How to Improve ROI With Marketing Automation Tools
If you’d create a SWOT analysis right now, where would “volatile marketing landscape” appear? Most people place it in the threat column.
The go-to approach to move it into opportunities is implementing a marketing automation program. Automation simplifies your tasks and frees up time and attention to focus on growing your business. And contrary to popular belief, it’s not just about email.
Get started, one step at a time
There’s no shortage of information, resources or tools when it comes to getting your marketing automation program off the ground. You might realize you’ve spent more time on research than you planned. So take a deep breath and start ticking off these five steps:
- Pick the tools that best suit your business needs: Identify a tool that fits your goals and your budget. We suggest tools that prevent unhealthy data and support better conversion rates, progressive profiling and social integrations. Most marketing automation tools provide complementary tools. Make sure to choose one that allows for flexibility and depth.
- Select the right team: Not only do you need the right tools; you also need the right skillset and human resources. Because of the complex nature of many marketing automation systems, training will be crucial to success. Help your team know, understand and follow best practices. Spend as much time as you need with vendors to fully immerse with the systems.
- Integrate your automation marketing platforms with a CRM: Many brands use marketing automation solely as an email platform and then sync data with a CRM system. To have a successful marketing automation program, your platforms should work in tandem with your CRM. This lets you create a holistic, cohesive story for and about your customers.
- Engage your sales force: Your sales team is the eyes and the ears in the field. They know what is happening with your customers. They are an excellent source of knowledge about what works and what needs to be re-evaluated.
- Have a plan, a process and a goal for your tools: Make sure you start integrating and building processes early to ensure the success of your marketing automation systems. Take things one step at a time. Start with an email, then test and refine based on real-time data. Take a crawl-walk-run approach to give yourself the advantage of a flexible and adaptable process.
Determine which approach is right for you
At Harte Hanks, we give marketing automation support in three main functional areas: execution, strategy and planning consultation — full-service, ongoing support.
- Execution: We help clients execute within automation tools. When a client doesn’t have the resources internally to execute or select the tools they need, we can support as much or as little as they need to successfully carry out their project or campaign.
- Strategic planning and consulting: Our team can help determine an automation tool that’s right for you, especially if you don’t have the skillset or experience building a system from the ground up. We can also help you use marketing automation tools better and optimize systems to achieve your goals quicker and more efficiently.
- Full-service support: We also offer white-glove marketing automation support and can act as administrators or owners of the tools and platforms you have or will put in place. We will own the tools for you, and make sure they are up and running, optimized and integrated.
What does success look like?
At the end of the day, the goal is to be more efficient and show a steady cadence of results in a shorter period. And it’s about more than showing the revenue you produced via marketing automation. You must be able to tell a story based on the insights and analytics you uncovered to drive the strategy moving forward.
Because marketing automation makes your communications more strategic and controlled, it enables you to offer relevant and personal information to customers and receive high-quality data as a result. This can create a halo effect for your brand by creating a positive experience for your client.
A C-level executive might say a marketing automation tool is only successful if it helped the company secure new customers. The manager of that tool is going to think it’s successful if it’s implemented and used properly. The truth is that success is a combination of both. Implementation is key. You need to do more with marketing automation than just send single emails. You need to create nurture programs that will convert current and prospective customers to purchase.
With the right marketing automation tools and systems, the right team and the right game plan, you can become a marketing automation pro. It is a game-changer for many of our clients because it cuts down on employee fatigue and costs — while producing real, tangible sales results.