.

For other brands, whether in the retail space, professional services, etc., the working knowledge of digital marketing automation is simply not there. They have other things to think about - namely, running their businesses.

Regardless of which option you choose, there are a few steps to ensure that your marketing automation works for your business:

  • Look at your brand goals. This is always the first step, whether you’re developing strategy, investing in new tech, or making a hire. Automation is powerful, but it should not be dictating and controlling your strategies. Some businesses commit to full automation, which can lead them to adopt techniques that don’t truly make sense for them or for their audience. Look at your goals, and make sure that automation solutions support them rather than drive them.
  • Integrate automation with your inbound strategy. The purpose of inbound marketing strategies is to make sure that your content and messaging aligns with the needs and interests of your audience. Use solutions to enhance and and personalized communications.
  • Target your audience and push specific content towards them. You can’t automate content creation, but you can ensure that the right material lands in front of the right eyes at the right time with marketing automation services. Again, as in our example above, use your system to follow up after specific actions are completed.
  • Put your customers first. Your automation system can help you stay connected to current customers, who are often lost in the shuffle. Whether you send a targeted email, a thank you, or an invite to exclusive content, you’ll make sure they feel valued.
  • Create customer engagement campaigns. On a related note, these campaigns are geared toward retaining current customers. It’s less expensive to keep a customer than to attract a new one (but, by all means, do both!). Make sure you create initiatives that nurture these important relationships.

Migrating to an automated process can be daunting. This is another area in which an agency's marketing automation services can help: with the right solutions and team working for you, you can begin to realize the benefits much sooner. One of which is more time in your day to tackle proactive work. Let’s get started!

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